Making Scary Decisions is Part of the Business

Being an entrepreneur is scary. If owning your own business was easy, everyone would do it.

No one tells you what to do, which means you get credit for your successes and the blame for the failures. Every decision falls on you to make, big to little. Even writing this is giving me butterflies.

So how do you get anything done?

Obviously there is no perfect answer to this, but I will tell you what works for me; a combination of research and personal experience. Let me ask you, Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable Income?

I recently decided to expand my business. I have been knitting custom golf club covers for years and have become quite successful at it. My customers love what I make and I enjoy making them. However, I have hit a plateau. I needed to change what I was doing to move my business in a positive direction. Did I want to start selling wholesale to golf clubs? Did I want to expand my product line? Did I want to invest in advertising and licensing? All of them would require investing time and money on things that I could not guarantee success.

I took all these options, looked at what I already knew about myself and my business, then picked one. Which one? I am currently expanding my product line and services. I now host knitting parties, where people can learn to knit one of my patterns. I sell supplies and accessories, things I know knitters and knitting fans want and are not always easy to find.

Honestly, I just picked one.

Once you make a decision you have to follow through. Give yourself a timeframe. Set yourself tasks and goals. Set a budget! Break it down into bitesize pieces. Seek out support. Give this choice every chance for success. Stick to it, then look back and see how you did.

What change do you want to see in your business? What fears are holding you back?

You May Be Searching All Wrong

Recently, my Mother in Law came to me with a problem because she knew I was a knitter. She was having a hard time finding a pattern she liked. She wanted to make a sweater for my niece with a cute animal on it. If you know anything about knitting, making baby clothing is one of its most popular options. Why would she be struggling to find something so popular online? After a few questions I figured it out: search terms.

Search terms are not always so clear cut. You may think that “Animal Sweater Pattern” would bring up a Noah’s Ark of choices, but it was in fact the word Animal that was holding her back. When I limited that search to Bunny Toddler Sweater Pattern, the search results were 10 times greater.

So how does this apply to you?

  • The words you are using for your product may be too general. How to Knit is not as effective as How to Knit for Beginners. The first will certainly get you listed, but the second will get you a higher ranking on Google and therefore more likely in front of your target audience.
  • Your words could be too specific. Sometimes trying a similar term can increase your chances. How to Knit for Beginners could be Easy Knitting Projects or Beginner Knitting Pattern. Make sure to include these different phases in your content as well as the more generic ones to cover all your bases.
  • You could just be wrong. Using the wrong term could very well be the problem all together. She didn’t want a sweater with Animal from The Muppets. She didn’t want one with all the animals in the zoo. She said my pet needs that and wanted a cute bunny or teddy bear. When we use the right words, we get the right results.

    The easiest way to know is to do a google search using your terms. If the results are similar or too dissimilar you have your answer.

  • Things mean other things. You know how some kids will look up pictures of chicks and get results that are NOT appropriate? Yeah, that. “Hooker” is a term crocheters use lovingly to describe themselves, you can see how that could cause confusion. Just be careful, ok.

Now all you have to do is sprinkle these keyword phrases throughout your content and let google do the rest.

Top 5 Lessons From #TheDress

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Have you been living under a rock? I didn’t think so. This means you have seen/participated in the global phenomenon that was “The Dress”.

More than Kim Kardashian’s behind, more then Ellen’s Oscar selfie, the dress sparked shares and conversations around the world. Was it a trick? Was it a clever promotion? Nope, just a woman taking a picture of a dress to share with her daughter in consideration for a wedding.

As a small business owner, it is my dream to have something I share make this much impact. So I have been studying what we can all learn from it.

Here are my top 5 Lesson from #TheDress:

  1. Perception is reality.
    Blue and Black or White and Gold, it didn’t matter how you saw it, it was right. If your customer’s see your brand differently then you do, it is time to either adjust your own thinking or your focus to put you both on the same page.
  2. Conversation is key.
    It’s a dress that got people talking. If you are in product based business, putting your items into unusual environments might garner the wanted results, service based businesses may want to discuss misuse or abuse in your industry and how you don’t do that.
  3. Use what you have.
    All she had was a picture of a dress, posted it on tumblr and asked a question. Engage with your audience where they are. Ask them questions, give them advice, play games. You don’t have to do this everywhere either. If you love pinterest, use that. I am most comfortable on twitter (@traceyknits) and talk there more than anyplace else.
  4. Trending.
    You can tie-in anything. Note how I took the topic of the dress and turned it into something else. If everyone is talking about it, it is easy to get people to be interested in what you have to say about it.
  5. Keep it simple.
    A dress and a question. For you it could be a picture of a grumpy cat and a tagline about your business. Don’t overthink it, you never know what is going peek someone’s interest, just keep trying different things.

So what color did you see? And what did you take away from this viral sensation? Would love to know, leave me a comment below!

Tracey Rediker is owner of Tracey Knits,
maker of playful hand-knit golf club covers.
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Photo Credit: Buzz Feed

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