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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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

How To Keep Yourself Motivated In Your Tattoo Business Everyday

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

In truth, you won't wake up in your tattoo business everyday with enthusiasm. There will be days when you become skeptical. Or worse, there will be times when you really want to throw in the towel and give up.

But it's what they use to say, success is usually just one step away from when you said, "No more!" And you don't want that, do you? You don't want to live regretting what might have happened if only you had kept on moving forward. What could have happened if you stayed motivated and persevered despite all of the difficult times?

Here are a few tips to keep you motivated in your tattoo business everyday:

  • See yourself attaining realistic goals

     

    While it is good to set high goals, aim at something realistic and attainable when you are still taking your baby steps. At the beginning of your ventures, set smaller and achievable goals. Every time you achieve these small successes,  you will be able to highlight these and be inspired push yourself further. Motivate yourself through these and celebrate.

  • Focus Your Mind on Your Dreams

     

    Your reality will be presenting a different scenario from your dreams if you haven't connected the gap yet between the present and where you want to be. Often times, it will appear difficult.  Even if you see that dream not happening soon, keep on moving forward. Focus on the dream and not what is happening right now for nothing will stay permanent.

  • Get into Inspired  Action

     

    With the happy thoughts generated through seeing your dreams coming to fruition, you will be motivated towards inspired action. It is only through this that "doing" brings out results and it will keep you charged up. Never act from other rationale other than the inspiration that prompts you to make it effortless.

  • Don't beat yourself  for the mistakes you've made

     

    Don't beat yourself up every time you make a mistake. Learn the lesson from a mistake and use  this to avoid making the same mistake again.

  • Be with like-minded individuals

     

    You would want to be with people who will motivate you rather than crash your spirits.  Associate yourself with people who are driven and success-oriented and embrace their way of thinking and philosophy. Let their positive vibration be an inspiration to you.

  • Don't Forget to Reward Yourself

     

    You will need more than a pat on the back every time you achieve something. Reward yourself with something great. You deserve it. You are the most important aspect of your tattoo business.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Importance Of Being Financially Accountable for Your Tattoo Business Success

Posted on: August 28th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

To achieve your tattoo business success, go back to the basics and remember what you have always been taught regarding your actions— take responsibility.

It doesn’t matter how many staff you have employed in your tattoo studio, or even if you are a solo operator, being financially accountable for your tattoo business is crucial. You can either learn from trial and error and create costly mistakes or you can follow in the tracks of people who are successful in your field and avoid them.

Know your numbers!

Here are a few tips to assist you on how to become financially accountable for your tattoo business and become successful:

  • Discipline Yourself
    Most financial mismanagement comes from not being able to control yourself. Yeah, you are your own worst enemy. But at the same time, you are also what you need to counter this.
    It sounds so ironical but it is only you who can make or break you in your tattoo business. Through your own financial discipline you can determine your financial success. It may take a lot of effort and practice in order to develop and maintain financial discipline just like any other discipline. But this is necessary for proper financial management and without it you cannot accumulate or accomplish anything. You will always be going in circles or starting out from zero level and never going anywhere at all.
  • Plan the finances in your tattoo business and create a budget
    It is imperative that you discover how to manage your own investment. Do not rely too much on your staff to tell you what the numbers are.
    Begin by planning out your finances and creating a budget. Make a forecast of at least a year. In the beginning stages, allow time for your business to take off and be prepared for this.
    Then, take control. If you don't know anything about finance, read as much as possible and research to better equip yourself with the skill on the "how tos."
  • Keep a Financial Journal
    By simply writing down the ins and outs of your finances in your business (what you spent, when and where you spent it, and what you spent it on plus how much money is actually coming in) you will see a pattern and you can develop your own system. You will be able to discover some pretty significant figures. Look it over.
    Doing this will open your eyes to where most of your money is going. Doing this will give you a clear direction of where your business is and where it is going.
  • Review
    Make it a point to monitor your finances. Set a schedule for it. It will serve like a financial “check-up” so you can decide to take advantage of strategies and financial decisions. This will also give you an opportunity to measure the progress toward your plan of action or to see where you have fallen short and make changes. This way, you can better protect your assets and prepare for the unexpected.

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Importance Of Continually Growing your Customer Base to Build My Tattoo Business

Posted on: July 25th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

The ideal vision for your successful tattooing business is not just about getting your customer in the door but to keep them coming back and getting more customers at the same time. And for this to work, you need to consider a few strategies:

1.Offer more value to your customers

Let your creative juices and imagination flow. Be innovative and offer your customers additional products or services which most unsuccessful businesses fail to follow up. Think of other complementary items to offer—other products or services that can expect or respond to future wants and needs. Listen to what your customers want and how you can support them.You will be keeping your regular customers enthusiastic about the latest you can offer. Plus, you will be generating new customers if you have a wide array of products and services.

That is why, it is very important to continue learning about tattooing. Never stop updating yourself with the latest. This won't only help your craft and enable you to become better at it but also achieve the success in your tattooing business you have always dreamed of.

2. Improve Customer Satisfaction

Keep your customers happy and they will be coming back for more. Customer satisfaction is your key to remain profitable.
Some of the aspects that can affect your customer satisfaction are the following:

  • The value they get
  • The efficiency of the services and products you deliver
  • Your professionalism, friendliness and expertise
  • Your habit of going the extra mile
  • How you handle complaints

If you have gained satisfied customers, your tattooing business will likely be referred to other people. The word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool for your business. Consider then if your impact is negative—people will surely hear about it, too.
So always strive to give your customers the satisfaction they want.

3. Get Personal

This is by far the most important thing you can learn to keep your customer base growing. You can treat your customers in two different ways: relational or transactional.

You are in your tattoo business not just for the profit, right? Even though, it is just as important to be profitable and successful.

However, think of the relationships you build along the way. These relationships you have created through the years are priceless.

From the moment, you got your customers interest and attention and they responded— there is already a certain level of trust there. And this is not a business thing. This is something personal. In this age, trust is hard to come by. If your customers trust you, they’re likely to listen to you and likely to spend their money on you. And this is where the money’s at.

If you treat your customers in a relational manner and you get personal with them, the level of exchange becomes more meaningful. And this will give you the success that you want for your tattoo business.

Earn big from one-time customers but earn bigger from repeat customers. Then, continue to keep your customer base growing.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net