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"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible"

~ Anonymous

Tea Time with Liv

Don't cheat your business

You are a crafter and everyone says wow you should sell your work and you think yeah I will sell online. There are plenty of free things I can use. This won't cost a dime!

Not the case. A business takes money regardless of your budget. Don't cheat your business before it even starts.

First thing is first. Get that business name. Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. Keep it relevant to your business. You don't want to use sweet treats when your business is graphic design. You also don't want to use what everyone else is using. Boutique, bowtique, one stop shop, are all common. Using your name or your child's name is over done. Unique spelling look fun but if nobody call spell it, how will they find you? So don't use thins like "Oliviaz Designz". And no long names. They are hard to remember. "Olivia's Jewelry Accessories and Custom Designs" sounds great but will those who don't know you remember this? Even the ones that do know you, will they remember it all when telling friends?

Once you choose your name Google it. It's an easy way to see if someone is using it. Nobody using it? Now head over to godaddy.com and check the domain name. If available, buy it. Don't use the excuse I don't have the money. You don't secure it now, someone can come in and taken from under your nose.

Now go get an email account with your business name. I like gmail because this is Google based and Google based is great for online exposure. This account should be used for business only.

Now go through a few social networks and secure your name such as Twitter and Facebook. These are highly recognizable and anything recognizable is great for your online exposure. Plus you want people to search for you even if you are not an online business yet.

Now this is the part people ignore and skip. Doesn't matter how small you are or if you only sell on places like eBay or etsy, you must register your business and get a business license and resellers license or tax id. Check with your county clerk or state to see what you need as state to state and county to county can vary. If you get caught running a business in your state without these, you will get fined and charged with tax evasion. It's not pretty so don't go there.

You've jump the hoops and survived the ring of fire so take a deep breath and get that website. It sounds intimidating but really it is not. You can start small with places such as wahmshoppes.com and move up as you need. Stay away from free sites. Not only are they limited but getting in the search engines are a pain, you cheapen your business because visitors wonder why you can't afford proper hosting, and you do not appear to be reputable because its a red flag for fly by night scams. You came this far so don't cheat your business.

Don't overlook the exposure and opportunities you have with blogging. Some think that they don't see a benefit to a blog for their business or that it is a right fit for them. Blogs give you the opportunity to go in depth on your products in a way that a website or social networks do not offer. Social networks are for relationship building, websites are for sales, blogs are for information.

You have the product, the name, the website. How does anyone know you exist? Design and order those business cards. Pass them out. Give family and friends a stack to pass out for you. Use those business cards every way possible. Marketing is key to your business. Free ads sound good and just posting a link here and there is easy but if nobody knows you are online nobody will even look.

Now that you have a few things to get you started with building your business, go out there and get that exposure.

Olivia Vidal

© 2009-2011


Jackie Champion said...

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