So You Want to Make a Whole Bunch of T-Shirts

At SmartBizPractices.com (I’ve transferred this blog unto that new, self-hosted site) I shared an interesting blog post that covers many aspects of starting and running a  profitable online store. I selected to share this article because it highlights some considerations you should make before launching your own business venture. Click here to follow this article in full at the new site.
Launching a physical product with an on-demand service is a great opportunity, but before you market and solicit that first sale, make sure you have your policies (shipping, returns, etc.) drafted and clearly posted.

Continue reading “So You Want to Make a Whole Bunch of T-Shirts”

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How To Start a Successful Business, Here’s the Plan!

How To Start a Successful Business, Here’s the Plan!

 

American Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:

“The future belongs to those that prepare for it”

What that means to me is that if you want to be successful at something, say, establishing a business, you have to prepare for it. One way to prepare for launching a successful business is to develop a realistic, aggressive yet flexible plan to achieve your goals. Follow these steps and you too can have a great plan to help you succeed in business!

Continue reading “How To Start a Successful Business, Here’s the Plan!”

5 Reasons to Self-Publish

This article (http://slidingsidewaysbooks.com/2015/01/14/5-reasons-to-self-publish/) touches on some great points that many will find useful. Technology has enabled us to accomplish things that a few years ago were labor and/or capital ($) intensive. In fact, we published our own book “An Unexpected Surprise” after taking into account some of the reasons listed on this article.

What about you, have you considered publishing a book? Share with us

Sliding Sideways Books

In this insanely competitive publishing market, there are clearly a lot of benefits to signing with an agent and being backed by a publisher. Marketing budgets, the guidance of an editor, the expertise of an agent… invaluable resources that can help achieve success beyond what self-published authors typically can on our own. I’m the last person to insist that you don’t need the industry, because the industry is powerful for a reason. It makes successes.

However, there are a lot of stories we don’t hear, the flip side of success. Out of the thousands of authors signed to agents each year, not all of their books get sold. The larger publishers often assign unpaid, unqualified interns to screen manuscripts—I’ve heard this from numerous sources inside the industry. If those authors whose books are published don’t sell quite enough copies as measured by a formula for maximum profit, their contracts can…

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Setting Business Goals for the New Year, in 6 Steps

Tips for Creating Effective Business Goals for The New Year

“More than 80 percent of the 300 small business owners surveyed in the recent 4th Annual Staples National Small Business Survey said that they don’t keep track of their business goals, and 77 percent have yet to achieve their vision for their company.” –Peter Vanden Bos, Inc.com
As we bring in the New Year it is important to take a step back, look at the big picture, and assess the direction your business is taking. Take a moment to celebrate your previous year’s accomplishments, both big and small. Often times we get trapped with tunnel vision and overlook just the amount of success we’ve attained. Whether it was starting your first social media campaign, launching a new product, hiring an employee, earning your first order, or taking active steps towards beginning your new business or venture. Doubt ends more careers than failure ever does.

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Etsy Shop Owner’s Guide: How to run a profitable business

Etsy.com is a marketplace for handcrafted products. Here you will find a host of varying products and services. Many of the wonderful shop owners are artists that create custom orders, as well as offer their own original designs. Etsy charges a small percentage of each sale, and a few cents (about $.20) to list each item. One neat feature that differs etsy from other marketplaces is that shop owners have an online shop where they can list their products, gather reviews, favorite items, and network with sellers directly.

As Etsy shop owners (www.WoodyWoodWorks.Etsy.com), Raquel and I have learned the ropes and run a profitable business through Etsy. In an effort to assist other owners (or those aspiring to open their own shop) in remaining profitable, we have written this article as part of a detailed series showcasing some of the industry leading practices to help you achieve continued success.

Lets get down to brass tacks!

1. Begin Planning

2. Make Draft

3. Draft Assign Responsibilities and Policies

4. Complete planning*

5. Execute the plan!

Get Organized
– Develop a plan (business plan is helpful), who, what, when, where, how, measurable goals, and phaselines

Marketing Research
– secondary data vs. primary data

Define your market
who are you selling to? what are the demographics, who is your customer?

– Positioning
how do you want your product to be viewed?
“positioning is the place the product or service will occupy in the hearts or minds f the customers in relation to your competitors.”
i.e. lowest price, uniqueness, all-natural

Developing Products and Services
– develop new products or services based on
* continuous innovations
* dynomically continuous innovations
* discontinuous innovations

Building and Sustaining your Brand
1. Effectively communicates the distinctive value you wish to offer the customer
2. is “relevant” to the customer
3. “Resonates” with the customer
4. Reinforces the company’s intended positioning in the marketplace
5. Is consistent and unifying
6. Serves as an umbrella/future brands in the company’s portfolio
7. Enables you to command premium pricing
8. Can be sustained over time

Develop a Sustainable Pricing Strategy
– Cost based
– Competition based
– Customer based

Promotion
– definition
– role
– promotional mix