Monday, June 30, 2008
I always have high hopes for getting things done, but when you make and sell your own product, and you are busy, some things get put off. I am still waiting for business to slow down a little so I can play catch-up (no, not ketchup) and try to get a head start on Christmas. Yes, I am still waiting....not complaining about being busy, just waiting for a little teeny slow down....
So for today, well, if the weather stays dry, I told Leia we would go to the Big Butler Fair. If that happens, this list is out the window *sigh* It will always be here tomorrow. Funny, how if I don't do the work, it doesn't get done. Anyway....
get website ready for Christmas in July Sale. Holy cow, it's almost JULY! type up a newsletter announcing above sale finish piggy banks that are started fire those piggy banks
- write a post for superWAHMz
write a post for After the Dust Settles
As for the entire week....we are planning on having a picnic here on Friday. We'll see how much that effects my work week, won't we?
- piggy bank molds need poured
- greenware piggy banks will need fired
- orders will need packed
have to go to the store to get food need to get food for friday too
- write some emergency info on note cards (left over from last week)
- scoop poop
tie up maple trees in front yard
- read blogs
- write some posts
- keep the house semi clean
Saturday, June 28, 2008
If you want to see a few more pictures of our visit to the Strip, click on over to my personal blog, After The Dust Settles....we had a GREAT time!
Friday, June 27, 2008
I have to admit, I LOVE IT! The promotion invites all designer of many products to participate. Items will be listed on shefinds.com between September 1-30th. What could be more appropriate than a fun & funky pillowcase with glow in the dark words of inspiration and motivation! The new design won't ship until August 15th, but it can be pre-ordered at comfycozy.com. I can't wait til September!
The frame did not have a matting so this morning Nick and I went to Michaels and purchased a matt. I think framed art work looks so much nicer matted.
My customer is on his way. Hopefully he will love the results of this custom embroidered project. I would love to hear your comments.
by Jack Canfield
The gift called "asking" has been around for a long, long time. One of life's fundamental truths states, "Ask and you shall receive." Kids are masters at using this gift, but we adults seem to have lost our ability to ask. We come up with all sorts of excuses and reasons to avoid any possibility of rejection.
Yet the world responds to those who ask! If you are not moving closer to what you want, you probably aren't doing enough asking.
Here are seven asking strategies you can implement in your business (and in life) to boost your results and your bottom line:
Asking Strategy 1: Ask for Information
To win potential new clients, you first need to know what their current challenges are, what they want to accomplish and how they plan to do it. Only then can you proceed to demonstrate the advantages of your unique product or service.
Ask questions starting with the words who, why, what, where, when and how to obtain the information you need. Only when you truly understand and appreciate a prospect's needs can you offer a solution. Once you know what's important to them, stay on this topic and find solutions for them.
Asking Strategy 2: Ask for Business
Here's an amazing statistic: after giving a complete presentation about the benefits of their product or service, more than 60 percent of the time salespeople never ask for the order! That's a bad habit, and one that could ultimately put you out of business.
Always ask a closing question to secure the business. Don't waffle or talk around it—or worse, wait for your prospect to ask you. No doubt you have heard of many good ways to ask the question, "Would you like to give it a try?" The point is, ask.
Asking Strategy 3: Ask for Written Endorsements
Well-written, results-oriented testimonials from highly respected people are powerful for future sales. They solidify the quality of your product or service and leverage you as a person who has integrity, is trustworthy and gets the job done on time.
When is the best time to ask? Right after you have provided excellent service, gone the extra mile to help out, or in any other way made your customer really happy.
Simply ask if your customer would be willing to give you a testimonial about the value of your product or service, plus any other helpful comments.
Asking Strategy 4: Ask for Top-Quality Referrals
Just about everyone in business knows the importance of referrals. It's the easiest, least expensive way of ensuring your growth and success in the marketplace.
Your core clients will gladly give you referrals because you treat them so well. So why not ask all of them for referrals? It's a habit that will dramatically increase your income. Like any other habit, the more you do it the easier it becomes.
Asking Strategy 5: Ask for More Business
Look for other products or services you can provide your customers. Devise a system that tells you when your clients will require more of your products. The simplest way is to ask your customers when you should contact them to reorder. It's often easier to sell your existing clients more than to go looking for new ones.
Asking Strategy 6: Ask to Renegotiate
Regular business activities include negotiation. Many businesses get stuck because they lack skills in negotiation, yet this is simply another form of asking that can save a lot of time and money. Look at your vendors and suppliers and see if there are areas where you can be saving money. Just ask.
All sorts of contracts can be renegotiated in your personal life, too, such as changing your mortgage terms and rate, reviewing your cell phone plan and requesting a policy review with your insurance agent. As long as you negotiate ethically and in the spirit of win-win, you can enjoy a lot of flexibility. Nothing is ever cast in stone.
Asking Strategy 7: Ask for Feedback
This is a powerful way to fine-tune your business that is often overlooked. How do you really know if your product or service is meeting your customers' needs? Ask them, "How are we doing? What can we do to improve our service to you? Please share what you like or don't like about our products." Set up regular customer surveys that ask good questions and tough questions.
HOW TO ASK
Some people don't enjoy the fruits of asking because they don't ask effectively. If you use vague language you will not be clearly understood. Here are five ways to ensure that your asking gets results.
Be precise. Think clearly about your request. Take time to prepare. Use a note pad to pick words that have the greatest impact. Words are powerful, so choose them carefully.
Ask with Confidence
People who ask confidently get more than those who are hesitant and uncertain. When you've figured out what you want to ask for, do it with certainty, boldness and confidence.
Some people fold after making one timid request. They quit too soon. Keep asking until you find the answers. In prospecting there are usually four or five "no's" before you get a "yes." Top producers understand this. When you find a way to ask that works, keep on asking it.
In this age of global competition, your asking may get lost in the crowd, unheard by the decision-makers you hope to reach. There is a way around this. If you want someone's attention, don't ask the ordinary way. Use your creativity to dream up a high-impact presentation.
When you really need help, people will respond. Sincerity means dropping the image facade and showing a willingness to be vulnerable. Tell it the way it is, lumps and all. Don't worry if your presentation isn't perfect; ask from your heart. Keep it simple and people will open up to you.
© 2008 Jack Canfield
Jack Canfield, America's 1 Success Coach, is the founder and co-creator of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: http://www.freesuccessstrategies.com/
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Sometimes though I am given the great honor of doing a Custom Embroidery job. Custom jobs are exciting and time consuming but the end product can be an exceptional piece to be cherished by the recipient.
A few years ago I was asked by a mom to design a project for her daughter who was getting married. There is a lot of back and forth when designing a custom piece. Thank goodness (Thankful Thursday) for email. Once the piece was embroidered I shipped it to the mom rolled around a cardboard core. She took it to the cleaners and had it pressed and framed.
I am now working on another Custom piece. The process can be long but in this case I only have 3 days. The original drawing is rough but someplace to start.
I turn the drawing into embroidery on my computer. Get an approval and then go forward with the embroidery.
I will do the embroidery today and post more pictures tomorrow.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Today was pretty good. But, my day is about over, have to pick them up in the next 1/2 hour.
I spent a good chunk of the day following up - or trying to - with catalogs and web sites that I submitted Comfy Cozy products to. I used to be a buyer, I know the game and that makes it frustrating. Oh, what I must have put prospective vendors thru...must be karma coming round at me LOL
I'm totally pysched though, because my contracts came thru for Femail Creations catalog! Two new products in the Holiday catalogs. I love this catalog. My pillowcases have been selling in it for over 10 years.
Next week - already looking ahead - I'll be focusing on my Keepsake Photo Sticker Calendar collections.
Customer love the "start at any month" format. They make great gifts and can be started at any time of year. So far, we have the following:
1) Baby's First Year
2) Toddler (13-24 months)
3) Toddler 2 (25-36 months)4) Preschool
5) Kindergarten/First Grade
6) "i'm 3!"
7) "i'm 4!"
8) "i'm 5!"
9) "i'm 6!"
11) "sweet sixteen"
They all have a "frame" for every month to place a "real time" photo. Not like the ones you do at the end of the year for the next year. A place to write about the photo, plus simple questions about your child's favorite things.
Well, my Wednesday Workday is just about over...until tonight when the boys are in bed!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I have owned and operated D's Stitcheree for 16 years now. Over the years I have been very very busy and then sometimes not so busy. This is all OK but..... I think I have repetative motion issues now. Since I hoop A LOT and cut A LOT it seems that my right wrist is now very weak, my right shoulder hurts more times than not. The reason I bring this up is because if you are like me you may be living without insurance. Be it medical or disability insurance. I am thinking now (a little late huh?) that I should have purchased disability insurance years ago. For us small business owners this is probably something we put off because we can't afford it. Think about it now though OK. I am going to look into disability insurance because I still have years to work.
So, for Talk about it Tuesday. Talk about it. Do you have insurance? Do you think about it?
The nice thing about a custom TV stand is that you get to choose everything about it, from the height to the color to the hardware. Unlike when you visit a furniture store, what you see is NOT what you get. When you purchase custom furniture, you get exactly what you want.
The TV stand pictured is 55" wide with 2 sets of doors in a black on java prim finish. It features a component cubbie and a shelf behind each set of doors.
Here is what you need to know before you order your custom TV stand:
- Height x Width x Depth of TV.
- H x W x D of the largest component (usually the stereo receiver) and smallest component.
- Maximum H x W x D of overall unit. (Measure your wall.)
- Number of shelves and drawers needed.
- Additional features needed. For example, a pull out shelf for your turntable.
- Wood, glass,mesh or no doors?
- If the unit will have doors, does it need a component cubbie?
Other things you will need to decide on:
- Type of wood? Pine, Maple, Oak, Cherry, Tiger Maple, Exotic
- Finish Type & Color (Some wood species, like Tiger Maple, need to be dyed. Others can be stained or painted.)
Have fun shopping for your new TV and contact Shaka Studios when you are ready to design your custom TV stand!
Based on how things can get a little out of control, last night I slept on my "be" pillowcase! A calming, relaxing, find your inner peace design that is perfect for SuperWAHMZ, stressed out moms, anxious teenagers and college students. The Glow in the Dark image lets you read a few more serene thoughts after you turn out the lights and fall asleep with positive thoughts!
I'm starting over today and doing a little bit better:
pillowcases are personalized
orders are processed
taxes finally signed and mailed (just got from acct last night)
laundry away and sheets in wash
post to SW blog
Commenting on Lynn's Christmas is Coming post, I received my first order for one of our "Christmas" pillowcases! They make great Personalized gifts for Christmas Eve when kids just can't wait to open a present and gets them into bed! The Glow in the Dark image of "Dear Santa" reads like a list of all the fun things kids want under the tree. "Believe in Christmas" lights up the night with a shining Star and Santa's reindeer flying through the sky.
And, they aren't just for December. We use ours during the year to remember the wonder and love we share at Christmas. The pillowcases are perfect for hot summer nights and having a Christmas in July party - only 5 months til Christmas!!
Lastly, no Lynn I didn't find my Eighth day - still looking!
I love painting the Baseball Piggy Bank. He is relatively easy and the design just suits the round piggy bank body. Plus, both my girls play softball, so he holds a special place in my heart. In fact, for a few years, I donated (I'm going to call them softball piggy banks now : ) Softball Piggy Banks as prizes at the annual banquets. I would paint one in white and one in neon green.
Each player that came to the banquet would get a ticket for the drawings when they arrived. There were gift certificates and small gift baskets and just a lot of stuff for prizes. I didn't know it, but they saved my piggy banks for last. I also didn't know this either.....ALL the girls were waiting to see who won them. They were THE most desired prizes there. It made me chuckle....I paint them all the time and they just aren't special to me anymore. But they were special to them. I told my 12yo(then 10yo) that she better not win one! I was NOT bringing one back home. She didn't.
At that time, I also had come across some wee little round piggy banks. These were about the size of a baseball....so we painted one for each of her team mates that year. They were neon green, because that was her team's color, with red stitches, and we wrote their name and number on them. They were tiny and cute and the girls loved them. We still see some of the girls at games and it's fun to hear that they still have them.
The Softball/Baseball Piggy Bank is an ideal gift for any ballplayer, boy or girl. It starts at $35.50, with personalization and shipping being extra. Hit a home run with someone you know when you give them this as a gift! Hope you enjoyed my rambling, and we'll talk about something else next week : ) Stop by my website if you are looking for a unique and personalized gift!
Monday, June 23, 2008
In my slow time I like to prepare for the fall. And the holiday rush. Personalized Cookies for Santa Plates are a huge seller after Halloween and I like to get a stock going in the summer. When I am slow. But I haven't been slow. So I haven't been able to get any of those painted yet. That frustrates me and scares me a wee bit. If I don't get some kind of stock on hand in the next few months, I will be in big trouble come November.
Plus, I am planning a Christmas in July Sale, and that's next week already. Sheesh. Where did time go? Anyway, I have talked to my 12 yo daughter about helping out with these plates, and she has agreed. It's just a matter of getting her to sit down and do it. Yes, I pay her. The same amount I would pay anyone else. My plates are shipped to me white, and I need them basecoated in a beige color. 3 coats. That's her job. I am hoping....really, truly, hoping, that we can get 100 plates basecoated this summer.
And then we can start painting Santa faces. I offer other designs, but I *know* Santa Plates will sell in the fall. At least 100. And then there are the matching mugs that need basecoated too....see, I do need some down time. I'd still have plenty to do. And it might be a pleasant break from the never ending piggy banks (not complaining....I just count pigs instead of sheep when I go to bed : ) Plus I have to get the website ready for the sale, add a new piggy bank....yikes, I need more time! Peggy, did you ever find your 8th day???? Pass it over here, pleease!
and with the publishing of this post, I have finished my Monday Motivation To-Do List. Yay!
So, with that in mind, my weekly to do list is as follows:
Schedule Camp Physical for Daughter
- Get Daughter Ready for Camp by Sunday
Read Article My Husband Asked Me to Read
- Increase Sales by 40% over Last Week
- Issue Gift Certificates to Customers that Sent Us Photos to Use on our Website
- Work on new Table Pricing
- Email Authorized Dealers Regarding Table Pricing
- Make List of Needed Repairs on New Shop
- Fax list to Real Estate Agent
- Freight Bills for this Week's Shipments
- Thank You Notes
Pay Personal Bills
- Color Hair
Pay for Girl Scout Troop Trip to Johnson Space Center
- Have Lunch With Noelle!!! Woo Hoo!
- Walk the Dogs at least TWICE this week - it was so much easier when there was just one!
Figure out how Lynn puts lines through what she's finished!
what are we going to do today?, mom, I'm bored., mom, can you play with me?, mom, can I have a friend over?"
Not that I don't love my boys and summer, but it is the MOST STRESSFUL time of year for this work at home mom. I have guilt for not playing, guilt for not working, guilt for not waking up at 5 and going to bed at 1am. I can't seem to get enough of anything done, projects go 1/2 finished and by the end of the day, when I've barely sat down, I have nothing to show for myself. Maybe the reward of a cocktail will motivate me LOL
I HAVE to get organized and get the boys into some kind of schedule...help me!!
Here goes today's - ok, this weeks goals:
1) print out orders/process
2) personalize pillowcases
3) pack and ship orders
4) pay bills - oh what fun
5) put laundry away
6) wash sheets/change beds
7) work on Winery list - sending info on new design "eat chocolate, drink wine, sleep naked":
8) Put together packet for Catholic/Christian catalogs
9) feed the puppy, play with the puppy, scoop the puppy poop, love the puppy
10) posts for SuperWAHMZ
11) clean basement - with help of hubby & boys
12) all of the rest of the stuff to keep my family clothed, fed and entertained!
I'm sure I'll come up with more - always do. Let's just see if I can get a few done today!
do paperwork for piggy banks to ship out today pack up those piggy banks capture the $ email customers their piggy banks shipped check and see how kiln fired(fingers are crossed) I figured out what the problem was and now I can get it to fire correctly! Wahoo! Will post about that later : ) write a post for SuperWAHMz write a post for After the Dust Settles finish laundry sweep kitchen/basement steps make pasta for hubby's lunch for the week print up new orders
That's it for today....and that's quite a long list. If I get it all done, I will have a Mudslide before I go to bed. If I don't get it done, I will give up my diet dr. pepper for a day. I don't think I could last longer than a day : )
Now, for the rest of the week....
- I'll need to pour my molds a couple times
- paint some plates
- scoop the poop
- read some blogs
- write some posts
- prepare myself for Eowyn coming home for a few days (that ought to be interesting)
- process orders
- paint some piggy banks
- go through stuff for garage sale next month
- print some how to fliers
- print some biz cards
- write more bills on index cards
And now I better get my paperwork started or my mailman will be here before I have anything packed. Later I will post something
inspiring interesting real about working at home : ) TTFN!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Visit Jeunique for information on your own custom bra business. I don't know anything at all about the compensation plan, I'm not a Jeunique rep. I do know that the bras are amazing and every woman I know needs a good bra.
Of course, you should do your own due diligence when considering any networking marketing business. Just as you would if you were considering starting a traditional company.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Working out of your home is hectic every day, but Saturday is a tough one. I'd like to "take the day off" like normal people, but that rarely happens. I usually have Comfy Cozy® orders to ship out that could wait til Monday, but I hate to make my customers wait when it will "only take a minute" to get the labels printed and run to the Post Office.
SIDE BAR: I use a lot of "..." in my ramblings. Hope it doesn't drive you crazy!
Today's SNAPSHOTS are of my office when we have a big order to ship out. It can get a little cramped in there!
The second is of our screen printing shop. We don't use many standard colors and mix all of our own shades. Those cans back there are most of them, but not all! Every product is hand screen printed using these machines. The "screen" is the pink board you see, then the pillowcases or shirts go on the lower part . It all spins around like a merry-go-round.
Claude, one of our screen printers does a fabulous job of ensuring that our designs our printed perfectly. He's just finished printing our "Camp Friends" design and next up will be our new "Puppy Love" & "Cat Nap" pillowcases. More on the new designs later.
Well, it's now after noon, guess I'll try to take a few hours off and weed my overgrown garden!
Friday, June 20, 2008
Today, I'm going to chat about building better web links.
Work at Home Moms are usually the chief cook and bottle washer in their business. You need to know how to help people FIND your website so that you can sell more and ultimately hire someone else to wash those bottles, so to speak.
We've all heard that the best way to drive traffic to your website via GOOGLE placement, is through link exchanges. This is because Google takes into consideration how many other websites are linking to yours to determine your websites relevancy to a particular keyword phrase. There are lots of other factors, but inbound links seems to be Googles' number one consideration.
When people are searching for your products, do they already know the name of your business? If so, then you want your inbound links to reference your company's name. For example, my business is called Shaka Studios. We sell much of our furniture through independent retail stores and we put our brand name on everything we make. So, it does make sense, for our particular company, that we promote our brand name through links.
However, if you do not sell wholesale, you most likely do not have a way to promote your brand awareness, so you need to go a different route. You need to concentrate on relevant search terms for your goods and services.
Shaka Studios makes custom furniture. Custom furniture is a very broad search term with 1.5 million Google results. So, while it is true that custom furniture is a relevant search term for Shaka Studios, there is too much competition for that term and it is not worth competing in that market.
The best links are specific, highly searched keywords, with little competition. Here is your step by step action plan:
- Use Googles' External Keyword Tool to find relevant terms for your goods and services.
- Search each term on Google to find out how stiff is your competition. If a particular keyword phrase turns up more than 500K results, cross it off your list.
- Pick the 5 to 10 most important keywords left on your list. Those that pertain most to the products or service that make you the most profit or give you the most pleasure to craft.
- For each of your 5 to 10 most important keywords, create a separate web page that uses the keyword in the URL, title and Header1 fields. If you do not know how to do this, ask a web designer for help. It is worth paying a professional to do it correctly. Most shopping cart software will do this automatically. I created a page for the keyword phrase cherry queen size bed because the phrase had less than 500k Google results. Notice my link points directly to that page. (This is called a linked keyword phrase.)
- Find directories, websites, blogs, networking groups that are relevant to your industry and place ads, exchange links, blog, network with the group using your keyword phrase in relevant sentences making sure the phrase is linked to the page you created in step 4. You also want to make sure you use the linked keyword phrase on other pages of your own website. If you do not know how to do this, ask your web designer to show you. It is in your web designer's best interest to help you, because she has placed a link to her website on your website and the more people that see your site, the more that will see hers.
- Stay on top of your keyword phrases and adjust them as necessary.
Have a fantastic Friday!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I am also so very thankful that I live in a country where as a woman I can own a business and have the respect of my male counterparts. I do have to say that 16 years ago when I started my embroidery business I had a little bit of a harder time getting the guys to take me seriously but now I feel I have the respect of the men I work with. So..... Thank God for the men in my life. 2 of which are my grown boys. I started D's Stitcheree when my youngest son was still in high school. He wasn't very sure how he felt about mom being home when he got home from school but he soon learned to really like my being there. I feel it is so important that we are home with our kids, young ones and older ones alike. Now I am a proud Grandma of 2 little grandsons. I guess boys run in our family. Today I am also thankful for this group. I know that I can come to this group of women with business issues and personal issues alike and I will find women who understand what I go through as a small business owner. I think that we need take a minute every day to be conscious of the things we are thankful for in our life So..... on Thursdays I would love to have everyone just think for a second and post something that they are thankful for on that particular day.
Remember, SMILE..... it makes people wonder what you are up to :)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
All the SuperWAHMZ know and appreciate Suzie, the owner of The Busy Woman. She has decided to discontinue her amazing day planner system. I have been using her system for 8 years now. It's not to late to try her system as she still has some inventory available at 75% off. Here is a note from her website:
"All planner products are on closeout. We have plans are in the works for a new website and new ideas. We hope you'll stick with us for the ride. Up to 75% off on The Busy Woman's Daily Planner® pages! Get the Best day planner on the market for women at the lowest prices."
I am going to buy a couple years worth of planner pages just so I don't have to try to find a replacement too soon.
Sometimes I feel like I'm working eight days a week. It's one of the negatives of working at home. Other times I feel like I'm trying to cram eight days of work into one day. My "to do" list is long, I don't get everything done (like I ever will!) and there are days when I'm overwhelmed and don't know what to do. The good news is that most Wednesdays I'm really productive! I feel good about myself and my business. Having a solid day to focus on work is HUGE to a superwahm. I don't do anything but Comfy Cozy or Glowfx designs work. May seem silly, but on days when everything is jumbled up, I go a little crazy.
In my case, I've got 3 personalities, make that 4: Wife, mom, owner of Comfy Cozy, owner of Glowfx designs. That means that after I've decided to put wife and mom on the shelf for a day (or a few hours), I have to decide which business I'll focus on. Get's a little crazy sometimes, but it all works itself out. I'm not wearing a white jacket in a padded room yet!!
Today, however, is NOT going to be a productive one. My husband took the day off so we can celebrate the first day of summer with our boys. This is one of the positive aspects of working at home. Family comes first, even if in the back of my mind that "to-do" list looms like a black cloud. It's a struggle sometimes to just relax and enjoy life. Today I'm going to try not to think of all that I'm not getting done and enjoy this wonderful family I've been blessed with.
How do you manage everything? What is your answer for getting it all done? Are we all running "eight days a week"? I'll let you know how if I come up with a new song to sing:)
It's vital that you surmount a series of resistance points on your way to establishing a customer.
Your obstacles are:
1. No TRUST for you on the part of your visitor.
2. No NEED for what you have.
3. No perception that you can HELP them.
4. They are in no HURRY to act.
Let's take these one at a time:
On-line, you are a stranger to everyone. The most difficult part (establishing instantaneous rapport) is also the most important part of your business plan.
Doubt quickly evaporates from the mind of your visitor if your initial approach is to provide them with something of high perceived-value absolutely free. As your site visitor begins their visit, there are more questions than answers going through their mind.
If the first thing you do is to offer something free, it goes a long way towards reducing that sales resistance and that lack of trust they intrinsically feel. A good item to give away would be a report on a popular and good-selling internet-based product or service that you have something about.
Good-selling products and services are a great place to start with your plans to produce a report to use as your free gift. You'll find that this approach is the best way to overcome the obstacle of NO TRUST! Obstacle number TWO is the one of NO NEED.
A great approach to blasting past no-need is to select a product for your review that has some strong testimonials from customers who have purchsed it. The more your visitors appreciate the value of your free information, the more receptive they will be to your sales message.
It is when you begin to present your offer that obstacle number three (NO HELP) starts to nag at the back of your customer's mind.
The mind-set of NO HELP is a stubborn one and hangs in there even though you have built up a good amount of TRUST with your site visitor. Here, too, it is third-party testimonials that are your best tool for cracking through this obstacle. By now you should be getting a feel for how helpful and easy it is for you to establish yourself as an affiliate marketer for a useful product.
There are a huge number of things that are done for you when you are an affiliate. Order taking, shipping, complaints and returns. Moreover, a great and proven sales letter together with testimonials are in place for your use in obstacle-busting.
Also, getting your business started and getting past the obstacles we are talking about today are all much easier when you begin as an affiliate marketer for a useful product.
You are now in the position of three hurdles down and one to go. Getting someone 'off the dime' and settling on a decision is your fourth obstacle. This individual is plagued with inaction and the attitude that there is NO HURRY. To move your customer out of the comfort zone that your product will always be available to them, they need a reason to act right away! Scarcity or limited availability of the product is one good way to do this.
Additionally, you can use the concept that the product may indeed be available for the foreseeable future, but the price could well be quickly climbing very soon. Also, in all reality, the product itself will go away at some point and you won't be promoting it any longer.
Use both the notion of approaching scarcity together with the possibility of loss to effectively contain the obstacle of NO HURRY.
Building an ever-growing list of responsive customers is the key to financial stability and growth for you and your family. You can build a responsive list of loyal subscribers if you apply yourself and follow the concepts outlined in this article. Getting past the four obstacles we've been discussing can help you greatly in cultivating a list of responsive customers.
About the Author:
Casey Moher - Caseymoher@comcast.net (801) 941-3334
Mr. Moher is a Registered Pharmacist and Life-Long Marketing and Sales Professional. You Can Get His Free Five-Day Mini-Course on Building Targeted Website Traffic by visiting: http://www.newtrafficmaster.com/
Read More Articles by Casey Moher
Source: thePhantomWriters.com Article Submission Service
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
I'm talking about Birthday's today! No, it's not my birthday, but it's somebody's birthday!
Over the past month or so, I've been working on a couple new BIRTHDAY designs for Comfy Cozy® and I'm totally excited to announce that they are finished. Two new, well, actually three, designs for 2 important birthdays - turning "10" & "sweet 16".
The designs are now part of our BIRTHDAY CLUB collection. The BIRTHDAY CLUB consists of designs for specific ages. So far, we have the following ages; " 3", " 4", "5", "6" and now "10" & "16".
Each age range has both a glow in the dark pillowcase and a Keepsake Photo/Sticker Calendar.
The glow in the dark pillowcases can be personalized with just a name or add the birth date - just in case someone forgets! Another option is to order our Autograph Set, which includes a fabric marker to collect signatures from family and friends. And remember, this is an event that happens for 365 days - so keep adding signatures all year long to make a keepsake that will reflect who shared in this wonderful year with them:)
In addition to our BIRTHDAY CLUB, Comfy Cozy® offers a HAPPY BIRTHDAY glow in the dark pillowcase for all ages. This design is perfect for all ages, from 1 to 100! All Comfy Cozy® pillowcases can be personalized or ordered as an Autograph Set, so go ahead, make the next birthday in your family, something special with a gift that will be a keepsake for years to come!
Over the past 20 years, Shane has made hundreds (if not thousands) of pencil post beds from all sorts of different timber species. He designed and crafted a yellow pine version called the Jefferson Bed for Cargo Furniture Stores. The pencil post bed is very elegant, no matter what wood is used. However, tiger maple beds are stunningly beautiful. They simply take your breath away.
Tiger Maple Pencil Post Beds start at $3582. Since we custom make each bed to order, you have many options and upgrades available to you. Visit Tiger Maple Pencil Post Beds on Shaka Studio's website for more information.
I'm going to start it off with the Zebra Piggy Bank. This Zebra Piggy Bank is one of my favorites to paint. Not sure why. I've always liked black and white in nature, so maybe that has something to do with it. Maybe it is the challenge of painting all the stripes freehand....yes, I do paint the stripes freehand. Maybe it is just a fun piggy bank : )
This piggy bank design was born after I took my daughter to the zoo a few years ago. As we were leaving, it just popped into my head that I should paint some piggy banks in animal patterns. No reason for that thought....I wasn't thinking about working. At least I don't think I was....it just was there. And so, a couple weeks later, I did.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Have you backed up your hard drive lately? With summer storms in full swing now, power outages are inevitable and sometimes power surges come with them. Bad news for computers that aren't on a surge protector. Or maybe you have a surge protector that needs reset or replaced. Unfortunately, surge protectors do not last forever.
Last year my computer broke. It was acting up before we had storms, but then it bit the dust after a big storm. Turns out it was NOT storm related, but it did get me to really think about backing up data. I have a lot of files on my pc that I would hate to lose. So I got a battery back up surge protector and an external hard drive.
The battery back up surge protector is cool in the fact that it will allow your pc to stay on for 15 minutes, I think, even if your power goes out. This allows you to save anything you were working on and shut the computer down properly. After 15 minutes, on battery back up, it shuts the computer down itself. I don't know about your area, but out here in the sticks, our power is constantly flickering as any storm goes by. Last year, the computer would go off. This year, the surge protector keeps the computer going and switches back to household current when the electric is stable again. It's been a lifesaver. I got mine at the local computer store. I was desparate and paid top dollar. You can find them online for under $50 w/free shipping. They are very heavy, so free shipping is a must.
The external hard drive I use to back up my enitre hard drive. I have had computer problems in the past and have lost files as well as my hard drive. Each time I back up a few more files. Last year I found a reasonably priced external hard drive and began backing up everything. This will make it easy to start over if something were to happen to my computer. My biggest problem is just remembering to back up the hard drive every so often. I am going to do it today. Oh yes I am.
At the very least, if you are running windows, you should create a system restore point. It only takes a minute and will create a point on your hard drive that you can go back to, in case, say your computer gets a virus or something. I believe you can go back to that point before you had the virus and voila, it will be gone. If I am wrong there, please let me know. But I think that's how it works.
So, if you haven't lately, go back up your files! Do it now. You never know what is going to happen when. Trust me, it is way better to be safe than sorry.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
And that is a view of the slot from the inside.
FYI, greenware is simply dried clay. Until it is fired, it is, obviously, very fragile. *sigh*
You can see how my piggy banks are made, from start to finsh, at "How Piggy Banks are Made" over at Korff Ceramic Originals.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Does this make women smarter or more superior than men?
Posted using ShareThis
Read more: Shaka Studios: It's a Bargain: Compelling Reasons to Buy Custom Furniture
Yea! I see Lynn figured out how to add our SuperWAHMz logo!
We have set a schedule and Friday is my official day to post to SuperWAHMZ. What shall I call my Friday posts? What else starts with F?
Oooooh... Fantastic, that's a good one. Fantastic Friday.
Sidebars are in purple: My 9 year old just walked in the my office wearing a long pink skirt with silver sequins trimming the bottom, a camo cammy and a pink knit shrug. I'm glad she has her own sense of style. It shows she is comfortable with herself.
Let's see. What shall I chat about?
Since this is basically my introductory post, I guess I'll talk about myself.
I sell custom furniture. Unlike the other SuperWAHMz, I do not actually create and make the items my company sells. My husband, Shane, is the creative one. Before Shane, (a time I like to refer to as BS) I was a buyer for a chain of specialty ski shops. Before that, I was a Territory Manager for The North Face. (Yes, I belong to the TNF Alumni Club.)
Check out Plaxo. It's a nifty tool to keep my address book up to date. It also helps me reconnect with people I USED to know. All of a sudden, I have found all sorts of old TNFers and am amazed at what some of them are doing. I had one buddy, James, that was the only person that would eat Thai Food with me. After he left the corporate office and went into outside sales, we still made a point to eat one Thai meal together when we were at trade shows. James and I have reconnected and he is now a journalist specializing in "lifestyle storytelling." Check out James's website: http://www.theoutdoorprofessional.com/ and listen to his podcast interview of our mutual buddy, professional climber, Conrad Anker.
Uh oh. I stopped talking about myself. What else?
I've worked at home for over 7 years. Before that, I took my daughter to work with me. The company that I co-own with Shane is as old as our marriage: 10 years. Which reminds me, this is our 10 year anniversary, so I should be throwing a big hoopla over it on our website, eh?
We just have the one daughter. 2 dogs. 2 cats. We live in Texas. I've been in Texas for 12 years. Came here for the buyer gig.
The transition from working at a glamorous company like TNF - to a bankrupt 20 store chain - to a mom & pop operation wasn't the easiest. I have tried really hard to approach our business with corporate objectivity. It's not easy. Especially since Shane has never worked for anyone but himself. Yes, that's right. He started making and selling his custom furniture at 17 and has never had to seek other sources of income.
Two more things before I blog off:
- I am a HUGE supporter of Girl Scouts.
- Yesterday I achieved my Competent Communicator designation with Toastmasters International. I will post my speech here soon.
I have to start saying "no" again. This is usually a slow time of year, but not for 2008. So when people ask if they can get their order in 7 days, I've been saying "sure". But all it is doing is creating stress for me, so now I am going to say "No". Turn around time is posted on my website for a reason....and that is what I am going to stick to. It's not worth the stress for the extra $. You all have to hold me to it now : )
Korff Ceramic Originals
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Anyway, I have sent her links back, but she writes for more information. Which could be found at the link I sent her. If she clicked on it. Maybe she is just not as computer saavy as I think people are. So I am practicing patience here....even though I am hot and tired from scooping dog poop in 90 degree weather (I know, TMI), I will be a good business owner and BE NICE.
Nothing is worse than bad customer service, or a short tempered business owner. There is never any reason to be rude to a (potential) customer....maybe in extreme cases there is a reason. Make sure you have enough patience to deal with people directly if you are going to run your own business. Patience = Happy Customers = $$$
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I am off to a yoga clinic this morning. I'll be back around noon and expect my inbox to be filled with lots of inspiring comments so I can wrap up this speech and start practicing it!
Since we moved to Arizona I have been even worse. So.... with that said, a couple weeks ago I went ahead and made a Dr. appointment. I had a physical, got my eyes checked, got new glasses :) (now I will be able to see what I am embroidering) lolololol, got blood tests and had my mamogram. Girls, take care of yourselves. I think we are always too busy taking care of everyone else.
Anyway, I get the results of my blood work today. Mamo came back fine, get my new glasses next week. Life is good. :)
OH..... did I tell y'all I have a new saying?? It is
Of course it was 108 yesterday. It did not quite feel like Paradise :( aaahhhh summer is here in AZ.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Well, old horses CAN learn now tricks. As most of us have experienced, work was very slow for about 4 weeks. Work can't just come in nice and steady, it has to all come at once. I am not complaining. Just stating a fact.
To top things off, summer is coming in with a vengeance. It is only June 10th and already our temps will be 107. At least it is a DRY heat lolololol..... We like to say that here in Arizona. :) and for now at least our mornings are still cool. It helps that our veranda/patio is on the West side of the house.
Wanna see what is new at D's. Check us out http://www.dsstitcheree.com
I am making home made lace. I am starting out with lace book marks. I just know they are destined to become family heirlooms. Let me know what you think. firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day. Mine will be busy :)
clean up house, so SIL can clean it
- do paperwork for orders shipping today
- pack and ship those orders
- unload kiln and see how it fired. (keeping fingers crossed)
- capture $
- email customers their orders shipped
- process some orders
- start painting
get some exercise in(I can do it)
- print some piggy cards to go in with orders
Monday, June 9, 2008
That all got me thinking...what would happen if something were to happen to me? Or my kids? Or Hubby? Or even my mom or dad? What if I couldn't work for a while? What if I had to leave the business for a while? What would happen? Who, if anyone, could take care of things?
My business is manufacturing/retail. I handmake a product, then sell it online. The retail end is solely online. I have auto deposits set up, auto debits to pay bills. Other bills I have to pay manually.....but I still pay those online. There is not a single bill I mail anymore. I love the convenience of the internet.
My business is a sole proprietorship. I am the sole proprietor. Hubby is not part of this. It's just me. Me, myself and I. I have part time help I hire when I need it. But that is only during the busy times, and it is only to do things I don't need to have control over.
So, if something were to happen.....heaven forbid....who could take over? Or let people know things would be delayed? Or even close things down?
No one knows how I run things. How my bills are paid. What my user names or passwords are. Who to call if something happens and I can't work for a while. I thought about this years ago, and now that I am getting older, I really need to take the time and write.things.down.
Hubby is not computer savvy in the least. Not even a little bit. Without step by step instructions, he can't even check his bank account. He has no email account and wouldn't know how to check email if he had one. So, I am going to have to make this a very basic and easy to follow emergency plan.
He will need to know how to contact my webhost, merchant account provider and current customers. He will have to know my usernames and passwords for my bank accounts and bills I pay. There are a lot of little details that are going to need recorded. Someone needs to know how to shut things down, if circumstances call for it. Or my automatic debits will continue until my bank account is empty....
So, if you work at home, or are self employed, do you have an emergency plan? How do you have it set up and where do you keep it? Is there someone who can take over and keep your business going, if need be? Or would your business have to be shut down until you are able to get back to it?
Also posted at After the Dust Settles...
We KNOW that success doesn’t come easy. We’ve each struggled to make a difference in our own lives, the lives of our families and those around us. Along the road, we’ve discovered that success isn’t a monetary value. It’s the feeling of self-satisifaction that comes from making something out of nothing.
This site isn’t about get rich quick schemes. You won’t make a million bucks by following the advice of the SuperWAHMZ. But, you may find something interesting that will help YOU to redefine success in your own mom-owned business, or your life.
Just who do these SuperWAHMz think they are? We are work at home mothers. We each own and operate successful businesses. Each has found the American dream behind the doors of their own homes. Our group includes artists, manufacturers, and executives.
Our current board of successful WAHMs includes:
Peggy Schafer Vincent, Owner
Comfy Cozy, Inc. ~ Glowfx Designs
“I feel privileged to be among a group of women that run successful businesses without sacrificing their dedication to their families. Plus, being a superwahm, means I can walk out of my office and into the yard to play with my kids or de-stress by pulling weeds in my garden!”
Lynn Korff, Owner
Korff Ceramic Originals
“People don’t realize running your own business at home causes a lot of stress. On top of business issues, there are family issues, school issues *and* a house to try and keep clean. My superwahmz buddies understand all of this and don’t care if my house is clean or if I am showered or even if I am still in my jammies. They give me support no matter what and I love them for that.”
*Lynn is the founder of both SuperWAHMZ and http://mompack.com/.
Diane Long, Owner
“I love being a superWAHM. Family has always been my priority. To be able to be a “hands on mom” and successful business woman is more than I could have ever hoped for. I am blessed to have such wonderful girlfriends who know and understand exactly my day in day out joys and dilemmas.”
Kandas Nesbitt-Rodarte, CEO
Wood Designs, Inc.
“Working at home can be lonely. I have been doing it for over six years. The only people hanging out by the watercooler are my daughter and the cat. Finding a network of friends that understand my frustrations and share my triumphs was the greatest gift. I urge any woman who works at home to befriend other WAHMs. Those friendships will be your lifesaver when you are drowning and your launching pad when you are ready to fly.”
Hedy Laverdiere, Owner
“Being a Superwahm has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life, allowing me to stay home during the most important years of my children’s (and my own!) lives, as well as developing friendships I hold dear. There is a kinship between Superwahmz that is like no other – a fellowship my “physical” family and friends couldn’t fill – my Superwahmz truly understand the joys, the sorrows, the trials, and the triumphs of being a Wahm.”
London Edwards, owner
“There’s a sisterhood among us women business owners that is so powerful it makes you feel as though you can accomplish anything. There’s nothing that brings joy to me more than sharing my knowledge with other women. If I have found something to be successful, I want everyone to be successful. These women I have surrounded myself with share this philosophy and there are few women that I’ve met who don’t. These women make me who I am today and they each have a hand in the success of my company. I’m proud to be a part of this sisterhood! Men have it all backwards, as usual. LOL!”
Noelle Leonard, Owner
Cabin Fever Primitives
“One of the biggest reasons I chose to start my own home-based business was to have the privilege to always be there for my children. When you are a one-woman-show, the demands of a successful business can be quite overwhelming at times. Learning to juggle every day mom stuff along with a 40+ hour a work week is a constant struggle. Living where you work is not easy. Keeping a balance is the key. Being a part of SuperWahmz has been a blessing. Being able to network with other moms with busy personal lives and successful home based businesses has been a blessing in my life. I’m proud to call these women my friends.”
Kathie Wooley, Owner
Dezignspot Web Design
Previous board members:
Alicia Infanti, Owner
Melanie Stair, Owner
Sew Personalized Gifts
Sherri Yukel, Owner
Rita Turkowsk, Founder