Running a successful and profitable reborn doll business isn't an easy task by any means. Far too many people are attracted to the business because of the high price tag attached to some of the most notable reborn dolls. What they don't realize, however, is that it takes dedication, persistence and countless hours of hard work before you even start to make a profit. To help you get started on the right foot, you should read the following 7 mistakes that beginners make when running a reborn doll business.
Mistake #1 - Not Branding Yourself
Branding is a critical to the success of any reborn doll artist. Now, by branding I don't mean pocking yourself with a cattle iron (that would probably hurt), but instead spreading the word about y0ur reborn doll business.
Far too many artists overlook just how much of an impact branding has. And as a result, they lose a significant portion of their repeat customers. You can learn more about branding your reborn doll business here, but the basic gist is to come up with a unique name for your business and spread the world through any and all means necessary.
Mistake #2 - Creating Too Many Dolls
I can't stress enough just how important it is to create high-quality reborn dolls. Yes, it takes longer to meticulously add half a dozen or more coats of paint along with rotting each individual strand of mohair into their scalp, but the end result is something reborn collectors will take notice of.
By producing high-end reborn dolls that are naturally more realistic than other artists, you can likely sell them for more money. The bottom line is that you should focus your reborn doll making business based around quality rather than quantity.
Mistake #3 - Lack of Networking
If you stay cooped up inside your home making reborn dolls, you are missing out on an essential part of the hobby -- networking. The reborn doll industry is highly social with various shows and conferences setup throughout the world. Whether you live in the US, UK or Australia, there are reborn doll shows around. Visiting them will give you the opportunity to not only sell your dolls to collectors, but you can network with other artists as well. This alone makes shows and conferences worth attending. You can read the Reborn Doll Mart's news section for past, present and future reborn doll shows.
Mistake #4 - Bad Customer Service
If there's one thing that nearly all successful businesses have in common, it's positive customer service. Whether you sell insurance, apparel, furniture, real estate or even reborn dolls, you must treat your customers with respect and dignity; otherwise, you run this risk of not only losing their business, but others as well. News about poor customers service travels quickly, and one customer will likely share their experience with friends and family members. To prevent this from happening, you should make it a point to treat each every customer with a friendly, professional attitude. Even if you never see or interact with the customer face-to-face, you can still offer exceptional customer service through other means.
Mistake #5 - Staying Offline
Let's face it, you can't expect to run a profitable reborn doll making business if you remain offline. As some people already know, the reborn doll industry was essentially spawned thanks to the interent. During the early 90s, a few reborn dolls were placed on auction sites like eBay. Doll collectors and enthusiasts took notice of these newfound, highly realistic dolls, and the craze soon followed. The fact of the matter is that 90% of all collectors purchase their reborn dolls online. By not utilizing this medium in your business, you are leaving a staggering portion of sales on the table for other artists to snag.
Mistake #6 - Only Doing The Minimum
If you really want to give your buyers the impression that you a seriously talented reborn doll artists who's worth purchasing from, you must go the extra mile. Instead of shipping off solely a reborn doll with no other accessories, you should "doll" it up a bit with a cute outfit, birth certificate, pacifier, etc. It will only take a small amount of time to add these items with your reborn dolls, but the impact it has towards buyers will be profound. They will naturally want to come back to purchase YOUR reborn dolls rather than dolls from other collectors.
Mistake #7 - Not Treating It Like a Business
The seventh and possibly most detrimental mistake reborn doll artists make is not treating their venture like a true business. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the reborning process and customer interaction that comes along with it, but you must treat it like you would any other business. This means keeping track of all expenses, payment, customer information, etc. Trust me, you'll be glad you did once tax reason rolls around next year.
Running a business also means valuing your time and energy. If a doll takes you 40 hours to complete, then you should reflect this in its price; otherwise, your business will never take off. If you haven't done so already, start tracking everything it takes to create a reborn doll from start to finish. In addition to basic supplies, you should also factor in your time and energy. Using this information, you can then decide on a more appropriate selling price for your reborn dolls.