Small Business

Business Update: Progress and Frustration

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Sales have really picked up in February. January was dead and it brought me a lot of frustration. Towards the end of the month, I finally decided that I had to do something, so I used the keyword planner tool in Google AdWords to revise my listing titles and tags on Etsy. Sales increased soon after, although I don’t know for sure if that was a result of my revisions.

Another source of frustration has been missing meetings and events. I wanted to attend a monthly writers group at the library but decided not to go due to bad weather. Earlier this week I had strep throat and missed my coaching session at the WBC in Cleveland. This meeting had already been rescheduled from January due to car trouble. I am feeling better and we rescheduled for March. I’m hoping for better luck in the near future.

I lost my job at Harbor in January and have not yet found other employment. I’m excited to have the opportunity to try something new, but the uncertainty brings a lot of anxiety. With my employment up in the air, so is my business, but one thing remains constant – I will continue to work hard to make progress with Rahm Designs, LLC any way I can.

 

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Small Business · Toledo, OH

February: Toledo’s Worst/Best Month

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It’s probably pretty ironic that I am publishing this post today, an article about making the best of living in Toledo during the winter. My daughter’s daycare center is closed and we are all home – snowed in. I’m going to share it anyway because it’s important to know about all the great things going on in our city.

Many people consider February to be the worst month to be in Toledo. It’s true – February can be pretty harsh in the Glass City. It can bring our coldest days of winter. It’s probably not the best time to invite someone from out of town to come and visit, especially if they’re not used to cold and snow. But what if February was Toledo’s best month? Stick with me for a sec.

Besides getting an unexpected day off due to a level 3 snow emergency, there are other great things going on in February. Check out downtowntoledo.org. This website has an awesome daily events calendar, on which I counted 44 events this weekend. 44! This includes the Greater Toledo Auto Show, 3 Walleye games, and numerous events in the arts. Let’s make February our best month by showing old man winter what we’re made of. Let’s go out and enjoy our great city (once the roads are plowed and it’s safe to travel of course)!

Really anytime is a great time to be in Toledo, but hang in there – spring is right around the corner.

Small Business · Toledo, OH

Toledo’s Old West End

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Even though I’ve only lived in Toledo for four years, it’s definitely the place I call home. Toledo is a comfortably sized city for me – around 300,000 residents. We have a diverse population and each neighborhood has a personality of its own. One of our most well-known neighborhoods is the Old West End. Its huge Victorian homes and interesting buildings have captured the fascination of many. It’s been said that even Frank Lloyd Wright was inspired by the neighborhood.

Continue reading “Toledo’s Old West End”

art · graphic design · graphics for shirts · Small Business

Be On the Lookout: Inspiration Comes from Everywhere

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Inspiration comes from everywhere, and sometimes when you least expect it. I’ve always believed that as an artist you need to be professional and have the ability to work on a regular basis, not just when inspiration strikes. However, it’s definitely a boost when it does strike. You constantly have to keep your eyes and ears open.

Continue reading “Be On the Lookout: Inspiration Comes from Everywhere”

Small Business

Decisions and Changes

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I apologize for my lack of posts in the last two weeks. There’s been some big changes. I lost my job at the mental health agency, and I’m not sure where I want to go from here. I was a little shocked when I lost my job, but really it was time for a change anyway. I had already been looking for another job. I had an interview this past week and I’m hoping for the best. I’m excited to start something new.

Uncertainty with my job unfortunately also means uncertainty for Rahm Designs LLC. This past week I met with SCORE mentors from Ann Arbor and Toledo, and received SEO training from healthyplace.com, the website I write for. I don’t plan on slowing down and I hope to have the business back on track soon.

Here’s to starting a new chapter!

graphic design · graphics for shirts · Heat Press · Onesies · Small Business

Awesome book on becoming an Etsy seller

My SCORE mentor saw a book on Etsy in the library, and suggested I check it out. It’s from Entrepreneur Magazine’s Start Up Series and it’s called Start Your Own Etsy Business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Handmade Success. This book is not authorized, prepared, or sponsored by Etsy, which is great because it contains information from a variety of sources. It was published in 2017, so it’s pretty up-to-date. The only thing I could think of that wasn’t current was the number of listing photos has gone from 5 to 10. I’m sure there’s more, but I didn’t notice any.

This book contains a lot of detailed information on running a business and using Etsy. The main advice I got from this book was be prepared before becoming an Etsy seller, run your shop like a business, and have realistic expectations. I had none of those things when I started, so I really wish I would have found a book like this before I opened my shop in 2015.

Each chapter end with the background of a successful Etsy seller as well as their advice for new sellers. These stories were fascinating and helpful.

This book stresses the importance of professional-quality listing photos, which is something I really want to work on. I use Photoshop to apply my graphics to photos I took of white onesies and shirts, but now I would like to post photos of my best sellers with the graphics physically on the items. One thing that surprized me was the book stressed how helpful using a light box can be, and even gave ideas of where to purchase one of your own. However, the book did not give instructions on how to contruct one of your own and save money. I have seen instructions in other books as well as online.

One clever tip was the book suggested to register and forward your own website URL to your Etsy shop. I had never thought of that. The book also suggests using the keyword tool in Google AdWords. I have used this in the past but it’s definitely worth revisiting.

I found this book extremely helpful even though I’ve had an Etsy shop for just over two years. If you’re just starting out or thinking of becoming an Etsy seller, definitely check it out.

Small Business

Free Online Course: Dream Builder

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I do a lot of reading online and off so I can learn as much as I can about running and growing my business. I recently started a free online course offered by Womens Business Centers called Dream Builder. It offers valuable information and tools for women entrepreneurs who want to start or grow a business.

There are 13 lessons, and I’ve completed the first two. From what I’ve seen so far, and looking ahead at the topics of the other lessons, this course seems very thorough.

I thought lesson one was very interesting because it covered topics I had never thought of like the motivations and characteristics of entrepreneurs. I also liked that it challenges you to explore your own reasons for starting a business.

Lesson two starts the more technical topics such as defining customers, competitors, and market research.

During each lesson you jot down notes to help prepare you to create a business plan. In the tools and resources section there’s even a business plan generator.

I’m looking forward to what’s to come in the remaining lessons. If you want to check it out, click here.