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Business Updates & Favorite Reads

 

Business Updates and Favorite Reads

Near the end of September, I confronted the fear of many a small business owner: a slow week.  I assumed this signaled an oncoming dry spell, which would be consistent with the previous year and made all sorts of grand plans for business development.

If you’re going to have a business slump, why not make the most of it, right?

But my prediction was wrong and things picked right back up again!  This is, of course, awesome, but I’ll confess I am struggling a bit to complete all the business development projects I started.

So, for the week of October 30th – November 5th, I’ll be officially “out of office” to finish up my business refresh.  Don’t worry, though!  Any ongoing or new projects will pick right back up on the 6th, and most of you will probably never notice I was away.

Things to Expect After the Refresh

  • New Freebies!  I’ll be offering a free brand audit for anyone who needs a few pointers on their logo, website, or other business designs.
  • Consistent Messaging.  I’ve updated a couple pages to reflect my business ethics, but I want the whole site to tie together under that one theme.
  • Cleaned-Up Design.  I think most web designers would agree with me that we spend far more time on our client’s websites than on our own.  Mine was starting to get a bit messy and I’ll be relieved to tidy up a bit!

Now, I don’t want to leave you without anything to read today, so I’ve rounded up some of my favorite articles from the past month or so.  Enjoy!

Favorite Reads

On the subject of email marketing

I’ve been working on my client onboarding and offboarding lately so this came in handy.

Work/life balance is much discussed and all sorts of solutions proposed, but it was a relief to hear someone finally say that you can’t do it all.  My favorite line, “Work-life balance means that most things in our lives progress more slowly.”  Yes!

After years I finally quit Hootsuite for Buffer (not 100% convinced this was a good switch but it is $5 cheaper per month) BUT their blog is actually quite useful: 6 Things to Stop Doing on Social Media.

Decluttering is a passion of mine (sometimes to an unreasonable level) and I especially love when someone tells me how to get past my own excuses and psychological barriers.

If you’re in the mood for funny, wholesome, and social issues, check out this comic artist.

I try to stay organized, but, like I mentioned in the first couple paragraphs, sometimes things get away from me.  So I was fascinated by the Wheel of Life exercise.

Happy reading!

My Business Ethics Manifesto

People often say they want to make an impact, make their mark, effect change, etc.  But what does that actually mean?

The actions each individual takes may differ but the underlying desire is the same.  To leave the world better than we found it.  People who want to create change in the world see a problem and then take steps to improve it, instead of complaining and continuing on about their day.

I recently read an amazing article over at Yes and Yes about building ethics into your business.  I’ve had some vague ideas about values that were important to me, in and outside of my business, but I’ve never vocalized it or built it into my mission statement.  Remedying that now!

Jenn Wells Design Code of Business Ethics

1. Giving Back

I currently donate $25/month to the Nurse Family Partnership, and another $15 to various causes that are important to me.  I’m going to keep that auto-payment, because it’s easy and I don’t have to think about it.  But I’m also going to contribute 10% of my profits, because I want my successes to contribute to the world and not just my wallet.

2. Atmosphere of Inclusiveness

With a company of one (plus a few contractors) there’s not a lot I can do about this, BUT as a graphic designer I do create visuals that go out into the world.  So it’s my job, along with everyone else in the visual communications field, to create imagery that shows diversity.  To me that means trying to include a mix of races and ages in the stock photos I purchase.  It means broadening the definition of what a business person or a teacher or a parent looks like.

3. Selling with Integrity

I use and believe strongly in soft sales techniques.  One-on-one conversation, building relationships, and providing value through this blog and my social channels.  I don’t use scare tactics, hide prices, try to pressure clients into a sale, or present false choices.  I do present options, represent myself and my capabilities honestly, and focus on the client’s best interests rather than my own.