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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

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

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

Protect Your Health This Holiday Season

Posted on: December 11th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

If up to this point you have been keeping your personal life separate from your business life, then let me tell you there are times when these two must interconnect.

For instance, being healthy and feeling energized will definitely make a great impact on your professional life. If you have very low energy levels, it will show in your mood and be conveyed in your conversation.  This can greatly affect your business and interaction with others.

You don’t want to run your tattoo business with a very low energy level. More so during the holiday season when time can really fly so fast and your 'work-load' seems endless. The healthier you are, the healthier your tattoo business will be. Remember you need to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your tattoo business and your customers. Read more from my previous post on taking care of yourself and your tattoo business here.  

Protect your health and practice better fitness this holiday season so you and your tattoo business keeps functioning.

Let’s go back to the basics.

What we’ve been told when we were young still holds true. A balanced diet, enough rest and exercise will keep our energy high. It may sound simple. However, we often neglect these basic principles.

The stress levels can go higher during the holiday season with all the preparation, increased work-load, working longer hours, shopping, and even parties to attend.  If we let stress get in the way, this can be extremely detrimental to how our business performs.

The less stress we have to deal with, the more positive any situation can become. We can reduce and even eliminate stress by keeping ourselves in shape coupled with a proper diet.

We need to keep our energy on a high level. Remember, a person with high energy can be contagious. Even with the seemingly endless activities this holiday season, we can influence others to keep the excitement going by sustaining our own high energy.

If we are physically feeling good, there’s no way our emotions can go astray. Our emotional estate is connected with our physical health and vice versa. Therefore, let’s improve our frame of mind and the state of our body.

People tend to reciprocate to this energy. Everybody wants to be happy. One’s own moods can be influenced in the presence of someone with high vibration. With a lighter mood and a healthy body, you can improve your productivity— needed to generate bigger profits.

Image courtesy of stockimages / 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