In this guest article Kristine Sheehan* talks us through her experiences of setting up and running an online based business with some tips on the way.
Taking on an entrepreneurial spirit and making an online design business a reality is a challenge to say the least. With so many design professionals out there, competition is paramount. But once you choose to forge ahead and create an ‘ink spot’ of your own it is not as difficult as it first appears. Here are some tips that I learned while starting my business, ‘The Merry Bird:pen, ink and design’.
Get out there
Utilising the web was the first step at bringing my online business to fruition. Blogging, building a website, and most importantly, offering customised ink works was how I really got my business going.
Become an expert in the field
Read, read and read some more: keep up to date on what’s going on in the technical arena as well as industry trends. Socialise with other businesses and swap idea’s. Borrow and buy books. Attend local work shops and shows. Read Just Creative Design. 😉
Fly around the world wide web
Regular social networking is easy and fun to do. I fly into social networks such as Myspace, LinkedIn, Ryze, and other online venues to gain exposure for my business. It is here that networking with entrepreneurs and others got the word out about The Merry Bird.
Find your target market
Customers are everywhere, but the ones that are drawn to The Merry Bird are those that like something “real”, nostalgic or customised – ie. Mothers to be, Brides, and women between the ages of 25-50. Finding a target market is crucial to the success of your business and after you find out your target market you should find out their needs.
Ask for referrals:
Once business is in flight, I always ask my clients to give referrals. This definitely opens up opportunities to gain new clients and get more business.
The Merry Bird:pen, ink and design has been an online business for two years and I can officially say I have an ink spot of my own! How about you?
*Kristine lives in Connecticut, married with two children and has Studied Art History, Studio Photography and Graphics in the late 80’s and early 90’s. She is bringing her studies of art back into her life full time with The Merry Bird, after it being on hold for a few years.