Monday, March 28, 2011

Just some Random thoughts about start up business.

OK so I felt kinda like writing a blog post today, especially since I haven't written one in a while. I have kept pretty busy lately, and done a lot of reading, some was for fun, but most has been for learning. the main topic? Business plans. I'm trying to come up with a good one that could possibly get me a grant to help get my business off the ground and possibly get me and my family on our feet and stabilized in a bad economy.  I'd like to be able to buy a house, and have a studio room that I could base my Shop out of.  perhaps have it be a well organized "craft" room with a desk for the computer so I can list my items and keep up with the Internet social media thing.  with the way so much of commerce in general is moving to the Internet, there is so much to think about and the world just seems to be expanding at a very rapid pace.  some ideas I've been thinking about are the various causes and fundraising for them. it seems that some business strategies donate a portion of their sales to causes to give their buyers more incentive to buy from them. I have two ideas for some of my items: for my scarves, for every one sold donate one to the salvation army for the homeless; for art... ATC, I could paint picture portraits of Animals at various shelters and sell them, donating $1 for every one sold to the shelter or Foster pet parent for upkeep, helping get the word out about a particular dog cat or other homeless animal....  I'm not sure which one I want to pursue with more determination, both could prove to be somewhat profitable to me, and help my bottom line in my business. I am seriously considering both. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Marketing for Dummies chapter 1: Optimizing your Marketing Program

So, I've been reading, and rereading, and taking notes, and reading some more from this realy great book "marketing for dummies" (I borrowed my copy from my local library)  Now I'm not dummy, but the reasons why I've been reading - the first chapter even! - over and over, is because it is just that good.  I've litterally been using it like a text book for colledge, using the questions like assignments and going the extra mile on them. Chapter 1 is all about "optimizing your Marketing Program".  Well I didn't really have a marketing program, or a marketing strategy, or know anything about marketing and sales other than you have to do some sort of marketing to make sales.  what an eye opener this one chapter has been!  Now that I've been made aware of this, I've been developing a plan that will be more successful for me.  A few key points made are focusing your time, and your money on marketing techniques that have a major or secondary but helpful impact on your product or brand, and limiting or even eliminating those costs or activities that don't or have little impact.  For me it means to get ALL my links to my shop, my fan page, my twitter, and here in order.  It means using the social web frequently, and in the right places.  It means updating often, and for every product picture posted socially placing a link to buy in the caption. It also means optimizing everything for search engines as much as humanly possible. Break Out The Thesarus!  Descriptive words and lots of them, and never leave a caption blank on my photos for Facebook! -- guess I've got some work to do!