Maggies Mentions


Leave a comment

Tips To Start A Home Based Online Business

ID-10041078Whether your a cake decorator, love fashion, crafts, etc your ideas can be turned into an online business if you know how to get started.

Today there are more and more home business popping up and the Internet is lending opportunity for this with such places as Etsy, Artfire and more, where you can set up shop right in your own home and sell on line.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

Map It Out

Put your business plan together by going over a few things from the start.
Where will you keep your handmade products to make sure they maintains their originality and can not be damaged. Perhaps you have a spare room, that you can set up just for your items and supply’s and keep that room available for packing and shipping as well.

If you are making crochet, crafts, jewelry, etc… how much can you realistically produce in what span of time. A downfall for sales is availability and the customer seeing ‘Out Of Stock”. Offer custom items that can be ordered to fit and let the customer know ahead of time how long it will take to make the item before it is shipped to them. Example: Takes 3 days to create, then ships.

What is the Competition Up To

Get online or open your local newspaper and search for your type of product to see if there is a market. Are there other businesses in your area selling the same or similar product? See what other items are selling for, who is buying and what area’s of the world would your product fit into.

To Market We Go!

Ever since pen went to paper, I bet there was some sort of advertising going on. Before the Internet it could have been, flyer’s, newspaper ads, radio, TV or someone with a sandwich billboard standing in front of a restaurant, some of these which could be quite costly. With the Internet you can now advertise virtually for free. Social Media has opened doors for many to advertise if done correctly on place like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and one of the things highly recommended is a Blog or website.

With Social Media, you no longer have the in your face type of selling rule, but instead you let people get to know you and your business. Offer information about your product by blogging about how beneficial it is or what makes your craft designs so unique. Offer tips that surround your products, for example if you sell shoes, talk about what makes them different or why they will make you feel like you have been walking on clouds all day when wearing them.

Everyone Loves A Bargain

You want to get your product out there and offering an incentive can be helpful. Coupons are used and popular with grocery stores and the companies offering these products use this marketing effectively. When a new product is coming out in your local grocery store, say a new flavored ice cream, to get that product noticed, the coupon gets the word out about this product and entices people to try it. Think about what you could offer a first time buyer. When you send the first order, include a discount for their next order, 10%, 20% etc off or Free Shipping.

Customer Satisfaction

Don’t you just hate when you call a company and get a voice mail saying I have stepped away from my desk? These days unless you are really exclusive with your product or services, chances are the word “Next” will be going through your potential customers mind. Making yourself available or have someone answering the phone or email makes a world of difference. On your website or blog even the words “we respond to emails within 24 hours” is helpful. Now with online shopping, going to another stores website is just a click away and you have the potential to lose a sale.

What is your Return Policy

One of the reasons I love to shop at certain retail stores is that I can return the item I bought with no questions. I will continue to spend my money at their establishments and actually, when I go to return that top or other item that just did not work for me, I usually turn around with my money and find something else. Money given back and spent in the same place is a good thing.

When shopping online, it is a matter of returning the product through shipping. This can be time consuming, but when a customer wants to return an item, they most often will take the time to ship it back. You can have a policy that states that you do not pay for return shipping, but are willing to accept returns. Returns on certain items such as crochet or clothing can be reduced by making custom fit products and no returns unless it is your fault by making the item in the wrong size. Search out shops on Etsy for products you want to make that are similar and see the return polices they use to give you an idea.

 

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Advertisements


5 Comments

Have a Money Making Yard Sale With These Tips

ID-10034597I did many garage sales when my kids were growing up and was able to make extra money. Yard sales or as some call them, garage sales, can be fun and easier to do if planed ahead.

To get started, look around your home and see what you have. Are there things you have not used or thought about using in the past year. Are you going to use those things any time soon? Clothes, furniture, tools, toys, dishes, silverware, blender, books, cd’s, dvd’s etc. Go from room to room with a box or laundry basket and pick out your stuff to sell. Get them organized in piles and add your prices.

I found that putting a price on my items saved me from many people asking “how much is this”? Instead with a price in place I was asked “will you take less for this item”, or they simply gave me what it was priced for and I could concentrate on selling. I used labels where I could and cut poster board for signs for larger items or a bundle of things, like all cd’s are $1.oo.

If you have access to long tables they work well. The more uncluttered you are in the yard sale set up the better. I noticed that when I had thrown a bunch of clothes into a box the people would look into it, pick up a few pieces and then lose interest. So I ran a rope across my front porch outside and hung the clothes up on hangers. They sold well. The garage sale went down my entire driveway so people could walk and look as they wanted.

Once you are organized with your items for sale, makes signs and run an ad in the paper.

Show me your Sign
If your sign is sticking out about a foot off the ground and so tiny someone can’t read it when driving by with out stopping, you just missed out on a potential customer. Make your signs BIG. Use cardboard or poster board in white or bright colors. Write on the boards with a black marker.

Make it easy for anyone to read also by just putting in large words YARD SALE OR GARAGE SALE with your address underneath and an arrow —> to your street and put another one in front of your home pointing to your house. Go to couple of streets over and put one there with the arrow, so they can follow your signs.

Be specific as to what type of sale you are having. An Estate Sale or Moving Sale means your selling everything in the house or more then just items you would normally sell at a yard or garage sale. This could bring more people to the sale. The more you advertise the more the people will show up. Place ads online, bulletin boards, newspapers and even get the word out at your church and school.

Multi – Family Yard Sale!
I had two neighbors across the street from me that loved to do yard sales too, so when we ran the ad in the local paper, and split the cost of the ad in thirds. We also included in the ad that it was a 3 Family yard sale. Potential shoppers love this! They can go to 3 houses on the same street and it lets them know there is more to choose from.

Its An Early Bird Competition
We included in the newspaper ad the time the yard sale would open and close. If you put 8am for opening have your stuff ready to go by 7am. Collectors, antique seekers and bargain hunters check ads and map out where they are going for the day and they like to get their before anyone else. GPS systems help people to find your yard sale… Make sure your address is correct on the ad.

We ran our yard sales for 3 days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We found that the crowd that showed up on Friday were folks on their way to work,  some retired and people that also sold at flea markets and such, so they were looking for good deals. The ones on Saturday were more family oriented and on Sunday, folks who went to church showed up in the afternoon.

To Bargain or Not to Bargain
When we had our Multi- Family yard sales my two neighbors across the street were next door to each other. Cars were parked up and down the street on both sides. Every yard seller has their own method of selling and some better then others. The couple on one side, did not like to bargain. They put there stickers on there goods and some were about the same price you would pay in a store. The girl next door to them and I would bargain away, but not give away. If I had an item for two dollars and they offered one, I would take it. After all was said and done, the couple who did not like to bargain, ended up taking a majority of there stuff back into the house and grumbled how they did not make much money on the yard sale. My other neighbor and I had hardly anything to take back in and we made money.

Spring and Summer are great times for yard sales so get out there and have fun!

Photo courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


2 Comments

Dress For Success – What Are You Wearing To Your Job Interview

ID-10066394You need to have an edge on everyone else to land a job and how you look matters as much as first impressions matter.

There are two organizations that can help you or someone you know make that first impression count when going to an interview.

DressForSuccess.org This not-for-profit organization accepts donations for women’s suits and dresses to help women looking for a job look their best. They not only will dress you but offer support in finding a job as well.

CareerGear.org offers coaching and more for men and you can make donations of suits, ties, belts, briefcases and more.

Know someone needing to find employment or would like to donate? Send them the link to this post.

Also See:

Finding a Job That Is Just Right For You

How To Prepare for a Job Interview

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


2 Comments

Find A Job That is Just Right For You

ID-10044204Is the field of work your in not doing so well in the job market? Are you looking for a different type of employment?
You may have more skills in other areas that you are missing out on. Think outside the box.

Check out myskillsmyfuture.org/

Enter your skills and work history and find out what area’s you qualify for. They also offer what salary’s are available, training if needed and links to current job offers.

 

Also see: How To Prepare for a Job Interview

Dress For Success – What Are You Wearing To Your Job Interview

 

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net


2 Comments

How To Prepare for a Job Interview

ID-100228001It’s not uncommon to get nervous going to a job interview and being prepared can help ease that. Learning as much as you can about the company and what is needed for the job offer can give you an advantage on the next person interviewing.

Here are a few tips that impressed me when I was hiring for a company.

Lombardi Time Arrival
Lombardi Time is phrase coined after Vince Lombardi, the famous Green Bay Packers coach. It means that you should show up 10-15 minutes early, or you will be considered late. When you arrive 15 minutes early, it not only shows responsibility and interest but also good manners. On time is better then late and you don’t want to open your interview with an excuse. First impressions matter, make yours work on arrival.

Hey I’m Over Here
Keep eye contact with the interviewer. If you feel uncomfortable, focus on looking between their eyes or just above their eyebrows. This shows them your interested and they have your attention. Don’t look at the ground, it shows lack of confidence.

Don’t I sound Enthused?
Enthusiasm goes along way with the conversation. If your on board and show interest the person interviewing you will be more likely to want to talk to you more and allow you to give more information about yourself.

Do Not Go Empty Headed
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare! You know what your capable of and now is your time to shine. Study up on what the company is looking for and let them know how you can contribute to the company. Have a short list of questions for the interviewer as well. Taking out a pad of paper with your questions, shows you think ahead and want to do all you can do fill the position.

Make sure to also eat before the interview, grumbling stomachs make for awkwardness.

Learn how to get more job offers from Job.com.

Also See: Finding a Job That Is Just Right For You

Dress For Success – What Are You Wearing To Your Job Interview

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net