We are off to a bit of slow start here so I figured I would attempt to get the conversation rolling with a simple question to everyone:

How Can We Help Your Business?

There isn't a right or wrong answer here, just an honest one. Examples could include the type of customer you are looking for, the services you are making available and want people to know about, assistance or questions with marketing / referrals, etc.

So, how can we help?

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Replies to This Discussion

Since we are a small business with an even smaller marketing budget, Three Graces Design is always looking for ways to get the word out about our work. We currently rely on word-of-mouth and social networking for the majority of our business. Our satisfied clients are always our best source of referrals!

Three Graces Design creates beautiful, custom-designed invitations and announcements. Our work ranges from simple, graphic pieces to more embellished items. We pride ourselves on the personal attention we give to each and every client.

We find that our clientele is made up of more discerning brides or hosts – people that want their invitation and stationery to truly set the tone for their event. Since we offer a complimentary consultation, we encourage people to meet with us and allow us to show them how we can announce their event in style!
Thanks for sharing Heidi. I think most small business owners would agree that word of mouth and client referrals/introductions prove to be the best source of new business. A happy and satisfied customer is almost always the best form of marketing.

If you haven't already, I would encourage everyone to check out the Three Graces Design blog. It is an excellent resource for all things invitations and announcements related. Heidi and Leslie obviously focus on providing an excellent client experience and their passion for their work shows.

Heidi Ruehle-May said:
Since we are a small business with an even smaller marketing budget, Three Graces Design is always looking for ways to get the word out about our work. We currently rely on word-of-mouth and social networking for the majority of our business. Our satisfied clients are always our best source of referrals!

Three Graces Design creates beautiful, custom-designed invitations and announcements. Our work ranges from simple, graphic pieces to more embellished items. We pride ourselves on the personal attention we give to each and every client.

We find that our clientele is made up of more discerning brides or hosts – people that want their invitation and stationery to truly set the tone for their event. Since we offer a complimentary consultation, we encourage people to meet with us and allow us to show them how we can announce their event in style!
I can say that I am looking to expand my network in Oak Park. I have done an excellent job of garnering a substantial amount of business within Chicago for my mortgage practice, but I have never really been able to crack the Oak Park market.

Honestly, I think my challenge is that I am so used to having referrals consistently coming in, I have forgotten how to get out and break into new markets where I do not have an immediate connection. I was never much for cold calling and typical sales calls...
It is amazing that while Oak Park and Chicago are mere miles away, they might as well be different planets when it comes to certain businesses. I'm with you Russ, the whole cold call / sales call model isn't for me.

Russ provides a wealth of good mortgage information on his blog, Smart Mortgage Advice. It is definitely worth a visit and a bookmark for future reference.

Russ M said:
I can say that I am looking to expand my network in Oak Park. I have done an excellent job of garnering a substantial amount of business within Chicago for my mortgage practice, but I have never really been able to crack the Oak Park market.

Honestly, I think my challenge is that I am so used to having referrals consistently coming in, I have forgotten how to get out and break into new markets where I do not have an immediate connection. I was never much for cold calling and typical sales calls...
Though I'm not the owner of CarefulPeach, I think I can speak for Karen when I say that we most certainly agree with Heidi. We're a small, local business that is supported in large part by our local community, who we adore. Unfortunately, our small, local characteristics limit our marketing budget and outreach. We're always looking for word of mouth--so many people have wandered in our shop and remarked about how they've never even known we were here for all these years! It's somewhat of a hidden treasure around Oak Park, and though we're known for gifts or pricier home items, we'd love to get the word out that we also have a huge array of affordable everyday items that go along with our philosophy of luxurious living everyday, from wonderful soaps and bath products to fun jewelry, accessories, and decorative items as well as unique items for the home. It's a mixture of new, vintage, and antique that's constantly changing, and we really strive to have something for everyone.

Our site is a work in progress, but the one that is up is functional, if any of my fellow Live Here Oak Parkers would be interested in checking us out. I can't get the linking to work but our site is www.carefulpeach.com
Or even better: we'd love to see you at the shop! I would also recommend checking out our Twitter or Facebook pages: they're great outlets where we post news about the shop as well as info on events and sales!
www.twitter.com/carefulpeach
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Oak-Park-IL/CarefulPeach-B...

This site has been great so far for us, and we look forward to getting more involved as time goes on.
Thanks for sharing Jessie. I certainly fell into the category of not realizing you guys were there, but through this site and Twitter, now I know!

In case you missed it on the welcome page, Careful Peach is throwing a Mint Julep Party this Saturday, September 19th from 10 am to 6 pm. Go check them out and enjoy some live jazz as well!



Jessie @ CarefulPeach Boutique said:
Though I'm not the owner of CarefulPeach, I think I can speak for Karen when I say that we most certainly agree with Heidi. We're a small, local business that is supported in large part by our local community, who we adore. Unfortunately, our small, local characteristics limit our marketing budget and outreach. We're always looking for word of mouth--so many people have wandered in our shop and remarked about how they've never even known we were here for all these years! It's somewhat of a hidden treasure around Oak Park, and though we're known for gifts or pricier home items, we'd love to get the word out that we also have a huge array of affordable everyday items that go along with our philosophy of luxurious living everyday, from wonderful soaps and bath products to fun jewelry, accessories, and decorative items as well as unique items for the home. It's a mixture of new, vintage, and antique that's constantly changing, and we really strive to have something for everyone.

Our site is a work in progress, but the one that is up is functional, if any of my fellow Live Here Oak Parkers would be interested in checking us out. I can't get the linking to work but our site is www.carefulpeach.com
Or even better: we'd love to see you at the shop! I would also recommend checking out our Twitter or Facebook pages: they're great outlets where we post news about the shop as well as info on events and sales!
www.twitter.com/carefulpeach
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Oak-Park-IL/CarefulPeach-B...

This site has been great so far for us, and we look forward to getting more involved as time goes on.
Thanks for the plug Brian! We do love what we do and are always coming up with new and fresh ideas for our invitation designs. The blog is a great place to see our new work and learn from interesting tips about weddings and events in general.

Maybe I'll see some of you at the Careful Peach Mint Julep party on Saturday - how fun!!

Brian Plain said:
Thanks for sharing Heidi. I think most small business owners would agree that word of mouth and client referrals/introductions prove to be the best source of new business. A happy and satisfied customer is almost always the best form of marketing.

If you haven't already, I would encourage everyone to check out the Three Graces Design blog. It is an excellent resource for all things invitations and announcements related. Heidi and Leslie obviously focus on providing an excellent client experience and their passion for their work shows.

Heidi Ruehle-May said:
Since we are a small business with an even smaller marketing budget, Three Graces Design is always looking for ways to get the word out about our work. We currently rely on word-of-mouth and social networking for the majority of our business. Our satisfied clients are always our best source of referrals!

Three Graces Design creates beautiful, custom-designed invitations and announcements. Our work ranges from simple, graphic pieces to more embellished items. We pride ourselves on the personal attention we give to each and every client.

We find that our clientele is made up of more discerning brides or hosts – people that want their invitation and stationery to truly set the tone for their event. Since we offer a complimentary consultation, we encourage people to meet with us and allow us to show them how we can announce their event in style!
I'm curious. If you could ask the Magic Genie of Business Owners any question about your business, what would it be?

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