Thursday, January 03, 2013

Top Business Tips from some Top Business Ladies

I have LOVED putting these blogs together for you and when I read my stats, I can see that you have loved them too! Thousands of you have been reading them and hopefully taking away some fabulous tips and inspiration. If you don't know much about the Cheeky Blogs, you can read all 31 of them here

I will now be putting more of my time and energies into my own business. I get side tracked very easily, so I do need to be a bit more disciplined this year. It's now or never for me!

I have been truly inspired by all of the blogs and I can honestly say that I have taken something from each and every one. I have injected that bit of knowledge/top tip/business secret into my business in 2012 and with me not being very business minded, it has helped me considerably. I hope it's helped you too :)

Please do use these blogs as a resource and if you are feeling a little uninspired, come back to them, have a read and let these ladies give you a virtual kick up the bum! (so to speak!!) 

Anyway, the final blog is a collaboration of top tips from some of the 2012 bloggers and a few other businesses have helped me fatten it out (thanks ladies). I have included lot's of inspiration quotes as they always make me (and I hope you agree) feel fantastically positive! Enjoy

O.K let's get on with the show.....

1. Newsletter  - start collecting addresses (with permission) as soon as you can
2. Keep detailed records of all sales. It's boring when you do it but very handy in the end of the year! 
3. Work out the exact pricing for every item you make
4. Label your creations from the start 
5. There is no such a thing as cheap handmade - make sure you value your time! 

1. Get your pricing right. Don't undersell yourself in order to make a few sales...its easy to drop your price but much trickier to increase it. 

2.  Be confident in what you do. Everyone has to start somewhere so don't be intimidated by the competition. Remember that the creative businesses you look up to were once just an idea. 

3. Once you have developed a product get yourself into shops and galleries or onto craft markets with it. You will learn so much from talking  to your buyers.

4. Concentrate on your strengths and use your time wisely. Get help where needed so you can spend more time on the things you do really well. You don't have to do everything in your business, in fact, it may be a false economy to do so. 

5. Keep that fire in your belly, stay focused on your goals and don't ever give up!

1. Comparison is the killer of creativity. Don't go there. Put your blinders on and focus on what you love

2. Use free accounting software like or  - keep your books in order easily!

3. Listen/watch some amazing inspiration women on and other podcasts - I love to listen while I work!!

4. Being creative and working for yourself is lonely, build a network of friends and other people in a similar business that you can lean on and bounce ideas off. They don't have to be local. With email and skype, you can still stay in touch!

5. As with any career there is not one one golden ticket that launches you into "being there" and then you can sit back, relax and everything else is easy from there on out. Now that I've been working for myself as an artist and illustrator for 12 years I can say that there are many wins along the way where you feel like "ok here we go!! this is it!!" but then there are just as many set backs where you start to wonder what the heck you are doing with your career and your life. Being in business for yourself is a real roller coaster ride. But just like any roller coaster there are some really scary parts and some really exciting parts, and when you get to the end you look to your friend and say "let's go again!"

When you have a wobble, surround yourself with positive people and keep going. Get yourself a mentor.
If you're not thinking about what you make or do most of the time your awake it's not what you should be doing or making.
Blog, blog and blog again. Comment on other business blogs, you'll be surprised what connections you can make and the people who will visit your blog just by commenting on others.
Let your work and interests evolve. Be on the look out for new ideas all the time, be brave and adventurous.

Boost your FB numbers by networking and commenting on other peoples pages says Zoe from Scented Sweatpeas. Make contact with your customer says Helen from Doodlebags and listen to the feedback you get.

Chantelle from Kids Art has a background in business and accounting so she knows her numers "Make a database of e mails ASAP" she says (Mailchimp is great!) Invest in business from the get go, money makes money. However Chans main tip is to look professional at all times and not get into arguments on FB (for instance) Always be polite, courteous and professional at all times with comments/e mails etc. Get your branding up and running ASAP too. Colours, logo, slogan etc, so you will always be recognised and established.

Lidia from Lidia Steiner Illustrations just says "Start doing it!" That doesn't mean that planning is important, on the contrary, but experience, meeting with the real world will need re planning again and again. Also I believe in the creative rule: love it or leave it. If you do not love what you are doing, then your business will not progress and you will fail to go further"

O.K I suppose that now I have to write my top tips don't I? Well to be honest I can only tell you what I've learnt this past year and what I will be changing in the coming year. Here goes....

1. Network and be a bit ballsy! Be friendly with other businesses, especially if you are just starting out! Chat, comment on their FB page/Twitter. Don't be afraid. Just because they are doing much better than you, doesn't mean they are the big bad wolf. Granted, some are, but most are more than happy to help. I have met the most amazing and helpful people through Cheeky Pickle. You don't know unless you ask, so be a bit ballsy (in a polite way) and go for your life!

2. Be Professional - As a few others have said here, be professional from the start. If you don't have the money to buy logo's etc, be professional in your e mails to customers and in the way you interact with customers and other businesses on FB. Make sure each and every photo looks professional. It makes SO much differerence to the way your business is looked upon. Trust me, I've made all those mistakes.

3. Be honest and be yourself. People will see through you if you are fake. Customers will trust you if you are honest.

4. Stop wasting time and energy on aspects of your business that don't work for you and start concentrating on the what will get you to your next goal. FB for instance is a fabulous social media tool but I see so many (including myself!!) wasting hours upon hours on there. Ask yourself the question, Is it making you money? If the answer is no, then find an avenue that will.

5. Go for it! So many times I have thought, my works not good enough, I'm not as good as that other designer, there is no way I will get into that market! But when I have had the attitude of "just go for it, what's the worst that can happen......your ego can get a little dented, but that's all, it's not the end of the world" Well in my little experience "they" have pretty much always said yes and loved what I do. That tiny step up the ladder is such a massive boost to your confidence. But unless you just go for it, you will never, ever know! :)

Finally I want to say a huge thank you to each and every one of the guest bloggers. What an amazing group of women!!

We'd love to hear your comments below or any tips that you may have for us all.

Thank you!!

Ali x


  1. This is great! Thank you (everyone) for taking the time to put together an inspiring post; sometimes I need a bit of a kick-start to get going again. :-)

  2. I'm just starting out, about to launch a website at the end of this month so these tips are great, very inspiring and I will definitely be taking note of them. Thank you all for the creative inspiration and top tips.

  3. Awesome post! Thanks so much such great inspiration. Bec from xx

  4. That's exactly what I needed, Ali! Huge thanks again!

  5. Fantastic inspiring advice that strikes many chords. Thank you Cheeky Pickle,very much and good luck one and all! x

  6. thank you, thank you, thank you, this came at just the right time for me!

  7. So glad. We all need that boost sometimes. Hope it helped. Keep going, it's all worth it! :)

  8. Looking for fancy tees for girls? Check out latest collection of women tops online in India. A wide range of designer long, short, crop tops with v-neck, round neck, top for jeans, sleeved polo t-shirts.