The festive holidays are almost upon us and in between unwrapping presents and eating lots of yummy food I will be thinking about 2011. Taking time out to take stock and plan ahead is important however big or small your business is. Perhaps 2011 will be the year you embark on using social media to promote your business or maybe you will finally start a blog. These things are all important and big businesses are even recognising the importance of blogging and being mentioned in blogs. More and more of us are writing and reading blogs every day and they really can be fantastic business tools to share ideas, promote giveaways or new products, share tutorials and gain business knowledge.
2011 may be the year you decide to increase your web presence and might be considering a website of your own. Yet you could use your blog as a website. It is easy to add static pages and even a blog shop, as I shared with you here earlier this year. Then with the power of Twitter and Facebook you can promote your new blogshop or website, but I know how daunting these two can seem if you haven't used them before. Back in July I shared some tips for using Twitter for business and in August Victoria of Little Wren Pottery wrote a guest post to help us all understand using Facebook for business.
My head is full of ideas for 2011 and I need to spend a morning writing them down and working out what is possible and which ideas I want or need to follow through. I know for sure that I want to understand Linked In and Stumble Upon better, I also want to create a better income, develop both of my blogs and continue supporting small creative businesses. On a more personal note I need to be more organised, decorate our house and make new cushions and curtains, sort out the garden. I will also have to prepare for my youngest child to start full time school in September but in the meantime I plan to enjoy many wonderful afternoons with her, as this time with our children is so precious before the demands of school take over.
So what are your goals for next year? Do you plan on taking over the world or perhaps just want to have your work stocked in some shops or even open your own bricks and mortar shop? A great piece of advice I was given last week by Fiona from Flourish was to think of where I want to be this time next year and for what I want my business to be remembered for. I will leave you with that thought as you think of your next steps and remember sometimes those baby steps can be as important as giant leaps.
How many people do you speak to everyday? And how many of those are actually physically there when you chat? Somedays I speak to over fifty people, but only a few are actually there when we speak. As we all use social media more and more do we take things for granted, do we forget basic manners?
As a child I was always taught that manners were really important and I now instill this ethic into my own children. Thankfully this seems to be paying dividends and people comment on how polite my children are, which fills me with pride and glad that the nagging paid off! But how often do you thank somebody online?
I love the power of Twitter and have made friends with people I would never have met in normal life. Social media is proving to be a fantistic tool in promoting business, whatever their size but I worry that sometimes because we can't see people we forget those ethics that we value in real life. A simple thank you when somebody retweets your message, thanking somebody for a #ff or a #ww, helping somebody by retweeting a message when they ask for help. All of these simple things go a long way and I promise they will be remembered. I always try to remember when somebody has helped me and repay the favour when I can, I always thank people for rt's, #ff and #ww and I always remember if people have thanked me for a retweet. Well manners maketh man and a simple thank you will help build a reputable brand business.
Also I want to thank you all for continuing to support this blog, even over the past few weeks when posts have been scant. So a huge THANK YOU to all my wonderful follwers.
December is upon us and there is a sense of excitment in the air here as my children open the doors on the advent calendar they made. The Christmas cake is made and I am feeding it a little tipple of brandy each week, the letters to Santa have been sent, the house will be decorated this coming weekend. I love Christmas, the sense of occassion and celebration, the chance to relax, spending time with family and friends, watching old movies and eating lots of delicious food. Everybody has their own little traditions and that is all part of what makes Christmas. I am sure lots of you are busy making things to decorate your homes and planning recipes ready for your own celebrations.
The Winter issue of UK Handmade is now available and is full of festive inspiration, tutorials and recipes and as always has some excellent articles for small creative businesses and you can read about fellow designers. So go make a nice cup of tea, grab a mince pie and have a read!