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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

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

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

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

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