Saturday, March 28, 2009

Keep In Touch!

How do you stay in contact with your customers? Here are some easy ways to really stand out from the crowd and keep your business in front of those who keep you in business!

1. Keep those contacts comin’! Make sure you make every effort to collect those pesky customer emails. I make sure to at minimum keep a sign up sheet by the register and an easy to use sign up box on our website too. Or! What about offering a drawing, raffle or other incentive to keep those emails rolling in? Have a webshop? Make sure you are capturing emails and putting them into whatever email management system you are using.

{ET says:} While we’re at it. Make sure you send regular, but not too frequent emails to your customers. Don’t be a spammer either, you must collect those emails, don’t go stealing them off blogs or other sites. And don’t be offended when people want to opt out of your list- it’s not personal.

2. Write and say hi! My best friend and Etsy store owner, Em makes amazing postcards of her beautiful vintage wares with Moo, and then hand writes notes to customers thanking them for their purchases and reminding them she has lots of great stock. And her customers LOVE them! Not only are the postcards pretty, but they are so very personal in a digital age. Take the time to do something from the heart and you’ll be thrilled with the results.

{ET says:} We love for cheap, reliable printing of postcards, stickers and other lovely promotional material!

3. Make your emails the best they can possibly be. Use marketing management like Constant Contact or other alternatives to make sharp, professional looking emails. Image really is everything and these low cost services are worth their weight in gold.

Try adding some of these sections to make your emails really sign: Staff favorites, New Product, Events, Featured Artists, What’s Hot (even if that just means sharing what music you’re playing, what new shops you love in your area, etc), or any other Givaways you might be having.

{ET says:} Click here for a fantastic list of alternatives to the ever popular Constant Contact!

4. Don’t forget about the ever popular social media sites. Free networking is never a bad thing. Just make sure your pages on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and the sort are clean and easy to use, properly branded, and add value to your business. Make sure all your pertinent info is there: phone, address, website, and anything else that your customer needs to get in touch with you. After all, that’s the point!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ET says: Watch This Now!

Design For Mankind - Dialogue Episode 2 from Design For Mankind on Vimeo.

Another fantastic Dialogue series by Erin. Budgets and money are certainly no stranger to the small business owner, and these videos not only give sage advice, but remind all of us that the lifestyle is totally do able!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Recession Babies and What To Do Now!

A small, but motivating, list of companies that were founded during economic times like our own. If they can do it, why can't we?

Also motivating, Startups: The Upside of a Downturn over at Business Week. Go. Read. Now. {ET says: especially helpful for tech companies, start ups, and the like!}

Reasons to keep those businesses growing, open, and thriving in a down economy...

- Bad markets= less competition for your new venture
- Lower startup costs
- It's easier to find (and keep!) great talent
- Less rush- expansion and product launches can be done at a better pace

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blogs We Love

They say it best, so take it away ladies...

"Welcome to BAKERY’s blog, where you will find tips and educational tidbits on growing your business via this crazy thing we call the Internet."

While you're at it, they also provide a wide variety of consultation and support for businesses in need.

- Learn what RSS feeds are
- How to network your blog
- How, what, and when to blog to be most effective

Take it from these pros, and you'll see great changes in your own busines's social networking!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Top Five Things We All Need To Know

Top Five Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know
{ET says: *ie. Like, one of the best articles I’ve read in sometime for small business people!}


1. Hire thee an intern- Ask them what they want, treat them very well, and you won’t be disappointed in the amazing things they can do for you!
2. Know hiring is difficult, if not back breaking work- Hire intern-to-staff for best results, make your Craigslist ads tough as hell, and know that even the best employee can go sour.
3. Get a bookkeeper, stat. Is there really more to say about this? No. We all hate QuickBooks, and it’s not a dirty secret. Pay someone how knows numbers, and focus on what you do well.
4. Connect with people anyway you know how- phone, Facebook, e-mail, networking groups, etc. Sharing is caring, people.
5. Frenemies- worth getting to know! People who do the exact same thing as you have a lot of knowledge about something you wanna know a lot about. Embrace your competitors and learn!

Picture from kudaker

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Blog Love

The ever fab Modish now has a blog dedicated to business gals and guys. Run, don't walk. Modish Biz Tips Blog.

{ET says: We love, love, love this post with Grace from d*s....I love how she talks us through the ups and downs of being a small biz person. Kudos!}

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Econ This Quotes

A friend always says this, and I think there is never a better time to remember- if you think you've got a great idea- do it! There are lots of great ideas out there, but make yours better and work harder, to stay ahead!

Lessons from The Great Depression

Using Lessons From The Great Depression on


-Reinvest in your business, even when you think you don't need to. Don't let your business suffer by taking large paychecks or spending money foolishly.

-Stay flexible! Wear many hats and if you have employees, let their skills shine. Train your staff in multiple tasks. If ever you need to cutback, your staff will be more flexible and able to pitch in where you need them, thus not wasting valuable capital.

{Picture from Library of Congress here}

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Econ This Quotes!

Just get out there and do it! Don't let the little things hold you up from doing something great for your business.


Sometimes, it’s hard not to believe in fate. Just as I was wondering how to get a little bit more out of my shop during these rather lean times, a customer came in and blew my mind about a PR list that is easy to use and, wait for it, FREE. And face it, public relations are an important part of your business you can't afford to ignore.

Peter Shankman’s HARO- Help A Reporter Out, is a quick and easy way to share news about your business. You simply sign up for the three times a day emails, and write to reporters who are looking to write stories that match your product/service. I’ve already pitched several products from my shop successfully and I look forward to each HARO email. It’s important to constantly stay in front of your customers, and finding easy ways to do that are a small business owner’s dream. HARO’s empire also includes twitter, iTunes videos, Facebook, and much more for those truly hooked into social networking. Try it out!

{pic via newsday}