Tag: online

Bluprint

Bluprint : What Is It? And Where Did Craftsy Go??

*Damn right these are affiliate links! LOL!! 🙂 , if you click on a link and make a purchase, we may  earn a small commission on that sale. This helps up keep the website hosted, and other admin fees we don’t have a budget for! LOL! So Help your favorite gypsy mamas out and click … read more

*Damn right these are affiliate links! LOL!! 🙂 , if you click on a link and make a purchase, we may  earn a small commission on that sale. This helps up keep the website hosted, and other admin fees we don’t have a budget for! LOL! So Help your favorite gypsy mamas out and click through.I have no problem recommending this company to you, as I know it’s amazing.

An Introduction to Bluprint:

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Craftsy is gone, and the site is now called BluPrint. What happened to Craftsy? They’ve combined the spirit of Craftsy with the magic of Bluprint, It’s Been Years In the Making! This is so exciting!!

The Craftsy experience you’re used to, with affordable supplies and accessible classes, is staying the same – it’s all available at Bluprint.

At Bluprint you’ll be able to

• Watch all of your previously purchased classes
• Order project kits + high-quality supplies <—- I LURVE THIS!!

Bluprint

You can choose a membership plan- What a GREAT idea!
Sign up risk-free for unlimited access to every video, pattern and recipe on Bluprint.
Read a letter from the founder and find out why they made these changes, and what’s in store for you.

You HAVE to get on over to Bluprint and check it out!

Bluprint

  • Thousands of Classes: Stream high-quality videos taught by experts you can trust.
  • Hundreds of Projects: Step-by-step guidance on projects at every skill level.
  • Help If You Hit a Snag: Get technique refreshers and quick fixes for common mistakes.
  • Supplies You Need: Members get an extra 15% off all kits and supplies from our shop.
Bluprint

Download the Bluprint app HERE, it’s super convenient to have on the go.

Do you enjoy the GS blog? Drop us a comment and let us know how we’re doing~ Then join the Facebook Group and Follow Our Instagram to see our community in action! If you think we’re pretty cool, and want to open your own small , handmade shop, check this page out.

Buy A Domain Name: Where to Buy The Cheapest Domain Registrars Around Reviewed

You’ve got your business up and running, you’ve opened your Gypsy Spoonful shop and now you are looking to secure your WAHM owned small business with a corresponding domain name, but you don’t want to pay a fortune for it. Who offers the cheapest domain registration? There are so many domain registrars out there, how … read more

You’ve got your business up and running, you’ve opened your Gypsy Spoonful shop and now you are looking to secure your WAHM owned small business with a corresponding domain name, but you don’t want to pay a fortune for it. Who offers the cheapest domain registration?

There are so many domain registrars out there, how do you know which one to work with? We’ve published this article to give you some insight into the different companies out there!

So, here we’re going to focus solely on price.

What is a Domain Name?
According to Wikipedia, “A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority or control within the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System (DNS)”. In more plain English, this is kind of like your address because it gives all internet servers around the world one unique place to find you and your website.

Since not all domain names are available, you always need to check whether or not the one you want to use for your company is taken.

A domain name is the identity of your business and, therefore, you have to be very careful when choosing one. It should be meaningful and serve your purpose well. Of course, having a memorable domain name can be useful and having one that falls off the tongue is great for marketing purposes

For example, for a business website, a domain name which contains the company name is an ideal choice. It could also refer to the website’s content or at least allude to it. For more creative applications, you might consider a quirkier domain name that will intrigue potential visitors.

Read more http://how2oo.com/how-to-get-a-domain-name-free/

Finding a Reliable and Affordable Domain Name Registrar
First, the most important function of a registrar is that they allow you to easily and effectively administer and manage your domain name. Functionality or features to look for in a domain name registrar include:

  • An established reputation (given the ease of becoming a registrar, there are many fly-by-night outfits out there that will take your money and run so BE CAREFUL! )
  • No hidden fees (such as a fee for transferring a domain out to another registrar)
  • Comprehensive administration (for nameserver, mail, who-is records, etc.)
  • Reasonably priced registration fees
  • Accredited by a governing body (such as ICANN: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a non-profit organization)
  • Easy transfer of domain name in and out of registrar
  • Domain name forwarding (something we suggest to all our shop owners on GypsySpoonful
  • Manual and auto renewal – Careful with this one. Many registrars will try everything they can to auto-renew by default, which may result in you renewing a bunch of domain names every year that you don’t want to renew.
  • Private whois registration – Conceals your whois data, i.e. your name, address, phone, etc. from prying eyes

Find out MORE About WhoIs

  • Do you need email accounts? Some registrars will host your domain’s email for you. This is practical if you need email up and running but are not yet ready to host.
  • Customer support – It’s crucial that your domain registrar have good customer support, whether via phone, email, or live chat.
  • Note: We leave hosting out of this discussion because we don’t recommend you host with your registrar. Why? Because they are two very different specialty areas and it is hard to be great at both… it’s like eating at a restaurant that sells both Chinese and Thai food and expecting both to be authentic!

How We Chose Our Rankings
This blog post’s rankings were based on price. So you may be confused when you see that there are some companies with more cons than others that are ranked higher up. Just keep in mind that the rankings are purely based on the renewal price.

Inexpensive, Reliable Domain Name Registrars (Table)
These rankings are based on price, but we also recommended the top 2 above because they are quality registrars where you will be able to reliably host your domain names. You may well find a less expensive option, but odds are they are not an approved registrar and you may have difficulty managing your names.

#1 Idotz Review

Idotz has the cheapest introductory AND renewal pricing. It’s been established for a super long time, making it our #1 pick!

Namecheap Review
#2 Namecheap
Namecheap has the cheapest renewal rate and an established business history, making it our #2 pick. If you’re looking for easy and affordable domain management without unnecessary frills, Namecheap is a good company to go with. It’s easy to transfer your domains in and out as well.

1&1 Review
#3 1&1 While 1&1 has a great introductory rate of $0.99 for the first year, the renewal rate of $14.99/year will make this more expensive than iDotz or Namecheap if held for more than 2 years. *Also, please note, if you’re paying with paypal, you aren’t allowed to pay with your paypal balance for some reason. Only a credit card or bank account transfer is allowed. (that seems a bit sketchy to me, so be careful)

 

Below are the reviews for other companies ranked according to price.

GoDaddy Review
#4 GoDaddy

GoDaddy comes with a big name and is best known for their web hosting solutions. It’s easy to get started with GoDaddy except checking out can be a bit confusing for some. Customers say they constantly try to upsell which is extremely annoying and their customer support could use some help since they have long wait times. Be careful if paying with paypal, they auto-renew your domain(s) and if you only want it for 1 year, you’ll be billed the following year, and the following year…and so on…

Host Gator Review
#5 HostGator
Host Gator is a big corporation with many awards under its belt. They’ve been around for a long time so they’ve had plenty of time to build their company. They pride themselves in customer service and have many features to choose from.

Moniker Review
#6 Moniker
We tried to research Moniker but had difficulties finding reliable information on them. If you’ve used Moniker let us know! It’s the cheapest that I’ve found for 1 year without a super low introductory bait & switch tactic. 

Who’s Your Favorite Registrar?
While there are quite a few domain registration companies out there that meet the above criteria, there are even more that don’t. And of those that do, there are many that charge above and beyond the wholesale price of a domain name (for example, register.com, which charges a $38 renewal rate, or Network Solutions, which comes in at a hefty $35 per year).

Want to learn more about domains and websites? subscribe to the Gypsy Spoonful Mailing List

Which domain name registrar have you used? Was it a good or bad experience?

Entrepreneurship Ain’t For Sissies

I’ve often said it takes a special breed of person to be an entrepreneur. Being your own boss, starting your own business and growing that venture will test you to every limit you have. Personally, it will either make or break you. In the boutique and handmade world, we see trends come and go, we … read more

I’ve often said it takes a special breed of person to be an entrepreneur. Being your own boss, starting your own business and growing that venture will test you to every limit you have. Personally, it will either make or break you. In the boutique and handmade world, we see trends come and go, we see hot products everyone wants… supply and demand ebbs and flows, but what makes a small or micro-business be able to stand the test of time?

I’ve personally been the owner of my own small business ( Goosie Girl) for almost 14 years now. The Wall Street Journal reported in September 2013 that 56% of Americans thought that they were capable of launching their own company while 9% actually took the plunge and took steps to start a business. Against this backdrop of optimism and confidence stands another set of sobering statistics that outline the causes of small business mortality. Small business failure rates vary, but from 50-70% fail within the first 18 months.

To gain insight to the contributing factors to business mortality, researchers at the University of Tennessee studied failures of thousands of small businesses and attempted to identify the primary culprit leading to demise. They grouped their findings into broad categories but “drilled down” within each to identify root causes of failure.

The leading cause of business failure was determined to be “Incompetence”. Fully 46% of failures could be explained by this broad-brush term. The specific behaviors that underlie this headline, however, are fairly specific and revealing. These include:

  • Taking an emotional approach to pricing
  • Non-payment of taxes
  • No knowledge of industry pricing conventions
  • No knowledge of financing requirements and conventions
  • No experience in record-keeping
  • Living beyond the means of the business
  • Lack of planning

Next in line as a primary contributor to business failure was “Unbalanced experience or lack of managerial experience”. This condition explained 30% of small business failures and was manifested primarily by poor credit-granting decisions.

Eleven percent of failures were attributed to “Lack of experience”. Specific shortcomings that proved lethal included the failure to maintain adequate inventory, no knowledge of suppliers and wasted advertising budgets.

*Source http://isbdc.org/small-business-failure-rates-causes/

The point is that few entrepreneurs, especially first time entrepreneurs, are ready for what comes at them from a people perspective when building a business. In order to succeed, they need to be able to step outside of their comfort zones and reinvent themselves – finding the courage to do things they never thought they’d have to do, or that they’d be capable of doing. I have often said, in business you must constantly reinvent yourself, or find new products, or find new ways of doing the important things which keep a small business afloat such as promotion, networking and marketing.

So how can entrepreneurs get out of this conundrum and learn to reinvent themselves while at the same time reinventing their business?

  • The first step is two-fold: recognizing that reinventing yourself is just as important a task as reinventing your business. Then, once you’ve convinced yourself of the imperative, doing an inventory of your challenges. No one likes to admit weaknesses, but just as you look for the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in a business deal, use that same rubric on yourself. Where are your blind spots? What do you struggle with? Be honest.
  • The second step is to assess your own personal motivation. You’ve done your personal  analysis and find that you struggle with sales, or networking or at delivering bad news. The next step is making sure that this is something you actually care about improving. What’s in it for you to get better at this? Will it help your company grow and thrive? Probably. Will it help you become a more effective businessperson? Will it help you achieve your goals and ambitions? Definitely. Embracing your internal motivation is an essential step for making anything happen, especially personal transformation.

  • Finally, the last step is to beta test your newly reinvented self. Try out the new behavior. Look at how others do it, and ask friends for help. Maybe even enlist the help of a coach. If beta test number one doesn’t work, try again. Tinker with the behavior, or try it in a different setting. Remind yourself of your motivation to go out there and do it, and just like you’d beta test and improve a product, do the same with this new version of yourself.
  • *Source: Linked In Article by Andy Molinsky

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take

there are many reasons to tweak your business model–or to try out a whole new one–that make perfect sense. If you do it thoughtfully, it could be the best business decision you ever make. ~ Entrepreneur Magazine

If this information has urged you in the direction of reinvention of your small business,and tipped the scales for our readers who are makers looking for a new venue, such as Gypsy Spoonful here are the top three tips on HOW to do it sourced from Entrepreneur Magazine and some experienced business coaches such as Karyn Greenstreet, a Philadelphia-area small-business coach specializing in self-employment and business reinvention as well as Steve Strauss, a business speaker and author as well as a columnist for USA Today

  1. 1. Know When to Make a Change : Timing Is crucial. The first step is deciding if it’s the right time for a change. (Every.Single.Day. I receive applications from makers wanting to abandon the venue they are currently selling on and joining up with Gypsy Spoonful. A popular marketplace has definitely changed, and many are jumping ship. If it’s working for you, I’d advise to keep selling there, but NEVER keep all your eggs in one basket. A variety of marketplaces are GOOD to reach different customer bases. By all means, if it’s not working for you anymore due to policy change, lack of support, mass produced or imported items being sold on the same venue and undercutting your pricing… then it’s time to move on. We are entering a new season for handmade~ and the time is ripe for a marketplace solely dedicated to handmade goods.)
  2. Decide What You Want
    After the decision is made to change, you need to decide what type of change is necessary to meet your goals. “Once you decide there’s something you can do better, you need to decide whether to make a little tweak or a major overhaul,” Strauss says. “You have to decide what’s best for your brand.  (Learning a new craft and/or adding a new item to your product line up can bring new life to your handmade microbusiness. Once you decide what it is you truly want out of your business, It is so true to say “Entrepreneurs have more ideas than they have time for. The absolute first stage is deciding to cut off all those other ideas and focus on one. Making a decision to make a decision is the hardest thing for entrepreneurs to do.” Once you have clarity on your goals and values, making a decision should be easy. (We often ask potential new members to read what Gypsy Spoonful believes about handmade, and small business, and doing business in America before committing to applying as a maker. You can see this our ideals and values by clicking here.)
  3. The next step is something every business owner should be experienced at–making and following a business plan. “You need to act as if you’re starting from scratch,” Strauss says. “You need to think it through thoroughly, figure out who the competition is, how you are going to beat them and what the costs are. Strauss and Greenstreet suggest sharing your plans with other business owners or a mastermind group. “Entrepreneurs tend to rely on intuition a lot, but you need to make sure other people think your plan is a good idea,” Strauss says. (This is why Gypsy Spoonful has been built around the concept of “community”, we rely on our “mastermind group” to support, share and build each other up. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely venture, if you are in community with other like-minded small business owners, it makes it more enjoyable, less stressful and you can learn from other’s successes and mistakes as well).

“Business owners sometimes need people to bounce things off of to keep them from going off in crazy directions,” – Pamela Wilson

During the transition, you’ll likely be running two shops at once as you phase out the old business model and ramp up the new one. “Sometimes reinvention means running two businesses simultaneously for almost a year,” Greenstreet warns. “It’s overwhelming, and business owners are often so excited about the new model, they want to let go of the old model. It’s like going through a long divorce before committing to a new relationship.” The solution is to create a detailed exit strategy. (Gypsy Spoonful doesn’t want to be the only venue you’re a part of, we just want to be the best and favorite one 😉  )

Entrepreneur’s article suggests to : “Be transparent through the whole process with vendors, customers, employees and, most important, your family. Give everyone notice that changes are coming, when they will happen and what it means for them.”

If it’s time to reinvent your business and switch venues, and hop aboard the NEW home for handmade, we encourage you to go through the application process: Get the process started here