It's brainstorming day.
I'm sitting here in a completely quiet house trying to figure out what sort of changes need to be made for The Little Black Box in 2009.
Lots of changes.
Most importantly I need to drive more and more new traffic to the site. I need new connections and new online friends. Networking is key. One of my most favorite blogs right now is Momdot.com and I'd love to do something special with them. I'm also a big fan of Tip Junkie and I'd love to work with them as well. Any other suggestions?
I need to figure out a way to prevent businesses from signing up and then not following through with their commitment. This is a major one. I had 100 businesses signed up for October, November and December. I even turned businesses away in December because I was feeling overwhelmed. October and November were great! I had just about everyone follow through and I wasn't disappointed one bit. I knew that the box buyers would be extremely happy with the contents of the boxes and that the feedback emails I would get would be great. I LOVE happy box buyers because then I know that in return they'll support the businesses in the boxes leaving me with happy box contributers.
Our December due date rolled around and I was just about having a heart attack. 37/100 businesses had followed through with their commitment to the boxes that month. Bless the hearts of those that pulled it out during this busy season. I paid money for extra advertising for December expecting 80+ businesses to follow through and only 37 businesses sent in items. So I beat myself up a little and ask myself what I did wrong. Was it the holiday in the middle that caused people to lose track of time? Is it the economy and businesses couldn't afford to create their promos? Did those that signed up in August for a spot forget about their commitment? Nah, I send out reminder emails each week and didn't hear from anyone backing out. Or did businesses just not care that they had committed and didn't even care to take the time to let me know they weren't contributing? I really hope that wasn't the case.
Now, yes a handful of businesses did take the time to let me know. I'm forever grateful for their professionalism and very understanding too but as for the rest I'm pretty disappointed. It really truly makes you wonder how they treat their customers if they can't even take a second to send someone an email. It's a common courtesy! I can never let something like this happen again. I work my behind off to spread the news about handmade and the businesses participating because I love what I do but I expect to be treated fairly in return. I normally have enough items to make 300 boxes and we sell out each and every month but this month I was lucky enough to make 100. Not great!
So on to your opinion - What do you think I should do? As a box buyer what sort of changes to the boxes do you want to be seen made in 2009 and as a box contributer what do you want changed? I'm all ears! I value opinons! Customer service is key! I'm ready and willing and open to anything that sounds like it'd work.
Oh, and if you tend to follow blogs or other website you think The Little Black Box would fit in on you should link me so I can check it out. You never know where you might see us show up!
Thanks to Jelene for coming to the rescue last week when I was in a panic. She sent in the bestest promos as an addition to the December boxes. I'm adding her stuff in on top of all remaining bags. She's awesome!
December boxes have been marked down to 20 dollars! Get one quick!