Monday, December 26, 2011

Five Post Holiday Goals Otherwise Known as New Year's Resolutions

Post holiday goals sounds so much better to me than New Year's resolutions at this point in my life.  In years past I would sit and dreamily come up with a huge list of resolutions on New Year's day.  I would feel so inspired and so motivated.  For most of those resolutions, writing them down was the end of it.

So I decided to try a new approach.  It's the day after Christmas.  I am excited to think about my business and to develop better and more effective approaches.  But wait, I constantly read about growing a handcrafted business.  I constantly look at what others are doing.  I can come up with multitudes of ideas for growing my little business!

Hm, not a good idea.  So I thought why not take just five of the most important goals, put them in writing here, and then track and monitor how well I do?  I work a day job that involves monitoring compliance, so why not do the same for my own handmade jewelry and lanyards business?  So here are my top five goals for the next year.

  1. Post on this blog 3+ times per week.  If you have been following this blog, you know that I am sporadic in my approach.  It's time for me to be reliable and faithful to my blog.
  2. Expand my outreach on Facebook.  This will require a lot of diligence from me, because I don't quite get the best way to use it.  Education will be required.  But in an shameless plug, please Like my facebook page.  That will help expand my outreach right away.  Thanks!
  3. Develop a website to market my handmade lanyards.  This is a niche I developed on Etsy, and I would love to grow that part of my business.  Hm, should I try Wordpress for that?
  4. Sell 12+ lanyards a month.  That is about double of what I have done in the last six months.  Yikes, .................................... S T R E T C H.........................!
  5. Last but definitely not the least important - DELIVER MORE THAN I PROMISE!  Great customer service is the most important thing. 
    • Time wise - be early not late
    • Quality wise - pay attention to details 
    • Value - provide an exceptional product for the price
    • Extras - provide extra service, specials, things that tickle the fancy
What are your plans to grow your business or whatever endeavors you wish to improve?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Blessed Christmas Giving

Every year my adult children and I discuss what each other would like for Christmas.  Each year it becomes increasingly difficult.  Why is that?  We are so totally blessed, that we all have or can buy what we need and a great deal of what we want.  So this year, my son proposed that we spend the money we normally spend on each other to provide for someone else's need.  We agreed this was a great idea.

So my son, my daughter and her husband, my husband and I pooled our resources to give to a homeless shelter.   My daughter's church is sponsoring a homeless group for a week in December, and they are putting together packages that include a hat, a pair of gloves, and a pair of socks.  Living in Northern Colorado, warmth is a key factor when purchasing these items.

So yesterday my daughter, her husband, my grand-daughter, my husband and I went shopping.  We decided to descend on Jax, a store that carries clothing for farmers, ranchers, and sportsmen.  We piled up a shopping cart with warm wool/acrylic hiking socks that wick away moisture to keep the feet dry, and gloves with thermal properties and closure at the wrists to keep wind out.  We found some medium, some large and some extra-large.  What fun it was to load up a shopping cart with these items.

We cleared a whole section of gloves and socks out of the store's inventory.  After we checked out, my daughter asked the checker to place everything in one big bag.  She is taking that bag to the church today.  She was excited.  She said she feels like Santa Claus with this giant bag of stuff.

Already I feel the magic of Christmas, and I praise God that we can do this.  I won't miss the presents that I would have received from my children.  The experience brings us closer and makes us value each other and all our material blessings.

Of  course,  I am still giving presents to the grandkids!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How to Get People to Visit Your Blog or Website

I found some very helpful information on Google about what they are looking for when they rank your pages and websites.  All of us who write blogs or publish content on the web want it found in the searches as close to the top of page one as possible.  The mystery to many of us, particularly those of us who are solo entrepreuners focused on our artistic creations, is how does this happen?

I have read a lot on this regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media, etc.  Today I found this Guidance to Building High Quality Sites with the help of a site called Social Media Today.  It is written by  Sharon Tisdale-Reis.  She talks about Panda, one of the newer releases by Google.  While SEO is important, many other things have gained in importance.  Does your site inspire trust, likeability, a concern for quality and fresh approches to topics shared?

If you write a blog or publish a website, I would love to know what your thoughts are.  Do you have any hints to share with us regarding getting your site seen by others? 

Oh, and I just had to share this delightful photo two pandas in the snow!  Aren't they totally cute?

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