This week I’m working on my 2016 planning using an old method I learned somewhere along the way. It’s called “More Of, Less Of, Different”. I thought I’d make you a little worksheet so you’ll have a good resource to use as well. I’ve added it as an 8X10 PDF file so you can print it out easily. Here is what it looks like. Let me describe each section briefly.
More Of: The more of category is the section where you list the things or activities you want more of in 2016. I generally look back at 2015 and ask the question, “what went well in 2015 that I want to make sure happens even more in 2016”
Less Of: The less of category is the section where you list the things or activities you want less of in 2016. I look back on 2015 and ask the question, “what happened in 2015 that I want to happen less (or not at all) in 2016?”
Different: The different category is the section where I list what things that worked okay, but should be done differently. I look back on 2015 and ask the question, “what worked okay in 2015 that could work better in 2016 if we did it differently?”
HH Goal: The High-Hard Goal section is where I list my big aspiration for 2016. The phrase “high hard goal” comes from the book Bold by Peter Diamandis the famous creator of the Ansari X Prize. It’s a book that really inspired my in 2015. The HH Goal is where I ask myself, “if there was one thing I could imagine that would really be a break-through, what would it be?”
What’s my outcome? Here’s how I used this tool to plan my 2016. I won’t bore you with the details related to each concept, but I have specific plans and details for each of these.
More Of: Partners and products. I’m excited about launching several private label brands in 2016 – and several new product lines. You’ll hear more about these over the next few months.
Less Of: Teaching and online classes. I’ve decided that I’m going to limit my online classes (just sticking to the few that I’ve already committed to). I’m also going to limit my public speaking to just truly exceptional (and fun) events that Cinnamon and I can enjoy together.
Different: I’m going to focus on team building, hiring, and partnership development.
High Hard Goal: I’m going to try to push for a 7 figure year (revenue exceeding 1 million) for our core business Liberty Jane/Pixie Faire and a 7 figure year for Sew Powerful as well.
In this post I thought I’d share how Cinnamon and I sold $14,544 dollars worth of craft items on Black Friday – and over $21,000 in the four day period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday – and how we achieved it without putting all of our products on deep discount or damaging our long-term sales. Read more ›
Recently we announced the launch of a new class (Sewing Camp Power) in partnership with Jennifer Serr. Lots of people have had questions so we decided to put together a simply Q&A. Here’s the promo video we put together as well: Read more ›
Last night in our Etsy Intensives webinar with Nancy Alexander she shared SOOO much good content. I quickly realized that the replay will be very helpful for me (so I can go through it slowly, hit pause, and then implement the “hacks” (or tips) that she recommends. I’d encourage you to do the same thing.
My Reflections on The Etsy Intensives Webinar: While she was talking I tried my best to look at my Etsy shop – and evaluate what she was saying – and how I was (or wasn’t) doing compared to her recommendations. Here are five hacks (or tips) that stood out to me:
1. Etsy Search Engine Optimization:
Definition: How does Etsy serve results to people who are looking for items?
2. Etsy Keyword Usage:
Definition: Understand, review, and write your descriptions and related text information to use Keywords and Long-Tail Keywords (Keywords that have more than 3 words) effectively. When you do – your results will show it.
3. Etsy Search Bar Related Terms:
Definition: Etsy begins to reveal related searches as you type. Use this information to understand what people are searching for and how to organize your keyword strategy.
4. Etsy Shop Description Purpose:
Definition: Use the Shop Description and “About” Information to focus on bonding with the prospect. Work to ensure they 1) Know 2) Like 3) Trust … you and your work.
5. Etsy Shop Images:
Definition: Etsy recently added the “Info Image” that most sellers still haven’t used yet. Be sure to add your logo to the Shop Info image box and your personal (smiling face) to the Shop Owner image box. Etsy uses these in various places so it’s important to add them properly so you help Etsy help you.
Regardless of whether you sell a little or a lot on Etsy – I think it’s important you get these elements set up properly. As I mentioned previously, these were just my “in the moment” ‘ahas’ … as I watch the reply I’m sure I’ll get much more. Then as we go through the full course – we’ll learn even more.
I hope you enjoyed this special training session as much as I did.
Today we pick up the keys to our new main street store. We are freaking out a little – since this is the biggest business step our little company has ever taken. But it feels right – and this new leg of our journey is going to be an exciting one. I guess I’ve got a new blog topic!
In this post I’ll share the rationale and approach we’re taking to the new location.
Here are some pics of the space that we took last week:
Our Need For An Office
Our business started at our kitchen table in 2008. And over the years that has worked remarkably well even as we’ve gone from a two person operation to a larger team. Honestly – it does feel like a circus sometimes – we have 2 rooms in our house that are pretty much dedicated business spaces and our garage is filled to the brim. And of course we still use the kitchen table for our team meetings, (pretty much all day on Monday). But we were okay ‘as-is’ until a year ago – when we launched Pixie Packs. In the last year that effort has grown too big for a garage operation. It’s time for a real office.
We began looking for spaces about four months ago and started by narrowing the location down to the right city. We had 3 local towns to choose from – and although we debated each – we went with downtown Auburn since it’s the most convenient and the best of the 3 choices. We wished we lived closer to downtown Seattle (or San Francisco for that matter), or a few of the upscale cities east of Seattle, but we don’t. We live in small town America where the main street has a fair number of empty stores, little foot traffic, but still a very cute overall vibe. We knew we didn’t want to be in some gross business park, or a warehouse type location. We needed something more fun. When we saw the former “Love Travel” office we immediately liked the vibe it put off and could imagine our operation in it. We could imagine it feeling like a two story version of Britex (Cinnamon’s favorite store of all time).
Here’s a video Cinnamon did of one of our visits to the Britex Store:
But the funny part is – although we now have a main street store (that feels very weird to write btw) – we really need it for offices, storage, work-space, not the retail aspect. So we’ve decided to go with a 90% office, 10% retail approach. But we want that 10% to be mind-blowingly awesome to doll enthusiasts. We will be open to walk-in customers, and carry a very limited supply of items for sale, but the primary purpose of the space will be to support our business, which is 100% online. How will we do that?
We are going to create something that we’ve never seen before. Maybe you have – and if so – feel free to shoot us a message with some pictures or links. Our vision is for a mixed up version of…
A doll atelier (workshop) that has active “artistry” happening for visitors (and customers) to see. This will include doll clothes designing, fabric cutting, construction, photography, and shipping – everything we do every day – on display for people to see. Of course the design work will all be modern, not historical. So think Euro Libby, Tokyo Libby, Outback Libby, or Malibu Libby.
Imagine the color and fun activity of a candy store where the workers are making the candy for people to watch, except it’s doll clothes.
Layer on a high-tech Silicon Valley styled corporate office upstairs – with the marketers using their online skills to pay the bills.
Sprinkle in artist/employees downstairs focusing on the product at a level of artistry that makes Dior In Miniature proud. Like this:
At first we struggled over how to do the branding because our primary business focus is Pixie Faire, (now with over 1 million patterns downloaded). But then we got clarity on the issue. The store will be Liberty Jane in branding and overall presentation. It will be “doll couture – custom fitted fashions rare and beautiful.” That’s who we are. But we will also run both Pixie Faire and Sew Powerful from the location. They’ll be upstairs and less ‘on display’ visually.
If we can master the business model we are envisioning, then we believe we can begin opening retail locations in more fertile locations in the future as our online business continues to grow. Our online business under-writes this effort of course – and it is the main focus of our lives, but retail feels like our destiny. Auburn will (probably) always be our home base, but having additional stores in more mall-centric locations seems like a fun dream – if we can pull it off.
We are going to try something very different and launch a kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds for the set-up. We are working on the details now and hope to launch it in September – it will include rewards that our fans will (hopefully) go crazy over. We plan on having a grand openning party after things are up and running – with friends and family, (and any Seattle area fans that would like to attend). Of course – I’ll share pictures and stories along the way.
Every step on our journey has led us to today. We are so insanely grateful for our growing group of fans, followers, and customers that loyally support Cinnamon’s work. It’s amazing to see it continue to grow.
Leave us a comment and tell us what you think, (are we crazy?). What are your suggestions for how to do this right?
Last Sunday I was in the Lusaka Tourist market and made you a quick video.
As I wandered around I pondered how amazing it is that “location creates pricing power” is just as true in an online marketplace such as Amazon (or other online marketplaces) as it is in a small city-level ‘real-world’ marketplace in a town in Africa.
The sellers in this marketplace come from rural villages as far away as 8 hours each Sunday! The reason? They can buy an item in their village for 7 Kwacha (about $1) and sell it in the Lusaka Marketplace for $3, $4, or even $5.
Lesson for sellers: sell at the big marketplace in your industry or region, (this is true for both off-line and online sellers).
Just a quick note to let you know that Amazon currently has the Craft Business Power ebook on sale for just 99 cents until midnight on the 26th. Be sure to snag a copy before the price goes back up. And if you’ve never seen our little promo video for it – here it is: