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Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Play your own game!

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

It’s football season!

That was reason to celebrate in my house. My husband is a football fan. He’s a fan of most sports. And our local team, The Washington Football Team, won.

It’s been interesting to watch is happening to sports in our time of COVID-19. We’ve seen stadiums and racing parks filled with cardboard cutouts of people. Fake crowd noise.

I live in a home where “Sports Center,” “Inside the NFL,” and similar shows are often on the television. I am sure some of you can relate. Most often they become “white noise” to me.

Sometime back I heard a conversation about a specific football player, whose name I don’t remember. One of the commentators said that this player needed to be more careful not to get caught up in the game around him.

Watch the comparisons

As I heard that, I thought about how easy it is to do that as creative arts entrepreneurs.

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Is it time for a new box of crayons?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

For many years I hosted an annual End of Summer/Back to School party for my nieces complete with a selection of back-to-school supplies.

Do you remember how much you loved the smell of the new box of crayons?

When I would search for supplies for my nieces, I’d look for a new treasure for myself.

Of course, I’m convinced that I will find the perfect tool that will solve my organizational problems and instantly improve my time management issues.

It never happens for me. How about you?



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Getting to the Sale

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020

Early in my career as quiltmaker, I sold my work.

I took commissions, I did juried craft shows, and I was the only quilter in a fine arts co-op with a storefront.

I saw my share of objections to sales. I still see them today. And, today, with the coronavirus changing our sales process, you might even see more objections.

The price is too high. I need to talk to my spouse first. I can’t make a decision today. I need to look at other items. I need to touch the fabric or see it in person. I’m not sure I have space in my house.

I’m sure you’ve heard some of those and others.

Here are some ideas on how to get past buyer objections so you can get to the sale.

Anticipate objections

Whatever the objection, you can think of it as an opportunity to educate your buyer.

Look at the most common objections you get and address them early in the sales process.

For example, if you are often asked how to hang your art, talk about that before it comes up. If your sales are wholesale, explain your terms. If someone wants to see if your art fits in their space, let them know if this is/is not possible. If someone wants a different color, are you amenable to reproducing your work? You may even have written material that answers some of these questions with the display of your work at a show or gallery.

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Set Your Business GPS!

Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

biz-gps

Recently on my way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I got caught in a mass of slow traffic. Anyone from these parts knows we only have one way to reach the beach, and that’s using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis. Its two spans date to 1952 and 1973 and can’t handle today’s traffic. Slow-downs and waits are a normal occurrence, particularly during the summer, so I try to time my trip to avoid them. Despite my best efforts, I was stopped.

Because of the nature of the journey, my GPS isn’t of much use. It can’t re-route me across the water! As I edged along, I thought about the GPS you set for your business.

The beginning and end points

Your car’s GPS won’t work without a starting and ending point. It’s the same in your business. You need to know where you are now and where you want to go.

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Grow Your Business With a Business Journal

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

Business Journal

One of my favorite practices as a creative arts entrepreneur is to keep a business journal. As the leader of your business, you have so many hats to juggle that it helps to have a place to track those ideas. It also helps you make decisions about where to grow your business and yourself.

I know that my clients who keep a business journal, find it extremely valuable, a real difference-maker in their businesses. This is true regardless if journaling is done in a pretty book, on an iPad, or with our weekly Success and Strategy Summit tool.

Have you been putting off journaling for your business? Here are six reasons why you should start:

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Practice — and success — look different for everyone

Wednesday, May 27th, 2020

In our current COVID-19 state, some things have opened; others have not.

Yesterday I went to an outdoor yoga class. It was at the local Y. The class was limited to nine participants. We were socially distanced, each of us having a parking place for our mat.

It was nice to participate in a “normal” activity. I came away relaxed and with a feeling of peace. Wonderful for our times.

I used to practice yoga on a regular basis. Today, I don’t practice as much as I’d like. No real reasons. I just don’t.

So what does this have to do with your creative arts business? Here are three lessons I took from the class.



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Boost your business with video conferencing

Wednesday, May 13th, 2020

We’ve been in our current sheltering mode for nearly two months. Regardless of when we exit this, our ways of doing business will be forever different.

One of the most significant changes will be around technology. More people will continue working from home. More people will continue using the Internet than ever before for learning.

If you haven’t quite yet embraced this, it’s time to jump on that bandwagon.

On our Members’ Studio coaching call this week, we focused on using zoom, one of the video conferencing platforms. As an early adopter of zoom, I’ve seen its power in connecting people as well in teaching and presenting content.

Here’s a bit of what we shared on our call and thoughts on how I use the platform.



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The Secret of the $5,000 Notebook

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020

We’re at the start of a new month. Did you take a look at your numbers for the first four months? Are you where you want to be revenue wise?

If you aren’t, I’m not surprised. We are in the midst of a pandemic, and all bets are off.

Most people I’ve talked with are not experiencing growth for the month. They are, instead, looking for ways to increase revenue going forward.

I have a friend who she shared her secret of the $5,000 notebook sometime back. I bet you have a similar notebook full of cash and you don’t even know it.



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Are You Juggling Too Many Balls?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020

One of my clients recently commented that with all her responsibilities she felt like she was juggling a lot of balls in the air — managing the shop, its employees and its inventory, her charitable obligations, and her responsibilities with two young kids at home plus her husband.

And this was before the challenge of COVID that we are living in today. Now she added home-schooling for her kids.

Can you picture yourself there?

I certainly can. At any given time I have content to write or deliver related to ICAP and our Members’ Studio, lectures and workshops to prepare for events where I am speaking, coaching calls with clients, planning for upcoming events or launches, not to mention the various balls I am juggling as a wife, sister, aunt, friend, and homeowner. I’ve added mask maker and more cooking to my list at this time. It truly could make you dizzy.

And, I know your life is not any different than mine or Beth, my client. How do I, and you, manage to juggle these responsibilities and not succumb to the falling balls? Here are some tips.

Outline your responsibilities

You have to get a handle on what you are responsible for in your life, so start writing. Create a list of your responsibilities and relationships.

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Let chaos become your opportunity

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

These are crazy, chaotic times we are in. You have lots of unknowns.

Are you bringing in business — and income — today? If you are, that’s great.

Can you maintain a positive cash flow? And for how long?

Do you have a rainy day fund? How long will it last?

How long can you stay the course before making changes? And what changes can you make?

Even if you are in a positive cash flow position, you need to think about what will happen in the future. Right now.

While you do have unknowns, one fact remains. You are in control when it comes to your business.

Part of getting through the chaos is making sure you’re in a better position once you get to the other side. Here are some ideas to help shift your business as we move forward.



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