Tag Archives: advice

WIN an Ultimate Business Start Up Guide!


Sylvia from the Business Plan Mentor is here to help with all things business related.  She is offering one lucky winner a copy of her ULTIMATE ONE STOP BUSINESS START UP GUIDE 

Includes ALL of the following: 

  1. Step by Step Timeline Instructions – This is the secret to success! Designed in an easy to follow step-by-step style to get your business launched as quickly and painlessly as possible! Save countless  weeks and even years of research. Get started with your new small business that much sooner with a step-by-step timeline. 
  2. LocationLocationLocation-Learn all about how to choose the right location and how to negotiate a lease like a pro.
  3. Franchises – where to find, how to choose. Very comprehensive manual written by a franchise owner. Inside information and tips only a real franchise owner could give you. Great info for ANY business,  not just franchises.
  4. Business Entity – learn which business entity type is best for your business. Sole Proprietor? Partnership? S Corporation? LLC? Learn why incorporating may not protect your personal assets as widely believed. This tip alone can save you thousands of dollars!
  5. Credit Card Merchant Account- accepting credit cards  means doubling and tripling your sales! Learn how to qualify. It’s actually quite simple and affordable!
  6. Insurance – workman’s compensation; liability; etc. Not sure what you will require? This section explains it all.
  7. Web Site – in conjunction with your “physical” business or as strictly a web based business.  Even the smallest of businesses should have a presence on the Internet.
  8. Advertising – a new business must be marketed to draw the most customers as quickly as possible. Learn how.
  9. Press Release – The ultimate in free, highly effective, publicity. Learn how easy it is to write your own press release and see your business in newspapers (complete with pictures!), television and radio. Jump start your advertising with this FREE (!) strategy and watch your customers streaming in.
  10. Payroll/Bookkeeping – Save thousands of dollars by doing it yourself with affordable, readily available software. Hiring an accountant to handle your day to day bookkeeping is longer necessary. You have options.
  11. POS System (Point of Sale)- learn what type is best for your needs.
  12. Business Bank Account – learn what you need to open your business checking account. (It’s more involved than your regular personal checking account.)
  13. FUNDING– bank loan; venture capital; angels; SBA loans; microloans; grants. Discover little used options to fund your start-up.
  14. Employee Relations –  Written by a Human Resources professional.
  15. Taxes – Learn about the myriad of deductions available for small business owners. Even the cost of this  guide can be deducted! Also, learn what forms are required and when to file.




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Frustrated that your Facebook Fans don’t see or comment on your posts? Then this workshop is for YOU! And if you share it on your Facebook page you get 25% off making it less than $19!


  What People are saying about this workshop!

I just posted one of your suggested posts and I got 60 comments in a matter of about 20 minutes!!”  

“One of my posts reached over 1,000 people (without promoting) and when I posted a picture it was reaching 200-300 people where in the past a picture barely reached 100-200 people. Thank you!”  

“You helped me tremendously!”


This workshop is to help you gain a better understanding of your fans and what makes them engage with you.  During this workshop we will do simple exercises that help you interact with your fans and will help you analyze how to better engage your fans moving forward.  There will be a heavy focus on increasing your Facebook EdgeRank so that more of your fan see your posts.  The first week is focused on getting your fans to comment on your posts. Week 2 will be about getting them to post on your wall, getting your fans to buy something, and gaining new referral likes.

I will be giving you sample posts for each day to help you through the process.  Posts will need to be customized a bit to fit your company and product.

Benefits:  Increase Facebook Edgerank (this means more fans will see your posts), Get your fans to engage with you in effective ways to increase sales



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Super Stealth TFBM Checking in…with a pie pop party????

I know I have been sort of stealth lately.  I do have some great things going on behind the scenes that I want to share:

1.  I have a private workshop going on right now to help businesses increase their Facebook Stats so more people see their posts.  Once this test group is done I will roll it out to everyone!
2.  The holiday issue of TFBM Mag is well underway!  I have photo shoots every weekend for the next 3 week…s and several photographers sending in editorials.  Stay tuned for an even more amazing issue than issue 1!
3.  I have been super blessed with a crazy busy Halloween Season selling almost 200 costumes.  So I have been a sewing banshee and busy hiring sewing help.  Plus I am working on my holiday collection.  Hence falling behind on blog posts.

 That said I am always here if you have a quick question.  PM me at katietfbm@hotmail.com or post on my Facebook wall so others can learn too.
BUT FOR TODAY I want to direct you to issue 1 f TFBM Mag.  Fall is upon us which means apple picking and baking treats.  This year try something a bit more modern than a normal pie.  Throw a pie pop party!
In the magazine I style the pie pop party with a vintage country feel but it could be done equally well as a chic party in a NY Loft.  Go crazy with your own styling and create a conversation centerpiece with Pie Pops as your main guest!  Get your inspiration plus a link to a book full of pie pop recipes here:  http://www.calameo.com/read/002669782063702bacba4
TIP:  Don’t bake? Buy your pie pops on etsy.com and have them shipped!


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Ask the Fashion Business Mentor: Giveaway Fans-worth it?

I received a great question today from a vendor regarding the giveaway I am currently hosting.  (Please stop by to check  out the giveaway and enter, we have close to 40 vendors giving away items to one lucky winner!)

The concern was that people just quickly liked people’s pages and that they didn’t really have to check you out.  I had this same concern before, remember Jen? 😉  I wanted to give you all some insight into this and some advice on maximizing your exposure during your participation in a giveaway.

Question:  It looks like rafflecopter just has people like a Facebook page quickly and they don’t actually have to come check my fb page or shop out.

Here was my answer:

I do agree that people get a somewhat easy entry but there is not much we can do.  Facebook made it against policy to have anyone do anything but like a page for a giveaway.  Ideally I would have people comment on Facebook pages to enter but I can’t.   The good news is we have new fans now and we can take advantage of the new audience we have gained.  Here are tips of things that work for me.

1.  Be sure you are posting lots of pics on Facebook during this time and include links of where to buy them.  Post at different times of the day to reach different people. (Don’t go too crazy you don’t want to annoy)

2.  Tag other pages that are also participating in our giveaway and ask your friends to go say hi.  If we all do this we will all get more action on our pages!  Personal shout outs to La Couture Amore and Kid-N-Around who have had their fans do this for me.  🙂

3.  Have a flash sale or FB offer.  Not familiar with Facebook offers?  Jennifer from Forty Toes Photography (giveaway participant) is a marketing guru and holds Facebook “offers” on her page for boutiques.  Reach out to her! jennmanderson@yahoo.com

4.  Post a survey.  Engage your readers to interact with your page.  For example.  “Look at my hair clip album which of these 3 styles is your favorite”  Be sure your album is set up with details of how to buy and you just may get some sales from this.

Hope this is helpful.  Thanks again for participating!
Katie Nguyen Owner/Designer kangacoo designs www.kangacoo.com shop www.kangacoo.etsy.com blog www.thefashionbusinessmentor.com fb www.facebook.com/kangacoodesigns

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What do Larry King, Astronauts and Fashion Designers Have In Common?

All I can say is I wish I had gone to Beverly Hills High!  I had the opportunity to participate in their career day last week and WOW!  I joined 123 speakers in different professions to share our career experience with the students of Beverly Hills High last week.  123 speakers from professions covering anything from acupuncture to acting, fashion design to engineering, pilot to astronaut and everything in between!  A far cry from my high school career day…wait did we even have one?  Well, no, but my high school didn’t look like this either:

As if the prestigious list of company heads and talent in their surrounding area wasn’t enough the opening assembly meeting was given by Larry King, yes, as in the old man with suspenders and glasses you see on TV.  Let me tell you that career day was as much fun for me as it was for the students!

I’ll tell you a bit more about the day but what I am really getting to is the talk I gave and the questions the kids asked.  They were fantastic questions for anyone embarking on a career in fashion so I want to share them with you.  But first back to the halls of Beverly Hills High.

The first thing I noticed were the big bubble signs announcing pep rallies and after school activities.  It was so nostalgic!  I remember making those.  Then the kids filled the hallways as the bell rang.  All 2000+ of them.  WOW!  I looked around expecting Brandon Walsh to pop his head out of a locker…

I was lucky to have some friends of my own there or I would have felt a bit outnumbered.   I was joined by Julia Tudor of Orange County Fashion Association and we were both involved because of Carlyne Grager of Dramatic Artists Agency.  Carlyne took us under her wing and introduced us to her circle of friends who included actress Romi Dames (you’d know her from Hannah Montana as Traci) and Gordana Gehlhausen from Project Runway.   Apart from the TV celebs there were real life celebs such as an agent from the CIA and an Astronaut.  It was really a fabulous group of speakers!

Star studded excitement aside this day was for the kids.  Really nice kids with insight and interest in fashion.  I had put together a list of questions for them gathered from people just starting out in this industry.  I had asked them what do you want to know about the industry or where are you struggling?  It was such a relatable list of questions.  Really smart questions.  I used it to give my talks to the students and I have added some questions the students asked.  So I want to give you this list.  I challenge you to ask them as often and to as many people as you can in this industry because it is how you will learn.  We all go about it in different ways and we all find our way to success differently.  So gather as much info as you can to create your own path.  I’ve also included a short list of educational resources I like.


Do you recommend any courses to take?

Do you need to know pattern making and sewing?



How do you find places to sell your clothing?

When a sales rep approaches you, should you hop on that offer?

How do you know what contracts to sign and what not to sign?

Does a lot of money go towards press?



How much money do you need before starting a business?

Do you need a big office space?

How do you find manufacturers?

When should you expect to make profit?


What are your typical hours in a day?

Where do you find resources for labels?

How do you know if you can trust people in industry?

Where do your inspirations come from?

What is your best advice for a young person getting started?


Industry News: Apparel News  http://www.apparelnews.net

All on the Line with Joe Zee (creative director of Elle)-on Netflix

My Blog: The Fashion Business Mentor

I share my own industry related experience and resources


I answered these questions for the kids but I didn’t answer these questions here today.  I will come back to do that but for now I am going to nurse my cold with a cup of tea and snuggle with my daughter.  🙂

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What just happened?!?!?

The last months have been a blur for me.  The holiday retail rush almost killed me and my Christmas break wasn’t nearly long enough to rest me up for the busy days the new year has brought me.   I am not complaining, just whirling.   But all that has happened has given me a lot to blog about.  Now I just have to figure out where to start as there really is no beginning or end just lots of stuff.

I left for the holidays with no Fall 2012 Season in the works.  Risky move since Fall 2012 was due to my LA showroom on Jan 15th and in my Chicago showroom Next week.  That meant when I came back from vacation I would have to source fabric, make samples, do a photo shoot, make line sheets, and manage Spring production all in 2 weeks.   Plus I got a last-minute opp to dress my first celeb for the red carpet.  I am one of those people that thrives on over achieving and working under pressure so I really had no doubt I could do it.

I am going to put out a series of posts back to back detailing the most valuable lessons I have learned.  I will elaborate on how I did it the first time around and how I am doing it now that I have learned better how to navigate this industry.  Here is a short list:

1.  I have learned a lot about fabric sourcing since my last wholesale season.  Where to find it for $1.75 when I have been paying $10.  How to negotiate, how to select, how to do a burn test.  Making good fiber content choices for your line.

2.  Sample making.  Well I did it myself this time but I will tell you how to find someone too.

3.  Speaking of making my own samples, can’t wait to tell you about my Pegasus industrial sewing machine with ruffler!

4.  Photo shoots for line sheets-is it all equal?  What is expected on a line sheet?

5.  Showroom contracts-what to expect-what to pay? Is it worth it?

6.  PR-how do I go about it and how do companies get their clothes on celebs?

You can also expect some great interviews coming up soon on the blog.  Interviews with other small businesses who want to share their knowledge and experience with you!  Can you feel the love?  Good!

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Sales per Click and how to increase them

Let me start by saying that math is not my favorite, but you do have to use it to grow your business so hunker down with a cup of coffee and let’s talk numbers and how to increase them.  This post is using Etsy Stats but you can easily apply to formulas to other sales sites/shops.

Hover over “Your Shop” in the top right corner and click YOUR SHOP STATS. The page will look like this and let’s start here.

This is a great place to analyze activity. How many sales per looks are you getting?

Orders/Listing Views (I use listing views because this means the customer has some intent to buy or a strong enough interest to see more about the product based on your listing; shop views may be the same people or just “lookie lous”.)

So for me it’s 15/1493=.01 1%

1% people who click into my listings actually buy a product.  Now this may be a little skewed. For example: Jane may favorite your listing, email it to Beth who looks at it and says yes buy it and then Jane clicks again later to buy and then 1 person clicked 3 times before they bought. So don’t get too down on yourself with the percentage. Just use this information to help you reach more sales.

So let’s say I want to increase my sales to 25 in a week instead of 15. That means I need to increase my listing views through marketing. How many more “listing views” do I need to reach 25 sales? 25/x=1% (mom was right-you will use algebra when you grow up) Mine is a nice round number so it’s simple 2500 but now you have the formula to figure out yours. Didn’t save your algebra calculator? Go to http://www.myalgebra.com to enter your equation. So now I know I need 1000 more, views where do I get them?

Let’s scroll down our stats page to this section: Traffic Sources This tells me where my traffic is coming from.

The majority of my traffic is from Etsy itself. Thanks Etsy!  Followed by personal marketing for my brand and Facebook.  Then search engines and blog reviews.

I will go about increasing my views in 3 ways:

1. Increasing visibility on Etsy: There is a new function on the bottom of your stats page called Search Ads. This puts your items at the top of the list when certain keywords are used in searches giving you the edge on other sellers. Try it!

2. Promoting more on Facebook and Email: I don’t like to overload Facebook with too much “salesy stuff” but I will be promoting ready to ship items now that we are closer to the holidays. I will also be emailing my customer base about sales and sending a coupon code. (Have you made that list I talked about in my “Who are your top customers?” post? It will come in handy for this)

3. Working with blogs to get reviews and reviews. (more details on this in another post)

There are many ways I will promote my business in the coming year but these are 3 things I can do right now, today. And you can too!  Let me know how it works for you.

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