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Barbara Brabec

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Publisher:  M. Evans ISBN-10:  0871319039 Type: 


Copyright:  2000 ISBN-13:  9780871319036

How to Make Your Art, Craft, Design, Writing, or Publishing Business More Efficient, More Satisfying, and More Profitable

Barnes &
Barbara Brabec's World

The first and only book of its kind . . . an intimate and revealing look at how creative people live and work at home.  Unlike the author's other business books, this one places heavy emphasis on computer technology and related products and the different ways creative people are using them to manage their businesses and increase productivity, sales and profits. 

Designed to help bring art/craft businesses into the 21st century, Make It Profitable! reflects more than 80 different personalities and individual voices of men and women who are devoted to their work and the idea of making money from their creative hands and minds. As a group, these individuals have more than 1200 years of business experience! You will benefit mightily from their wise counsel and keen insight into today's ever-growing arts and crafts marketplace!

In each of the book's thirteen "networking sessions," these savvy business owners speak frankly about the problems they are having, the solutions they are finding, and what it's really like to run a crafts business at home. As you "listen in" to these fascinating conversations, you'll feel like you're among friends who have gathered in your living room to chat about business.

Make It Profitable! includes their special tips, business insight and lessons learned from years of selling art and craft products, publications and services. Rounding out the book is the author's own home-business experience and perspective on the crafts industry.


  •  13 Unique "Networking Sessions"
  •   Helpful Checklists
  •   48 Informative Sidebars
  •   60 Illustrations and Photos

Reviews for this book will be found on Amazon and on the book pages of the author's website. A Table of Contents will be found here.


As we settle into a favorite chair with a good book for a long evening’s read, we may reposition ourselves several times before we're comfortable. Maybe the light isn't just right, or the pillow needs fluffing, or we can't quite reach our cup of tea. Subtle shifts are needed for maximum comfort.

Business is like that, too. Each year, as things around us change, or we change, we may find it necessary to make subtle shifts in the way we're doing business. Our prices may increase in response to market conditions or a change in the economy. Our marketing methods may change because of new technology or because the old ways aren't working any more. Business or product names may change in response to industry changes or how customers and clients themselves are changing.

Most of us go to great lengths to resist change because it automatically takes us out of our comfort zone and makes extra work for us. A change of name, phone number or pricing means we have to revise all our printed materials. A change in focus means we have to write new advertising copy for our brochure, catalog or ads, and explore new ways of reaching the larger market we've targeted. Suddenly we need a whole new series of printed materials or perhaps a presence on the Internet.

As we grow older (and, hopefully, wiser), we are sometimes forced to make changes because we've received an important wake-up call, like a serious illness or life-threatening disease that suddenly shows us what our real priorities in life are. A few years ago, a little dance with breast cancer cost me a lot of time, money and energy due to surgery, follow-up doctor visits and six weeks of daily radiation treatments. I was lucky the cancer was caught and halted in its earliest stage, but the experience woke me up to the fact that I was getting older and wasn't going to live forever. This turned out to be a positive life experience in that it forced me to take a closer look at my life and make some important changes in the way I was spending it and running my homebased business.

From time to time, we need to ask ourselves if we are living life the way we really want to, and when that life includes a business at home, the questions become all the more pointed. Change, though hard to make, brings its own rewards. Upgrading your business will enhance your professional image and this may prompt your customers or clients to respond differently, perhaps with bigger orders or more business. In the process of making necessary changes to my own business, I discovered another important benefit of change. Satisfaction with the changes I had made lowered my business stress as well as my blood pressure. Best of all, I found myself fired with ambition and energy to tackle new challenges.

Making changes is always painful to one degree or another. When I decided to cease publication of my newsletter a few years ago and gradually close down the book publishing and mail order end of my business, I went through an emotionally difficult and financially painful "withdrawal period." Suddenly, after fifteen years of speaking to a devoted following of readers through my newsletter, I no longer had an active network or a soapbox from which to deliver information, opinions, and advice. My income dropped dramatically and I couldn't replace it quickly because I was then spending all my time writing new books that would not yield royalty income for more than a year. It was a difficult decision to make, but I'm so glad I did it. I'm back on track financially and my work is less stressful now that I'm doing the one thing I love most and never had enough time to do before—writing 100 percent of the time. And now that I'm on the Internet, I have my soapbox back as well.

What's interesting to me about all this is that, although I've been a professional writer for thirty years, it took all that time for me to actually get to the place where I really wanted to be. And I couldn't have gotten there at all if I hadn't gone through all the growing pains and changes along the way. Each subtle shift in the way I worked or managed my business automatically repositioned me for something else that wouldn't have come my way if I hadn't moved in the first place.

Based on all the interviews I've done with other business owners through the years, I can practically guarantee that a similar kind of progression will happen to you. So don't get too comfortable where you are right now unless you are already exactly where you want to be for the rest of your life.

Professional Reviews

National Review Book Service
"A home-based business can be a tremendous financial boon to a homeschooling family if you know how to avoid making the many mistakes that start-up businesses usually fall into. Arts-and-crafts expert Barbara Brabec has navigated all the pitfalls that commonly overwhelm home businesses. For Make It Profitable! she consulted with numerous home-based professionals, including a sizable number of stay-at-home moms who started selling their crafts or designs from their home office and made good. Here she gathers their wisdom and shows you how you can use the Internet and other new technologies to make your business work in the long term. From beginning to end, this guide is solidly practical: each chapter even ends with a checklist that helps you implement that chapter’s advice."
I found the technology tips very useful. But what I really liked most about this book is that you get to read insights related by craft persons who have found and shared ways they have used to improve craft business profitability. The book is packed with advice you can use today." - James Dillehay

Boogie Jack's Almost A Newsletter
"While this book is geared toward Art, Craft, and Writing businesses in its instructional examples, there are a lot of good tips that can be gleaned by any small business owner. It's full of practical advice and how-to information for us mere mortals, and doubly so if your business is one of the subtitled topics.

"Barbara covers everything from the use of technology to managing stress, and even includes tips to get freebies from manufacturers, and it's sometimes easier than you think! Throughout the book Barbara uses plenty of real life examples and comments from people successfully working SOHO. It's like being able to pick the brains of small business persons everywhere.

"You don't keep getting new book deals if you aren't good, and Barbara is good. She's also a warm and intelligent person with a healthy dose of old-fashioned good sense. If this topic interests you, Make It Profitable is a recommended read." - Dennis Gaskill,

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