Meet Your JUKI National Accounts

At JUKI, we know how great it is when you find your favorite sewing shop! They’re equipped with every accessory you need, fabrics you can never say no to, or that JUKI machine you love. Today we’re going to introduce our JUKI National Accounts, dealers around you that aim to be your favorite by carrying every JUKI product! From your favorite quilting accessories to impeccable customer service, National Account JUKI dealers are there to help you on your sewing journey. Follow along below as we introduce our National Account dealers and how you can reach out to them today!

1st Sewing Center

Minnesota quilters know and love the 1st Sewing Center! Family-owned, this business has been around for over 50 years, initially established by Darrell and Lu Jensen in 1960 to help quilters and sewists in their community achieve their dreams of creating. Proud carriers of all JUKI products, they offer three locations around the state with exceptional customer service and high-quality sewing products.

Step into one of their shops and enjoy the world of options available! From your daily notions to classes and events offered to sewists like you, 1St Sewing Center is ready to help your sewing, and quilting goals come to life! Looking forward to seeing you. You can find their contact information and more by clicking here.

35th Avenue Sew & Vac

From one shop focused on vacuum sales and repairs to becoming one of the largest independent sewing machine stores and fabric businesses in the southwest, check out 35th Avenue Sew & Vac from Phoenix, Arizona! With over 30 years of business, this family-owned shop by Bill and wife Rita, as well as their daughter and son Jacquelyn and John, has been supplying customers like you with JUKI machines and beautiful fabrics all around the world.

Offering a variety of JUKI sewing machines that range from our long-arm Miyabi J-350QVP to our MO sergers, 35th Avenue Sew & Vac has created a matching variety of classes and events to inspire your creativity! Whichever hobby you love, whether it’s sewing, embroidery, or quilting, this one aims to be your one-stop shop. To learn more about 35th Avenue Sew & Vac, meet them at Rusty Barn Phoenix from January 26 – 28 or learn how you can visit them and click here today!

Angels Sewing and Vacuum Center

Learn and grow your skills with Angels Sewing and Vacuum Center in Salem, New Hampshire! Recently named Best of New Hampshire Shop by New Hampshire Magazine in 2021, customers here will find various products available. Browse and test-drive their extensive collection of JUKI sewing, quilting, embroidery, serger machines, parts, and accessories, and know your sewing machine is in capable hands with their repair services.

Enjoy their customer benefits and receive unlimited free quilting lessons and five free embroidery lessons when your purchase a machine, helping beginner quilters grow their skill one class at a time! Attend a quilt class, create at an event, or find your next machine by visiting here to learn more about Angels Sewing and Vacuum Center.

Aurora Sewing Center

Are you located in New York? Check out Aurora Sewing Center, located in East Aurora, New York! With over 40 years in business, this sewing center offers a variety of JUKI sewing and quilting machines ready to help you create!

They also offer over 300 classes each year that beginner and advanced crafters alike will love, getting you ready to create new and exciting projects! If you’re a project lover, you can enjoy this shop’s seasonal Sewing, Embroidery and Serger Clubs! With special sewing guests bringing in their unique ideas and tips, you’ll love getting a new perspective on your favorite hobbies.

To learn how you can visit Aurora Sewing Center, visit us here.

Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting

Meet one of the oldest sewing and quilt shops in Central Texas, Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting! Opened in 1953, this shop has been around for over 60 years, offering quilters and sewists like you the notions, tools, fabrics, and machines you need to help your creations come to life. With Bob Clark and his wife Ruth owning and running the business since 1984, they’ve stayed as a family-owned shop that focuses on quality service backed by decades of experience.

Known for their community outreach, Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting has continued to give back by providing their local churches with used sewing machines for community projects and donating them to Central America with their churches group! Want to check out their shop? Visit us here to find out more!

Barnes Sewing Center, INC.

Since 1978 Barnes Sewing Center’s priority has been you, the customer! With a focus on providing invaluable support, Barnes offers customers complete guide lessons on their machine or software, 20% off all notions, threads, and stabilizers, one year of free service, and a support system ready to help keep your sewing and growing.

Visit Barnes Sewing Center and find the best machine for your project needs by speaking with one of their experienced sales team members, ready to help you get what’s right for you! Visit us here to learn more about Barnes Sewing Center and how you can visit.

Blue Bars Quilts, Inc.

Modern quilters all over the country will love Blue Bar Quilts, Inc.! Focused on modern quilters located in Middleton, Wisconsin, and their shop is ready with the sewing machines and fabrics creators love and need. Offering all JUKI QVP machine models, a full line of JUKI sewing machines, sergers, long arm quilting machines, and of course, our personalization machines, the TAJIMA Sai and RICOH Ri 100, you can find everything you need to start creating today.

If you’re new to sewing and quilting, take advantage of the classes and projects offered by Blue Bar Quilts, Inc.! Offering a variety of classes that range from machine sewing to color theory, they’re ready to help you succeed in your next creation. In addition, Blue Bar Quilts, Inc. is an active member of their community, consistently giving back by hosting programs like the Days for Girls Middleton Team, receiving finished quilts for donations, and more!

So whether you’re new to sewing and looking for help finding the suitable machine for you or a creator looking for new accessories and inspiration, Blue Bar Quilts is here to help your projects come to life! Click here to learn more about the Blue Bar Quilt’s Inc. shop!

Country Stitches

Since 1982 Country Stitches has been ready to help you sew and quilt! From our Miyabi long arms to the highest quality fabrics and fun classes, this shop is ready to help your creative dreams come to life!

Know your machine is in capable hands at Country Stitches! With their three full-time, industrially skilled technicians with a combined 40 years of experience, which offer services at East Lansing and Jackson, their ready to handle your JUKI machine at any time, with a limited-time warranty promise.

Visit here to learn more about Country Stitches and how you can shop with them!

Gigi’s Fabric Shop

Gigi’s Fabric Shop of Tampa Bay, Florida, invites you to visit and enjoy the passion of quilting and sewing! Opened in 2013, Gigi, a fun nickname given by her granddaughter, opened a shop and began sharing her love and passion for sewing and quilting with the community. Here you can find our JUKI sewing and long-arm machine line surrounded by notions and designer fabrics.

Please stop in and attend sewing or quilting classes, place your children in a fun sewing program or speak with friendly and knowledgeable staff when you visit their 4200 sq. ft. shop, the perfect place for a beginner. Can’t make it to their shop? Visit them here to learn more about their JUKI Junkies online shop! And to find out how you can visit Gigi’s Fabric Shop, visit us here!

Grome’s Sewing Machine Company

Created and upheld by six generations of the Grome family, meet Grome’s Sewing Machine Company in San Antonio and Universal City, Texas! Ran by Sisters Cyndi Grome and Irma Tremillio, Grome’s is a deep-rooted Texas quilt and sewing shop that offers a perfect place to drop off your sewing machine for servicing and repairs, the opportunity to browse a large variety of JUKI products, notions, and fabrics you can’t turn away from!

If you’re new to sewing, Grome’s is ready to help your creative dreams come true! From helping you find the perfect sewing machine to offering basic sewing and quilting classes that will get your creative flow going, they’re ready to help you create every step of the way.

To learn more about Grome’s Sewing and how you can visit, read along here!

Jackman’s Fabrics Americas’ Premier Quilting and Sewing Machine Superstore

One of the longest-standing quilt and sewing shops, Jackman’s Fabrics Americas’ Premier Quilting and Sewing Machine Superstore has been locally owned and operated for 119 years and is ready to help you start creating! Offering our full JUKI line and RICOH Ri 100 direct-to-garment printer, JUKI creators from all roads can find what they need at their locations!

With fabric that ranges from quilting to home décor and then garment creation, Jackman Fabric features a wonderful selection for all creator types, including quilting notions, backings, battings, books, patterns, and supplies. Be sure to sign up for their free embroidery and sewing classes and clubs open to adults and kids! To find out more about Jackman’s Fabrics, visit us here!

Ken’s Sewing Center

Shop comfortably knowing you’re in good hands at Ken’s Sewing Center! With a full-service department and shop open for over 50 years, they’re ready to help you find your first machine or fix your favorite one! With same-day service for locals and free classes for customers, Ken’s team focuses on ensuring you’re comfortable and ready to use your machine.

Don’t worry if you’re out of state! Ken’s Sewing Center will work with customers over the phone and give instructions on how to operate your new machine just as if you had bought it in the store! They also assist with repair orders out of state, complete with a free estimate over the phone. To learn how you can shop at Ken’s Sewing Center, visit us here today!

Why Shop at a National Account Dealer?

  1. One-On-One Training: Throughout the year, JUKI trainers visit these dealers to keep their staff up to date on the newest JUKI home products to help provide you with reliable support during and after your purchase.
  2. Qualified Service Department: JUKI’s National Account Retail Dealers maintain a qualified service department, which is trained on JUKI products and has direct support from JUKI America. They’ll be able to help you keep your JUKI expertly tuned up.
  3. JUKI Access: National Account Dealers have access to the entire JUKI Home Sewing product line, including direct-to-garment printing, a compact commercial embroidery system, longarm quilting, and tabletop quilting along with a full line of sewing machines and sergers for you to experience.

Please stay updated next week as we share our other National Account Dealers with you! Whether you’re located right by one or looking for a trustworthy online shop to buy your machine from, our National Account dealers are ready to help you start creating. To learn more about our National account dealers and how you can visit one, check out our site here!

JUKI Small Business Seminar: 5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Small Business

Mistakes have a bad reputation in society, and we always try to avoid them, but mistakes can be seen as a lesson. Most people are afraid of opening their own business because they don’t want to make mistakes. However, those who own a business know that mistakes happen, and what you do after that matters. 

Business mistakes don’t stop your company from succeeding, but what they can do is help you figure out where you went wrong and help you create a better plan for the next time. Of course, you can’t avoid mistakes, but you can turn them into a learning experience and build a better company from them. 

The good thing is that we can prepare for some mistakes and hopefully prevent them from happening! So today, we will go through some of the top mistakes new business owners make and how to avoid doing it yourself. 

5 Common Mistakes New Businesses Make

Mistakes happen, and that’s okay! The key to avoiding them is having prevention plans in place. Here are the common mistakes we’re going to cover today and how you can avoid them:

  1. Don’t Forget Your Business Plan
  2. Know Your Finances
  3. Don’t Spread Yourself too Thin
  4. Know Your Target Audience 
  5. Don’t Forget Your Marketing Plan

Business Plan

Before you begin your business, one of the first things you should create is your business plan. This plan alone can help you succeed and stand out from competitors. What a plan can do for you is help you build momentum by creating a clear and researched idea that you can now put into play. 

Many people who want to start their own business tend to bite the bullet and do so without constructing a plan. Unfortunately, when you don’t know your niche, finances, business model, and logistics, you’re setting yourself up for future problems. These mistakes will cost you money, time, and effort. 

To avoid these mistakes, you need to create your business plan first and identify any unknown aspects before starting. For example, how are you going to ship your products? Where are you going to buy inventory from? How will you get your product out there?

Whenever you create or do something in your business, read back on your business plan to ensure your logistics, finances, and marketing can handle it. By creating your plan and having something to reference when making changes, you can fully comprehend what is happening in your company and improve.

Know Your Finances

When you don’t know your financial health, your company could be in trouble. 

When you start your business based on a hobby, we often skip the part where we get our ducks for finances. However, ask any business owner, and they’ll tell you that knowing your finances is one of the most important things to stay on top of. 

The good thing about business math is it’s pretty simple seeing how profitable your business can be:

Profit = Demand x (Revenue – Expenses)

The thing is, these expenses are everywhere and can pile up quickly if you don’t stay on top of them. Here are some of the costs you can accumulate in your business:

  1. Operating 
  2. Marketing
  3. Product
  4. Shipping
  5. Team

Here’s an example of the profit formula in play:

Assume 10,000 people are searching for handbags online per month. If half of this audience finds your e-shop, that is 5,000 potential buyers. 

Now let’s convert these viewers at an average of between 1% and 2%; that’s 50-100 sales. So if your average order value is $100 and you have a net profit margin of 30%, your profit will be anything between $1,500 and $3,000 per month. 

While these are rough estimates, if you’ve done the math on your product or service, you know what to expect once sales begin. Avoid common financial mistakes by keeping track of your potential profits and cash flow using the above formula.

Need help creating your business finance budget? Check out our article here on how to make your budget and calculate profit today. 

Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin

While it can be exciting to open up your shop, one of the common mistakes many make is selling too many products. We know that when one item doesn’t sell well, our first response could be to add new and exciting products, but this isn’t always the best solution.

Remember to focus on your brand, not the products, when it comes to deciding what merchandise you’re going to sell in your shop. For example, if your brand focuses on a niche for handbags, you shouldn’t post products that aren’t related, like pet accessories or gadgets. Knowing your brand and audience is how you’ll obtain sales. 

A better example of adding a product is if you create handbags, you can add new products like wallets. It keeps within your niche and stays true to your brand. Spreading yourself thin with by-products can often be due to not knowing your brand or audience well, so it’s best to plan out what products you’d want to create first, then make and add them.

Know Your Target Audience 

When you’re planning your business, take into account who your target audience is. The best research for this will lead you in the right direction for what products to create and where you can reach your audience. It’s easier to create a product for an established niche than to create a place for a product. 

When it comes to researching your niche, keep in mind to review their numbers and analytics and how to interact with them. Keeping up with your niche can assist you in making sales, updating or creating new products, and building that connection between your business and the consumer. 

Remember, even niches have niches, and finding your ideal customer can take time and research. 

Have trouble finding your niche? Check out our article here for some tips to start today.

Don’t Forget Your Marketing Plan

You could have the best product in the world, but without proper marketing, no one will know about it. So if you’re setting up your online shop, that should mean you have a business plan ready. Within this should be your target audience. Creating your marketing plan should be easy once you know who your customers are! 

Keep in mind that if you don’t know who your customers are or where to find them, you will have a difficult time creating a marketing plan. 

Try and focus on a well-rounded marketing plan that hits all corners of your niche. Of course, some channels will have more traffic than others, which is okay! However, whatever channels you decide to market on, make sure that they receive the focus needed to get your brand and product out there. Whether organic (non-paid) or non-organic (paid advertising), ensure your plan is in place before opening your shop.

Have trouble creating a marketing plan? Check out our article here on how to write your marketing plan today. 

Mistakes Happen, Be Prepared! 

Don’t let mistakes be taboo for you and your company. No one can predict when things will go sideways, but we can be prepared and ready to bring it right back on track. Keep in mind these tasks below when it’s time to start your small business:

  1. Make sure to create a business plan
  2. Keep up with finances and have a budget ready. 
  3. Focus on what products are essential, and stay away from stretching yourself too thin. 
  4. Know who your niche is and how to reach them
  5. Create your marketing plan before setting up a shop

These tasks may take some hard work, but you’ll be happier with the success rate of your company and the comfort of having something to follow along with or fall back on when those mistakes happen.

Are you ready to start planning your business? Join us here to learn more about how JUKI can help you become your own boss today!

It’s Always Halloween with Christina O.

With the fall season upon us and our favorite spooky holiday around the corner, we’re here to introduce Christina O, owner, and designer of Agashi! A handmade collection, the Agashi style focuses on modern gothic apparel & accessories; intended for those who love to celebrate Halloween every day of the year. Join us this month as we get to discover the history of how Agashi came to be and how Christina found her passion for fashion and running her shop.

From a young age, Christina became obsessed with sewing and crafting. From creating outfits that her Barbie dolls could wear to upcycling projects on her mother’s old Kenmore, Christina would constantly find a way to work on her craft. Then, with dreams of leaving her small town after high school to become a fashion designer, she focused on what she would need to do to achieve her goals.

Classic & Bat Wing Kiminos

Coming from a family where becoming a fashion designer seemed more like a faraway dream than reality, Christina was prepared to do everything it took. Evaluating her options, she entered her community college before transferring to Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) for their fashion merchandising program. While her path to becoming a fashion designer changed for Christina and may have been different than she planned, her dream is still happening!

“It wasn’t going to happen easily for someone like me, and I was prepared to do whatever it took. Not having many resources will force you to become resourceful.”

While Christina admits she would’ve chosen the path of the self-taught designer over school, her hard work was beginning to pay off. After college, her downtime was focused on sewing and creating. However, after trying her hand at creating accessories for her shop, she soon realized apparel was her favorite project to focus on. By Halloween of 2010, she was able to move to Philadelphia, where she ended up meeting her future husband, Paul.

It wasn’t until 2013 that Christina launched her current fashion brand Agashi! With only $50 worth of material, she was able to put together a few harnesses and kawaii-style dresses for the first few months of her shop opening. Over the next couple of years, Christina would go on to add theatrical crinoline pieces and obtain some of her first custom-order customers, burlesque performers! This success was a step in the right direction, leading to her career change in 2015, where she could quit her day job and place all her focus on her brand.

Battress Gown

It was in 2017 when Christina and Paul moved into their first home in Philadelphia. Agashi began growing faster than ever, surpassing their home space and pushing Christina to open up her first official studio space in 2018, including shop assistants. While the shop continued to see great success over the next couple of years, 2020 brought the shop to a slow down, causing Agashi to be brought back home after closing the studio due to the pandemic.

Due to Christina’s passion for the business, Agashi is still live and running! She also launched her first YouTube channel for sewing, DIY, and Behind the Seams content during the summer of 2020, creating a new connection to her community of followers and new sewists. During this time, she began modeling a new path for her business, one where her passion for creating fashion and teaching sewing skills could intermix. Now, Agashi offers smaller quantities of made-to-order wear at faster turnaround times, allowing Christina to slow down and push her passion for teaching into the mix.

One focus about Agashi that never changed was sustainable fashion. While she acknowledges that not everyone has the financial ability to only buy made-to-order, Christina sees sustainable fashion as “buying with a purpose and purging clothes slower.” To avoid over-production, Christina focuses on creating made-to-order pieces and upcycles 90% of her fabric scrap pieces when sewing.

“My entire process is slow, intimate, and intentional. I’m grateful to have customers who invest in my custom pieces. They aren’t ordering for instant gratification, but rather an affordable luxury item they can cherish.”

Battrix Velvet Bralette (made 100 from upcycled velvet scraps)

Avoiding offers from manufacturers, the quality of her work and products is what Christina focuses on when creating her apparel. With each project feeling personal, she continues to place a lot of thought, time, and labor into each stitch of her pieces. Her dedication and message seep into her packaging with a handwritten thank you note, sustainable packaging, and self-sewn reusable gift bags.

While the shop’s plans for sales may have changed, her fashion design hasn’t! Those lovers of the gothic aesthetic and Halloween can find a piece they’ll love in Christina’s shop. Christina was inspired by cinema with darker themes like Addams Family Values, The Dark Crystal, and The Return to Oz. She found herself naturally drawn to the characters portrayed, connecting to the “weirdos” of the films. As someone who grew up having trouble making friends, finding a connection in these films inspired her to design fashion for grown-up sizes. With a variety of minimal designs, horror lovers like herself can easily wear fashion with spider webs and bat wings, celebrating their gothic ways!

Her style inspiration can also be pinpointed to vintage lingerie catalogs and old runway shots from McQueen, Mugler, and Gaultier. Victorian and Rococo fashion inspire Christina heavily over today’s fashion, feeling that the style now is only a repetition of the past.

“Agashi is for anyone who celebrates Halloween once a year or every day.”

It’s this niche design and theme that brings attention to Christina’s shop, where lovers of all Goth and horror can find fashion pieces that fit within the modern world. Thanks to social media, Christina has been able to build a community of over 100 thousand followers that have followed along the journey to where the business is today. Whether they’ve followed because they found interest in the shop, or her recent videos showcasing tips and tricks to sewing, she’s been able to utilize these platforms to grow her business and expand her brand awareness.

Ayumi Seifuku Classic Collection

As a business owner focused on social media for branding, she consistently posted content multiple times a week that revolved around her work and brand aesthetic. With Instagram being her platform, she’s focused on showcasing her work and her as a creator and behind-the-scenes looks. Focusing on building that connection between her customers and art is one of the reasons she’s been successful, with social media allowing her to connect with other creators, customers, and sewists.

While today’s social media can be more brutal to gain popularity on, Christina’s advice is to diversify your social media presence and focus on platforms that will help build your community. She recommends focusing on video content that’s popular right now and seeing how you can share behind the scene looks or process videos, as viewers will always love feeling like they can relate to you! Sites like Tiktok and YouTube are her favorites. This is thanks to their ease to use and the sewing communities that have been built.

Her new focus on sewing tutorials and tips is an excellent passion for Christina. When asked about her current sewing machine choices and what she would recommend for a new sewist, she reminded us that finding the perfect machine is just like dating!

“You want to know what you’re looking for and find the best machine to match your sewing needs and goals. And yes, just like dating, you will be disappointed with some machines.”

Her first tip for new sewists is to find a second-hand or vintage machine. Focusing on budget-friendly when entering a new hobby will allow you to get a taste of the craft while letting you hone your skills. A few basics, like a straight & zigzag stitch and a buttonhole feature, are perfect when starting off. Once you feel more comfortable or your skills begin outgrowing your machine, you can start focusing on upgrading and buying the suitable machine for you. For Christina, this answer comes in a rotation of 3 domestic sewing machines, 4 sergers, and 1 coverstitch machine, one being her trusty TL-2000Qi!

Greta Peignoir

It was in August 2020 when she searched for a “straight stitching beast,” focusing on the features wishlist, the budget, and the space, she chose the TL-2000Qi. Looking for industrial power that would fit her studio space, Christina loves its power and the finished quality of her projects when she creates on it, using it for her final seams on every order. Her dream goal? All industrial JUKI machines!

Beyond her tips and tricks for sewing, Christina also has advice for sewists out there who plan to open their small businesses. “Always invest in yourself and learn from your mistakes,” she says, encouraging those out there to keep investing in their passion and to never stop learning. While Christina earned a degree in Fashion Merchandising, she still acclaims herself as a self-taught sewist and designer. She encourages you to find your best path, whether it be fashion school or self-taught, and to learn at your own pace to enjoy the journey.

Focus on building relationships with those in your community, and choose it over the competition. Christina focuses on finding her own identity and experiments by not comparing herself to others. Because of this, she’s been able to plan the new future for Agashi. With a new effort to prioritize her mental health, Agashi will begin scaling down on made-to-order apparel and start focusing on teaching sewing next year. This will include DIY sewing kits for clothing and accessories and focus on those who don’t have many resources to learn sewing beside the internet.

“There is plenty of space for everyone to succeed together.”

Grateful to the community she’s been able to build and proud of how the brand has grown and evolved over the years, Christina and her brand Agashi will continue to flourish in the fashion industry! We can’t wait to see the new changes soon to come, and we’re excited to learn alongside her followers! If you love Halloween or want to learn new sewing tips and tricks, join us in following Christina’s journey below and wishing her a Happy Halloween!

Find Agashi and Christina below!

Agashishop.com

Instagram

Facebook

Etsy (Paper Bats)

Tiktok

Pinterest

JUKI Small Business Seminar: Alternatives Marketing Ideas

Marketing and promotion can build or break your business. The good thing is that there are countless ways to promote your business! From paid advertising to alternative tactics, you can increase your business and product awareness in different ways to get your brand out there.

While many might recommend looking into paid advertisements on your favorite sites like Facebook, Instagram, or Youtube, you shouldn’t place all your marketing eggs in one basket. Creating different marketing channels is the key to success when it comes to getting your business out there.

Follow along as we stray away from those paid advertisements and offer other options for your brand and how to implement them in your marketing plan today.  

Guest Post on Relevant blogs

Opening a new website can be challenging to get traffic to without advertising. One of the ways you can link back to your site and drive up traffic is guest posting on blogs relevant to your niche and product. It can take time to see progress on this end, but it can boost your audience size.

You would also be applying backlinks in these posts that go back to your website, assisting you in raising your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and increasing your chances of being discovered on search engines.

Connect with bloggers in your industry to create a guest blog post with a relevant post to your business and theirs. Creating relevant content for your business will drive readers to your site and eventually become new leads and sales for you.

Request Product Reviews 

Product reviews are one of the best ways to push sales in your business. Many shoppers will check shop and product ratings on eCommerce sites like Etsy before checking out the items in their cart. Customers check reviews because we trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family.

Reach out to bloggers or influencers in your niche and industry and offer to ship them a free sample of your product in exchange for an honest review. If you have a great product, they’ll love it and rave while encouraging others to purchase from your shop.

You can also have an automated message that requests product reviews after delivery, encouraging shoppers to post on your website or shop page.

Research Affiliate Marketing 

Have you ever tried affiliate marketing? Think of it as product reviews but one step farther.

By creating an affiliate program, you’re incentivizing other people to drive traffic to your business by offering a commission on every sale, similar to referral programs.

Finding and choosing an affiliate might not be easy at first if you’re still establishing your business, so we recommend researching outreach campaigns and creating one to recruit your first affiliate members. Keep in mind to choose those who have an engaged audience and are also in your niche or industry group.

Look for Press Coverage

You don’t need a PR team to get PR coverage! If your brand has created something exciting or a product that you think people would love to know about, take the PR work into your own hands and start contacting bloggers and news outlets in your area or industry.

Getting placed in news outlets can bring you forward to a whole different audience off the internet and social media. For example, look into promoting your business in a newspaper. Journalists are always looking for a new and exciting story.

Focus on your industry and what outlets and sites you can contact. Stay away from contacting outlets that aren’t in your niche. For example, don’t contact a tech blogger about your fashion products.

Opening a new business is exciting, and your community and others would love to know about it! So whether you’re creating a new product, opening up a shop, or even a few months in, keep this in mind when you think it’s time to upgrade your marketing game.

Learn about Social Media tactics

There are many tactics you can bring into your marketing plan for your company. From the content you’re posting to the comments you’re writing, all this can be used to your advantage when it’s time to market your business. When creating your marketing schedule, let’s go over some marketing tactics you should keep in mind.

Consistent posting

One of the things so many will lack when opening their marketing pages is the scheduling of their posting. Keep in mind the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” when you’re creating your marketing schedule.

It’s recommended to post often, and this doesn’t have to be the same form of content. Create pieces like photos, videos, reels, TikTok’s, blogs, and more. Audiences will react differently to posting schedules, so take the time to study your audience and figure out the best times and days to post to get that traffic you want to see.

Know Your Hashtags

Knowing your hashtags and what’s trending in your industry will get you in the right spots when people start discussing your niche. Hashtags have become one of the easiest ways to organize social media platforms, allowing us to find relevant posts to our interest with just one sign, the ‘#.’

Study similar posts from others in your niche and industry and see what garners the most attention. Also, keep in mind what kind of posts are being created with these hashtags. By following along with trending hashtags, you can have a higher chance of your post landing in front of the right audience and increasing your sales or traffic.

It’s recommended to have 15 to 30 well-curated hashtags per post to reach your max audience. We recommend using applications like ‘Hashtag Expert’ if you can’t decide what hashtags to place on your post.

Market Locally 

With the recent changes in our society, small and local businesses are coming back into their communities. More people prefer to support those in their community when it comes to shopping, and if you’re a small business, you should be taking advantage of this opportunity!

Here are a couple of ways you can promote yourself locally and get your name out there:

Google – My Business 

An easy-to-use program, you can get your business out there on Google’s search and maps. A free way to promote yourself on the search engine, this offers you a chance to market your business on Google with a simple description of your shop and who you are.

With Google’s popularity, many will go here first when learning about your company to see if it’s legitimate. Take the time to create your profile, add products or location photos if you’re able to, and include relevant links. Using Google’s business is a great way to introduce your business and can lead to more trust from the customer.

Research Your Local Events

Does your community host events? Research what Artisan markets, craft shows, trade shows, and festivals are happening around you that you could attend to showcase your shop and market your business.

While online e-shops and sales have seen a rise in popularity, in-person events are coming back, and it’s a good idea not to overlook them. As people step out of their homes, they want to attend these community events and see what’s new. Use this as an opportunity to make real connections with buyers in your niche, and enjoy the chance to meet with them one-on-one.

Keep in mind what you can do for others as well! Being skilled at creating something can be a teachable moment. Take into consideration what classes and workshops you can offer to your community to raise awareness for your brand, build credibility and create new leads and sales.

Market

Whether you choose to go organic or non-organic, and whatever channels you choose, don’t forget the importance of marketing for your business’s success. We know that paying for advertising can take a toll on a business’s budget, which is why alternative marketing is a great idea! Look into what you can accomplish with low to no cost through these marketing tactics and more.

Start with one tactic and keep going as you find comfort in what you can handle and what channels work best for your industry and niche. We hope this helps you plan your marketing budget and find new ways to bring attention to your business. What would you recommend for someone looking to get attention to their business?

JUKI Small Business Seminar: Top 5 Locations to Sell Online

With the growth of online shopping over the years, especially the recent boom in 2020, you may be asking yourself if it’s time to open an e-commerce shop on an online marketplace.

There are over 100 online marketplaces in today’s age to place your product or service. Whether it’s a general marketplace like Amazon or a niche market space like Etsy for artisan pieces, the options are abundant. Some sites limit what services and products can be sold, while others allow for any piece of product, from a book to furniture.

There are benefits to selling online, like a large consumer base, more chance for sales, and getting your brand out there, but we’ll also cover those fees that come with owning an e-commerce shop.
Follow along as we go over the benefits of selling online, what online marketplaces to consider and how this journey can help your company make new sales and customers.

Going Online
Opening an online shop is easier than you think, and it can be rewarding and profitable when you take the proper steps to set it up. However, keep in mind that you will need to market your online store differently than a physical shop since you will need to bring in customers, and it can take time to build traffic.

Make sure when you’re opening an eCommerce shop to have a marketing plan in place to follow along. Without proper marketing, an eCommerce shop will have difficulty bringing in that traffic and sales you expect to make.

Follow along below as we go over our top 5 picks for eCommerce shops.

eBay
One of the original eCommerce sites, eBay is a go-to for many online sellers. Since 1995 eBay has been the spot to sell all kinds of merchandise, perfect for those who create handcrafted pieces to those who sell vintage found items.

Like most eCommerce websites, eBay charges a non-refundable listing fee for each product and another insertion fee if you list the same items in two different categories. It also charges a final value fee (usually between 10%–12%), calculated as a percentage of the total amount of the sale, including any shipping and handling charges.

eBay is one the best for online sales due to its popularity, site traffic, and easy use, helping you easily reach customers everywhere.

Etsy
One of the best-selling platforms for artisan and handcrafted items, Etsy is a perfect spot for those creating personalized or handcrafted pieces for sale. With over 60 million buyers in 2020, its popularity continues to rise, Etsy showcases an extensive platform for any seller.

Etsy charges a $0.20 listing fee for each item you sell on Esty. Your listings expire every four months, so if your item doesn’t sell and you renew the listing, you’ll be charged an additional $0.20. In addition, when you make a sale, you’ll be charged a transaction fee of 5% of the displayed price, plus the amount you charge for shipping. Keep in mind these fees when opening your eCommerce shop so that you can prioritize what products you want to showcase.

Etsy is an excellent option for those new to the eCommerce world and wants to try selling online with assistance before moving on to creating their site and shop.

Amazon Handmade
With Amazon’s popularity, it’s no surprise why this is in our top five. Amazon sells over 400 products a minute, a leading eCommerce site, providing sellers like you a top-notch platform to sell your products on. With an active and built-in audience constantly surfing for new products, it’s no wonder Amazon is a top business choice for many.

With a foundation of trust and consistency that Amazon has built as a brand, your products have a good chance of being purchased through their site. Amazon offers top service and holds quality and speed as an ultimate goal. With the option for next-day delivery a standard go-to for many and usually lower rates than in-store purchases, Amazon’s audience loves to shop there.

Let’s review their fees. Amazon’s cost to sell on their platform depends on your plan, product category, fulfillment strategy, and other variables. For $39.99 per month, their minimum plan, for a Professional seller plan, you can sell more than 40 units per month, advertise your products, qualify for top placement on product detail pages, and use advanced selling tools like APIs and reporting.

Facebook Marketplace
For more community or local sales, look into sites like Facebook Marketplace. With the ability to now integrate your eCommerce site or continue face-to-face sales, the Marketplace is perfect for all products and services in your community or online.

If you choose to list on Marketplace, no fee is necessary. However, Marketplace has specific requirements and guidelines. You can learn more about the Marketplace here: https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/learn-more/business

Bonanza
Based in Seattle, Washington, Bonanza is a new and growing eCommerce space. With the ability to sell just about anything on the site, over 5.1 monthly visitors check out the page, looking for their perfect product.
More focused on artisan and handcrafted pieces than branded items, the site is a middle ground between Amazon and Etsy shops. You also can set a price on a product or allow negotiation offers.

Focusing on fees, Bonanza has a different approach to other sites. While listings are at no charge, Bonanza will take a margin of the final sale price. You also can integrate your website shop, like a Shopify account, into a bonanza for more sale opportunities.

Where Will You Sell?
No matter the product or service, there is an online eCommerce site out there for your needs. When it comes to choosing a platform, make sure you find one that is easy for you to understand and use, that can help you achieve your sale goals, and will assist you in getting your brand out there.

What eCommerce sites would you recommend to those wanting to start their online market? Let us know down below!