Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Small Business S.O.S

As many of you know, I recently started to focus on my jewelry business full time.  I have a Facebook page to show off my jewelry (my fan page), I have an Etsy shop, I tweet about my jewelry, and I even recently started a Google+ page for my jewelry.  In this day and age of social media, how does a “new” business get noticed?

There used to be a time when a business could just rely on word of mouth, good products, and great customer service; that was all a small business needed to succeed (okay, I’m probably oversimplifying, but you get my point).  Business is rapidly changing.  We have a global economy now.  How does one build his or her business to a successful, growing business when so many others fail?

I do not pretend to know the answers.  I don’t even pretend to run a “successful” business.  The purpose of today’s blog is to start a conversation between small business owners.  Maybe do a little brain storming, maybe even some networking.  If all of us artisans, craftsmen, and small businessmen (and women) are to survive (and thrive), we have to come up with new ways to do business.

Maybe I just don’t know what I’m doing.  Maybe you have some great advice.  Please share.  I would love to learn.  I am sure I’m not the only small business owner who would love to get some sage advice from someone who has a successful business.

Here is what I propose:  I am going to post this to my blog and then post on Facebook and Twitter.  If you read this blog, please post to the comment section any idea or advice you have.  Also, please tell me about your business, this way I can help you network.  Please be sure you leave links to any websites where you do business (Facebook, Etsy, etc.).  Hopefully this will spark ideas and help us all grow our business.

Until tomorrow - Melissa


  1. Running a successful small business is a whole lot of hard work, long hours, and if you're lucky, you can go broke slowly. :D

    As you know, we've owned and operated a small mom n pop restaurant for 7 years, but as you may not know, we've also run a small consulting company. While my husband makes computers bow before him, and designs electronics that look more like works of art than circuit boards, we're not spending sleepless nights trying to figure out how to spend the mountains of cash people throw at us. I do language services at Dallas hospitals for Mennonites who come in with critical medical issues, so even when I have steady work, it would be my wish that my services were not required - not a good-for-business approach, but it's hard to watch families go through the stuff I've seen them go through. I recently wrote my first cookbook, and it's unchartered territory for us, so we're just feeling our way.

    So, having had an actual brick and mortar storefront, and having service oriented consultations hasn't really prepared us for what is involved in marketing a cookbook. We're not chock full of grand fact, we probably have more tales of woe than anything when discussing marketing strategies. But, we persist. And here we are.

    If there's wisdom out there, I'm ready to soak it up, utilize it, and pass it along.

  2. Marlo's House was an awesome restaurant. I was so glad when you published the cookbook. My husband was so excited when it arrived. I have yet to attempt a recipe (I've been working to much on my business to make time to do major cooking), but I will soon. I was actually talking to Karen Scott the other day and she mentioned how much she missed you guys. I let her know your cookbook was available. For all my fans out there, Marlo's House was an awesome Mennonite Restaurant (reminded me of my grandmothers good home cooking). To purchase the kindle version please see

  3. Hey, Melissa!

    I don't have a successful business -- I haven't even started listing items on Etsy yet! But I do have ideas, lots of them. I even wrote a couple posts on marketing back in October:

    Some of it's stuff you've already covered, but maybe there are one or two new ideas in there.

    Also, there are some good discussions over at this place: Everyone there is really sweet and supportive, and I think you'd be a great addition to the group.

    I also have a friend who shares her jewelry on Model Mayhem. She's been contacted by a lot of photographers about using her work. I'm not sure how it works, but it's worth looking into! My friend's name is Vanessa Walilko, and her company is Kali Butterfly. She's super duper nice and helpful, and any advice she has is worth taking!

    That's all I can think of for now, but if anything else comes to mind, I'll be back. :)

  4. Thanks you Sarah for all your helpful hints and sharing of your network. Please let me know when you start listing on Etsy so I can help spread the word (a buy a piece or two). Can't wait to see what you have in store for us tomorrow.