Category Archives: Etsy

Kick Start Your Business with a Helping Hand

I’m currently writing my business plan for my final subject of my Small Business Management course. A big, important chunk of this is the financial plan. (Understandably so). You can’t plan anything in your business unless you can fund it. Most people will suggest that you get an overdraft or a business loan, sounds simple right? But what if you don’t have a car or a property to secure finance against? What if you’ve been studying business stuff so you can actually succeed in the business world and don’t have a steady income for the banks to make their income calculations against? If this is you then you’re in the same boat as me. You could ask your family to go guarantor for you, but you may feel like you’re losing your independence. If you’re like me, you can’t live with the thought of them having to repay the loan if anything happens to you.

Small Money Tree by Elmira Titeyeva on Etsy.  “Money Tree-an attraction to wealth and money. According to Feng Shui in the tree must be an odd numbers of coins. 9 coins with a hole or multiple of 9 and attached red thread.”

If you want to start a charity or not-for-profit there are philanthropists all around the world who would love to help you out. Almost every financial institution has a charitable grants programme. If you’re a tech-based start up you’re ok, lots of investors out there waiting to cash in on ‘the next big thing’. If you want to start a community program to help under-privileged peoples then you’re also covered. If you want to make a short film or theatre production there are quite a few government grants available. If you’re under 30 you’re in luck with many youth programs for young entrepreneurs available.

What if you want to start a business because it’s something you’re good at, something you enjoy, it’s a good idea, there’s a gap in the market for it and it may do some good in this world? Then you’re like me, biting your nails, reading through grants websites til 4 in the morning.

“Be The Change You Want To See In The World” – Ghandi
Hand Stamped Jewellery by Kottage Kreations on Etsy

This morning I stumbled accross the Suncorp 5 Grand Helping Hand. $5,000 may not sound like much to big business, probably their annual budget for paper clips and highlighters. But for someone small, (a one-woman-show working into the wee hours to research, plan, network, blog and get things done), it’s a BIG deal. It’s just what you need to hire a professional graphic designer for some rebranding, get sample products made, get some advertising and get to some local wedding expos to get some paying customers. To be able to do this, without going into debt, would be ah-mazing!

Mountain Moon and Sea makes customers look and feel great. We create innovative recycled and hand-crafted stationery, accessories and giftware, made from ethical materials using fair-trade practices. Our product lines include ethical wedding stationery, greeting cards, event invitations and paper bead jewellery.

If you like what I do and what I write, can you do me a favour? (I will rarely ask my readers to do something for me). VOTE FOR ME for the Suncorp 5 Grand Helping Hand. As a reward I would like to offer 40% off total purchases from the Mountain Moon And Sea Etsy Shop with the coupon code “HELP2012” for all who vote. This includes 40% off already reduced, discontinued lines.

If you’re looking for funding and but more into communities and crowd-sourcing try Kick Starter. There are many Kick-Started success stories such as that of Allegory Pens. In the world of music Amanda Palmer is THE kick-ass Kick Starter.

If you’re not familiar with Kick Starter, it works by you submitting an individually crafted “all-or-nothing” project. The public pledge funds, yes that’s people you know and many you don’t, from all over the world. Any donation amount from $1 to $10,000 is catered for on Kick Starter. The artists have full control and responsibility over the project and usually showcase what they want to achieve with their projects in a video to convince would-be investors. Each project offers different rewards for different levels of funding pledged. Often rewards are a copy of the finished product, limited editions or exclusive experiences and are only limited by your imagination.

There Is More Than Enough For Us All by jessicagswift on Etsy. For more beautiful and inspiring prints click on the image to go to her Etsy listing.

Kick Starter really is an all-or-nothing game. You set your budget and your deadline and get people to pledge funds. If the target is met by the deadline you are funded, people’s credit cards are debited and you’re obligated to send rewards to your backers. If your deadline comes and you’re short of your goal well that’s the end, no one gets charged and you don’t have to send anyone anything.

Kick Starter may sound a bit like the hippie commune barter system of business funding, but you know what? I’m totally OK with that. It has power, with over 20,000 projects funded, over 2 million people pledging funds and over $200 million in funding granted.

I hope this has helped some other small business person out there to not give up. It may seem hard but if you have faith, believe in your ideas and keep sharing your ideas with people, the abundance you need will come to you.

🙂 Diane

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Got Something To Say?

“What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”

I had to do a powerpoint presentation for my Cert. IV in Small Business Management course it was scary and daunting, but empowering at the same time. It was part of the networking subject, as often at networking groups different people will take turns to give a presentation. We were taught to use an attention-getter to open. This is short phrase or quote that get’s the audience’s attention and focusses them in on the topic you are speaking about. This has a particularly good impact if you can put up a visual of the text and an accompanying image as you say the words. (Having one of those remote controls for the projector helps). Use your strongest, most confident voice. Don’t let yourself think you’re not good at public speaking, because this just becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Believe in yourself and in your message.

By ValentinaDesign on Etsy. Click link for listing and check out her shop for more gorgeous zentangled artworks.

After you’ve delivered your attention-getter introduce yourself, if you haven’t been pre-introduced, and introduce what you are going to speak about. Show an outline of your talk. This will work a bit like a table of contents does in a book.

Clearly mark each new section of your talk with headings and sub-headings (my TAFE teacher said to number them all but I’m not convinced either way). Be brief with text and where possible use bullet points. This way you can talk to your points without having to know word-for-word your entire talk. Use diagrams, graphs and charts where appropriate. Try and break up long sections of text with images. I try to do this with my blog posts so my readers don’t get bored. (I know you’re a visually-intelligent bunch, like me!).

Speak Up print by TipsyMouse on Etsy. Click the image to see the listing and other art-prints with a touch of wit.

Be aware that people take in information in different ways. Some people are more visual, others more auditory. If you can, get your audience moving and participating in some physical way. They won’t forget your message and they definitely won’t fall asleep!

Every essay has an introduction, body, and conclusion, so should a presentation. At the end recap what you’ve said by going over your headings again. This will trigger any questions people will have. Let people know that you will take questions, or if you are not able to take questions let them know another way that they can contact you for more information. (E.g. After the talk, email, relevant website details).

As my teacher used to say :

“Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and tell them what you’ve told them”.

I hope this helps. 🙂

Open on Etsy!!

We are now open on Etsy! Only limited items shown there so far but the rest of the ready-to-ship range is on Facebook.

Here’s a sneak peak for you all:

Strawberry Keys - A Tasty KeychainEnvious - Green Pearl and Crystal NecklacePurple Beady Blue - A crochet flower brooch.Orange Tea Recycled Fabric Bracelet

More will go up once I’ve finished my TAFE assignments. I’m only working on the Etsy shop when my brain is too dead to do the financial reports that are in my assignment.

Until next time, I hope you are all enjoying Spring . (Or Autumn if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere).