Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Business Chat - Steps to Success!

Take yourself seriously. 
If you don’t treat yourself as a professional no one else will. Same goes for your business, if you think of it as just some little thing you do on the side and not as a business, then that’s what it will be. 
Charge your customers what you’re worth 
Nothing will sink you faster than undercharging for your work. By pricing your work too low you send the message that it has no value. And you won’t be able to pay your bills, let alone yourself. 
Make sure your customers know who you are and what you do. 
Sum up in one sentence what you do. If you say your name and your one sentence will a customer understand? 
Don’t be shy. Tell the world that you are here!
If you don’t shout it out from the rooftops who will? Be proud, be loud 
Make it easy for customers to find you. 
It is the customers job to be awestruck by your brilliance and to give you money, it is your job to keep in touch with the customers and let them know of all the places they can find you, when they can find you, and what you have available for them. 
Make it easy for customers to give you money. 
If they have to hunt for a way to buy they will walk away. Online give them a HUGE Buy Now Button. Give them shipping information. Give them pricing up front. Don’t ever make them email you for information on how to buy. In person, have your payment options clearly stated all over your booth. Know your payment options in advance. 
Think like a customer. 
What makes you happy as a customer? Now do that for your customers. 
Think like a boss 
There is crap that just has to be done even if it’s not really fun. (bookkeeping anyone?) Without these jobs getting done your business will sink. If you were working for someone else you’d have to do the boring bits. Put on your boss hat and look at the stuff that has to be done. Now do it. 
Watch your cash flow 
Profit is income minus expenses. The less you spend the more you put in your pocket. It’s really easy for expenses to explode, stay on top of them. Always think twice, do I really need this? Really? Do I have to have this? 
Keep your day job until you’re sure.
Making your work is super fun and the easy part of any business. Successfully selling it is a different story. It requires running a business. You have to love it to be successful. Before you quit your day job, sell part-time to see if you love it. 
Over the next few weeks I’m going to go into each of these steps in great detail. There are no guarantees in running your little business however by following these basic steps you are ahead of most other people.  

Friday, June 29, 2012

Inspiration Friday

Welcome to our newest version of Inspiration Friday. We thought we'd made a few changes, namely allowing folks to choose their own inspiration, and the biggie - we give you a lot more time! If you would like to participate in the next one, see the end of this post for complete details.

I love the idea of using an inspiration palette to base your design on. We all tend to stick with our own comfortable colour palettes, and this is just such an easy way to expand your range.

I recently came across a lovely handmade bead that I've had in my stash for - Oh, I don't know how long....years.  I'm sorry that I don't remember who made this however,  I purchased it from one of the Toronto Bead Shows. If you know who's this is - let us know!

The bead is boro, and has that special magical quality that seems to be inherent with borosilicate glass  - shimmers with flashes of colour, and pearly opalescence. I kept the necklace simple, as I wanted something I could wear while bumming around with the kids this summer. With the silk cord - I can just tie it on. Easy Peasy.

I'll fully admit to doing this backwards. I made the necklace first - then poked around pinterest for an image that I felt evoked the feel of the necklace. Well - not exactly, but it's a nice picture - enjoy ;-)

                                     This is where I would prefer to spend my summer!

                                                                                  Source: via bead on Pinterest

Deadline July 26th, 2012

Before the cutoff date, send your pictures to us, and we'll blog your inspiration source, and your finished project.  Feel free at that time to send us along any other info you want to include. We'll publicize your blog or etsy/artfire/etc site as well.

For example, I think I'll make mine from this one:

You can make your jewelry/beadwork out of any materials you wish. This can be stringing, wirework, lampwork, polymer clay - whatever you wish!

(Many of us use Design Seeds as in inspiration source. Feel free to use any inspiration source you wish. Design Seeds just happens to be among my favourites.)

Here's how to submit:

 * Send an email to with a picture of your inspiration source (or a link to the source)
* include an image of your creation
* include any contact information you want us to include in the blog posting

Happy Creating!