August 2021 issue (Digital Subscription)

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I’m feeling like a sling shot, how about you? Just when we’ve been propelled forward like a rock sailing through the air, we’re snapped back to reality that things are still not normal. The news is filled with talk of wearing masks and variants that are spreading more quickly than the original COVID-19. I’m hearing concern about this and concern about that. I get it but I’m not retreating. Instead I’m pausing for a minute, regrouping and going to be ready to pull that sling shot waaayy back for a really far-flinging stretch! It’s yet another chance for me to improve my business.

Let’s head into the fall with a plan. Plan A is that all this talk is just that—talk. Things keep progressing as they have and we have a fairly normal fall and holiday season. But let’s not ignore the situation but instead have Plan B and maybe even C in our back pockets and ready for anything coming at us. I am looking at this as a chance to do mid-year planning!

Evaluate what really worked for you in 2020 and the first half of 2021. What did you do when COVID-19 hit? Change business hours, add curbside, do more Facebook Lives? Start making the list of what you’ll do first. Consider using your staff now to prepare for things ahead of time. You are in control of the situation at the moment so be the driver, not the passenger.

Here are just a few things I’m thinking about:

  • Stock up on mailing supplies.
  • Prepare and print bag stuffers for all outgoing packages, both instore and online.
  • Brainstorm ideas for doing Facebook Lives, including games, how-tos, and demos.
  • Create and package simple kits for customers to complete at home.
  • Check inventory for any low supplies, such as thread, bobbins, and other basic supplies.
  • Improve the website experience for my customers—clean up anything that might be dated or out of stock.

None of these items will be wasted time if Plan A is the route we go, instead I’ll just have a well organized fall! What can you do now to be ready for any bumps in the road this fall?

 

In This Issue

  • From the Editor
  • Today’s Trends: Premier Needle Arts shares recent survey results about the quilt industry.
  • Bridge the Gaps: Investigate online financing to solve short-term situations.
  • Instagram Stories, Reels and IGTV: Stay on top of the latest social media information.
  • 8 Low-Tech Ideas for a High-Tech World: Kizer and Bender remind us how simple marketing ideas can have big rewards.
  • Materials Matter: Find the latest fabrics and designs about to hit your store shelves.
  • Hot Picks: Check out products and notions to offer to your customers.
  • Book Nook: Learn more about three new books via interviews with the authors.
  • Partner with an Influencer: Collaborate with others to bring attention to your business.
  • Manage Your Ca$h Flow for Long-Term Success: Jacob Curtis breaks down the reasons why managing your cash flow is critical to your business.
  • Get Talking: Podcasts can be a popular way to entertain and inform customers. Should you produce one?
  • Free-to-Use Pattern: Sherri McConnell inspires us through her multifaceted quilt business. Learn tips on using the Free-to-Use Pattern, Flower Patch, in your shop.
  • Quick Read: Gain insight and forward thinking with this selection of business- minded books.

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