Blog Banner

Announcing: The Monthly Resource Newsletter

It’s been years of “what should I do with my newsletter” coupled with “I have all these ideas for resources!” – so I’ve finally merged the two, and am moving forward with a monthly newsletter. I’ve always said I never wanted to send newsletters that were just “selling”, or that had no value just for the sake of sending them. I always unsubscribe or delete those newsletters myself, so I wanted to wait until I actually had a list of resources and ideas before I moved ahead with the newsletter.

I spent a lot of January planning for the year, I like to give myself time to think things over and play with ideas so the idea that it all has to be decided by the first day of the year has never been a pressure I’ve felt. I sent out my January newsletter which included the Business and Website Planner for 2020 PDF (also available in this blog post if you missed it), and have set up a couple of free spreadsheet templates for March and April’s newsletters (which won’t be posted to the blog).

This month, the newsletter is about how planning went last month, applying it to this month, and one of my favourite tricks to getting started when something feels overwhelming. I looked at my planner, a one page simplified document and I felt like I just didn’t want to decide anything, so I kept putting it off. I know myself and I know that for me (and most people), that once you get into a task, you’re likely to complete it, or at least get past that “this is going to take hours!!!” mentality. I used my favourite trick and it worked. Intrigued?

The newsletter will be going out this week, so if you’d like to get access to the PDFs, spreadsheets and other tricks and tips coming up this year – sign up now!

Get resources, tips and tricks that are exclusive to newsletter subscribers.
This once a month newsletter is focused on finding ways to get through the not-as-fun admin parts of business so you can enjoy the creative side!

 


Updating Shopify Using Spreadsheets

Shopify and SpreadsheetsToday’s Tip: Using spreadsheets to update/edit your Shopify store!

I know it can look overwhelming… but once you get the hang of it, it can save you SO much time.

The first thing I’d recommend is exporting a couple of the products you’ve already got set up in your store so you can take a look at the pattern of the spreadsheet. It’ll be a lot more clear when its your own content.

When you look at the spreadsheet in the first row (I used Google Docs to edit mine), you’ll see the Handle, which is the url of your product, then Title, Body, Vendor, etc. Everything is based off the handle url keeping the information and variants connected to that product, so for anything that has to do with your product, it has to have the correct url in column A so Shopify knows which product you’re editing.

The variants are called “Option”s in the spreadsheet, but again, using your own product will make this part so much clearer. You’ll see the name of your variant, and then each of the items that show in the drop down. In my example, I have 3 variants, Size, Colour, and Message, so I need to have each of those variant combinations in the spreadsheet. Let’s say you want a black, tshirt that says “Support your local maker” in medium. That has to exist as a line in the spreadsheet for the combination to be possible for purchase. I’m showing my own shop as an example because it’s likely one of the most complicated with all the variant options.

Shopify and spreadsheets

There are 96 variants in the ONE tee shown here… can you imagine how long that would take to set up manually? Once I got the hang of it, I mostly copied/pasted and duplicated these CSV files and it was so much faster.

Past the variants, you’ve got the Inventory, Price, and a few other values that you’ll see are mostly just the same value for each row.

Now… images. This is the tricky part, because it’s the one area of the spreadsheet that doesn’t correspond to any of the rest of the information in those rows. I’ll do a follow up on how all this works (it needs its own tutorial).

Once you’re done your edits, you go to Products, and then import your CSV file. You can change up the images within Shopify, and edit anything you want from the changes you made in your spreadsheet in Shopify too, but I found it was easier to just edit the spreadsheet and re-upload the newest version.

What do you think? Will you give it a try? There is a small learning curve… but it’s worth it in the long run, I promise!

The 2020 Business & Website Planner

There’s a quote that makes its rounds on social media around this time of year that I think is great: “There’s nothing magical about January 1st”.

There’s so much pressure surrounding the new year: new goals, new habits, and you’re somehow left behind if it’s not all sorted out by January 1st! That’s crazy! While it is a great opportunity to refresh things after some time off at the holidays, I try not to let the pressure get to me and take my time making meaningful, well thought out plans for the year.

I’ve been using this PDF planner for a few years now, tweaking it annually. It’s a great tool to get some quick ideas down about what’s been on my mind for my business and website, and helps to get things started towards setting goals and making those changes that have been sitting on my to do list!

DOWNLOAD THE FREE PDF PLANNER »

I’m always happy to make recommendations to help you make those things happen and get things set up so you’re on your way.

Feel free to send me some of your thoughts on your plans for this year, or email me the completed PDF and we can talk about changes you’d like to make to your website/business.

Happy Planning and Goal setting!

September and Planning

Business Goal SettingI think everyone ends up feeling that “September = Fresh New Start” vibe. For years and years September meant the start of a new school year, a new planner, new supplies, and new things to learn and experience… and sometimes a promise to yourself that you’ll do things differently this year!

It’s natural for us to carry this through into adulthood, and is probably especially true for business owners, with Q4 around the corner, September is a great time to take advantage of that motivation and spend some time sitting down to plan what the rest of the year will look like. See where you’re at with the goals you might have set earlier in the year, and see how priorities might have changed since then.

Download my free 2019 Website and Business Planner and let me know what your goals are for the rest of this year!

Celebrating 10 Years in Business!

Thank You

WE’RE CELEBRATING OUR TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

A HUGE thank you to all my clients, my family, and my friends for all your support these past ten years.

As the person who wears all the hats and is responsible for every aspect of this business – I still want to say “we’re” celebrating, because it’s not just me; it’s everyone that’s let me bounce ideas off them, everyone that’s given me a second opinion on a design or a strategy, all my colleagues I’ve collaborated with over the years, other business owners I’ve celebrated wins with, and also commiserated with about just how hard it is to keep a small business running – and of course my clients, without whom none of this would be possible. Thank you so much for trusting me to be part of YOUR business.

Learn more about where everything started, and where we’re at now »

Watch me try (and mostly fail) at trying to pop the champagne bottle (via Instagram) »

Canadian Makers Spring Gift Guide

Hey Product Makers and Artists!

Applications for the Spring Gift Guide are only open until April 14th! Apply yourself, or tag a maker friend / pass this along to them, we’d LOVE to feature you (and them!) in our Spring guide.

(The gift guide is a FREE magazine style guide we volunteer our time to put together to uplift and promote our fellow artisans!)

For more information and to apply, head on over to the Canadian Makers site!

FREE 2017 Website & Business Planner!

Happy New Year!

With the way Christmas and New Year’s fell on the calendar last year, I feel like that first week of January was getting back into routines and playing catchup more so than getting anything actually planned for 2017!

So here’s your chance! Download our Free 2017 Website & Business Planner PDF and get going on your goal setting!

The PDF will take you through basic business goals that are going to set the foundation for your marketing and website for the year. Try to push yourself from what you’ve done previously and think about new things to try – but keep in mind what worked last year too.

Once you’ve got your foundation goals set for your business, think about how they should be applied to your website. How do these new goals change what your site should look like? What the site should encourage people to do so those goals are realized?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from pros that know how to get things done for you! I’m always here for your business, design and website needs – feel free to give me a shout and see how I can help you tackle that list!

ABCs of Business: You, Zero Regret

Y is for You:
You are the key to making your business work. You need to be committed to lay a proper foundation, do the research, and be sure that the business is viable first. You need to make sure you’re ready to wear all the hats of an entrepreneur (and/or have the money to pay for the parts where you need an expert). You need to be ready to learn constantly, make mistakes, enjoy the big wins, and plan for the slow times. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of satisfaction when you succeed and grow. You can do it – just start from the beginning, one step at a time.

Z is for Zero Regret:
If you’ve done the research, you’ve planned it out, and the numbers work. Go for it – you’ll never regret it.

ABCs of Business: Viability, Wireframes, X Marks the Spot

V is for Viability:
So you have a great idea for a business… but can you make a profit from it?

Starting a business is an exciting time, but there’s a lot more that goes into it than just the services and products you’re offering. Before you start, you need to see if your business is viable – ie. can you make a living from it.

Checking viability is a lot of research, a lot of numbers, and a lot of spreadsheets – but it will open your eyes to what you can expect in the first couple of years and help you decide if you’d still like to move forward. Save yourself the time, money, and stress of jumping into a new business and get an honest look at the viability of your business idea before you start. If the numbers don’t work, or the market isn’t there, we’ll talk about how to tweak your plan to give it a better shot as a profitable business.

Knowing your target market, your competition, how much it will cost to run your business, your potential income, and having a marketing and sales plan are key to testing the viability of your idea before launching your business.

W is for Wireframes:

Wireframes are simple black and white documents that don’t reflect the design elements of the site, they ensure that all the functionality that needs to be there exists, and that the layout hits the goals from your Business Plan through hierarchy of information – without being distracted by fonts and colours!

X is for X Marks the Spot:
Who is your ideal client or target audience? Once you know who you’re selling to, it’s easier to focus your voice and message directly to them.

ABCs of Business: Strategy, Target Market, Useability

S is for Strategy:
Not having a strategy is similar to not having a plan – why wouldn’t you use all the information you have/can get, and apply it to achieve your goals?

Your strategy should be built on your business plan goals, plus everything you know about your target market, the results of your past marketing efforts, and anything else that can give your strategy outcome a better rate of success. Taking risks can be worth it, but base it off knowledge, and make sure it’s trackable so you can properly measure how well it did!

T is for Target Market:
Having a solid focus on who your target market is helps drive your advertising and promotional efforts to the right audience. Consider where your potential clients are located or visit often. What are they looking for in a product/service? What problems do they have that you can solve? Where do they get their information before committing to buying a product/service? Are they multiple purchasers throughout the year, or one time buyers? How big is the average transaction? Get even more specific and look at if your target is consumers or other businesses.

Do you know your target market? Need some help?

U is for Useability:
Useability is considering what your visitor expects when they come to your website, and hitting each and every one of those expectations.

With today’s technology standards, they expect a lot – and they should. There’s no reason why a business shouldn’t be covering the most basic aspects of good layout, design and functionality.

Here are a few examples of basic expectations:

  • they can browse your site on their computer or mobile device (no flash-based sites!)
  • the basic structure of the site won’t change as they browse (ex. the menu won’t change position)
  • they’ll get visual feedback when they click/hover on things that have actions associated with them (like a change in colour for links/buttons)
  • can avoid unnecessary clicks as they navigate (no splash page)

These expectations are just the tip of the iceberg, you know your target market, list out what type of functionality they’re expecting and what will appeal to them – and start checking your site!