Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday Strategy Session , Week 3 - perfecting your dream

So far, we've looked at how others view you (Week 1) and how you describe your business (Week 2).  This week we are going to finish Worksheet One with five questions, involving why you started your business in the first place and how to make it more enjoyable for yourselves and your clients?

Question #7: What do you daydream about doing? Why haven't you done it?
I think it's good to daydream about what you want to do, and write it down on paper.  Me?  I want to work four days a week and spent more time with my art.  I haven't done that yet because I need to earn money.  One dream I've had for a long time is to learn the art of bookbinding.  This means studying under a professional -  my "why I haven't done it"... I started to visualize making handmade books last year, after taking a basic class.  At the same time, I promised myself to start making my own paper from recycled mail.  These two things have already been set in motion.  Art journaling is a new activity I daydream about.  There's a lot of action on the internet right now - I found a neat site on Ning.  Whatever you daydream about, you can find online... all you have to do is look. 

Question #8: What would your perfect work day look like?  Start from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed and be as specific as possible.
OK, I can see where this is heading!  But truly, it’s a great exercise and everyone should take a little time and see what perfect is.  Hopefully you will surprise yourself at how close you are.  I'm an early riser, and already do what I want to in the morning: coffee, journaling and blogging.  Sometimes it's art journaling, others times "morning pages."  If I could only work part time - now that would be perfect!  I like getting out of the house and being around interesting people.  My work sets that in motion.  In the afternoon, I would exercise, go for a walk.  Then eat, watch the news, get on the computer again, and read.   I would prefer to get in a full chapter before falling asleep with book in hand! 

Question #9: What do you do that drains your energy?  What aspect of your personal and business life would you love for someone else to take over?

This is another one of those leading questions.  If I could actually delegate cleaning the house to a maid, I would love it.  DH already cooks for me and I clean up.  And I need my very own computer wizard; that would probably save me hours of worry and time.  Washing clothes isn't hard, but when it comes to hand washing, I become a procrastinator.   

Question #10: What problems does your creative business solve for your customers?
First of all, let me say that April from Blackburg Belle tells us, this question will be a major factor in our marketing efforts, and you should spend time thinking about.  "You don't have to solve major problems.  For instance, if you make yoga clothes, you might provide eco-friendly clothes that are extremely comfortable."  Because my products are functional, they solve many problems for my customers: having the right necklace to wear or a journal to write and draw in.  I also use acid-free paper in my bookmaking, which attracts certain people.  Since everything is handmade with high quality materials,  customers get the best products possible.  Special ordering is available for making individual items or sets, and clients can specify exactly what they're looking for. 
Question #11: How do you exceed your customers' expectations?
This is similar to a previous question about values.  My customers are always so appreciative at how fast I respond to them.  Since my photography isn't the best, I probably exceed people's expectations when they open their packages.  I believe my prices are less expensive than if bought in other parts of the U.S.  And I'm super friendly and easy to communicate with {:-D


Duni said...

Great interview.
I'm an early riser too. I dislike hectic activity in the mornings, prefer to enjoy my breakfast and - yes, daydream! Why not?
Many famous people invented great stuff while daydreaming...
btw, the necklace is a stunning creation!

Erika said...

When I answered these questions I found it really helped clarify (for me) the direction I wanted to go with my business. April asked the right questions for the right venue and it is something that all creative entrepreneurs ought to look into.

BeadedTail said...

More great questions for me to think about too! I only work 3 days a week 8 1/2 months of the year and there's still not enough time to get everything done that I want to. I need to really look at priorities and what I want to do.

P.S. How do you get your web addy to be without the blogspot? Erika did that too and I can't figure it out.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I would also like to just work part time and focus more on my scrapbook business!
When I think of my dream day...I think back to the 6 months I was laid off :) I am grateful to have my job again...but I sure did enjoy those days off!

joeyandaleethea said...

What a beautiful necklace! Love those colors, very pretty! And #11 is a really good one! In a sea of competition, once a customer lands in your shop, it is so important to exceed their expectations! I try to, by always making something extra for each and every customer. Depending upon the size of their order - sometimes I make a ring for them, sometimes a hair scarf, sometimes an additional onesie, or even a free pair of pants or a dress. And I really love doing that! It's an inspired piece, so it brings out my creativity and sometimes those turn out to be my very best clothing items! I also tend to customize the item especially for that particular customer. If they're expecting then I'll make something useful and super cute for them - or if I know they have 2 kids I'll make a coordinating item for the sibling. And if it's a new customer that I don't know much about, then I"ll check out not only their favorites but I'll also be super nosy (haha) and look at their past purchases and if I see a theme there, i.e.; they buy everything in size 0-6mos for boys, or if they buy lots of elephant-themed items, or black and white clothing, etc, and I will make something unique for them based upon their past purchases. So, I think of it almost as if they would've bought that very item themselves. And now? They've got it for free. That, in my opinion, is a big reason why they'll keep returning to my shop. And they'll for sure tell their friend "...and I bought this too...oh, and then she sent me this for FREE", and their friend will want free stuff too, so they'll come by and place an order, sometimes just to see what they will get for free. It's really kinda cute that way...makes them feel special. LOL. Which they are, of course! :D

WOW what a great series you've got going here Deb, thanks for the moment to stop and think. :)

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