Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Cheer and Safety

Christmas has gone by and the New Year is next. Gifts, family, friends and food is shared and even contributions, to the less advantaged have been donated. A few of us crafty artists have even scooped sales and/or been busy with creations to fill orders.

Holidays is a wonderful time for all of us. I hope your Christmas went well! A few traditions for bringing in the New Year are practiced and one of them is 'Count downs' and of course, parties. A glass of bubbly Champagne is a tradition to make toasts for the New Year and sharing of resolutions. Did we even make or accomplish our last years resolutions? It's never too late to begin anew so don't feel too guilty.

 One of the major tips for holidays is keeping our safety in mind especially when alcohol is involved. Preventing accidents or endangering our life or lives of others, is of utmost importance to many, including our own family.

Let's keep this tradition alive and well and some suggestions:
- don't drink and drive
- hire a Designated Driver (advertise at local AA meeting place)
- hire a Body guard
- pool your monies together for a cab
- make sure all candles are out
- make sure all lit fires are out
- respect when somebody says 'No'
- dress warmly

It is always best to be safe than sorry. Preparing ahead of time shows great common sense and care for self and others. Let's continue this tradition and pass along the tips so our New Year is safe and fun. I hope your New Year brings prosperity and joy for you, friends, family and Peace for our world. Let our children slumber without a care knowing we are safe. Let's keep our resolutions realistic and within reach next to fun. Stay safe and God Bless!

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts. Send me a email if you have a request on a topic of interest, place a Order or to say hello. It's FREE to join my Fan club, subscribe by Email or my RSS Feed.

 Article(C)2012, all rights reserved. Gin G. creates and posts articles online about business development, second income idea's, health, science, technology and society.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Value of Records in Sales and Shipping

Keeping Track of Transactions

The operations of a small home business requires detailed records be kept for protection of self and your customer. Setting up your business presence online will generate sales by mail via the internet therefore ensuring evidence of your product, is on it's way, is a priority.

A few options are available for us to use, that will be quite beneficial for the business owner, no matter your size. A few services are as follows:

Insured Mail

The customer must provide a signature for the item delivered. This signature provides proof of delivery and will withstand any court of law and is acceptable by business regulators or government group(s). A 'Certificate of Mailing' form is provided and available free at your postal office.

Recorded Delivery for Overseas

A service provided also by your post office. A numbered yellow ticket (USA) is available for free and again requires a signature from the customer and records are also kept by the Overseas post office department. Evidence is provided with your own ticket and records in the post office.

Express Mail

Use of next or second day delivery with express mail. You are provided with a $500.00 insurance coverage for each item shipped, as part of the standard fee you will pay. A signature is required from the customer to receive the delivery.

Courier Services

The use of courier services such as FedEx, UPS, Airborner, etc. Each service offers a minimum insurance coverage and again, requires a signature upon delivery UNLESS you, as the shipper chose to not require a signature.

Personal Delivery

Keep a receipt book (with carbon copy) on hand, and again, request their signature. This provides proof that delivery was completed.

Keeping a record of sales and deliveries, will provide you with 'physical' documented evidence, that your customer did receive their goods. This practice ensures that a customer cannot make claims, that they did not receive their order.

A few benefits of the service you choose to use, will provide a 'date stamp' to show when you sent the order to your customer. Compliance with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the USA, requires that orders be delivered within their '30 days' rule. Another good service that's available, is access to 'tracking' where your product is en route via online, which you can share with your customers.

Providing detailed evidence, to government regulators or groups (FTC, Better Business Bureau, FBI, IRS) will show that you care about your business and your customers. Orders placed by customers can be forgotten and a record of the order helps dispel any misgivings and legitimizes you, as a serious business owner.

One last note to pay attention while doing business online. Do not ship orders until cheques or money orders have cleared. Talk to your bank and make certain the monies have been drawn and inform your customers that their order will ship, as soon as the monies are recieved. This practice will ensure you do not recieve fraudulent cheques or money orders. I'm sure we've all experienced 'bounced' cheques at one time or another.

Operating a business requires attention to details and especially transactions. Staying legal and safe with laws, ensures maintaining a good business reputation. Good record keeping of documents are valuable for all businesses and owners.

Read related --> here.

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Article(C)2011 GG9909, all rights reserved.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

How to make a Crazy Quilt

feather stitching
Learning to Crazy Quilt

The time and skill to make a quilt whether it's geometric or a Crazy quilt requires time and patience. Add a cup or two, of love and we have a passion, that may even be considered an addiction. At least, it's a constructive activity that can bring great joy to the artist. 

Constructive activities are preferable in today's society and what better way to pass time than through creating one's own crazy quilt? The choice of size and type of project can range anywhere. A few idea's to apply crazy quilting can go as follows;

      - Clothing, vest, jacket, skirt, ruffles
      - Home Decor, bedding, table runners, place mats, sofa throw, wall hanging
      - Accessories, purse, travel bag, storage tote
      - Pets, pet couture, pet carrying case, pet bed
      - Holidays, tree skirt, stocking, wall hanging
      - Gifts, birthday, anniversary, congratulations, baby shower, bridal
      - Sports, yoga mat bag, sport tote bag, golf sock

Creating a crazy quilt doesn't necessarily have to stay in the realms of a quilt. It can be applied as a decorative edging to any project. Let your imagination explore the possibilities. I hope you share your idea's and projects here also. I'd love to hear from you.

I hope you found this article informative, inspiring and enjoyed the slide show. Please feel free to leave your comments, link to me, subscribe by email or RSS feed. Also, you can email me to say hello, make a order or to share your own idea's and projects.

Article(C)2011 GG9909, all rights reserved.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Who is my Customer? Learn Types of Shoppers

A business at home or working a brick and mortar shop selling to the public, requires one to know the customer. They are the consumers of your products and learning about their motives and reasons to shop, can increase your own sales.  Offering the opportunity for conversation or listening in on one, can open the door to learn more about your customer. Can you identify the various type of shoppers?

Planning a strategy for effective selling requires us to know our customer needs and how we can present the benefits of our products, to make sales.  Learning about the customer can start with your own shopping experience and observe the answers, to some of the following questions that arise, prior to purchase ;

What do I need?
Where do I find it?
Price and quality?
Price and quantity?
Why do I need it?
Do I need help to find it?
Who offers extra specials?
How long is the store open?
How far is the store?
Do I need delivery?
Is there a sale?
Charge it or cash?

The process in thinking of buying goes fairly quickly through our minds. We have a good idea of the needs and where, when, what, who, and how to buy the product. We go to a particular business that can usually offer the best item at the most comfortable price. Our customers will also share the same process of thinking to arrive at their own decision whether to buy or not. It will be our responsibility to attract and convince the customer, to buy from us.

Designing our own selling strategies should vary, to appeal to the different customers that arrive plus answer their needs. Sometimes it’s difficult to determine which possible buyer is the real consumer and attempting to satisfy the entire market is overwhelming but catering to a particular group of people (market segment) is attainable. Again, knowing your customer is of great importance.

Providing service to the customers available to us can be sorted into various ‘shopping’ types and they will consume, according to their income and needs.  A few customer profiles that arrive may be the following types :

Low Interest - shopper has a low interest in shopping and little concern in price, service or product selection.  Discerns for  best price and quick service.

Active - high interest in shopping. Enjoys many activities including browsing. Price, quality, fashion and selection are important.

Service - usually found in middle class with dependents. Friendly, helpful service and prompt attention is important. Time constraints may be in place.

Traditional - enjoys outdoors activities. Shopping is not interesting, they aren’t demanding and not too concerned with price. May be loyal to brand quality.

Impulse - usually DIY personality and characteristics. Most likely to try new products, not into brand loyalty, rely on print media. Low interest in radio or television advertising.

Price Sensitive - usually found in older, married or single, middle-class shoppers. They go out of their way to find a bargain. Rely heavily on all forms of advertising to find the best prices.

Repeat - depends on your price, quality and service. Returns regularly for ongoing needs. Important to place high value on these shoppers.

Customers will not have these specific characteristics but may exhibit a mix of them. Learning to identify the basic shopping behaviors will help you develop your own business marketing strategies to create sales and repeat buyers. Identifying the benefits of your products to match the needs with the type of customer you require, is of great importance to your business success.

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please feel free to share this article with friends who may also be interested. Read related –> here.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Embellishments, Crazy Quilts and Projects

The artist in the world of crazy quilting, has a passionate affair with embellishments next to embroidery and sewing. One cannot imagine the delight to be found in this particular area of quilting. Mind you, embellishments aren’t just relegated to a crazy quilt but have been around in the clothing industry for - well, a very long, long time as mentioned in my Sewing Chronicles article.

Fabric offers the artist, a blank canvas to work upon. Now who wouldn’t take delight in filling up all this ‘space’ with this, that and the other thing? how many people would get bored, just looking at a ‘empty’ space? how long would you last? I’m not suggesting hoarding, but least, we like to hopefully ‘decorate’ a space at least, pleasing to the eye for not just ourselves but for others to enjoy.

Embroidery is a embellishment and applied in a variety of colors and stitches on, over and around, the seams of each quilt ‘block’ in a crazy quilt. It can be applied to other sewing projects besides quilting. It does require patience and care in use of colors,  for visual appeal and interest.

Embellishments to add to a crazy quilt besides embroidery can be an array of objects or more stitchery. Items such as the following can be added ;

- beads - sequins
- rhinestones - cabachons
- lace - appliques
- buttons - charms
- tatting - ribbons

Sources to locate these items can be craft stores, sewing supply shops, thrift stores, craft guild members, family and friends. There will be costs to consider therefore best to investigate first before deciding upon your purchases. If you have other idea's, please share them in the comments.

I highly recommend visiting your local quilt show and visit a Crazy quilt booth. I am positive you will find them irresistible and beautiful. Every quilt on display will vary in design and embellishments so pay attention to the details. As I’ve said numerous times, no two quilts are the same. Also, don’t be shy to speak with the artist about their quilts, and if interested in purchasing one, enquire about payment options. One can also visit  museums to view antique crazy quilts.

Extra Resources

Needlework Tips and Techniques

The Embroiderers Association of Canada, Inc.

Sublime Stitching 

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your own thoughts, experiences and/or observations. Send me a email if you are interested in placing a Order, visit my Gallery, or say hello. It's FREE to subscribe by Email or my RSS Feed.