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Quilting Business Blog — How to Start a Quilting Business — Page 4

Leah Day – The Power of Free

by Charlotte Colmon

365daysI received an unsubscribe request a week or two ago, and because the advice was so good, I wanted to personally respond to the unsubscriber. Here's the note she included in her unsubscribe request (and yes, I did remove her from the email list):

Hi Chuck, just a quick word of advice:

When a reader writes in, always respond to them with a personally written message, even if you get 50 emails in one day.

Don't respond by sending out a second newsletter. It's rude and makes you appear to not care about your individual readers at all.

Your business will only be as good as the time and energy you put into it.

Good luck.

So why am I bringing this up?  Turns out that the person who unsubscribed is Leah Day, and she has an incredible approach to her quilting business.  She has a website where she is giving away a free motion quilting filler design every day for an entire year.  She's challenged herself to come up with a brand new filler design every day for 365 straight days, and you can find out about it at her blog:

www.freemotionquilting.blogspot.com

So what is she hoping to get out of giving away a free motion quilting filler design every day for a year?  Here's her explanation:

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When a Competitor Fails

by Charlotte Colmon

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinbell/1617422579/I received a great question from Karen about how to best handle when a competitor goes out of business.  Here's the question:

Chuck,

The nearest competitor to us closed on Monday. Is there any way we can capitalize on her closing without appearing as over zealous or gloating . How or what should we advertise to capitalize on the closing? Or so we just let nature take its course.

Thanks,

Karen

This can be a difficult situation since  you certainly don't want to come off as happy that your competitor has failed because you want to make their customers comfortable with choosing you as the alternative.  Here is my answer to Karen:

Hi Karen,

When a competitor goes out of business is certainly no time for gloating.  Besides the obvious fact that someone just had to give up on their own dream business, there's the loyal customers who had invested a lot of time and money with this business because they either like the service, the products, or the owners.  Sensitivity is key, but you definitely want to make these customers start to love your business just as much.

Here's what I would suggest:

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In A Good Way: Quilting Charity

by Charlotte Colmon

Helping HandsFrom time to time, I get requests to pass along information about quilting-related charities, and I'm more than happy to help.  Below is a message from Teddi Irwin about In A Good Way, Inc., a halway farm based in Oregon.  I'll let Teddi explain the rest:

Glad you're back.  I am involved with an organization trying to help Native American men re enter society after incarceration.  We are trying to provide as homey a look as possible in their rooms and of course quilts are at the top of the list. We are at present gathering scraps and folks to piece the quilts and the thing that is missing is someone who will quilt the quilts. I hope that is a service that you might be able to provide for us.  We will advertise for you in all publications.

Do you think this is possible.  I am sending you our mission statement, Purpose and Philosophy. Thank you for considering our project.

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Quilting BusinessOne of the top questions I received recently was about starting a quilting website, or improving an existing website.  I've been developing websites for well over 15 years, and have spent a lot of time evaluating the best ways to get things done.  I've coded sites by hand, used Front Page and Dreamweaver, and have also looked at various software platforms for websites.

Recently, on www.LifeIsLocal.com, my website focused on helping local businesses get the most out of their online and offline marketing, I posted about why I use WordPress for all of my websites.  You can find the article, “Why I Use WordPress for Small Business Websites,” on the blog, but here are the key points:

  • WordPress is FREE. You don't spend a thing on the software.
  • WordPress is extensible. Lots of people are adding new functionality to it every day.
  • WordPress is easy-to-use. Once it's set up, you can easily add new content.
  • WordPress is interactive. Just like Quilting Business, you can solicit comments from your community.

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Some Halloween Fun

by Charlotte Colmon

Halloween_TwoI have another website called My Parent Magic that I'm also starting back up.  On that site, I offer tips for helping parents keep the magic in their relationship with their children.  And I'm giving away some Halloween Certificates that you can use for your children, or if you're a teacher, bring them into your classroom.

Here's the link to get the Halloween certificates:

In addition, if you're interested in getting parenting tools, resources, and other freebies, you can sign up for that email list and get my ebook, “101+ Letters From” which contains over 100 letters you can customize for your children.  There are Tooth Fairy letters, letters from Santa, and letters for special occasions like the first day of school.  I used to sell this book, but I'm giving it away free to subscribers on the My Parent Magic site.

Hope you can use these, and if not, please ignore this post!

Best regards,

Chuck

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quiltI'm answering my first question from the Quilting Business community today, and it comes all the way from Israel.  Here's the question:

Hi,

I am an about-to-be unemployed high-tech writer who has been quilting 15 years. I have loads of experience with many quilting techniques that I have learned over the years. I enjoy wallhangings and quicker projects. I have made involved projects and not made enough to cover my time. That just left me frustrated.

I very much want to build up a quilt business both quilting and teaching quilting. I have a draft website — I mean info about my products have been on a page on a friend's Website. She gets a cut if I get a sale. No one has bought anything over the last year.

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Let Me Answer Your Questions

by Charlotte Colmon

Question MarkBased on the comments on the site, and the emails I've received, I've decided to do a weekly Questions and Answers article where I answer 1 – 3 questions you've submitted.  To make things easier, please send your questions to me via the Contact page.  And, here are a few hints to getting your question chosen:

  1. Be Specific: Try to narrow your questions to just one specific topic, not a general question.  For example, asking me “how do I start a quilting business?” is not a very specific question, but “how can I market online to my local area?” is much better.
  2. Be Concise: Don't send really long questions.  If you need to cover quite a bit, break it down into multiple questions instead of a very long single question with too much detail.
  3. Be On Topic: Please confine your questions to how you can start, manage, market, and run a quilting business.  I really want to make the content on this site as targeted and useful as possible.
  4. Be Interesting: And finally, try to make your question as interesting as possible. Think about how you can frame the question in such a way that other people would want to know the answer as well.  That way, everyone wins.

The first Questions and Answers article will be towards the end of next week, so get y our questions in as soon as possible.

Thanks!

Chuck

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