Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Weekend

The weekend was great. I could hardly sleep, the anticipation of passing out my marketing materials laid heavy on my mind. I was up at 7 a.m., checking email and waking kids. Only to my surprise there was only one home, the youngest but the tallest.

I was unable to get the fliers I wanted, the price wasn’t right and I didn’t have enough ink to print my own.

That was okay though, I went with my bookmarks. I had to shop for school uniforms, so that gave me the opportunity to stop a three libraries going to and fro. I asked permission to leave
my bookmarks on the counter, it wasn’t a problem. I also took the liberty to browse a bit and leave some in books. We have to be creative in our marketing techniques.

Now to see what happens. Everything takes time. Put in the energy and eventually it pays off. I'm in the market for a house, I during a viewing, I found myself talking to the owner about my business and how the space could be used to help me work better. when I told them about Etsy, they got excited. They were interested in handmade. I actually made a pitch not just for myself, for all of us that use Etsy as our store front.

I designed and printed the bookmarks myself with a program called PrintMaster. It can easily be found and installed onto your computer and you can import your own artwork. This I like very much. I found my copy at Wal Mart and it also can be purchased online from Broderbund. I have 3 copies. They offer it online without a disc, it’s a download stream. The disc is best, just in case your computer does what mine does. It’s notorious for viruses. I take it out, have it cleaned, request my data be saved and somehow or another it disappears.

Notice the rose, it’s my brand. I carry it throughout all my projects, labels, hang tags, etc. A brand should be recognizable where it's seen, like the design on the Coke can. When people see it they know it's you.

What did you do this weekend to promote your shop?

Breast Cancer Awareness month is fast approaching, so I decided to pull out all my pink to start my Awareness projects. Seriously thinking of just making ‘All That is Pink’ a part of my shop. As with all health concerns it takes more than a month, it’s a daily battle.

As always, comment. Better yet 'Communicate'.

Monday, August 11, 2008

We All Need Customers

We All Need Customers
Business and Advertisement

Most of us have taken that plunge into owning and running or own business, be it large or small. The reason we went into business in the first place is that we had something we wanted to share with the world, next it was the pleasure of being our own boss and next to make money.

Now we’ve hung out our shingle and nothing much is happening. We wonder if this was such a good idea after all. It is. We just may have missed a step or two. Maybe we have been at this for a while and still not getting the response we want. Let’s take a minute and think this thing over. We ask our selves certain questions and the best way to answer those questions are to list them as they come up and then write out the answer. I know I may sound big on a list but I find that if I don’t have it visible, I will forget and leave something out or undone. The mind being the control center that it is can only handle so much at a time. That’s why we invented the computer, to keep up with the knowledge we attain on a daily basis. For everything new we learn, we lose something old and unused.

As in everything we do, we need a plan. Today our plan is action. We need to get the word out about our business, whether it is local or national. Let’s start simple. We are not going to overwhelm ourselves. For me business has been slow, so for the rest of the week, I am going to work on door hangers and flyers. Something low-cost, for example:

Door-hangers: If your target is geographically defined, locate this area, print a specific offer on door-hanger and place them on doorknobs in your area or the area where the clients you wish to reach live. I am lucky enough to have children, so I can gather them together and on the weekend, we can pick our target area and start working.

Use attention getting words and phrases in your message as ‘Big enough to serve you, small enough to know you.’ Extend some type of offer for first or second time service with you. Give them a reason to try you.

Flyers: I don’t like placing flyers under windshield wipers. It would be my luck to set off an alarm or walk away with a wiper in my hand. However, it is worth the try to find shopping lots full of cars with people needing your service and didn’t know you existed. Stand out and talk to people. Speak and ask them how their day is, offer them the flyer and find out if this were something, they would be interested in. Let them see the face behind the product, be a little personal, everyone likes attention. This gives them something to think about and talk about. They can help pass your message on when someone else sees the flyer and inquires.
I personally love passing information on about the people I met during an encounter be it good or bad. It's what I do, I'm a Mystery Shopper, part time.

Another good thing about flyers they can be left in many different places. Ask permission from doctor’s offices, stores, drugstores and the like. I like the half size sheets of paper, they’re easier to place and you double your advertising for the same amount of money.

The key is to be effective in your advertising, focus on the individual.

As usual comment, speak up or out and most of all Communicate.