Friday, December 29, 2006

Hoping my business grows in 2007

Well, I know that to stay interesting bloggers should post more often than every 10 days. I was not posting because until the past few days I've been debating whether to close my store and go out of business in January, and I didn't want to write about it while I still was undecided. And I didn't want to write about other things because I was preoccupied with my business. But now I've decided to stay open!

I will be supplementing the income (perhaps I should call it "income") from my store with other part-time work. Right now I'm in contact with someone I've done technical editing for in the past, and he may have some work for me in January. I'll also keep an eye on the want ads in the Bellingham Herald and Lynden Tribune. My hope is to work at the supplementary job 8:00-12:00, or thereabouts, Monday through Friday, and run the store weekday afternoons and all day Saturday. Currently, I open at 10:00 a.m., but I don't get that many customers before noon.

Why stay in business if it's not profitable? Well, I'm hoping that it's not very profitable YET but that it will become more so. I've started a quarterly event of having an artist come talk at my store. That is, I've done it once, and I hope to do it again soon, and continue doing it every three months or so. I'm considering what other kinds of special events I can do as well. That's what the marketing book I read said to do. Special events bring people to the store and establish a connection, so that when they want to buy your product it will be your store they come back to.

Artists are suitable speakers at my store because I sell art supplies as well as doing custom framing. I just looked, and I need to add my store website to my links. Meanwhile, my business is Creative Borders Framing & Art Supplies. Sometimes someone calls who thinks that name means I sell framing supplies, but I don't. I do custom framing, and I sell art supplies. The store name can be misread, but I don't want it to get any wordier than it already is, so I'm leaving it alone for now.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Just like everyone else

Just like everyone else, I'm starting a blog.

Today, one thing on my mind is that it's the last week before Christmas. I'm in retail; I do custom picture framing and sell art supplies. I have quite a few frames to build and assemble this week; that's good because it means I've had a lot of customers.

However, because I order my framing supplies on Monday and they arrive on Tuesday, now I can't take orders anymore that will be done before Christmas. If people come in with things they'd like framed for Christmas, will they be willing to take a certificate or something to put under the tree as proxy for a gift that can't be ready until several days after Christmas?

Will shoppers come in and buy art supplies? I personally have always loved receiving art supplies for Christmas, and I think they're a great gift for kids because they encourage creativity. Will others realize this? Come in and buy stuff, people!

I'm trying to have a good Christmas season--"good" meaning "profitable." This year when preachers bemoan the commercialization of Christmas, I think, Hey, don't knock shopping! It keeps honest, hard-working people in business.

Oh, yeah, and then there are the family and religious aspects of Christmas. I'll save that for another post.