Your Competition isn’t Who You Think it Is

I’m sure you’ve heard it many times from many people: starting your own business and keeping it alive isn’t easy. Etsy and the markets are saturated, the internet is full of cheap knockoffs, there is no room for anyone else and nothing is new under the sun. Maybe you’ve even been tempted to believe it yourself at times. But none of it is true. The truth is that you get to decide who your competition is and succeed on your own terms. Here’s how.
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Square for Woocommerce Plugins: What You Need to Know

Integrating WooCommerce with Square has long been tops on the wish-list of artists and makers who sell both online and at urban markets, craft fairs, and art shows. Today there are many solutions available, including the free and official Square for WooCommerce plugin, and the paid WooSquare Pro plugin. With both, you can use Square as a payment method on your WooCommerce site, and keep your inventory, prices, and products synchronized between your physical Square POS (Point of Sale) and your online WooCommerce store. How well do they work? I spent three weeks testing them to find out. Continue reading “Square for Woocommerce Plugins: What You Need to Know”

Help your Small Business Grow by Slowing Down: 5 Tips to Stay Sane

As a small business owner, I know that there’s tremendous pressure—both from yourself and from others—to always be looking for new ways to help your small business grow.

We read blog posts, participate in forums, sign up for email newsletters, and attend webinars all offering advice on the 51 things we need to be doing yesterday to increase everything 1000x. But I’ll bet that half the time you finish each day even more uncertain about what to do to help your small business grow.

Well, allow me to throw one more piece of advice on the pile: you shouldn’t be afraid to slow down.

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Plugin Review: The Best Way to Import Etsy Listings into WooCommerce

“What’s the best way to import Etsy listings into WooCommerce?”

That’s the question I get all the time from handmade artists and makers who want to expand beyond Etsy with their own store. And for a long time there hasn’t been a good answer.

But today there are several options, some free, and some costing over $100. So which one is the best?

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Payment Processing Problems at Etsy: Lessons Learned

The first half of 2016 saw two major disruptions in Etsy’s payment processing system, Direct Checkout. One came just before Valentine’s Day and another at the beginning of July. Orders were delayed, customers asked for refunds that couldn’t be processed, and uncertainty filled the forums where Etsy sellers tried to figure out what was happening to their shops. These outages hold important lessons for anyone running an online store. Chiefly, they underscore the importance of backups, communication, and planning.

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How Does a Custom WordPress Website Help Your Business?

Building a website for your business is an investment, and it’s only natural for a small business owner to wonder exactly what you get from a custom WordPress website. For many of my clients, designing and building a site is a new process full of unknowns. If you’re wondering how your business could benefit from a new website, this guide will help you understand what goes in to creating a custom WordPress website and what you can expect to get from your investment.
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7 Ways to Get Traffic to Your New Website or Online Store

If your shop on Etsy lasts long enough and you see some success, there will inevitably come a time when you realize that you need to stop putting all their eggs in one basket. Maybe it’s a long period of slowing sales from changes behind the scenes, another payment processing outage, or ads for your competitors’ products showing up in your store. Whatever the reason, at some point you decide that it’s time to build your own store. The problem is, how do you get traffic to your new website?

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4 Easy Ways to Integrate Your Etsy Store and Your WordPress Website

Etsy can be a good starting point for people getting in to the business of selling their handmade goods online. But if you want to establish your own, independent brand identity and build a business for the long term, there will come a day when it’s time to expand beyond Etsy.

Of course you can’t just pull the plug on your Etsy store and expect your customers to follow—you need to give them help finding you and your new store, and that means finding ways to integrate your Etsy Store and your WordPress Website. If your store has outgrown Etsy and it’s time for you to build a store on a site that you control, this article will give you four options to make the transition seamlessly.

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Why You Need an Email List (and How to Start One Today)

Don’t build your business on something that you don’t own. That’s my golden rule for artists, makers, and small businesses who are serious about building something for the long term. It’s why I don’t think you should build your website on a hosted platform, and it’s why you need an email list. It’s your ace in the hole the next time Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or whoever change their advertising policies or feed ranking and send your carefully-built audience to the bottom of the ocean. Anybody can build an email list, and everyone can benefit from one.
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How to Become Your Own Favorite Boss: A Guide for the Self-Employed

The toughest boss you’ll ever work for is yourself.

When you work for someone else it’s easy to say that the reason you’re always stressed about work is your big bad boss and his (or her) mixed messages, unrealistic deadlines, and lack of boundaries.

It’s easy to blame your boss when you find yourself awake all night replaying the previous day’s failed proposal and wondering how they could have done things better, or when you get up at 1:30am to tweak slide #259 of tomorrow’s big presentation.

Many of us who work for ourselves made the decision to go off on our own at least partly because of bad boss experiences we’ve had.

Unfortunately, sometimes your new boss turns out to be a real hard-ass too.

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