Our Road Trip

Port-Elliott-SA-Eternity-Circle

 

 

 

 

 

We travelled from The Grampians, to Keith, and this morning to Port Elliott. Beautiful part of Australia.

Good reasons for beautiful jewellery

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Too lovely

New Mother and Child Personalised Pendant

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Fabulous new design. Available soon. www.PersonalisedJewelleryForMum.com.au

 

New Online Launch!

At last, we have launched our new website to showcase our fabulous Personalised Jewellery range. We have had such interest in and demand for our Personalised Jewellery range that we decided to make it available online. Thanks to everyone for your support. The new website looks fantastic and showcases our unique, hand stamped personalised jewellery beautifully. There is much more to come!

Personalised, hand stamped jewellery

Beautiful Personalised Jewellery

Online Business – page ranking is key

I started a small business last year and went ‘live’ online in December (after many many hard months of analysis, research, development, testing etc). What an exciting day!!! But as the weeks passed, the reality of a page 17 (google page ranking) business started to dawn on me. When I started the business, it was always about being online. I was hoping to minimise the wholesale discussions and go direct to the public via the internet thus being able to provide a good value and high quality product to people without a ‘middleman’. But being on page 17 really limits your exposure to potential customers.

So the SEO work began……I had so many offers from organisations to guarantee me page 1 placement, emails and phone calls from sales people claiming to have the key to good google page ranking. So is it true? Is there some secret behind SEO and achieving a high page ranking? Can you do it yourself? Does it make a difference to the potential for your business?

I don’t know all the answers (or even many), I don’t think anyone does. Google is an amazing and every changing mechanism. I didn’t engage the services of any of the offers I received (couldn’t afford to anyway, being a startup small business).  I have managed to achieve good page ranking though. Luck? Maybe. But here are a few very basic ideas and guidelines:

1. Know your market and competitors before you start. Make sure you have done your homework.

2. Start with a good website. One that is compliant with the standards expected of google (it is easy to be penalised by google for breaking the rules).

3. Make sure you target your key words well. Be specific in the search criteria you are targeting.

4. Update your site regularly.

5. Join forums and blogs relevant to your product – this is extremely time consuming and I have no idea of the contribution it makes to page ranking but worth a try I guess.

6. Social networking can be extremely valuable – facebook, myspace, twitter.

7. Persist! Keep working hard.

I am not sure how helpful this is nor the extent to which it all contributes to the bigger picture, but I just thought I would capture the high level elements – none of which are new or groundbreaking. But if you are starting out online, read as much as you can. You will learn along the way.

My Big Girl Turns 8

I can hardly believe that my first baby, Casey, is now 8. And it gets worse…..she is getting so big and so independent. She started basketball on the weekend, and ditched her glasses in favour of contact lenses for the game! Unbelievable. What a lovely little girl. So funny, and energetic, determined, sensitive and caring. She is an absolute cracker and I am so proud of my darling 8 year old girl. Next week Ava turns 5……how will I cope???

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

I can hardly sleep, my mind is working overtime! There are so many ideas that I have to develop and grow my business (and for new business possibilities) but there simply are not enough hours in the day to get to them. I have to keep reminding myself to take small steps.

So far my venture into the internet and e-commerce has been very rewarding. My number one objective when I started was to establish a business online, and seek to achieve good google page ranking. This would be the platform from which I could seek to build a strong sustainable business. Not an easy task. However, after about 4 months, my business is generally ranking page 1 or 2 in most of the relevant search terms. I am thrilled!! My objective now is to ensure it is page 1 consistently.

I now have my platform however to start to develop the business. Hence I have recently added 2 new products lines to the site. The first is Christening Jewellery and the second is what I call ‘Menu Candles’. These are completely unique. I have never seen them produced anywhere else. I have not started to market these new products as yet (shortage of hours in the day). But, I am quite convinced that they will be a hit amongst those people seeking something a little bit different for their corporate event, wedding or any special occasion. Below are a few examples. If you are reading this, please feel free to share with anyone you may think would be interested!

The great thing about these candles is that they combine two elements into one. They create a beautiful table centrepiece, but they also provide guests with details of the menu. Since the candles are printed on all 4 sides and stand 22cm tall (even taller ones are available), everyone will be able to read the menu. What a great talking point and conversation starter at an event!

The Great Rewards of Running Your Own Business

I have spent all 18 years of my working career up until a year ago working in a Corporate environment. I have worn a suit to work, travelled on public transport, worked long hours, completed a business degree and MBA, spent far too many hours in meetings, travelled domestically and internationally, eaten many business dinners (often with people I would not have chosen to share a meal with), and worked very hard! Everything has now changed.

I have recently established my own business, and I am working from home. It has been much harder work than I had anticipated, but on the flip side, more rewarding than I ever could have known. I have been completely astounded by the positive feedback that customers give to me – and entirely unprovoked. Without request people write to let me know how pleased they are with the purchase, how beautiful it is, how quickly it arrived and how grateful they are. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

In my previous Corporate existence (which already feels like a lifetime ago), there were many up’s and down’s, tough times and rewarding times. But in the short time I have been running my own business and fulfilling customer orders (for products I have designed, created and sent), the reward is so far much greater. And more importantly, it is a much more personal reward. A great feeling of satisfaction that I have created something that someone else likes and appreciates.

Back to Kinder

My 4 year old is back to kinder tomorrow and so excited about it. So excited in fact, there was a full dress rehearsal held yesterday and my older daughter took photo’s. Here are a couple:

Tomorrow is therefore the beginning of the back to school routine (well half of it, Casey goes back on Friday). My days of dropping off, picking up, making lunches, Little Athletics, dancing, packing bags, unpacking bags, trying to squeeze a sleep or two in for the baby, plus run a business……..all start again! It is a tight squeeze. I could do with another 4 weeks of school holidays. The kids have been great. I will miss them, but I have a lot of work to do, the days will pass quickly.

Growing a Business – doing the hard yards

Starting and then growing a new business is extremely hard work! Apart from the shear volume (time spent) of work, it is also quite unglamorous and almost intangible work. It is what I call ‘doing the hard yards’. I spend many hours of my day working on ‘the grind’, all the aspects of growing a business that at times seem completely unrelated to the business itself. All are of course completely necessary, but they are the type of tasks that you would prefer to put to the bottom of the endless list of things to be done. They do start to pay dividends however, and I am starting to see a glimpse of that now.

As much as I would love to be spending all the time I am investing right now on fulfilling customer orders, some of my time must continue to be spent on establishing and growing the business. I am writing about this now, because it is an important lesson and I want to continually remind myself of it. The busier I become, the less likely I will want to work on the mundane core tasks. The reality is however, these mundane tasks are establishing a sustainable business. Not one that will come and go, one that will continue to grow over time.

I can not lose sight of this, no matter how busy I become fulfilling orders.