Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Behind the Scenes: Attending Business Expos

Part six of our Behind the Scenes series examines the many choices business owners face when it comes to using their time wisely.

When it comes to owning and operating a small business, there are often too many things to do and not enough time to do them. You are not just an owner - you are a web designer, marketing director, social media networker, sales person, and more! This means your time is valuable, and it can be hard to decide where your time and energy is best spent.

Yesterday, we attended a business expo hosted by our local Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. We had attended one about a month ago hosted by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, but felt overwhelmed and did not receive a fantastic response simply because we are in a very competitive business where little guys are often overlooked. It was a difficult decision, and we almost decided not to go simply because we felt our time might be better spent working on some more online marketing techniques.

However, we decided to give it a go, and we are so very glad we did! We were greeted by a much smaller, more personal event and in the process were able to meet several key contacts that are sure to help our business grow. We were not looked down on because we run our business from a home office, and even had two offers to include us in their networking clubs as "the shirt people"! Though we spent only 2 hours at the event, we walked away with better networking and marketing than our online techniques could have provided us at this current time.

Since we are still trying to decide on where our chamber money should go (we have a local town chamber, the larger metro chamber, and the county chamber to choose from), this was a key event that showed us that we can still make a name for ourselves when presented the opportunity to work with a smaller group of individuals. This means we ruled out the metro chamber, and will now try to choose between our local town chamber and the county chamber.

What experiences have you had recently that made you glad you used your time on them?

Jess Buike is the owner of Java Jess Publishing. To find out more about her business, check out her store here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Behind the Scenes: Adding Advancements

Part five of our Behind the Scenes series talks about how to keep your business moving forward, even when you have to start small and dream big.

As we are approaching our 2nd full month in business, we have already made some big steps forward. We've updated how we set our shipping prices by switching to Priority Mail Flat Rate from USPS (which, by the way, is really wonderful - check this out if you want more info and to get a free box starter set). We've created this blog here on Blogger in addition to the blog on our direct website. We've added new designs and a Facebook page, where we are currently working on attracting fans so we can give away FREE shirts.

However, business is always changing, and we know we need to keep moving in order to change with it. As we have been exploring many options, we have been excited to see all the different opportunities available for us.

So, you heard it here first - we hope to soon add a feature that will allow our customers to actually browse an online catalog that contains all of the different shirt options they could choose from to order in their special requests! This will include colors and sizes we don't keep in stock, as well as different styles not available from our website currently, such as sweatshirts or long sleeve tshirts.

Isn't technology great? What sorts of advances have you found for your business lately?

Jess Buike is the owner of Java Jess Publishing. To find out more about her business, check out her store here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

We hope you all had a great Halloween! It's so nice when it falls on a Friday or Saturday, and having it the day before we gained an extra hour was pretty nice, too! ;)

For those of you who haven't yet, please check us out on Facebook and become a fan! I just added pictures today of our fun Java Jess-made costumes. We went as "Ceiling Fans", wearing sweatshirts in "team colors" that said things like "Go Ceilings!" and "Ceilings rock!" I also made a BBQ apron for my brother to wear, and we served candy from a tailgating grill. :) It was so fun!

Did you have a fun costume? Share your pics on our Facebook page! We'd love to see all of your creative ideas.

Happy Halloween everyone!