In the last couple of years I’ve been working on really promoting the acupuncture art business. I have retooled this blog a few times so that now it focuses on acupuncturists. I’ve found that I really love writing up the interviews of people. I’ve also been looking around for great products and people that I can recommend as well as writing about ideas that come to me about health and acupuncture.
I’ve been doing a lot of listening in on the free calls from Mark Silver over at Heart of Business. I was very close to taking his six month course last summer but something held me back. The weekend after the first tele-class my husband decided he wanted to move. That has taken up most of the last six months in random ways. Some weeks, I could wish to have a course to keep myself occupied. Other weeks I’m swamped trying to figure something out. Of course there was the inevitable changes from one cable company to another and not having a land line for the first time. In about two weeks we’ll be settled in the new house (we’ve rented an apartment while waiting for the house we purchased to close) and I can focus on the business.
One thing that moved to finally sign up with the class is that I want to move this business forward. That’s scary but it’s also exciting. I realized that I see my business through two lenses. When I think about the ordering process I see it as very busy, making me think I need a third-party like Zazzle to keep up. When I see profit, I see minimal profits even through Zazzle. Mark asked some very good questions during our application phone call that gave me some clarity that if I’m doing such a small volume of business, why don’t I keep the cards in-house so to speak and work with a local printer? I make more money. I lower prices for other practitioners. Given the amount of orders I expect, I should still have time to create while still doing the mailings. I can keep Zazzle and Greeting Card Universe for everything else.
As I drove home after talking to someone about the decision, I was listening to the radio about how people aren’t using the mail as much any more. I’m working on a way to send e-cards. At first they’ll be free e-cards but I’m thinking about a way to open that up to a membership or else a pay per card or even per mailing. I’ll see how that works out. I’m also going to focus more on the artwork side of things.
I’ve been working on putting together a stock photography site. I’ve finally found something that seems to work. It will also allow for people to order prints as well as let them send e-cards.
My husband had this idea that I could offer services to schedule and send cards electronically for people. He thinks the service shouldn’t just be that you can add in your addresses and send electronically. I could plan and send out the regular cards or newsletters for you. It’d be rather like farming out the insurance billing and the cost would probably be in that range. I am hesitant about the marketability of such a service but it couldn’t hurt to find a way to offer it.
Are there other aspects of staying in touch with your clients that you’d love to have someone do for you?