Category Archives: Target Market

Growing her business by learning to ask for help

Liz with Seaside Spa Candles Liz with Seaside Spa Candles is a truly remarkable mother, wife, entrepreneur, and educator. Since Liz is such an amazing candle maker, I just had to know how she keeps it all together so beautifully.

Liz says that she has had to really prioritize since having her son. Before children, she was a one woman enterprise, but after having children, she just couldn’t do it all.

The first step was accepting that she needed help. She used to always feel guilty when she would ask her family to help pick up her son or help with her candle business, but she now realizes that she can’t feel guilty about surrounding herself with her husband and family she can count on. She finally understood that it really does take a village.

During her first year as a candle maker, she couldn’t say no. She is naturally a people pleaser and enjoys giving back to her community, therefore she donated 500 candles for an upcoming non-profit gala or donate 300 candles for a local women’s shelter – all while juggling her job as an Adjunct Professor, her family responsibilities and the candle orders. However, through experience she now proactively works early in the year with her favorite non profit organizations, to ensure she can plan her time, budget and inventory.

Liz learned to pick and choose. She realized that she couldn’t be everything to everyone. She had to prioritize what was most important and focus. She loves working in education and making candles. Therefore she now spends her non-family time as an adjunct professor and soy candle maker.

Seaside Spa Candles in FloridaLiz believes that the key to success is being able to consistently ‘follow thru’ and dazzle your customers. Her philosophy is that you should always return customer phone calls and emails. Under promise and over deliver, for example deliver those lovely candle gifts or favors ahead of schedule; that’s dazzling your customer! If you are going out of town, let your customers know! They will understand and will appreciate the heads up.

Being a business owner is one of the hardest jobs anyone could probably ever take on. You are responsible for everything. Especially at the beginning: manufacturing, testing, packaging, marketing, selling; everything. And since you are your own boss, you get to deal with the one person that is the hardest on you: yourself. Try and remember that owning your business is hard work, but yet so rewarding.

For time management, Liz has found it is easier for her to keep a calendar at home, calendar at work, and a calendar in her car. She uses her phone calendar and paper calendars. She loves being hands on and is a visual person, so paper calendars are fun and comforting. That is probably why she is such a creative and amazing candle maker.

Stop by and see her latest creations at:
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Attitude is Everything in Business and Life

Vicki ElamRunning a business has its ups and downs. An entrepreneur of 25 plus years, I’ve seen my share of good times and bad.

I founded a local non- profit networking group for business women back in April of 2008. It had many challenges but the rewards were greater. The biggest thing I struggled with was the attitudes and unprofessionalism of many of the members. We started out with 12 women at our first luncheon and grew to over 500 members. We held annual bazaars, workshops, brought in guest speakers and worked hard to provide something worthwhile and fun.

One thing I learned was, you cannot instill business ethics or professionalism in people. They either have the desire to excel and be successful, or they don’t. I heard month after month of excuses, women being late to the luncheons and many who couldn’t follow through with an RSVP or notifying you of a cancellation. Made me wonder how they treated their customers and did business.

Networking is not about “what’s in it for me”; it’s about what you can do for others. Many of the women didn’t understand that concept, nor did they want to. They were too focused on me…Me…Me!

After five plus years of running the business, I retired. Only a hand full of women from the networking group have succeeded, and the rest, fell to the way side. I’m a firm believer that attitude is everything in business and in life!

Written by Vicki Elam

Freelance Editor’s Advice About Accepting Clients

VanHatten Writing ServicesAs a freelancer, do you have a hard time turning away clients when you are not as busy as you would like to be?  That can be a difficult concept for freelancers or those just developing their business. I know. I used to have that problem.

Here’s a scenario… Business was slow. A client would call, yet something told me not to accept that person as a client. I did it anyway. I should have listened to the voice in my head and not accepted that person.

I thought I was building my business. Time after time, it didn’t turn out well. The reasons are varied. As it turns out, I was just becoming frustrated by accepting the wrong clients.

As a freelance editor, clients hire me to edit their manuscripts. Many of those clients accept my advice, have great discussions with me as we talk through suggestions and rewrites, and actually pay me for my work.  Doesn’t seem like a difficult issue to understand.

Wendy VanHatten WriterBut, I have learned over the past 15 or so years to interview prospective clients a little more carefully and to listen to that voice in my head. I am building my business…not creating frustrations for myself. I take detailed notes when a client first contacts me, I ask questions, I give an idea of my fees, and I pay attention to what I am not hearing.

Again, it seems like a pretty simple concept. But, for many freelancers just starting out it can be intimidating to turn down what seems like an interesting, paying client. It’s something we all have to learn. And, hopefully grow from it.

Now, my clients are a joy to work with. I am happier, my business is growing in the right direction, and I’m moving on.

Article written by Wendy VanHatten with VanHatten Writing Services.

Find Your Business Niche and Use SEO

Find Your Niche and Use SEOI recently attended an event and learned a little bit about finding your niche and how to get them to find you online. Here is what I have to share:

How to find your niche: 1. Who are the people you would like to work with? 2. Why do you want to work with them? 3. How large of a group are you trying to attract? 4. Can they afford your product/service? 5. How often will they need your product/service? 6. Would they look online for more information about your product/service?

If they would search online for feedback, referrals, more details, or contact information for your type of product or service, then here is the online searching information I have to share:

How do they find you online:

According to the people attending the event where I learned about this topic, they believe that 40% of all google searches are completely unique. This means that you can not create a simple SEO (search engine optimization) plan to attract 40% of the traffic out there.

They believe 40% of searches are a long stream of words, in the form of a question, long thought, or sentence. Such as: “my arm and fingers tingle” or “chocolate birthday cake with ice cream” or “homeowners insurance in Pleasanton, California for a townhouse”.

In order to grab this percentage of searches, we need to be posting articles about every topic, product, or service we have. We need to include words that describe these services/products all throughout the article and include at least 2 keywords in each title of the our articles and if you are blogging, always type in words in the keyword section provided to you.

The more information you have on your website that the search engines can look through and use, the more your website will be listed for these searchers.

This is why blogging is key to surviving online. The more detailed information you can provide, the better your website will rank on search engines like google.

How are you using SEO to reach your business niche or target market?

Article written by Anna Campbell with My Monthly Business Journal.

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