Business Advice & A Groupon Contest

Y’all! This is kind of just for the women out there but if you didn’t know, Groupon has a super fun contest going on right now. In 350 words or less you get to give your business advice.  The person with the very best advice will win a trip for two to New York City to meet Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank! We totally entered and we thought our advice was genius although ****WARNING**** It totally contains a curse word. So if you don’t want to read that don’t read on 🙂 Its only one, but still its a bad one.  We’ll either win immediately or get deleted in the first round. We just decided GO BIG OR GO HOME and so that’s how we played it.

This contest is ONLY for women-owned businesses but I’d love to pass it along.  You can get the details here about the contest in general and how to enter. Go. Enter. Win!

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Even if you don’t intend to enter I thought it might be fun to impart a little businessly wisdom. We thought long and hard about our 350 characters. We decided everybody and their mama was going to go the “follow your dreams” and “never give up” route so we didn’t want to do that.  Instead we decided to cuss, at least once.

Here’s what we said (less than 350 characters if you can believe! THAT was really hard for me you guys. You know I’m Southern and we expound.)

I can probably boil my business advice down to three critical opinions 🙂

1) You’re only as good as the people you hire

2) Presentation is everything

3) When all else fails, just chuck it in the fuck-it bucket.

Focus on quality in those two areas and you’ll see success. And sometimes you have to walk away to do that.

So that’s that! I thought it might be kind of fun to talk about all of that in detail though. Occasionally I get super fun emails from people asking how we got to where we are, what we did to grow our business. Its fun to really boil it down to a couple of key points.

1) You’re only as good as the people you hire

people around you

If you’ve ever had to hire help you know they can really make or break you. While you may have dreamed up that awesome business THEY are the ones that help you scale it. I’ve hired great employees and less than great employees. I can tell you which ones really help move the business in the right direction.

My husband sent me an article one time about how when you hire you should surround yourself with people that are smarter than you are.  I thought it funny, and then I really thought some more and it makes sense. You want to ensure the person you hire to do accounting is a math genius. They need to be better than you at all things monetary. That’s why they’re in that position. Its so so SO imperative to surrounds yourself with people that have skills you don’t. As the boss you can’t do everything, you need your coworkers to pick up the slack and look at things in a different light.

Your business is only as good as the folks you delegate to.

mariah

2) Presentation is Everything

When we first got started we were so busy trying to run a couple different business that we didn’t focus a lot on presentation. But eventually we were well staffed enough to think about how to make every single aspect of our business better. I came to realize two things, especially about things I buy that I don’t necessarily need.  1) I buy things that are packaged well and look awesome and 2) I go into retail stores for the shopping experience and the presentation.

Because of this we’ve made a HUGE effort lately to have a whole line of packaged items. I have to tell ya, they’re flying off the shelves. Its so funny to me to see that when we never focused on it before. Let me give you a couple of examples. We used to send our ready made shop’s headbands in a small box with a business card. Not much in the way of presentation. When you realize that’s your ONLY connection to the customer then you know you have to spend time on it. Now this is how we send our headbands.

mama branding

Its honestly amazing the difference that makes. We get so many compliments on how fun it was to open up a box of goodies from our shop.  We’ve also done a similar thing with our craft kits and grab bags at Fleuriste.

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We’ve decided on a “look” and its all throughout our store. There are four or five fonts we use regularly and they’re in EVERYTHING we do. Even the graphics on our website.

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Our graphics are all very similar to our packaging which is all similar to the newsletter which all looks like the store. We’ve really at this point thought about the presentation.

3) When all else fails, just chuck it in the fuck-it bucket.

I’ve learned after starting and un-started a few businesses that there is sometimes a day where you really just have to stop. Note that I don’t say “quit” here.  And I really don’t MEAN quit. I just mean there are times when you’ve gone down a path far enough to realize it just isn’t happening.  Our business started out (if you can believe it) as a kids’ t-shirt company.  After putting a few years of effort into design, production and distribution I realized my heart was NOT in t-shirts. We had begun putting accessories to the shirts on our site and those sold really well, so I moved my focus. 8 years later Fleuriste is my heart and passion.

It just took a little change to get to what was really a perfect situation.

Hopefully this post inspires you a little to look at these areas of your business. Please feel free to holler at us if you need help with anything. We LOVE helping other businesses succeed-the world is a better place that way. If we can help you we will!

Happy Crafting and Good Night,

AM

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3 thoughts on “Business Advice & A Groupon Contest

  1. What an awesome contest. Here’s what I sent:

    Seek respect, not attention. It lasts longer. Give the customer products created and sold with dignity that incite emotions, and you’ll gain loyalty and trust. Marketing can’t compensate for something that isn’t respectable. Flashing lights, sales, and garish ambassadors may gain attention in the short run, but success’ longevity requires respect.

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