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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

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

Taking care of yourself and your tattoo business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Customer complaint handling In your tattoo business

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

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

These principles include the following:

1. Empathy

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

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

2. Trust and rapport

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

3. The skill of listening

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

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

4.Accountability 

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

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

1. Establish a system to handle complaints

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

3. Do the process in a timely manner.

4. Remember to acknowledge receipt of the complaint.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

 

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

Getting the Right Exposure For Your Advertising Dollar and Make Money From Your Tattoo Business

Posted on: July 16th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You can make money from your tattoo business and increase your sales by having an effective and consistent marketing program in place (which can be quite expensive).

Advertising is one of marketing's major activities. You can be successful and stretch your budget in various ways. You just need to get the right exposure for your advertising dollar.
Consider some of these points to assist you to get the most out of your money:

1. Believe that advertising can really work.
So you are a little bit skeptical about advertising because of one bad experience. You ran an ad and never got a single call. And from then on, you have banned advertising from your marketing vocabulary.

However, did you get to the point of evaluating your advertisement's exposure? Where was the placement of the ad? Did you target a competitive keyword? Was your ad captivating? Did you consider your target market?
Sure, there are one-shot ads out there which have produced great results! But it is not enough exposure to throw in the white towel and forget about advertising if you failed at your first try.

Believe me— the idiomatic expression, "A good wine needs no bush!" needs to be redefined in this age. But I am not getting into that right now. I may write about it in another post.
You cannot get into it with a half-hearted conviction that it can help your tattoo business become a success.

2. Know your target market and get inside their head.
Begin your creation (by the way, you are not out to compete because what you are offering is unique to you) and develop your campaign from your customer's perspective.

Discover the answers to some of these questions:

1. What is my customer's problem or lack?
2. How can I solve this?
3. What do my customers need or want?
4. What value do I have to offer?
5. Do I have a solution for my customers?
3. Choose the right media.

Target your niche and select the appropriate medium to utilize. You can reach out to people in various ways. You can appeal to different human aspects—auditory, visual, emotional and so on. You can go on email blasting. You can sponsor online contests. You can do flyers or posters. Do your homework and search effective ways on how you can reach out to your audience.

And never ever forget that CONTENT IS KING. You would want to provide value to your customers. This is what they hunger for.

First, produce, publish and promote a great content. Then create a good advertising out of that good content. Your advertising dollar will go a long way if you make a good content and get more and more people to share it. Think of the exposure you have because you provided people the content they need—because you provided them answers to their difficulties. This is where your advertising dollar will be spent the right way.

Ways to increase your Business Skills to have a Profitable Tattoo Business

Posted on: July 10th, 2013 by Hayley James No Comments

To have a profitable tattoo business, you need to increase what most artists ignore – business skills.

I understand that tattooing is more than just a business and oh, it is so easy to get lost in your craft and passion for it, that often times you forget you can actually profit from it. However, you owe it to yourself and your tattoo business to get paid for it and be successful doing what you love. This is your rare opportunity to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak.

Skills is defined as the ability, coming from one's knowledge, practice, aptitude,etc. to do something well (Ref:www.dictionary.com)

Here are some ways on how to increase the necessary business skills to achieve tattoo business success:

  • Train yourself- Yes, isn’t it great news that you can actually learn these business skills through training? Beef up your skills through various kinds of training seminars targetingthe skill sets you lack. Determine which aspects of your business skillsyou want to specifically improve.
  • Carefully study the people you admire in the field of business –Believe me, success leaves a trail. Successful people follow a certain pattern you can apply in your business. Observe their habits and apply it on your own. Before you know it, you are on your way to a successful tattooing business.
  • Teach yourself- If you do not have the luxury of time to attend training classes or programs, you can teach yourself. With the advent of the internet, everything is out there. Knowledge is at the tip of your fingers. Just google it or watch tutorial videos on youtube – and voila, you can discover more. Or you can pay a visit to your local library for the materials that you need and proceed to study these on your own pace.
  • Participate online – There are blogs and public forums you can participate in to get the opinion of like-minded individuals. You, too, can share your own ideas. Get various recommendations, links, leads, and other important information. You will be amazed at how a lot of people can offer you brilliant ideas and concepts.
  • Seek a business coach- Most successful people- from athletes to businessmen-have coaches. There’s no better way to have a sounding board and discover your business shortcomings than to ask a coach about the areas that need improvement. He or she is your honest presence to assess and evaluate your performance, your weakness, your strength which you may not notice if you are on your own.

If you are really serious about achieving a profitable tattoo business, you definitely require constant improvement in your business skills. Through this you can quickly adapt to the trends of the tattoo business industry. Ignorance is no longer bliss in this instance. Do not give up the hunger for learning more.


Image courtesy of renjithkrishnan/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net