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How to Increase Your Prices For Your Tattoo Services

Posted on: June 16th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Setting your pricing is one task many small business owners find difficult to do. It can be a bit of a balancing act, you know you need to maintain your profit margins and your monthly takings needs to be sufficient for  you to meet your financial obligations. However, when your costs keep  increasing and you find yourself ‘absorbing’ these costs to the detriment  of paying yourself a wage then the time for increasing your pricing is long  over-due. 

Most consumers know that a business must occasionally raise prices  because their costs of doing business has increased, This could be due to  rises in legal and statutory costs, supplies, payroll and utility charges (to name a few). It may help to remember that consumers are most likely experiencing some the same increases in their own house-hold bills too;  so many loyal customers will understand your reasons for your need to  increase your prices. 

The reality is, that however you justify a price increase, it has the  potential to negatively impact sales as price-conscious customers are left  no option but to seek out lower cost alternatives.

So how do you increase your prices without losing your customers? Apply these five steps when preparing your strategy for communicating a price increase with your customers.

1. Inform your customers well in advance.

Provide your customers with enough notice to allow them to make adjustments in their scheduling of appointments and budgets. If you are currently consulting them on a custom design piece make sure you clearly communicate if this will impact any on-going work.

2. Inform customers of the benefits to them.

The key to getting customers on-side about you raising your prices is to emphasize that such an increase will ensure the 

quality of your services.You can emphasize that your price increase has been carefully thought through and it is only being taken to ensure continued quality in maintaining access to the highest quality of products and equipment supplies. The benefit to your customer is obvious once they understand you do not wish to start using inferior products. 

3. ‘Bundle’ your prices to show added value.

Another way to increase your prices is to re-vamp and repackage your services in a way that helps your customers see an increased value in your services alongside an increase in price. This could avoid customer perception of there ever being a price increase.

4. Are you absorbing any costs?

If the percentage of your price increase is smaller than your increased costs, your customers may understand and even appreciate that you are not passing on all of the cost increases to them.

5. Stagger your price increases over time.

Share with your customer the steps you have taken to avoid a price increase. This can include ways you've already cut costs or how the price increase will be staggered over time to help customers with the transition.

If you forecast and plan to raise your prices and factor in the increasing costs of doing business you expect, you will maintain your cash flow, continue to grow your tattoo business by increasing your profits too.

 

Learn more and earn more in your tattoo business

Posted on: March 19th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Change seems to happen in a blink of an eye now a days. From technology to education, from business to global competition, if you don’t think seriously about yourself and your business, it will be harder and harder for you to compete and survive.

In order for you to thrive and not just survive you must address and give your utmost attention to the work that you will be doing one, three, and five years from today.  Plan ahead to keep afloat so you don't drown in a sea of change.

Think what your business will look like five years from today. Since the so-called experts in your field are probably multiplying every year, this means that if you don’t keep up, your knowledge and your ability is becoming obsolete each year.  Remember when tattoo designs were merely flat? Now, the trend is in 3D designs that seem to jump out on you with so much dynamism and life?

You need to ask yourself, “What do I need to do today so that I will be just as valuable and even more tomorrow or the next five years from now?”

Then, boom! There’s your answer—learn more to earn more.

At present, what seems to be at play are knowledge and the ability to apply that knowledge to achieve results.  That’s how you give value to others. And that’s how others will be willing to pay a premium for your products and services.

Position yourself in a way that you continue to rise above your competition in your tattoo business. Five to ten years from now, the men and women who are very good at what they do are the ones who will be able to lead.

To earn more, it is an imperative that you learn more.  Learn and practice something new and different in your industry. By the time the future becomes the now, then you have spent almost thousands of hours perfecting your craft.

Consistently learn more and let your knowledge double through continuous self development.  This will be your most valuable asset.  As you build this asset, you also stop yourself from deteriorating physically, emotionall and mentally. Learning more is really preparing yourself to earn more.  Develop the knowledge and skills that you need to contribute and make a name for yourself in your field.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Systems and Processes in Your Tattoo Business

Posted on: February 21st, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

We are often told to set goals when we start up a business and that we need to develop a plan.  But after that, what’s next?

It’s a cliché to say that the journey is what matters most. And yet it is true.

There will be days when the creative juices are not flowing and you don’t want to do a tattoo design. And yes, there’ll even be those defeating times when you want to shut-up shop.

But, when you have clearly defined goals to work towards they keep you going each day, that way the down days will be easier to deal with.

How do you create a tattoo design? How do you market yourself as an artist? How do you give value to your customers?

Setting a goal and achieving it requires practice, you can't set it and forget about it. But hopefully, there will come a point in your business when trial and error turns into what works. And what works developes into a pattern, a system that will make running your business easier and profitable a the same time.

When it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are crucial in your tattoo business,  it all comes down to the processes you have systematized along the way.

Consider the following on how can you take advantage of the systems and processes in your business?

1. Committing to a process will make you worry less about the goal you need to achieve.

Your journey in your tattoo business will not stagnate. As already mentioned, there will be ups and downs. By focusing on the daily process and sticking to your schedule and the system you have already developed, rather than worrying about the big, life-changing goals, you will be able to be present in the moment and enjoy it.

2. Processes and systems will allow you not to be in a hurry to grow and enjoy your growth.

When you have a process in place which you follow, you can enjoy the right pace for growing and enjoy your growth.

Don’t aim for immediate results.

Systems-oriented mindset is about sticking to the process and forming a pattern which will become a habit. If you have a good process going that you have established as a system in your tattoo business, what you need to do is to follow it.

Systems consider the long-term process. Not just the short-term triumph.

3.  With Systems and processes in place, what you have to do each day will almost be on autopilot.

A well-designed system will guide you on what you need to do for the day rather than working aimlessly on various tasks and achieving less. Systems are good for making progress.

"Almost on autopilot" because we won’t deny the reality that the unexpected can and will happen. But even with that, a system on how to deal with these unexpected twists and turns in your business will help to keep you on track.

At the end of the day, having a system is what matters. Committing to the process is what makes the difference.

Image courtesy of  Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to plan your marketing in your tattoo business for the next 12 months

Posted on: January 11th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

One thing I realized after a few hits and misses, it is not really about finding the right methodology, it is more about planning your marketing and acting on it that adds up to true success in the long-term.

Think about it—the facets of marketing is evolving as we speak. What we thought works yesterday may not actually work today. It is dynamic and if we are not ready to adapt to its changes, then we are left out in the cold.

But if we develop a marketing plan, then we can adapt it if there are unforeseen changes. Then, we are not left in the dark coping and groping not knowing what direction to go in because we did not make a road map to where we wanted to go in the first place.

With the opening of 2014, this is the best time to review your plans and update. Consider the following while you create your marketing plan for the next 12 months.

Set your major goals

Begin with the foundation of your marketing plan—your goals. Be clear on what you really want to achieve this year for your business. Let these goals be something you can identify with this will enable you to stick to them for a longer time no matter what challenges you are facing in your business.

Some of your major marketing goals can include the following:

1.       Target getting high web traffic to your main site.

2.       Create a strong brand awareness.

3.       Be the authority in your niche

4.       Create loyalty with existing customers.

5.       Increase new clients.

6.       Build a better network.

Plan Your budget

Marketing can be very expensive—from staffing to the marketing activities. But you can plan ahead and work smart to take advantage of every penny you spend on your marketing activities. You can read Getting the Right Exposure For Your Advertising Dollar and Make Money From Your Tattoo Business.

Here are some of the major areas where you can set your budget:

1.       Content creation

2.       Research

3.       Email marketing.

4.       Social Media Management

5.       Website maintenance

 

Plan your content

Ever heard of the statement, “Content is king?” Well, it is true. So you need to focus on this one in your marketing plan. Think of how you can use your content as a marketing tool and give value to others.  Remember that your content must be in line with your goals and your targeted niche.

You can present your content in various ways. You can choose blogging, use social networking sites, podcasts, webinars, vlogging, infographics and so much more. Be creative.

Your content can include the following:

1.       How-to and tutorial posts

2.       Profile and portfolio posts

3.       Case studies

4.       Comparison posts

5.       Real life stories

6.       FAQ's

7.       Interviews

8.       eBooks

9.       Special reports

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What constitutes a great-looking window display?

Posted on: December 19th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

Imagine this… a window display framed in Christmas lights like a mock-up train car with figures such as the elves cheering Santa Claus as he gets a new tattoo and reindeers traveling along.

Either I stand there all day and get consumed with the beautiful display or I go inside and see more of the tattoo shop and what it has to offer me.

You see, you can entice more customers especially the last-minute shoppers to purchase your products and services through your window display and in-store visual decorations.

But your challenge is, how to compete with the other retailers since you can bet on it that everybody’s trying to flaunt their creativity this holiday season.

So what exactly constitutes a great-looking, traffic-driving window display?

1. Your display must be engaging – Tell a story. It’s all about engagement. It would be best to create an interactive condition that will engage your customers.

2. Let your display window represent the age-old tradition of Christmas in a fresher way –do not focus too much on holiday-themed objects because of the season. For all you know, you can introduce new and fresh ways to reflect the holiday season. Think outside the box or conventional thinking.

3. Let your window display express your originality – this is the venue where you can market your own brand. Attaining originality can be challenging when dealing with the same theme each year. But your clients will surely like it if a space is set aside for your voice to be heard.

4. Let your window display be ATTRACTIVE – capture the attention of people. Play with colors and lights but don’t forget about the basic principle, “Less is more!“ Don’t try to fill up the last bit of space in your window.

5. Let it be as neat as possible – harmony must blend in with your workmanship so that each element of your display is properly set.

6. Let it be MEMORABLE– create a significant theme that will give people easy recall. It will be effective if people  remember it long after they’ve passed your shop.

Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Effective use of a newsletter or e-zine in your tattoo business

Posted on: December 6th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

So you've tried sending your glossy and colorful brochures to your client's and prospective customers.  They cost you at least a buck per piece to produce plus postage! And now you are thinking of other ways to connect with your customers to market your products and services. So, where do you start?

How about if you start online marketing by newsletter or ezine?

The advantages of this are as follows:

  • It’s free!
  • It's fast. It is even quicker than FedEx or fax. You only have to click send and in seconds, your content will be sitting in your client's inbox.
  • It allows you the ability to get personal and customized your content so that it will address the needs of your customers giving them the sense of importance and connectivity.
  • It's simple that even those who are not tech-savvy can maneuver through the interface, write a newsletter and send.

From your customers, you only need the following details:

  • Name
  • Family Name
  • Email Address

How difficult can it be? Wherever you go—whether to expo's, seminars, workshops or summits—you have the opportunity to build your 'list' by requesting people provide you with their personal details above.  (More on this in another blogpost!)

And if you are already in business, every customer who comes walking through your door make sure you get their personal details from them.  Encourage them by telling them of the great discounts and freebies they will be getting through email.

This is one of the easiest ways to integrate your existing customers into your online marketing efforts. If you have these details, you have at your disposal to market to them for free from now on! 

By using this one simple strategy, you can raise your profits instantaneously. All you need is to collect the first name, last name, email address and you've built yourself your database. At a cursory glance, this may take years to do it. So what? Just start with it. One person you add to your list per day and you will have 365 names on your list. Get online, start building your list and blast your newsletter or ezines to them because if you don’t— your competitor may already be doing so.

 

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Verbal and non-verbal communication in your tattoo business

Posted on: November 27th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

Whether you deal with your customers or you deal with your staff in your tattoo business, communication comprises verbal and non-verbal. In percentages it looks like this:

  •          35% attitude (perception)
  •          15% content (words)
  •          50% non-verbal (impact)

You may be surprised; but what you say plays second fiddle to how you say it. Often times,  the attitude and perception of the person communicating determines how the message is conveyed.

So how do you manage communication for ongoing improvement?

For starters, improve your communication by putting yourself in the shoes of your customers or your staff and follow the golden rule. How you want to be treated as a customer or staff member is how you should treat others. It really pays off to use the right words at the right time to become a good communicator.

And what makes a great communicator? These are the underlying verbal and non-verbal aspects in communication which you need to become a great communicator:

Exchange of Ideas    

A great communicator acknowledges the reality that there must be an exchange of ideas and not just a one-way street of one's message. Try listening to your customer's ideas before you convey your own. The foundation of what you want to say is laid upon the other person’s needs.

The Intention of the Ideas      

The intention of your message must be clear. Your purpose must be direct. And it pays off if the intention is out of genuine desire to serve rather than to follow a set of protocols.

Give Your Attention     

Giving your attention and being able to listen to other people’s needs is a crucial skill. You also need to be able to try to understand what they mean by what they are saying even if you don't agree with it.

Empathy 

Everyone wants to be heard. People want to feel understood. If they are heard, which does not even mean necessarily agreed with.  You can show your empathy by placing yourself in the other person’s shoes. 

Successful communication leads to good business. It is rooted in the ability to measure other people’s  communication style and expectations and then to reflect and respond appropriately. 

Image courtesy of jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Your Tattoo Business – The importance of working on your business not in your business

Posted on: November 22nd, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

Are you swamped with tasks and a backlog of paperwork and just thinking about them is paralyzing you even more such that you are unable to do anything at all? Do you need help to de-clutter this annoying pattern of not being able to manage and organize your time and be more productive and effective in your work?

Work on your Tattoo business not just in your business. Use this simple principle on how to do it:

Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson's Law is adapted in various productivity-centered activities. This originated from Cyril Northcote Parkinson, the famous British historian and author. The statement first appeared as the opening line in an article for The Economist and later becoming the focus of one of Parkinson’s books, Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit of Progress. It is the amount of time which one has to perform a task is the amount of time it will take to complete the task.

Let's say, you give yourself a month to complete a week-long task. Psychologically speaking, you will make the task more complicated so that you can fill the allotted time of a month you set yourself to complete it. You may not even fill the extra time with more work. You may only be filling it up with stress and tension with having to get it done.

You can stop right where you are and have three of the most practical solutions you can apply immediately to shift your work pattern and manage your time and energy effectively:

1.    Divide a huge task into smaller parts.

Chunk your tasks in smaller parts and give yourself half that time. If you have a mammoth task, dividing it into smaller parts will work best for you. It will help if you work little by little towards the accomplishment of the task rather than working aimlessly at getting the huge task done immediately.

2.    Set a deadline

The deadline we are talking about here is not completing a two-hour task in 1 month. That will only validate the observation which supports the Parkinson's Law. Be reasonable with your timeframe. As you progress and become an expert on this, you may be able to squash your deadline to the minimal level to complete each task. The deadline will motivate you and guide you to your completion.

3.    Cut off on the extracurricular activities

Be wary about the little activities and distractions like checking your email,  updating your status on facebook and reading your friends', checking out the latest gossip in Hollywood, taking a quick peek at the latest trending video on youtube and more. You might usually think these activities only take ten or twenty minutes of your time only to be surprised that summing them all up have already eaten a big slice of your precious time.   

Cut off the time you spend on these extracurricular activities. In fact, don’t give these tasks any more attention until you’ve completed everything on your to-do list that day. Unless of course your task is basically responding to emails and email blasting or social networking, then you can do all these to your heart’s content.

There are tasks where 20% of what you do is important and 80% is absolutely useless. Reverse this and apply the Parkinson's Law to your advantage and become even more productive in your Tattoo Business.

Image courtesy of cooldesign/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Taking care of yourself and your tattoo business

Posted on: November 13th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

A happy "you" results in a happy customer in your tattoo business. The happy person serving the customer NEEDS to take care of himself first before he can take care of his customers. In reality, you are there to serve and not to be served. You are the one who need to fill a certain expectation and not the other way around.

Therefore steps must be taken to make sure that you are being serviced too.  It is important that you continually address your emotional, physical and mental needs because you are serving your customers.

How to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your customers?

You have probably developed the habit of fulfilling everyone else’s needs before your own. You have probably been convinced to think that if you don’t take care of other people’s needs, you are going to lose your business and your customers.

We are not saying here that you do not take care of your customers. The line of reasoning is you do not put yourself in the backseat and ignore your needs because you are too preoccupied taking care of your customers. Take care of your needs before you take care of someone else.

Here are some practical things you often ignore which can tremendously help you recharge and regain your focus to serve your customers better: 

  • Don’t be everything to everybody. Learn to delegate. Learn to say "no."
  • Don't forget to give attention to your health and physical condition.
  • Continuously grow mentally. Engage your mind. Read a book. Learn a new skill. Spend time on a hobby.
  • Take care of your spiritual needs.
  • Spend time alone.  Create a "me" schedule apart from your daily routine.
  • Have fun.
  • Build relationships
  • Don't forget you are important, too.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Customer complaint handling In your tattoo business

Posted on: November 2nd, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

To develop key principles in good customer complaint handling is the beginning of a successful tattoo business.

These principles include the following:

1. Empathy

The foundation of empathy is really understanding the customer's position and feelings.

However, there is a difference between understanding  someone and agreeing with them.  You must be trained to have the motivation and ability to understand.  Put yourself in the customer’s position and consider their feelings, whether they are right or wrong.

2. Trust and rapport

Empathizing with your customers leads to developing trust and building rapport. To truly understand your customer complaint requires listening skills even if you don't necessarily agree with the other person. The kind of listening skills which does not pass judgment — but attempts to understand how the other person is feeling.

3. The skill of listening

Listening can be difficult for some people but this should be a strong communication skill that you can learn which will make the biggest difference.

Make it a habit to listen to your customers especially when a sticky situation arises.  All customers like to be listened to and to be understood.  Listening will enable you to understand the customer complaint.

4.Accountability 

Accountability demonstrates responsibility. Own the responsibility until it is settled. If you must refer to appropriate people, do not forget to do a follow-up and check on the development of the case and find a solution to the customer's satisfaction.

Here are some of the effective ways for managing a customer's complaint:

1. Establish a system to handle complaints

2. Don't forget to document all complaints for record keeping and monitoring. Log them and categorise them.

3. Do the process in a timely manner.

4. Remember to acknowledge receipt of the complaint.

5. Examine and evaluate the complaint in a fair way.

6. Present solutions or better alternatives to solve the complaint.

7. Do not forget to inform the customer regarding the status of his or her complaints

8. Do a follow up on your customers and ask for feedback

9. Review complaint reports and create recommendation to improve your services.

Customers' complaints can be a wake-up call and motivate you to strive to make your tattoo business even better. This should also inspire long-term opportunities for product innovation and problem prevention.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net