What Did You Know About Business Before Starting Your Shop?

Contributor post by Alicia from AliciasFindings

This blog will be all about what you knew about business before starting your shop. Some of us didn’t know much about taxes,inventory and the like…

Tell us what you knew about business before starting your shop and even what you didn’t know and wish you had!

Linda from LazyYVintage says what I knew about business was bookkeeping, organization, software, writing (aka grammar) and research. And, I knew that I loved vintage and antiques and thought I knew a lot about it. But it provides a continuous learning opportunity. Each category has its own websites and associations, and each piece can be so very different in origin, maker, pricing, etc. I love it. I’m going to add that Jim knows shipping, inside and out. No issues or learning process was necessary to put a shipping department in place. Well, maybe more room to lay it out, but we are working on that part too!

And, although spreadsheets are familiar to me, creating an inventory system was a learning process and still is. Now that my shop is growing, I’d like to step back and redo the physical as well as the Excel spreadsheet!

Also, social media and websites. It might be my age but outside of Facebook, I didn’t really see a need for other social media outlets. Now I tweet and pin and am working on learning more about Tumbler and my website.

This blue willow bowl was one of the first pieces of blue willow I decided to sell in my shop.

il_570xN.557016082_fliq.jpg

Blue Willow Bowl made by Royal China Co. Circa 1948

 

Alicia from AliciasFindings said I knew  the basics of things like bookkeeping,sales,research,customer service and the business plan.

I am not the best with spreadsheets,but have been learning very quickly.  I have been leaning towards getting some accounting/inventory software to make it easier on me.

I have slowly learned about the benefits of marketing and many ways in which to do so. I am a social media lover now!

I didn’t know anything about taking photos of products,including staging.  I am slowly upping my photo game.

Websites and blogs for business is something I have yet to tackle,but I plan on opening up a website here soon. I find if you research something and do it in chunks,you can achieve it!

DSCN0446.JPG

Silver crystal beaded jewelry set

 

#CIJParty 2015 – 4 Amazing Free Publicity Opportunities for Your Small Business

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

I’m excited to introduce to you today Gail from AttentionGetting. Many of you may already know her because of her fascinating website Attention Getting Marketing. Gail has written 7 marketing ebooks. She has 20+ years of marketing experience and I appreciate that she has taken the time today to share with us 6 tips for getting holiday sales from Attention Getting Marketing on Etsy.

Gail Oliver

Gail Oliver

You may not have heard, but  May 1st – 7th, 2016 is National Small Business Week (be sure to use the hash tag #DreamSmallBiz) and it is a good time to pitch a story about your business to your local press. Anything can be a possible story pitch, including if you have:

  • An innovative product or service idea
  • An eco-friendly business
  • Rapid growth in the last 6 months or year
  • New facilities or location opening
  • Engaged in a charitable endeavoNSBW

Now, I also came across four awesome opportunities to get free publicity for your small business.

1. Get Included in an American Family Insurance Ad

At the dentist office I was looking through a copy of People Magazine (which has a readership of 46 million), and the opening 3-page color ad was from a company calledAmerican Family Insurance, with their “Dream Fearlessly” campaign promoting the work of a photographer, a writer, and an artist who are all trying to turn their dream into a business. So, if you have pursued or fulfilled a business dream, submit it to American Family Insurance (scroll down to the form at the bottom of the page) and maybe you will be profiled in an upcoming ad.

2. Share Your Pinterest Success

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest brings a huge amount of traffic to my blog. Therefore, if you have a Pinterest success story of how it has helped your business, submit it to Pinterest and they just might profile your story in emails, on their blog and more, so other businesses can learn from your success.

3. AT&T Wants to Know Your Business Story

Telecom giant AT&T has a “Real Stories” feature that profiles business owners who have a great story to tell and insights to help other entrepreneurs. Submit your business story to AT&T and you could be featured on their blog (called The Business Circle) and their social media pages (250,000 followers) – a great way to drive more traffic to your site and gain more customers.

4. Be Part of the Globe and Mail’s TakeOff Series

If you are a Canadian small business or entrepreneur, you have from now until July to submit your story to Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, to be profiled in their “TakeOff series. Essentially, they want to know what helped or hurt your business from “taking off”. You can get more details about what and where to submit here.

Things to Note

Thank you for joining us today Gail. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share the tips with us today. It gives us the opportunity now to start planning for 2016!

Please be sure to check out the on the main party post for the schedule of events.

#CIJParty – 6 Tips for Getting Holiday Sales from Attention Getting Marketing on Etsy

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

I’m excited to introduce to you today Gail from AttentionGetting. Many of you may already know her because of her fascinating website Attention Getting Marketing. Gail has written 7 marketing ebooks. She has 20+ years of marketing experience and I appreciate that she has taken the time today to share with us 6 tips for getting holiday sales from Attention Getting Marketing on Etsy.

Gail Oliver

Gail Oliver

1. Reach out to your current customers with special offers, such as an early bird discount for holiday shopping in October or free holiday gift wrapping.
2. Take advantage of highly promoted events like Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday by pitching story ideas to your local newspaper about how your shop plans to offer special promotions on these days. They are always looking for local stories on these subjects.
3. Change or add to your shop sections to reflect gift categories i.e. Gifts For Her, Gifts Under $50, Stocking Stuffers
4. Start pitching NOW to get in the print magazines’ holiday gift guides. You would be amazed at how many national magazines ran gift guides last year with a category for Etsy shops.
5. Pitch your products to be part of other holiday editorial such as “How to Decorate the Holiday Table”, etc. Pitch story ideas such as this to the Etsy blog writers now as they plan in advance.
6. Create your own holiday gift guides featuring your products as well as other Etsy sellers and then all of you promote it on social media as well as to each others customers, extending the reach even further. Localized versions i.e. “Holiday Gift Guide featuring Boston Etsy Shops”, could do quite well with your local market.

Thank you for joining us today Gail. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share the tips with us today. It gives us the opportunity now to start planning for the 2014 holiday season!