Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Business Chat - Working ON your business

One week later and guess what? It's still August, the cicadas are still buzzing and it's still slow season. Let's continue working ON our business rather than IN it. Last week we discussed 5 things to do during a slow season. Here's 6 more:
  1. Blog makeover! Hey, the kids are getting new supplies and clothes for the new year, doesn't your blog deserve some spiffying up too? How's your blog looking these days? Could it use some new graphics, maybe a different layout? Do you have a mission statement for it (meaning do you have a purpose behind your blog?) Have you communicated to your readers what your purpose is? People may not be opening their wallets right now but their eyeballs are still online, don't let them down, keep the content coming.
  2. Speaking of mission statements, do you have one for your business? Why are your doing what you're doing? Now is a good time to sit down and think about goals for the upcoming season. Rather than just selling because your friends think you should, know why you are doing this and what you want to accomplish.
  3. Facebook. How's your fan page doing? (You do have one right?) What could you be doing to increase the number of fans you have? Why not set a goal of getting X number of new fans every month? Is your blog linked to your facebook account? Do you have a posting schedule?
  4. Speaking of posting schedules why not create one now for your facebook page, your blog and your online store? One element of a good brand is consistency. Consistency in a blog means that if a reader visits weekly they know that they will see new content even if it's just a new picture. Tell yourself that you will post twice weekly, on Mondays and Thursdays and put that commitment on paper on your bulletin board. It's really easy to let days slide by and realize you haven't blogged in a month. Having a schedule holds you accountable to get it out. I challenge you to create a schedule for the rest of 2010.
  5. Store makeover! Take a good long look at your online store. You know you need good photos, maybe yours need to be redone. How about your item descriptions, do they really convey what your work is? Do they tell a story? Are they so compelling that a customer feels she MUST have it? Do they list the items measurements and components? What about your bio? As we previously discussed, you are the product as much as your work is. Make sure that you shine through in your store.
    For those selling at craft shows take a good long look at your booth display. It's much easier to tweak your booth design now than the week before a major show and the Christmas season will be here before you can blink. Maybe you could use new booth signs. Think of previous shows, was the layout of your display all that it could be? Were there dead spots that need to be fixed? (a dead spot is an area that no matter what you put there it won't sell). Do people move around your booth to look at more, or do they walk in and out quickly? A little marketing factoid for you, 90% of people who walk into a store turn right. This means that you need attention grabbing work on the right side of your booth entrance and then you have to guide them left. Think of the storage areas in your booth, were they an efficient use of space, could you find stuff easily and were they hidden from the pbulic? How long did it take you to set up your booth? Spending 10 hours on your feet selling is hard enough, you don't need a 4 hour complicated set up before the show. Why not make a goal to cut your set up time in half? Now think about how you could accomplish that.
  6. Learn somthing new! The kids go back to school soon, how about you? Learning new techniques, playing with new materials or trying a whole new craft is not only fun but also adds new dimensions to your work. It's really important to stay fresh and create new work constantly and learning new skills is a great way of doing this. There are so many different ways of learning, go ahead, pick one. Spend a little time now looking for a course for the fall, be it a college course, an evening seminar, or an online weekend workshop. Why not try something totally different from everything you already do? Stretch your boundaries and see what happens.

Thinking about goals, creating schedules, working on your marketing messages are all part of working ON your business. Anyone can work IN your business creating work. It's those who spend the time working ON the business, who have a purpose and a roadmap who will succeed.


sonyamacdesigns said...

Yes, I need to add the stories ... Thanks 4 this reminder ... adding the stories is the hard part.
Boohoo .....Catherine

Anonymous said...

Most people seem to forget you can schedule your blog posts. If you are inspired, write 3 or 4 posts - or break a long one up into mulitple posts - and schedule over multiple days.