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Are you leaving money on the table?

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

 

We’re into the last six months of the year. Just where did the first six months go?!

Our ICAP Members’ Studio peeps regularly look at their numbers. How about you?

Have you look at your numbers for the first six months? What did you discover? Were you on track or were your results not quite what you were expecting?

I talked with one of my private clients recently about this, and she said she needed a cash infusion. I think finding that cash infusion comes down to two items: ideas you didn’t take action on and things you didn’t follow-up on.

Ideas that you didn’t act on

First are those items you didn’t take action on. One of my good friends has something she calls “the $5,000 notebook.” I bet you have a similar notebook full of cash and you don’t even know it.

Do you often make notes of the great ideas you had? You know, the new pattern you wanted to create, the class you think you should develop, the cards to print based on your paintings, the new line of jewelry you want to work on.

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Train Tracks and Getting Things Done

Wednesday, June 13th, 2018

 

One day recently I was stopped at a railroad bridge and started thinking about what we learned as kids about crossing the train tracks. Stop, look, and listen. Do you remember that?

The next morning I looked at the mountain of work on my desk – as well as those bright, shiny objects across the room – and wondered where I should start. I picked up the task on the top and started to work.

Shortly I became distracted and found myself on the way to the kitchen for another cup of tea.

Back to my desk. What was I working on?

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Kick-up Your Summer Revenue

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

summer-cash

This is the unofficial first week of the summer. For many people, this is the time to kick back and take it easy. You know the lazy, crazy days of summer! And, sure people do take vacations, but not all of them are gone every day all summer. So, you shouldn’t be either.

If you are trying to grow your business, taking it easy really isn’t an option. And, if you take advantage of the time many people do take it easy, your business will be ahead of the game.

Here are some ideas to kick-up your revenues this summer.

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Craft a powerful tagline

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

What’s in a tagline? The purpose of a tagline is to express your brand differentiation. It’s to say who you are compared to your competition.  It’s to get people to want to know more about your company and how you can help them. The best taglines have an emotional component.

Do you recognize these taglines?

Make Creativity Happen
Made to Create
Designed by a Quilter, for Quilters
For People Who Love to Sew
Make More Art, Spend Less Money

They belong to companies in the arts fields. I’m guessing that you knew most of them.

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Have you entered the CABS Scholarship contest?

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

I believe that anyone who is serious about starting and building a creative arts business should have the chance to learn the best success and business strategies. The place to do that is the Creative Arts Business Summit. The sixth annual Creative Arts Business Summit is March 30-April 1, and we have several partial scholarships available due to a generous donation from an attendee.

CABS, as those who come call it, is the place to learn with other creative entrepreneurs — just like you — to take your business to the next level.

This event is all about digging into your business so you can create the business, and life, of your dreams. Stop being your own best kept secret.

Learn tools and techniques to stay ahead of the curve in today’s digital world.

Leave with a custom designed revenue plan that works for you and a network that continues to support you day in and day out.

Bonus sessions on creating a video strategy and learning how to create more sales.

Why just wish that your creative business was more successful. Get out of your own way and take the steps to make this happen.

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Lose the New Year’s Resolutions!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

What’s In a Word?

Many people choose a “word” as a focus tool for the year. I have been doing this since probably 2005 when Kathy, the owner of the yoga studio where I practiced, passed around a basket with words. I chose “openness.” At the time I asked if I could pick a different word. After all, the woman next to me chose love, which seemed like a much better word. I remember Kathy telling me that I was stuck with openness because the word had chosen me.

I went home, taped the word onto my computer, and let it be an anchor as I went through the year. Looking back, I know that this made a tremendous difference in my year.

What it did was allow me to focus on being a person who was more open to opportunities, more open to challenges, and more open to other people. It required me to “be” or work on “becoming” a certain person.

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Set Compelling Goals

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

It’s really important to have an effective goal setting plan in place if you want to create the life and business of your dreams. Part of the process is having written goals, and most people don’t commit their goals to writing.

Research shows that those who write their goals rather than not are more likely to achieve them. Even more than that, those who developed action plans and shared their goals, action commitments and weekly progress reports with a supportive friend made even more progress.

What constitutes a good goal? I think using the SMART acronym is a terrific guide. SMART puts a structure to your goal and gives you focus. Here are the SMART criteria.

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Back to Business

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

backtobiz

 

Labor Day in the United States was earlier this week. While many school districts around the country opened their doors in August, September always seems like back-to-school month to me. Since I run a business these days, I think of it as back-to-business month. You have four months to really rev up to meet those goals you set early this year.

While it is back to business for many of us, it has been a changing business landscape over the summer in the sewing, quilting and crafts fields. Here is a roundup of what has happened and my thoughts. It’s likely you already know about some of the changes.

1. In July, Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine announced that it was folding with its October/November 2016 issue. QNM, owned by F+W Media, was started in September 1969 by Bonnie Lehman at her kitchen table. That first issue cost 35 cents, and the magazine went on to be a leader in the industry. I don’t think the industry would be where it is today without her foresight and willingness to help it grow. I was a long-time subscriber and still have a stash of issues. Magazine publishing is a hard business. I focused on magazine publishing getting my masters’s and was in it for 20 years. Magazines thrive based on a variety of factors, including advertising and circulation. Advertising is what pays the bills for most magazines and in today’s environment the competition for the advertising dollar is steep. It’s not just from other print magazines. Ad dollars are spent on the Internet. Advertisers see where the buyers/readers are and go there. Today, so much is available on the Internet. What can stop other magazines from the same future as QNM? Support your favorite magazines. Tell the advertisers in them that you found them in the magazine. Current QNM subscribers will receive Quilting Arts magazine until the subscriptions expire.

2. In July, American Quilter’s Society announced that it will stop publishing books in 2017. AQS was formed in 1984 by Meredith and Bill Schroeder, who were collectors and publishers of books for collectors. The business went on to sponsor quilt shows, host a television show, and publish magazines. If you look at the quilt and sewing industry, you will find lots of competition for the crafter. I have always been amazed at the numbers of quilt and sewing books published each month, so it does not surprise me to see a shake-up in this area. Again, consumers are looking for how-to craft information, and, in addition to finding it in competing books,

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Our 2016 Creative Arts Business Summit Highlights

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

By all accounts the 2016 Creative Arts Business Summit was a success. Lots of aha moments and business shifts. Lots of laughs. Lots of connections and collaborating.

We had two great speakers — IP attorney Kathryn Goldman from Goldman and Minton in Baltimore and Kelly Ann Richardson, shop owner from Kelly Ann’s Quilting in Warrenton, Va. — and thank them for particpating.

Thanks to our sponsors: Checker Distributors and Palmer Printing. It wouldn’t have been possible without their support.

Enjoy the highlight video and join us in 2017. You can sign up for more information here.

6 Ways to Make the Most of the Change of Seasons

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Make the most of the change of seasons

Spring arrived in the Northern Hemisphere on Sunday. I think a change of seasons always brings a new energy with it. The length of our days is changing. We notice the trees blooming and the birds chirping. Some of us may even feel a lightness in our step. Here are six ideas to take to heart with the change of seasons, some more business focused, some not.

1. Get moving. For many people, the cold weather keeps them inside. If you are one of them, take advantage of the new season. Set a spring goal of more movement. This can be getting up early for a long walk; that is what I do. Or since the days are longer, take a walk after your work day ends. Joining an exercise class is an idea. After all, many of those with a New Year’s resolution are no longer going. And, if you are a gardener, clearing off the debris from winter in your garden and turning the soil gets you moving.

2. Become more aware. This could be really noticing your surroundings, both inside and out. Everything is awakening. When you are out, see what is now blooming. Bring this same awareness or presence to your office surroundings and what you are working on.

3. Begin anew. Go back and look at the goals that you set personally and professionally at the beginning of the year and revisit them. Where are you on track? What needs to change? Look at it as a fresh beginning.

4. Learn something new. Just like new growth is nurtured in your garden, nurture some new growth in yourself. Set aside some time each day to learn something new.

5. Try a reboot. Did you create a new habit at the beginning of the year that has stalled out? Now is a good time to try again.

6. Ditch the heaviness. Just as you might leave the heavy coat in the closet or lighten up your meals, look at what you can lighten up in your business. Maybe you need to look at what you are doing that could be delegated to a team member. Maybe it is time to add a member to your team so your load is lighter. Or maybe it is time to just eliminate part of what you are doing.

 What will you do to make changes in your business this season? Share it with us below in the comments section or on our ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.

 

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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

 

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