Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Control" - It's not just a Janet Jackson song

Lately, Ive been talking with a lot of new entrepreneurs and folks who have owned start-up businesses for a handful of years. These people are smart, full of new ideas that have sprung from the well of genius. They show me their new concepts, trendy products, and popular themes that are blooming in society, and expect the world to embrace their business as the missing link in life!

In a perfect world, everyone would welcome new ideas, concepts, products, stores, and even restaurants in as a long lost child! "Oh, where have you been all my life?" But, in truth, it takes energy, time, marketing, money....and so much more. But, really, one thing it takes to get your business to succeed is....that Janet Jackson song we all loved in the '80!

"Control Yourself" was the phrase your parents bugged you about as a teenager...and really, it's got a bad rap. But, "control" in your business is a totally different animal. It is the reason for success, at every level, for any business.

Whether you are running an in-home business, website, trying your hand at manufacturing a new product, or in a conundrum about your current business... think to yourself, "What have I lost control over here?" Ever wonder why one of the highest paid people in a large corporation is called the "Controller"? Sure, financials and budgets rank high on everyone's "control list". And, I'm a big supporter of managing your open-to-buy and your business budget! But, there are a lot of other control issues to examine that will help you be successful.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself:
Is your office space organized, orderly, and as efficient as you can make it? Get rid of the clutter! Throw out those old pens & crayons & stuff you haven't looked at since God was a boy! Designate your space and move the kids into another room! Make your office your sanctuary!!
Do you use Social Media Marketing to promote your business? There are some great tools out there, that are FREE, to help market your company and your business. There are good ways to use it, and some not-so-good ways too. But, use it because it is the best way to talk to your customers yourself!
Lastly, how good is your word? Do you deliver what you promised, when you promised? Do you return phone calls promptly? Do you respond to emails or to comments posted on Social Media? Do you take the time to say "Thank You" promptly and with sincerity? These small gestures separate the successful from those who aren't.

Thanks for reading! Don't keep these ideas to yourself - sharing helps everyone!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Why am I doing this?

So, here's my story!

There are a bunch of ideas behind the creation of this blog...

1. I was laid-off as Director of Sales & Marketing in March 2009. I was sick with agony over the lack of decision making by the inexperienced owners/management. My experience is in wholesale manufacturing within the gift/toy/tabletop industry (which, by the way, is just being hit in the chops with the current economy) and retail management.
2. I've got lots of ideas, good ideas! And, if I hear "let me take you to lunch so I can pick your brain" again, I'll just lose my mind on purpose! Ugh!
3. My mother is from Alabama, and my dad is a Yankee from Minnesota. However, I was born in raised in Colorado, and it is here at 5280 feet that I make my home. I lived in Atlanta for a couple of years and came realized that I am a true Southener. There are so many wonderful qualities about the South and Southeners, and sometimes, Westerners miss those traits!

So, here's my chance to write about great ideas for wholesale manufacturers, retailers, small business owners, friends, and friends yet to be made! I'll be posting great ideas soon! I'll have a bunch of categories, including floral design & entertaining (as my husband is an exec chef!), shopping and favorite stores, and bringing a bit of Southern hospitality to the internet! I hope you'll enjoy! These are ideas I just can't keep to myself!