The Business Chat – 12 ways to holiday up your online shop

I have just seen my first Christmas decorations in a store. It’s official, the holiday shopping has begun. As Halloween hasn’t even happened we’re not yet into panic stages yet. This is the time of year when customers are starting to think seriously of shopping, it’s the research time of year. And where are most people looking right now? You got it, online.  Now is the time to spiffy up your online site before the crazy shopping begins. People are looking, and bookmarking, but many won’t purchase until the holidays get closer. It’s time to go over your site and …

The Business Chat – 8 steps to build interest in your work

Guess what happened this week? I looked at the calendar and realized that my first holiday show is in 5 weeks!!! EEEEEKK! Boy did that start a bit of a panic attack! There is SO much to do. There’s inventory to be made, a new booth to be built, photos to be taken and packaging to order.  All of these tasks will get me and my work into a beautiful booth and looking lovely.  Wait – there’s something missing. Not only do I have to make and display the work, I have to take care of the most important part. …

The Business Chat – 6 tips to make you a shipping superstar

Isn’t it such a thrill to open your inbox and see that new order? Big happy dance! Now let’s ship that order out. Packaging and shipping services are some of the best opportunities you have to communicate with your customers and remind them why they should continue to shop with you and not someone else. Clear communication and super cute packaging will give the customer nice warm fuzzy feelings, and happy customers are repeat customers.  1. Make sure your shipping policies are very clear and very easy to find. Communication is key for online shopping. Your buyer should know the …

The Business Chat – And the survey says…

Pssst, let’s talk about… money… It’s one of those dirty words in the arts and crafts business. Money. There are those who feel that you should be doing what you do for the love of it. There are some who feel that they can’t charge much because it was so easy to make. And there are some who realize that what we do took a long time to learn and that we deserve to make a living wage.  Whatever your feelings about money, the topic is not often discussed. We talk about our expenses, we talk about how we did …

The Business Chat – Ho Ho Ho, Happy August!

The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing and guess what? Christmas is coming!!! Yes people it’s time to start the holiday countdown! Right now sales are slow because everyone is on vacation (maybe you are too?). This is the perfect opportunity to start planning and scheduling your holiday season.  As soon as September hits life will move into warp speed and before you know it you’ll be sitting around that tree ripping presents apart and wondering if it’s too late to list online those Santa earrings you made.  While you’re sitting around in the sunshine with a lovely frosty …

The Business Chat – 9 sales tips for your craft show

Being a tiny company of one means I wear many hats during a workweek. This weekend I’m off to yet another craft show of the summer season and it’s time for me to put on my Salesperson hat. Being a salesperson doesn’t come naturally for me, I would much rather just chat and hang out with people than give them a hard sell. As a customer I hate when a clerk is “salespersony”, pushy and with one of those scary all-teeth fake smiles. As an artist (artisan, crafter, maker, whatever you are comfortable calling yourself) it is important that we …

The Business Chat – It’s monthly staff meeting time!

Yesterday my calendar beeped at me and reminded me, hey, another month is gone, tomorrow is a new month! This is a reminder not just to make sure there’s money in my chequing account to cover bills but for another big event. On the first of the every month I sit down and have a staff meeting. Me, a latte, a cookie and my notebook.  Every business should do this, and yes, that means you. Knowing what you want to accomplish in the next month means that you are moving towards a goal. If you don’t have a goal line …

The Business Chat – Evolve or die

As always in the crafty world lately I’m hearing a lot of whining about slow sales. “It’s the economy, it’s the weather, it’s construction, the organizers, too many competitors”. It’s always something that you can’t control.  You know what? No matter what something will always be out of your control. It will never ever be a perfect situation for selling. Maybe you should focus on what you can control.  I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately. Because I am having a really great year. (I almost don’t want to say this out loud in case I jinx it). My …

The Business Chat – All systems are go!

Someone recently asked me what I meant by the term “business system.” I thought you might like to know a definition that works for me. A system is a procedure, process, method or course of action designed to achieve a specific result. A good system will help you be consistent in your business practices. Consistency makes customers trust you. Happy customers are repeat customers.  The bottom line is that a good business system means less wasted time and more time to build your business and increase sales.  Systems and processes are the essential building blocks of your company. They will …

The Business Chat – What will make you happy?

Wow, I had a great craft show yesterday! Set up was easy, the weather was sunny, the people were very appreciative and I had fun. On a business side, I came home with a little more money than I had aimed for, I added the number of names to my mailing list that I had aimed for and I tested out a new design in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season. (It was VERY successful). All in all, I was very happy, I made all my goals for the show.  As we were packing up I was chatting with my …