Hello everyone,

I just wanted to let you all know that I am so excited to have received all your emails with comments, questions and encouragement.  My heart also goes out to those of you that are struggling through these tough economic times.

Due to the large number of emails I have received, it is unfortunately taking longer to respond to each of you than I would like.  Please be patient as I work through the backlog of inquiries!

We are receiving some of the same questions from multiple people, and will be posting some of these questions and answers to the blog over the coming weeks, as I am sure it will benefit many others in our community.

Again, thank you for your support and patience!  I am so excited to be re-energizing this great community!

Charlotte.

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Have you ever stayed awake at night thinking about how to get your quilting business up and running?

Are your revenues down because of the economy?

Are you working hard to get your business off the ground, but feel like you are treading water?

Do you have excellent customers who move away and you never hear from them again?

Do you think about setting up a website but have no idea where to start?

Are you trying to market your quilting unsuccessfully to a local community that is tapped out financially?

Are you ever frustrated because you have new products arriving in your shop that you are excited to tell your customers about but you just don’t have the time to pick up the phone and let them all know?

And your employees forget to tell them?

Does it seem like no one knows about your online store?

Is your community willing and able to pay the true value of a quilt?

Do you have inventory that you wish you could sell?

Do you have workshops you would like to fill?

Are you looking for a real business strategy to make some extra money with your quilting?

Chances are you are wishing you were doing better in at least one of those areas, and – well, you are not alone.

By now, if you don’t know that most businesses in this economy are suffering, and many are just plain throwing in the towel and closing up shop, you’re sleeping with Rip Van Winkle, confident that when you wake up 20 years from now, your quilt shop business will be booming and you will have a gazillion dollars in the bank (and you are also assuming that a gazillion dollars will be gobs of money 20 years from now!)

And it’s not just quilt shops, it isn’t just in the US, and it isn’t just small businesses.

When General Motors lays off 130,000 employees, large chains like Circuit City, Starbucks, and Zales closes hundreds of stores, and even WalMart lays off more than 1,450 employees, many surviving local quilt shop owners are probably wondering what they can do to survive – let alone thrive.

Today, more than ever, professional quilters and quilt shop owners like you are anxious to figure out how to get the share of the quilting business revenue you deserve.

Many of us know that the number of quilters in the United States has been growing for the past several years, and with the impending retirement of the Baby Boomers, you can expect that trend to continue.

After all, for many, retirement brings the desire to remain active and interested in new trends, combined with the need for an activity that might not be so physically challenging.

Many Baby Boomers have fond memories of their grandmothers or mothers gathering with friends, neighbors or church groups to create beautiful quilts for babies, weddings, hope chests, and adorn beds at home.

And now given more time, the thought of learning how to quilt or creating more quilts for their family and friends is irresistible.

And we all know that quilters need resources – both beginner quilters and quilters with more experience.

But how is the best way to reach them and let them know about the resources at our shops?

Most business owners agree that the fastest and least expensive way is online.

But how do you keep in touch with your customers and visitors without getting them angry?

Quilter Penny Halgren has been a quilting website owner for more than 5 years now and has developed a system of communication with her newsletter subscribers that gives them what they want – information about quilting techniques, ideas for quilts, and resources to make their quilting easier and more fun – while giving her what she wants – increased revenue.

And now she has put together her system so you, too, can increase your business.

Penny reveals all of her closely held secrets in her brand new Online Quilting Business Success System.

Because Penny loves quilting and wants quilt shop owners to thrive in their businesses, she is sharing her system, and you can take advantage of her vast online experience:

http://www.QuiltingWebsiteOwners.com

By reserving your copy now, you can participate in live telephone training calls, listen to Penny explain her Online Quilting Business Success System, and get all of your questions answered, so you get a jump start for making more money online.

You truly can be one of the few successful online quilt shop owners in just 45 minutes a week:

http://www.QuiltingWebsiteOwners.com

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Survey Results In…

by Charlotte Colmon

How are you? I am writing to you from sunny Half Moon Bay, California. First off, let me tell you, I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of responses to Friday’s email request. Thank you for taking the time to share with me, and please know that I will be responding to each of you individually, but it will take me a few days. And keep sharing, I want to hear from the rest of you!

I heard a lot of stories from you, and mostly the message was the same – you are struggling to keep your doors open. My heart breaks for so many of you working long hours, and yet you can barely keep your head above water. Yet at the same time, you are persistent – you are willing to do what it takes, you just need some expert advice on how to do it.

What I heard is that many of you recognize the need to build up an online presence, but you aren’t sure how to do that. It’s a big task, and can be very scary, I know.

Let me tell you this right now. It’s not easy. It’s not going to happen overnight. Building an online presence is like building up a brick and mortar store from the ground up. It takes a lot of time to do it right.

But this is the best way to turn a struggling business into a profitable one. Right now, you are able to sell only to your community, but with an online presence, you can sell quilting supplies, classes, patterns and so forth to customers all over the world.

My friend Penny is one of the most successful quilters online. She runs her quilting business entirely online, and she is able to make a six figure living from it. That’s the dream, right, get paid for doing what you love, and sharing your passion for quilting with others?

Well Penny is living proof that it is possible. She’s had so many people ask her how she does it, that she has finally taken the time to put together a course where she shares all her secrets. This woman is the real deal. If you want to save your business, you need to go online. It’s that simple.

Penny’s course will show you step by step how to set up your online quilt business from the ground up, and how to market your online business so you can build up a customer base. As part of the course, Penny’s offering a series of live teleseminars where you can ask questions about YOUR business and get advice. If you are interested in this opportunity, you need to make up your mind as soon as possible. The teleseminar is happening next week.

For those of you not quite ready to build an online presence, don’t worry, we will be bringing you many other tips and strategies to apply to your businesses in the coming months. But for those of you who are looking for a way to turn your business around RIGHT NOW, we’ll have more information coming soon.

Charlotte

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Please allow me to introduce myself, my name is Charlotte Colmon and I’ve been working with Chuck behind the scenes these past few months. In a nutshell, Chuck has  “passed the torch” to me as he focuses on his family. I am very excited to bring a fresh perspective to the business side of quilting. Business is what I am passionate about, and I am excited to share with you my passion for growing your business.

The economy is finally starting to turn around, and now is the time to really give your quilting business everything you can. I’ve got a lot of great opportunities lined up for you that I will be sharing over the next couple of months. We are going to help you get your business going for you!

Please share with me what you are struggling with, what areas of your business do you need the most help with? Getting customers in the door? Sales promotions? Developing a web presence? Let me know what topics you most need advice in, and together we will make your business run like a well oiled machine. The way you’ve always dreamed it would.

We are going to be here every step of the way for you.

Charlotte

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Now that you’ve set up your WordPress site and chosen a theme, there are a few things you will need to do to make your website run more efficiently.  And this starts with adding some features using plugins. Plugins are small chunks of computer code that enhance the functionality of your WordPress-based website.  And don’t worry… you don’t need to be a computer programmer to understand how to do this.

Here is my list of plugins you absolutely need to have installed on your site:

  • Akismet – handles spam comments so your blog doesn’t get overwhelmed
  • All-In-One SEO Pack – adds features to make sure your blog shows up in the search engines
  • WP-DB-Backup – backs up your blog so if there is a problem, you can recover

Here’s the video tutorial (or click the image on the right):

Next up… Settings, settings, and more settings:

  1. Register your domain and set up hosting – done!
  2. Set up your WordPress installation – done!
  3. Pick a theme and apply it – done!
  4. The right plugins for your website – done!
  5. Settings, settings, and more settings
  6. Organizing  your site – writing pages
  7. Writing posts and adding images
  8. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  9. Wrapping it all up

You may have noticed I removed a few items from the list – Getting a Google account, Creating a graphical header, and Setting up an email subscription list.  This is because these are much more advanced topics and I thought it would be difficult at this stage of the game.

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The next step in building your website is to pick a theme, which controls the look of your site.  And in WordPress, there are 1,000s of themes available for free, and some premium themes that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Next up… The Right Plugins for Your Site:

  1. Register your domain and set up hosting – done!
  2. Set up your WordPress installation – done!
  3. Pick a theme and apply it – done!
  4. The right plugins for your website
  5. Getting a Google account
  6. Settings, settings, and more settings
  7. Creating a graphical header
  8. Setting up an email subscription system
  9. Organizing  your site – writing pages
  10. Writing posts and adding images
  11. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  12. Wrapping it all up

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After creating yesteday’s video, I realized it would be a good idea to include a quick tour of the WordPress Dashboard in order to familiarize you with what you’re going to see when you log into the backend.  So, I created this quick video tour:

Next up… Selecting a theme:

  1. Register your domain and set up hosting – done!
  2. Set up your WordPress installation – done!
  3. Pick a theme and apply it
  4. The right plugins for your website
  5. Getting a Google account
  6. Settings, settings, and more settings
  7. Creating a graphical header
  8. Setting up an email subscription system
  9. Organizing  your site – writing pages
  10. Writing posts and adding images
  11. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  12. Wrapping it all up

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