Strategic Thinking and Decision-making

If you run your own business, you already know that seemingly small decisions can have big consequences later on. A critical aspect of decision-making is thinking ahead and learning how to play out those decisions in your mind. Whenever possible, do your best to think long-term rather than short-term. That approach will help minimize crisis situations where you feel compelled to make a quick decision to solve one problem, while creating a new problem in the process.

Good decision-making is an integral part of strategic planning. It allows you to make decisions before they have to be made, relieving the stress of making snap decisions under pressure. While this isn’t always possible because of changing conditions and unforeseen emergencies, the idea is to control the fire drills to a manageable level.

Artisan Spotlight: eden. - Natural Bath & Body From Maine

As its name might suggest, eden is a paradise for natural, hand-milled bath & body products. You'll find all manner of natural goodness there: Dead Sea Bath salts, luxurious hand creams, “scent-sational” body lotions, moisturizing lip balms, and more!

Born in the creative, artist-friendly, seaside city of Portland, Maine, eden’s roots began to take hold in 2007, with the making of an online lip balm recipe for holiday gift giving, and quickly expanded into new products, and new ideas. Word quickly spread about the quality and effectiveness of these creations and--after many years of requests, product formulation, and reformulation—the line is finally available to the public!

The Keys to Leadership and Management

While “leadership” and “management” are sometimes used interchangeably, they are discrete concepts that complement each other. If you’re running a small business, you’re already intimately familiar with the management skills needed to be successful. If you never had the opportunity to study business in school, you probably acquired your management style and skills by trial and error, and through on-the-job training. There’s nothing better than the school of hard knocks to instill important lessons that will never be forgotten.

Good management is one key to your success, but what about good leadership? Is leadership important if you are a sole proprietor, or only have one or two employees? The answer should be a resounding “yes.” The best time to develop your leadership abilities is when you are starting out and have little or no staff. The people who will notice are your clients, customers, suppliers, and bankers. You’ll earn their respect if you conduct business in a way that inspires confidence and trust. This will make it far more likely that they will go out on a limb to help you when you find yourself in a pinch.

Effective Retail Pricing Strategies

This is the second section of a three-part series on how to determine pricing for your bath and body products. In the first post we discussed wholesale pricing. This article will cover retail pricing. The final post will cover craft show pricing.

Converting Wholesale to Retail Prices
So by now you’ve determined your wholesale pricing. For the sake of your business’ growth, you won’t want to sell to everyone at wholesale prices. Why? There are several reasons you should not sell wholesale to the masses. First, you are cheating yourself and your business out of retail pricing profit.

Five Steps to Successful Business Planning

As we enter the New Year, small business owners everywhere commit to a more stringent plan to increase profits, achieve life balance and mold their business into something that actually resembles their vision. It’s a ritual, so to speak, that helps us to feel good, renew our passion and hold on to our hopes for positive change. But how long does the uplifting effect of this annual ritual last - and why does the plan often fail?

There are three primary reasons that the well-meaning entrepreneur is unable to bring their plan to fruition: lack of funding, lack of time, and lack of proper planning. The irony here is that without a viable plan in place, funding and increased revenues will not find their way to your business.  And, without more money for additional resources you will continue to remain deeply ensconced IN your business instead of running your business from the helm. This may feel like a safe comfort zone for you but realistically you could get stuck on this hamster wheel forever!

But don’t despair! I have helped hundreds of exhausted business owners to escape the hamster wheel and you can too! It begins with the plan.