SMALL BUSINESS HELP

HELPFUL WEBSITES FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS

free-business-tools

Today I am going off topic from parties and weddings and sharing some helpful web resources if you are running your own business from home, like myself.
Scroll down below for the links to some great resources to help you get started if you are thinking of working from home or if you already are a small business but want more helpful resources.

Before we get to the small business help,  I want to share some tips and advice from my own experience.

Also, I am wondering if any other small home based handmade to sell businesses are tired of the label “crafting” or “crafter”?

2955314bdb95fc0cc9fa01d9a651a173

 Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think of this as a derogatory description, it is just limiting.  I think of myself as an artisan or maker and a business entrepreneur, who just happens to work at home.

In jest, this probably sums up everyone else’s view of what we, makers, do –

Yes, of course ‘crafting’ is what I do, everyday, in fact.  It is essentially what I sell.  Handmade party and wedding designs. However, I consider what I actually do- so much more than just “crafting”.   Keep in mind that running a business from home means that there are no paid sick days, no paid vacations or personal time off, and usually no full weekend breaks!

 Running your own business means that you only get paid. . . when you work.  I like getting paid, so  I work all the time!  My day generally starts at 7:00 am at my desktop and ends later in the evening, often as late as 8:00pm in order to keep up on my custom orders and making wonderful party and wedding designs by hand.

While it allows me to stay home and run my own business and not have to join the rat race of society. . . I sometimes do miss working in an office.  But only for about a minute and then I rejoice in the advantages of a home based business!

Yes, I LOVE IT! And yes, working from home offers many perks that other employees don’t get to take advantage of on a daily basis: no commute to work, working in my PJ’s (yep, I am guilty of this!) but on the flipside, I am often truly never off from my business and work.  I answer emails from my phone late in the evening and on the go on the weekends and often work very late in my studio on rush orders.

So forgive me, if I think of the terms, “crafter” and “crafting” as more of a hobby – someone who crafts, on the side of a full-time job or in retirement – for fun.  A crafter who enjoys the hobby and loves to make handmade stuff to give a greeting card or knitted scarf to friends and relatives at Christmas.  That to me is crafting – not at all what I do full-time.  “Crafting” is not a bad description; it’s just that I do so much more than that to keep my business going, to keep sales coming in, to drive traffic to my Etsy shops.

And Etsy is not my sole source of business.  Oh no!

No way could I pay the car payment and bills with only my Etsy sales.  My direct orders from my regular event planners are what keep me in business. Thank you. . . to all my wonderful event and wedding planners who order from me on a regular and repeat basis!

So, if you are thinking of giving it a go as a full-time gig, at home, hand making something – you should first know that you really should be darn good at it, whatever it is you make. You have to compete now with hundreds of thousands of other makers and artisans online now, especially if you start out on Etsy.  And launching your own website will require much research, social media marketing, and hard work.  So let’s get you to jump off the launch pad . . . or your mouse pad and start by visiting these websites below for more helpful small business resources.

First, I recommend taking the time to read this very honest article (click to read it)-

STARTING AN ARTS & CRAFTS BUSINESS

Next, check out this website for a whole list of resources (click to access resources)-

THE WORK AT HOME WOMAN

Thanks for stopping by and as always, if you are not a maker yourself – visit any of my Etsy shops below for some wonderful party and wedding designs- made by me!

Jill Signature

DIY Chalkboard Sign & Tray

DIY CHALKBOARD SIGN & TRAY TUTORIAL

I love this idea for a party sign.  Use it at a party standing upright with a HAPPY BIRTHDAY sentiment and then erase and use around the house all year long!

Here is the step by step tutorial on how to DIY this chalkboard sign and tray-

What You’ll Need:

  • Wood Tray
  • Chalkboard Markers
  • Black Chalkboard Paint
  • Acrylic Paint (any color)
  • Ribbon (any color)

Step 1:

Paint the outside edge and inside edge of the tray with the paint.

I used Aqua!

Let the paint dry completely.

Step 2:

Paint the inside of the tray with black chalkboard paint.

Let it dry completely.

Step 3:

If using as a sign for a party, just add your birthday phrase and stand it upright at your party table.

After the party,  use as a tray and add a postive inspirational quote.

The phrase can be changed on a regular basis. Just erase with a warm damp cloth and write something new and add some doodles too! Short quotes or even a new phrase for every holiday is perfect for the sign or tray!

Here is an easy way to put add professional looking text onto your chalkboard!

Step 4:

Print out the desired text at home on printer paper.

Step 5:

Use the side of the chalk and fill the back of the paper, so it becomes chalk carbon paper.

Step 6:

Place the paper on the tray and trace the letters with a piece of chalk.  Or you can even trace over the letters with a pencil, since you are only making an imprint of the letters. This will give you  more precise lines.

Tape or hold the paper in place so it doesn’t move while writing.

The imprint is a bit messy but it’s easy enough to trace over with the chalk marker.

Step 7:

Next, trace over the chalk imprinted lettering with your chalk marker and let it dry completely.

Chalk markers are so much fun!  Keep in mind, they are wet paint and can take a while to dry.

Step 8:

Let the chalk marker dry for about 30 minutes. Then wipe the dry chalk off the background with a dry cloth and hang in the house with a ribbon or anywhere at your party.

Thanks for stopping by Party Fetti today!

signature

10 DIY Christmas Wrapping Ideas

CHRISTMAS GIFT WRAP IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR TREE MORE JOLLY

giftwrap1

It’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about shopping lists, holiday parties, and wrapping. Oh, all that wrapping! It can be a tough thing. I mean, the wrapping papers you find in stores aren’t always the best. And for your loved ones, you have to have the best, right? So if you are having a hard time finding the perfect wrapping paper, or if you just want to make your wrapping paper a little more special this holiday season, try out some of these awesome DIY ideas! (My favorites are the ones involving confetti. Lots and lots of confetti.) Enjoy, and happy wrapping!

1. Painted Pretty

giftwrap2

This would be a great one to do with the kids. Pick a few colors, grab a brush, and go to town!

2. Sports Ball Simply Stamped

giftwrap3

These are so fun and unique! My favorite is the golf ball. These would be great for any sports fans in the family. I bet a baseball would look pretty cool too.

3. Add Household Twinkling Trinkets giftwrap4

This wrapping paper is so cool and perfect for the sewing crafting recipient.  Gotta love the black, white and gold combo.

4. Confetti Shimmer & Shake

giftwrap5

Who wouldn’t love to receive a gift wrapped up with some confetti under an over wrap of cellophane? Kids will go crazy for it! They can shake these presents and watch the confetti move.

5. Stamped Stupendousgiftwrap6

How rad is this idea? I love the polar bears. So cool!

6. Eraser Polka Dots Dappled

giftwrap7

This is a classic. Grab a regular old number 2 pencils and stamp away! Try adding some color with different colored ink pads too!

7. Rubber Band Burst

giftwrap8

Who knew rubber bands would make a perfect gift topper? It would be fun to watch someone get frustrated having to take all of these all off!

8. Confetti Coated

Confetti Gift Wrap

More confetti, please! A few different ways to make your gifts a little more festive and a whole lot more fun!

9. Pom Poms Popping

giftwrap9

How fun is this? I have to give this a try. Not only is it pretty and fun, the pom poms add some fun texture.

10. Photos

giftwrap10

I love this idea; there are so many ways to make it and have it work for different people. It’s all about customization, people!

Hope these Christmas gift wrapping ideas have inspired you!  Feel free to visit my shops to find a little something to wrap up –

ONCE UPON A HOME DESIGNS

THE PARTY FETTI SHOP

READY SET CRAFT KITS

PINWHEEL PRETTIES

Jill Signature