Saturday, December 31, 2011

Be Real!

It is the new year and the traditional time to review the past business year so we can look forward to a successful new year for our handmade and artisan businesses.

This is not going to be a post about making strategic plans, updating your business plan, or other brain-twisting exercises to implement.

It is a post about reality.

I am, by day, a strategic marketing communications professional, who works with small businesses to help them push forward with their branding and market recognition. The core component to my consultation is.....reality.

Be real with your expectations of your business and the expectations of your customers. From there, all else falls into place.

I could stop there and leave you with that wise message, but I will explain a bit to grab this concept.

Be Real with YOUR Expectations of Your Business
Take an audit of what you do within your business framework. For example:
  • How much time did you give to your business last year:
  • How much time do you have to give to your business in reality?
  • How much money did you put back into your business last year?
  • How much money do you really have to put into your business?
If these are out-of-balance, you should readjust your thinking and expectations.

Time and money may make a business.
But, it is HOW you spend your time and money that makes success!

Be Real About the Expectations of Your Customers
You should know your customers well enough by now to know what they expect from you. If you have sold one, two, or 202 items, you can see a trend.
  • Much of what customers expect from you is driven by you! 
  • Now is the time to figure out if your customer interaction and service process is working best for both of you.
  • If not, change it so it works best for the customer AND for you. 
The expectations of your customers are set by your communication messages and your actions. What do you tell them? (policies, shop announcements, advertising, blogs, etc...) And, what do you actually do? (shipping times, quality of goods, exchanges, packaging, etc...)

Once you align your expectations for yourself based upon realty with the expectations of your customers through communications, there will be much smoother sailing in 2012.

Seek out small business owners who exhibit this balance. Network with them and let them share with you how they do it!

Let's make 2012 the year of balance and being real. Best to you all for 2012!


  1. Good tips. Lets hope 2012 is a good year for online sales.