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Managing your time and energy in your tattoo business

Posted on: May 9th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Manage your time and energy too. Discover how. Watch on as Hayley James shares her strategies and tips to keep on growing, thriving and earning more in your tattoo business.

Energy Management vs Time Management in Your Tattoo Business

Posted on: April 12th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Most business owners think that no matter how much time they spend and how much work they have to juggle, they are thriving in their business because of the cultural idea of time management.

Well, who has not adhered to the idea, at one point or another, that proper time management is what you really need to get multiple tasks completed?

Most regular business owners have a routine. This routine can include serving their clients, booking them into an appointment, entertaining calls from two to three phone lines—not to mention receiving and sending from their fax. They even get to complete the company's newsletter and write their own advert at the same time. And more tasks wait for them to complete like reading the mail and responding to them, preparing invoices and paying accounts, training new personnel and so it goes on. Notice that they do EVERYTHING regularly in running their business!

However, a smart business owner concentrates on energy management over and above time management. This allows for him to think of results as a function of energy, not time invested. Working energetically for a short period of time can complete more tasks than working for a long period of time multi-tasking, tired and distracted. Working yourself into low energy can actually make you accomplish less than if you rested.

It will be a waste of your precious time if you do the things you are not interested with, you don't know anything about and you don’t intend to be excellent at. Delegate them to someone who knows what he is doing.  And for the things you want to master and you are interested with, make it a priority to learn and practice it beyond what is necessary. Skill saves time.

You can work in bursts. Give yourself the time to completely focus on doing a task, then take a complete rest. Don't switch in between work and play—this will allow the tendency to prolong your "play" time.

Most importantly, give yourself the gift of rest and fun. Master the ability to recharge yourself because you need it. Remember that having fun for a time is a good advice for everyone. 

Image courtesy of Master isolated images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Balancing your time in your tattoo business

Posted on: March 29th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Do you know how to manage your time? Or do you find yourself swamped with a back log of work and not enough time to schedule to do them? A majority of people seem to never have enough time in the day to get all their tasks done.

Balancing your time well is all about taking control. It is not about being busy but effectively managing your time which helps you to choose what to work on and when rather than produce nothing at all at the end of the day. This is very important if you're to produce results of any real value.

Knowing your priorities is the crucial technique you need in order to maximize the very best use of your own efforts and those of your team. Prioritization will also enable you to create calmness and space in your life so that you can concentrate your energy and attention on the things that you do best and really matter.

It is particularly your edge especially when the demands are high and time is limited. It ensures you budget your time where it is most-needed and most wisely spent, which in turn will free you and your team from less important tasks that can be delegated to others or attended to at a later date or dropped if deemed necessary.

Time management is an essential skill for successful people. Applying these techniques will enable you to function effectively despite any  pressures. Once practiced, these strategies become routine and become habits for success.   

The foundation of time management is not about spending your time in a frenzy of activities but a shift in priorities and focusing on doing the right things. It is concentrating on results and not on being busy with lots of activity just for the sake of it.

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

Getting a Mentor or a Coach in Your Tattoo Business

Posted on: March 5th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

World famous leaders, sports persons, great entrepreneurs and top-rating individuals are proud to admit that they have a coach by their side all the time. Even Tiger Woods, who is advanced in his game as a golfer and earning a whooping $769,400,709 since 1996, works with a coach.

No, it is not a sign of weakness to have someone providing feedback, support, and a different viewpoint so that you can reach your goals. In fact, it is crucial.  You don’t have to be on your own. You need to consider the possibility of hiring someone to help you out.

A coach or a mentor by your side means you are serious in getting ahead— that you know things can be better and that you deserve better.

Here are some of the benefits of having a mentor or a coach in your tattoo business:

Have a sounding board

A business mentor is your confidential sounding board when the journey becomes lonely and tough. You need someone to focus totally on you and listen to you. You would want someone to discuss your business with you and share your thoughts on how you want to achieve things.

Increase your business and personal performance.

A coach or a mentor will motivate you to achieve more than what you think you are capable of to improve your business. A mentor will help you maximize your business’ potential so that you will work even smarter and gain the results you want.

Help to develop creative and innovative solutions.

You’d be surprised to discover that your coach or mentor will be able to show you other possibilities which you have never even thought of. With your coach’s business knowledge and experience, expect there to be more options for you to consider and ideas to implement.

Add to your business knowledge and experience.

Most business mentors and coaches have already been there, done that. They have tried various options and had a wide range exposure that has been accumulated over the years. Being with them and working with them is like shadowing their successes and learning directly from them.  It will add to your vault of business knowledge and experience and escalate your success. 

Image courtesy of David Castillo / 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

Time Management Skills in Your Tattoo Business

Posted on: February 12th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Are you over loaded with work – custom tattoo designs and clients lining up for your services? Is just thinking about it freezing you even more into not knowing where to start and doing nothing at all? Do you need help to de-clutter this annoying pattern of not being able to manage and organize your time to be more productive and effective in your tattoo business?

Apply this time management skill inspired by Parkinson's Law to your advantage.

By the way, 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 new custom tattoo design even if in reality it will only take you a week to do it. Psychologically speaking, you will make the task more complicated so that you can fill the allotted time of a month you set aside for yourself to complete it. You may not even fill the extra time with more work. The void is only filling up with the stress of having to get it done.

Stop right there and immediately shift your work pattern and manage your time and energy more 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 huge task, dividing them into smaller parts will work best for you. It will help if you take small steps towards the accomplishment of the task rather than working aimlessly at getting the huge task done immediately at hand. 

2.   Set a deadline

The deadline we are talking about here is not completing a two-hour task in 1 month. But be reasonable with your timeframe. As you progress and become an expert at 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 those little time-fillers which you often neglect like checking out 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.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Staff Performance Reviews In Your Tattoo Business

Posted on: February 5th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

When employees hear of "staff performance review," most will certainly have a negative response. This is because we think of reviews and assessment as questioning one’s worth and capabilities. It almost feels like reviews are the boss’s way of exposing what is wrong.

But this should not be the case.  

A successful business is driven by a strong foundation based on relationships. Staff performance reviews is not about picking on the mistakes of your team. But rather it is about strengthening the ties you have with each other.

A regular staff performance review will help in better planning for your business’s strategies—in terms of what needs to be implemented and scrapped out.  This will enable you to know where your staff are as well as where they were and where they are headed.

Some of the aspects that need to be focused on in the review are the following:

  • Is your staff performing according to your business mission and goals?
  • Do they meet the service expectations of your customers?
  • Do they clearly understand the service standards that you want to offer your customers?
  • Staff’s feedback — do they have the venue to give feedback?
  • Do you have a staff’s training plan to provide trainings not just to newly-hired employees but also the long-time employees?  Don't make the assumption that employees who have been with you for awhile are already trained and know everything there is to know. Be open to more possibilities and continued learning.   
  • Management of Over-all Performance— evaluate whether or not the standards are being implemented.  Recognize and reward staff members who are providing the service levels that you ask for.  
  • Room for Improvement—identify potential weakness;  Options must be laid out so that your staff will know what they can do.

The performance of your staff needs to be reviewed on a regular basis if you want your business to thrive. If your business doesn’t have a clearly defined review strategy then it is about time to develop one.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why you should pay yourself first in your tattoo business

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Pay yourself first. That’s what the oldest sages of finances tell us to do. But we find it difficult to do so. Or we often ignore this fact.  When payday comes, the money is always used someplace else and finds its way elsewhere instead of paying ourselves first.

The thing is this could be a habit we can all learn regardless of whether you are in business or not—before you pay your bills, before you buy groceries, before you do anything else, set aside a portion of your income to pay yourself first which can also be converted into your savings. This habit if developed early can establish tremendous wealth.

So, why pay yourself first?

1.       When you pay yourself first, you’re giving priority to your most valuable resource—YOU! It’s a way to tell yourself that you are the most important aspect in your business. That without you your business won't thrive at all. And it's so true. So you deserve to be paid first and foremost. 

This can be a powerful motivator on your part. If you begin to treat yourself as someone important, it will empower you to be one. 

2.       Paying yourself first is a sign of a healthy financial habit and a healthy business. The usual equation is:

income – expenses = savings (or in the case of buisness – profit)

The problem with this scenario is usually having little (or nothing at all) left after you’ve paid the bills and other stuff. But if you arrange the order and place yourself to the front —

income-savings = expenses

then, you’re able to set the money aside for yourself before you find reasons to spend beyond your means.

3.       When you pay yourself first, you can use this money as your emergency fund or a cash buffer. Most financial advisers would tell you to have a six-month income emergency fund which you can use to deal with unexpected circumstances. Paying yourself first gives you the opportunity to raise this fund.

The real hindrance to developing the habit of paying yourself first is not finding the money to save. Many people think their salary is not enough. The truth is almost everyone can save at least 1% of their income. Even if some will say that saving this little is meaningless. And yet if you try to think about it, saving just 1% of your income, for the purpose of habit forming, is not an impossible feat at all.  Maybe next time you can try to pay yourself 3% or 5% from your income. Then, you can raise it up slowly.

The challenge therefore is not the money at all. It is you and your discipline to do it.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Getting an apprenticeship in a tattoo studio

Posted on: January 18th, 2014 by Hayley James No Comments

Do you want to learn how to tattoo?

I must tell you—there’s a big difference between learning theoretically and through praxis. Just like baking, even if you do have the recipe and the step-by-step procedure on how to do it, it is still different when you’re actually doing it.

Take coding in website designing as another example. You may know the codes but it is actually getting the site up and live when you can really say you know how to. That’s when you encounter challenges that are not exactly in the code manual you have.  

In doing tattoos, it is beymore than simply buying a kit for tattooing. You discover more with experience. And what better experience is there than to learn “under the wing” of a skilled artist through an apprenticeship in a tattoo studio.   

You need to find an apprenticeship that will provide you the proper training to get you into the business of tattooing. You need to learn the proper skills involved in the business of tattooing like sterilization, proper cleaning, needle making, prepping, making stencils and every other aspect of the business.

Finding the right fit for you may not be that easy. Go and make rounds to as many reputable shops as you can, then leave your contact details.  Let them know that you are interested. Don’t be shy to follow up with a phone call to inquire about the status of your apprenticeship. It shows them that this really matters to you.

Here are some important aspects on getting an apprenticeship in a tattoo studio:

Be respectful and presentable.

You may be surprised to find yourself in a studio with what your Mom may consider as bad-influence-looking-people (even thug-like looking), not to mention real heavy metal music but it does not in any way give you the excuse to behave like you’re the real villain and forget your manners.  Do not forget to maintain your respect towards others. And always be presentable. (The secret is to look neat and clean.)

Gain Knowledge.

Do not pass the opportunity to learn and discover new things about the tattooing business—even the little things which you think may be too small to be unimportant. Learn from the experience and enjoy your time learning stuff.

Be Sincere.

Do not be someone you are not. If you know something, share it even to your mentor. And if you don’t know things, don’t be afraid to ask. Be yourself and be honest.

Image courtesy of Marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net