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Memory Bear Business: Marketing, Sales and Customers

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service 

How to Get and Keep Happy Customers 

Let’s recap! You have your business name picked out, searched to make sure it was not Trademarked and you just purchased the domain name! You have your legal paperwork completed, you’re registered with the government and now, you need customers! 

Your First Customer 

If you are brand spanking new to owning a memory bear business and have never had a customer, now is the time to offer your service at a reduced cost. When I first opened my memory bear business and had no customers, I decided to offer my services at a reduced fee. In the first week of opening my doors, I had 8 orders. 

Marketing Your Small Business 

As a new business owner, you need to start drawing attention to your services even before your website is created. In fact, using Facebook or Instagram while your website is being built is a great way to get the word out about your memory bear services. One thing to keep in mind is your target customer. 

Do not think every customer is your target customer because this is simply not a fact. At first, you may find yourself taking every order inquiry that comes your way simply because you do not know what your boundaries are or how to say ‘no’

Let’s dig deep into finding your ideal customer by asking the following questions: 

  1. Who wants your memory bears?
  2. Who would love to brag about your services?
  3. What is their income, age, and gender?

Your Brand Identity 

While researching your ideal customer, you’ll need to build a strong brand identity…this is the step that WILL MAKE YOU STAND OUT from the rest of the memory bear business providers. Your brand identity is about your values, communication concepts, emotions you want to your customers to feel, and your mission.

Generate and Nurture Leads 

Now that you’ve begun building an online and local presence and creating awareness of your business, you need to generate leads that will bring you, customers. 

To generate leads online you could post pictures of your happy customers with their memory bears, or you could post pictures with stories of other items you have made that will show off your sewing skills. It’s a great idea to either make a few memory bears as gifts and give those away to people that will BRAG online about your services or make memory bears out of your own clothing so you can show your skills. Remember, potential customers, want to see your memory bear sewing skills before they are going to trust you with their treasured clothing. 

To generate leads in your local community you can attend local craft shows and business networking groups which will help establish you as the ‘go-to’ memory bear provider. By creating a local buzz about your sewing services, you will be given opportunities to grow your customer base, especially if they love your services! Bragging about how great your memory bear services are, will happen naturally and growth will occur. 

Follow along for part 6 ~

Orders and Shipping Your Memory Bears

Memory Bear Business: Business License and Taxes

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Business License and Taxes

What Is It & Do You Need One? 

I think it’s safe to say that every business needs a business license, and as a memory bear business owner, you’ll need one to operate legally, but requirements may vary. The specific license or permit you need can be figured out by visiting the Small Business Administration website. 

Small Business Taxes 

As a business owner, you are obligated to pay specific federal taxes, and the amount of those taxes is determined by your business entity. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for on the IRS website here. 

Some taxes you want to consider include: 

  • Self -Employment (SE Tax) 
  • Employment Taxes 
  • Excise Taxes 

Please seek the legal advice for your specific business structure, this is simply a reference blog to give you guidance on starting and/or growing your memory bear business. 

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Follow along for part 5 ~

Marketing and Customers

Memory Bear Business: Choosing and Registering Your Business Name

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Choosing & Registering Your Memory Bear Business Name

Standing Out from the Rest 

Establishing your business name is a little more complicated than making a list of your favorites. You’ll be using your business name on all your legal forms, client contracts, website, business cards, employer tax identification number, licenses, and permits. 

If you’re using a name other than your personal name, then you need to register it with your state government so they know you’re doing business with a name other than your birth name. 

Start strong! You will need to make sure the name you want is available in your state. Business names are registered on a state-by-state basis, so it’s possible that a company in another state has the same name as yours. You only need to be concerned if there’s a Trademark on the name, so do a trademark search of the name you want to desire so you can avoid costly issues down the road. 

Now, be sure to do a domain name search to make sure your choice of a business name is available for purchase. I use and recommend this service for domain name purchasing and website hosting. (Here is an affiliate link to the hosting company I use and have trusted for over 5 years!)

For a more depth look into naming your business, registering it online, and filing your legal structure, you can visit the Small Business Administration (SBA.GOV) and/or SCORE.ORG. 

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Follow along for part 4~

Licenses & Taxes

Memory Bear Business: Business Structures

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

The 4 Most Common Business Structures 

DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney or lawyer, I am not giving you legal advice. I only share the information I have found via the IRS.GOV website. Please do your own due diligence when constructing your memory bear sewing service business.

The four most common business structures are sole proprietorshippartnershiplimited liability company (LLC), and corporation. Each legal structure has its pros and cons, and it’s worth understanding every one of them before choosing to register. For time’s sake, I will only cover two: Sole Proprietor and Limited Liability (LLC). 

SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP 

Example: Virtual Assistant, Freelance Graphic Designer 

What it is: A sole proprietorship is a business that’s owned and ran by one person; the government makes no legal distinction between the person who owns the business and the business itself. It’s the simplest way to operate your business. 

Pros: It’s easy and inexpensive to create a sole proprietorship because there’s only one owner, and that owner has complete control over all business decisions. Tax preparations are also simple since a sole proprietor is not taxed separately from its owner. 

Cons: It is often difficult to raise money, get investors, or business loans. Also, since the owner and the business are legally the same, the owner is personally liable for all the debts and obligations of the business. 

Taxes: The sole proprietor owns and manages the business and is responsible for all transactions, including debts and liabilities. Income and losses are taxed on the individual’s personal income tax return at ordinary rates. Also, you may be subject to payroll taxes, or self-employment taxes, on the money you earn. (Find IRS tax forms here) 

Limited Liability Company (LLC) 

Example: A small design firm; Memory Bear Business 

What it is: LLC’s are a type of business structure that’s more complex than the sole proprietorship, but less complex than a corporation. They are called “pass-through entities” because they’re not subject to a separate level of tax. Most states don’t restrict ownership on LLCs, and so members an include individuals, corporations, and even other LLCs and foreign entities. Most states also permit “single-member” LLCs, those having only one owner. 

Pros: Owners of an LLC have limited liability, meaning that they are not personally responsible for any financial or legal faults of the business. This reduction in risk is what makes an LLC a very popular business structure. 

Cons: LLCs are often more complex than sole proprietorships which means higher initial costs. 

Taxes: LLCs have the benefit of “flow-through” tax treatment, meaning that the owners – not the LLC – are the ones who are taxed. Having only one level of tax imposed makes taxes easier.

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Follow along for part 3~

Choosing and Registering Your Memory Bear Sewing Service Business Name

Memory Bear Business: Getting Started (part 1)

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

 

Happy Memory Bear Customers

Starting a memory bear business involved a lot of moving pieces, some more fun than others, though all are necessary. Things to consider are: 

  • Business Name 
  • Legal Filings 
  • Filing Taxes 
  • Domain Name 
  • Hosting Company (I use this company and recommend them)
  • Payment Processors 
  • Marketing and Publicity

The trick to successfully getting your memory bear business off the ground is to plan and organize your materials, prioritize your time, and stay on top of these moving parts. 

From registering with the government to getting the word out about your business to making key financial decisions, here’s an overview of what you’ll need to start and run a successful memory bear sewing business.

This is not one of the fun parts, however, it is necessary. All new businesses need to be legally structured according to rules and regulations in your State, City, and County. This includes things like determining the legal structure of your business, your business name, registering with the government, and things like getting a tax code, a business license, seller’s permit, vendor and/or transient vendor’s license. 

Businesses are regulated on the federal, state, and local levels. It’s important to check what’s required on all three of these levels to ensure you are operating legally. When you register your business with the government, be sure you’re covering registration on all the levels required for your memory bear sewing service location. Your business won’t be a legal entity without covering these, so stay on top of it. 

It can be overwhelming to figure out what legal steps you need to take for your location, so let’s break it down in this memory bear business guide. Below you will find a brief explanation of what goes into each of the steps, along with some helpful links and resources so you can dig a little deeper. (Note: These steps are suggestions for starting a memory bear business in the U.S. only) 

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Follow along for part 2~

Determining the Legal Structure for your Memory Bear Sewing Service Business

National Embroidery Month 2020 | Stitch Along

National Embroidery Month 2020

February is National Embroidery Month

Monday through Friday I will post one hand-embroidery stitch on our Facebook Page 

Follow along on Facebook Sewing with STEAM

Website: Sewing with STEAM, LLC

Sewing -themed apparel

 

 

 

Business Question of the Day: Does My Business Need Publicity?

I think I’ll start a series of “Business Question of the Day” just to give you an idea of what types of business problems my mobile and remote business marketing services can provide to growing businesses. Now, just for the record, you’ll most likely type in this question and receive a variety of answers and reasons as to why your business needs publicity. As many answers as you find, you’ll find that many ways of going about gaining the publicity you desire.

So, does your business need publicity?

Let’s first grab the definition of what business publicity is so we are all on the same page. According to Wikipedia “Publicity (from French publicité) is the public visibility or awareness for any product, service or company. It may also refer to the movement of information from its source to the general public, often but not always via the media. The subjects of publicity include people (for example, politicians or celebrities), goods and services, organizations, and works of art or entertainment. “

Now that we know what business publicity is, we can boldly say, “YES”, your business does need publicity. Now, let’s talk about the variety of publicity options available to your business. Oh, but first, let’s do some housekeeping and check your social media profiles.

  • Is your profile picture professional and updated?
  • Is your contact information correct and working properly?
  • Is your website clearly listed and linked?
  • Is your ‘wall’ professional and related to your business and/services?

Okay, now on to 10 Ways to gain business publicity! These are in no particular order and you’re free to choose what will work best for you and your business goal. Plus, one way may bring better results than another depending on your message, your goal, and your audience.

  1. Press Release
  2. Viral Marketing
  3. Social Media
  4. Editorial coverage
  5. Sponsorship
  6. Collaborate
  7. Outreach
  8. Podcast hosting
  9. Event coverage
  10. Newsjack a breaking news story

Pitch!

Pitch!

Pitch!

All I ever do is PITCH! I can pitch for you! Check out my services and my testimonials. Then schedule your free 15-minute phone conversation to see if we are a good fit.

Testimonials

“I would recommend Stephanie and her services. I have outsourced before and although you can’t always tell how things will work out from the beginning I felt I could with Stephanie. She was professional, timely and accurate. She’s certainly a whizz at Internet research, proofreading and editing. Stephanie’s honesty and clarity is refreshing and she always steps up to new tasks with enthusiasm. ~Melitsa Avila from www.play-activities.com 

“Stephanie is smart, savvy and hard-working. I am amazed at her efficiency and the value that she offers to her clients. ” Meredith Eisenberg Yellow Highlighter Marketing https://yellowhighlightermarketing.com ~Meredith Eisenberg from Yellow Highlighter Marketing 

Stephanie is an awesome virtual assistant who is always there when I need her. She’s able to take control of my projects, organize them, and get the job done accurately and professionally. She specializes in article and press release submissions and is great at it. What a relief to be able to partner with someone who makes my job so much easier. I couldn’t do without her.” ~ Diana Ennen
Author: Virtual Assistant the Series: Become a Highly Successful Sought After VA
www.virtualwordpublishing.com 

Linda Holstein, owner of Doing Personal Favors www.doingpersonalfavors.com says: “You are so good at this! You are getting to know my business very well…great writer too! I couldn’t be happier! Just hope others will see it and read it too! I knew Michelle knew what she was talking about when she recommended you! Keep up the great work!”

 “In the past, my experience with other companies has been inconsistent.  But then I found Buckeye V.A. and all that changed.  I’ve been doing business with this company for over 1 year because there is follow through with everything I need.  What I love about working with Stephanie Fish is prompt and good service. I’ve had the following results: More exposure (Social Media Management, AWeber mailings and WordPress Website Management).   I would highly recommend Stephanie Fish of Buckeye V.A. because it can help your business grow.“ ~ Karen Russell, Recipe 4 Wellness, Health & Wellness Coach

Stephanie’s help with the Work-At-Home Success Podcast was invaluable. She promoted the show to potential guests, responded to their pitches, and scheduled their interviews. All I had to do was check my calendar and do the interview. She also put together two spreadsheets; one of media outlets I could pitch to interview me and  one of organizations that I could pitch for speaking engagements. I highly recommend Stephanie’s (Publicity) services. ~Leslie Truex: Author, Speaker https://www.leslietruex.com

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