Month: April 2015

7 tips to give your business a Spring Clean

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spring-clean

I hope you’re enjoying the lovely Spring weather (Is it lovely? I can’t keep up…). I don’t know about you, but my mood is definitely affected by the weather. I always feel so much happier and much more productive when it’s sunny! Maybe that’s why Spring cleaning exists…uplifting weather, longer days, springy mood and a lovely freshly cleaned and organised house to go with it. Why not take the same approach with your business? If you’re like me and all of a sudden feeling much more motivated to improve on your business and your income, why not begin with a quick business spring clean to get going?

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Trying something new

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I’m not usually a massive fan of trying new things, although I definitely think I’ve improved in the last few years. For example, when I was a kid I refused to eat cheese or any new food. Plain and simple for me! Now I’m trying sushi (to be fair it was chicken and duck rather than raw fish…still counts) and I eat cheese quite a lot now. How can any of this be life changing I hear you ask…well trying new food probably isn’t, but trying a new hobby or a new method of doing something could have brilliant consequences!

A lot of the time, my confidence issues hold me back from trying new things that could potentially save me time and money but could also turn out to be something I love. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or because I’ve simply decided I don’t care as much anymore but I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone a little more. I’ve been talking to people about sales on the phone (big deal for me!), I attended a wedding fair where I had to talk extensively about my products, I’m involved in setting up a new potentially huge company, AND perhaps the biggest of all, I finally went swimming!

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Cinderella Collection

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Cinderella

I’m a bit of a Disney freak…I might have mentioned that already… I went to see the new Cinderella film as soon as it came out and it was brilliant! All beautiful and inspiring, and wow just look at that dress! Did you know, you can get a real adults sized dress like hers? The one above was my favourite on Etsy! Take a look at all my favourite Cinderella inspired products from all corners of the internet.

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What are Wedsites?

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It’s all been quite exciting lately at Bumble and Boo and Amber Phillips Design (the two businesses that I run. The first is gifts, the second is freelance design). Both businesses have launched new products. You’ll see Bumble and Boo’s new additions in the shop very soon…hopefully! Busy busy bumble bee!

The new product that I’ve launched in the last few weeks at Amber Phillips Design is Wedding Websites, or Wedsites. They are quite a new thing in the UK but apparently 75% of married couples have had a wedding website according to a poll in the US. I just LOVED the idea and thought this would be a unique addition to my services.

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Business stress and 2 ways to deal with it

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business-stress

Lately I have been so stressed and worried about my work that I’ve been paralysed into doing nothing. It made me feel even worse when I kept thinking “but this is what you want to do, so why aren’t you doing it?!”. Turns out a lot of people feel the same! Almost by accident I stumbled across a couple of different blog posts with ideas of solutions for this sort of problem.

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A simple strategy to increase productivity

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Struggle with organisation and productivity? I’ve always thought of myself as a REALLY organised person but when I left my job to go freelance I found my to do list getting longer and longer and the amount of tasks I was doing getting less and less. It’s a pretty stressful situation when you feel like everything’s getting away from you, especially if you’re a control freak like me!

I then came across Tuts+ (which is amazing by the way!) and found not only does it have tutorials for things like coding and design but almost everything I could think of that I’d ever want to learn, including increasing productivity. They had a series called Build Your Own Productivity System, and I’d strongly recommend reading the whole series if you’re looking to improve organisation and productivity.

The key system that I now use for myself is the Eisenhower Matrix, based on a quote by US President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.

The idea is you organise your tasks into 4 separate categories:

1. Urgent and Important
2. Urgent but Not Important
3. Important but Not Urgent
4. Neither Urgent Nor Important

I’ve made a printable to do list as April’s Amber Phillips Design Freebie, that you can download here. There’s a full colour one or a black and white one to save using too much ink. You could print the full colour one and laminate it so you can write on and wipe off as you go.

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March Favourites

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Another month been and gone. Feels like it’s only just been Christmas, time goes way too quick! March has had it’s ups and downs but hopefully I’m now on a steady upward path (more on that in a future blog post…business and stress and how to overcome it!).

Highlights of this month:
– Celebrating my 21st birthday and Mother’s Day with my family! Lots of wonderful and creative presents, lots of cake and lots of fun 🙂
– Attending my first wedding fair to promote my new product at Amber Phillips Design, Wedding Websites.
– Finding out that Zak has booked us a trip to Greece for my 21st birthday present. A well needed break that I’m VERY excited for!
– Completing my first card out of my birthday box from my mum – Cinema, TGI’s and cocktails
– Successfully completing my first product tests and creating 6 lavender bags with the new process. Coming soon to the shop.
– Re-opening my Folksy shop and putting my first new products in. Check it out here.
– Lovely daffodils popping up everywhere – It’s SPRING! 😀

Favourite blog post:
My favourite post from this month is my Fimo Fingerprint Jewellery. I haven’t had much time to do tutorial blog posts for a while but this was one of the first that I wrote on my list to do months and months ago and now I’ve finally done it 🙂 Easy to do, looks good and great for kids to do themselves.

I’d love to hear your March highlights 🙂 Feel free to chat on my social media pages below.

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