Archives for February 2013

Introducing Crystal of Shawnee, Kansas ~ KC Storks ~ Stork Yard Sign Birth Announcements

crystalblogphoto

Crystal & Landen
KC Storks
Shawnee, KS Stork Signs
913-732-3111

We’d like to welcome a new partner to the Stork Lady family! Crystal of Shawnee, KS is KCStorks and in March she will begin to take stork sign rentals in the greater Kansas City area. We talked with Crystal for the first time in October and she has been very busy the last several months preparing her business for its March start date. In addition to building her own website,  Crystal’s business is featured on  facebook icon reduced  and pinterest icon reduced.  Be sure to visit her Facebook page and “like” it and PIN her signs on your favorite boards to help spread the word.

I asked Crystal to share why she became a Partner and she said, “I chose to become a Stork Lady Partner to add supplementary income and flexibility to my life as a stay at home mom. I feel as though it will be a rewarding business opportunity and the perfect chance to bring joy to others at such an important and exciting time in their life. After experiencing the sheer delight of receiving a personalized Stork Yard Sign first hand, I’m ecstatic to be able to help other families welcome home their precious new baby in such a unique and memorable way.”

We’re so happy to have Crystal as part of our family!  Please be sure to call her at 913-732-3111 if you’re in need of a stork sign to celebrate the birth of a baby in Shawnee, KS or the greater Kansas City area.

 

Just Blog About It…

 

blogphotocropped

Yard Cards by MBR Blog
Stork Rental Service
Crown Point, IN

I mentioned in an earlier post how having a blog on your website can be very advantageous to your stork rental business. I shared how posting 2-3 times a week using good keywords in the content would boost you in the search engine rankings because it keeps your content updated.  

In this post I want to share some other reasons to have a blog  and some ideas of what to blog about. 

A blog doesn’t just help your rankings. A blog can help your business in other ways, too. Here are a few:  

1. It’s a great way to promote your business and get it in front of more people. 

2. Sharing information that’s of value to your readers builds relationships with them and keeps them coming back to your website. And that helps keep your business “front of mind” with them. 

3. Regular blog posts let your clients/prospects know your business is active and growing. That way they’re more likely to use you . . . and refer people to you.

And having a blog doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of time writing every week. A blog post doesn’t have to be very long. In fact, it can be a 1-2 sentence overview with a link to an interesting article. Or it can be a photograph with a brief description.

Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

1. Share information on your blog that brings value to your clients/prospects. Since this business is about new babies, you could share a link to an article that gives new parents information they can use, or to a review of a book that would be helpful to them. Possibly share a promotion or contest at a local store they could benefit from. Or a vendor you know who’s reliable and would be helpful to new parents.

2. Take pictures of stork signs you set up and create a blog post about them. You don’t have to share any personal details, just enough information to be interesting. If you travel to several different communities, be sure to post about each of them at different times so people know everywhere you deliver storks. You can link these blog posts to social media sites and reach even more people.

3. If you’re in a smaller community where your clients/prospects know who you are, you may want to share when something exciting happens in your own family. Maybe someone graduates, or gets engaged or married, or will soon have a stork in their yard! You decide if/when to share personal information and how much, but keeping in touch with your clients/prospects by sharing personal milestones every once in a while is a great way to connect with them.

4. Give your clients a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your stork rental business. Take a few pictures of you preparing the stork with the new baby’s information and then setting up the stork sign in the yard. Maybe even a picture with the new family, the person who purchased the rental or with the new baby’s sibling(s) as he checks out the sign that has his name on it. 

5. Interview one of your clients. Let them share how excited they were when they saw the stork in the yard when they came home from the hospital. How much it meant to have everyone who passed their home know that they had a new family member. If you receive a thank you note or thank you email you can share an excerpt from it. 

A blog doesn’t cost a lot, doesn’t require much time . . . but can add a lot of value to your stork rental business.

 Do you have a blog yet?

A Powerful Question…

I think one of the hardest things to do in your stork rental business (or any business) is defining your WHY and staying true to it.  The actual work of running a business is easy compared to the mind-set we need to keep in place on a daily basis.  Everyone needs to know their WHY.  I believe knowing it will make the difference between success and failure. It’s the one thing we need to clearly establish in our minds and hearts in order to have purpose behind our actions and the motivation to continue to work toward success. We put a lot of effort into HOW to grow a business, but we often lose track of WHY we want to. The WHY is what drives us on a daily basis. 

It doesn’t matter where you are in your stork sign business, whether you’ve just started, or you’re thinking about starting, or you’ve been at it for years. Your business and your resolve will be tested and having your WHY clearly defined in your mind will push you through the challenges so you can stay focused to continue with what you have to do in order to succeed.

Bundle of Storks
Queens, NY
Stork Rental Business
917-687-0900

 I may be the new owner of The Stork Lady, but prior to last September I was one of 100+  Partners.  Over the past decade I’ve become friends with quite a few of our new Partners who introduced themselves to me and asked for help or encouragement as they began their stork rental businesses. Sadly, some of them are no longer active. Most of them gave up just short of the finish line. It’s so hard to see a friend defeat themselves.  I believe they did so because they didn’t have a strong WHY to push them to continue working hard in order to succeed.  Success in this business won’t happen if you don’t stick around long enough to see your hard work pay off. Your WHY is what keeps you going when you face slow or discouraging times or even rejection. Having a clearly defined WHY will keep you unaffected by bumps in the road.

If you haven’t clearly defined WHY you have a stork rental business or WHY you are considering having one it’s time to do so. Think about it. Write it down. Commit to it.   If you don’t know it you might waste a lot of time going nowhere in particular and experience a lot of frustration along the way.  Your WHY doesn’t have to be complicated or deep. It can be really simple, but you need to know it.  It’s what will give you the confidence and energy to achieve your dreams.

Be sure to define your WHY today if you haven’t done so…and please leave a comment. I’d love to know your WHY. 

KC Storks
Shawnee, KS
Stork Sign Home Business
913-732-3111

 

 

Houston Texas Stork Sign Rental ~ Sign Chick ~ Katy, TX ~ Cypress, TX Stork Yard Sign Birth Announcements ~ Harris County TX

Sign Chick
281-734-2154 Stork Rental Business
Houston, TX

We’d like to welcome a new partner to the Stork Lady family!  Alison is the  . Her business is based in Cypress, but she is taking stork rentals in  Katy and the greater Houston area.   I was able to personally deliver Alison’s signs last week and it was really fun to visit with her and begin to get to know her.  She is super enthusiastic about her stork rental business.

I asked Alison to share why she chose to become a Partner and she said, “After experiencing the joy of receiving a stork in my yard after bringing my daughter home 3 1/2 years ago, the prospect of becoming a Stork Lady partner and sharing that happy experience with new parents was just too appealing to resist. I wanted to become a partner to earn crucial income for my family while still allowing me to be home with my two small children. I also LOVE being my own boss and can’t wait to help others celebrate the miracle of new life!”

We’re so happy to have Alison as part of our family! Please keep an eye on the locations map and in a couple of weeks her website and contact information will be posted.  If you’re in need of a stork sign to celebrate the birth of a baby in greater Houston, TX,  including Katy, Cypress, Tomball, Waller, Hockley, Cy-Fair, Jersey Village or Copperfield, Texas, please call Alison at 281-734-2154.

Alison’s First Stork Rental!
281-734-2154
Sign Chick
Houston, TX

Stork Stories with Stork Lady partner John Janicky of Shreveport, LA

The Janicky Family
SB Storks
Stork Rental Business
Shreverport and Bossier, LA

I’m excited to share today’s Stork Stories post because I believe it will be especially interesting & informative for our newest partners. John & Courtney Janicky have  been Stork Lady partners since July 2012.  They are the proud owners of SB Storks and serve Shreveport and Bossier, LA  and the surrounding area.   In 7 months they’ve experienced a lot of success and are well on their way to a busy stork rental business.  They both work full time and have three beautiful children aged 2-7.  John & Courtney always wanted a rewarding profitable business for their family and have found it with the Stork Lady opportunity.   I can attest to the fact that John had a laser-like focus on their business right from the start. He began by writing other partners to introduce himself, ask questions and talk about marketing ideas. Almost immediately John had a website made and two days after it was live they received their first rental for twins!

Let’s hear from John…

Stork Lady (SL):    Why did you decide to start a stork rental business?

John:  Naturally, we wanted to earn some extra money for our growing family.  Our goal was to find a company with a proven track record and a good network of partners.

 SL: What made you decide on stork signs as your home business versus other opportunities?

John:  We used a stork service when our middle son was born.  We loved the idea then.  When our third child was born we were unable to find someone locally who provides this service.  So we thought what a great opportunity.

SL: How much time do you spend on your business in a normal week?

John: With a busy work schedule and family life we probably only spend about 5 total hours a week.  We let our website and signs speak for themselves and we have been averaging two signs or more a week.

SL: What advice would you give someone starting out as a Stork Lady partner?

John:  The best advice would be to get a website going.  It gives you credibility with your customers and also allows you to showcase your services.  In addition use social media and local businesses to help develop and grow your business.

SL: Tell us about partnering with some of your local businesses.

John: We’ve done well partnering with other businesses in the community. With three children of our own we have built relationships with many of these businesses over the years. We have placed flyers, business cards and brochures with all of our partners.  Some of the businesses we’ve partnered with are 2 children’s boutiques, an ultrasound company that specializes in 3D & 4D prenatal ultrasounds,  a hospital gift shop and 2 florists. We reciprocate by promoting their businesses on our website and by word-of-mouth.  

  SL: How has being in this business affected your life thus far?

John:   Our business is so rewarding both financially as well as personally.  Our kids love helping make the bundles and deliver the signs.  We love the family time that we get to spent while bringing such joy and happiness to our customers.

SB Storks
Shreveport and Bossier, LA
318-734-5528
Stork Rental Business

SL: What do you like most about being in this business?

John: The thing that we love the most is the personal relationships that we have built with our customers.   

SL: How have you used the income generated in your business?

John: We have used the income for everyday expenses.  We have added money to our savings account and have also started a vacation fund for Disney World.

 SL:  What advice would you give someone who is looking for an affordable home business opportunity?

John: The advice we would give would be to find a company and partner that is willing to stand behind their product.  There are so many companies that will sell you something and afterwards you are on your own. 

 SL: Do you have any other advice for someone just starting out in the stork rental business?

John:   Yes, the best advice we would give is to never give up.  As with anything in life you will only get out of it what you are willing to put in it.  Ensure that you are available for your customers and provide outstanding service.

 SL: What is your most memorable Stork experience?

John: The most memorable moment would be the first order we received.  We could not believe how fast we got our first order and that it was for twins.  We will never forget it.  We are still connected with that family and are friends with them on facebook.

SL: Please tell me a bit about your experience as a Stork Lady partner.

John: Our experience as a Stork Lady partner has been great.  The start-up cost was very reasonable, and we have enjoyed sharing ideas with other partners and networking to build our business.

SL: What personal qualities does a person need to be successful in this business?

John: The best qualities to have for this business would be organization, dedication and a positive attitude. 

Thanks John & Courtney!

Please visit John & Courtney’s Facebook page and be sure to “like” it .  If you are in need of a stork sign rental in Shreveport or Bossier, LA or the surrounding area, please call John at 318-734-5528. You can check out John’s website for more information about his stork sign rentals at www.sbstorks.com.

 

SB Storks
Shreverport and Bossier, LA
318-734-5528
Stork Rental Business

Behind the Scenes…

Previously I shared how important it is to have a website if you want your business to be as successful as possible.   I regularly receive calls from people all over the country who order a stork for a relative or friend in San Antonio. Without my website they wouldn’t know my stork rental business exists.  In fact, without my website the majority of the people living in San Antonio wouldn’t know my business exists. If you want to receive the most possible rentals you need to have a presence on the web.

Storks and More
Home Based Stork Rental Business
Richmond, VA
804-741-3866

Today I want to share a couple of other things you need to think about when creating your website. The first is SEO. It’s not a fun subject and it’s techie.  But stick with me because it’s important.  In order for your website to be “found” by the search engines you have to put SEO into play. It is of no benefit to you to have a website that cannot be found.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. Here’s what that means to you. When someone goes to Google (or any search engine) and types words in the search field to try to find a stork rental business in your area…the words they use to search for your business are called “key words”.

And in order for the search engine to “find” your website when particular words are typed into the search field, your website has to have those key words in the content, preferably more than once. And you can’t just place key words multiple times on a page . . . the content has to actually make sense or you risk your site being rejected by the search engines.

Another part of SEO is what is happening behind the scenes. It’s not visible on the website itself, but is included in the background code.  The code consists of a description of your business, as well as a list of key words that further describe it.

Your web developer will be able to add a description of your business in the code. The description should include key words, and it also needs to be written in a way that grabs attention  because the description is usually what shows up in the search results when it ranks your website.

The web developer will also be able to add a list of key words to the code that the search engines can “look at”, along with some page titles and image tags that will also include key words. All of these will help search engines find your website more easily.

The second thing I want to share is another way to make your website work as hard as it can. Include a blog. My website developer strongly believes a blog is a must in order to keep you current and ranked high with the search engines. The more often you post to your blog, the more relevant you stay.  A blog allows you to keep adding more key words to your site to keep the search engines happy.

Don’t feel overwhelmed by the idea of a blog.  You don’t have to be a good or prolific writer to keep a blog updated and current. You could write about your business or you could simply post a photo of a stork you just rented and write a few sentences about it using good key words and it will keep you relevant. Search engines look not just at key words in your content but how often it’s updated. If you post 2-3 times per week it will help you in search engine rankings.

I know this is a lot to think about.  It might help explain it best to compare a successful website to a stage play.  Stage management is as equally important in telling the story as the actors are. There is as much or more going on behind the curtain as there is in front of it.  With a successful website there is as much going on behind the scenes as there is in the content the public views.  Be sure to get SEO right or your website won’t easily be found and your stork rental business won’t be as successful as it could be.

Gift From the Stork
Home Based Stork Rental Business
The Woodlands, TX
832-592-3281

 

Until next time . . . build your websites . . . and let me know how it’s going.

 

Stork Stories with Stork Lady Partner Teri Crane of Norcross, GA ~ Stork Yard Sign Birth Announcements – Atlanta GA area

Teri Crane
Storks By The Yard
Home Based Business

It’s Friday and time for another Stork Stories post.  Our Stork Stories feature is a fun series of interviews with our Partners who share why they’ve chosen this work from home business opportunity, the methods they use for success and how the extra income earned has benefited their life and their family.  I always look so forward to hearing what our partners have to say.  It’s great to be able to learn from each other.

Today we’re hearing from Teri Crane of Storks By The Yard in Norcross, GA.   Teri is a single mom of two children who are 21-years-old and 15-years-old.  She has been a Stork Lady Partner for 13 years and provides stork sign rentals in the Northeast Atlanta area, including Gwinnett County.   Teri aims to please, and is willing to drive as far as 55 miles one way to help her customers celebrate the birth of a baby.  At distances greater than 30 miles a delivery charge is incurred, but she doesn’t want to disappoint anyone who wants rent a stork sign.

Stork Lady (SL):  Teri, why did you decide to start a home based  business?

Teri:  I wanted some extra spending money, and I didn’t want to have to ask my husband for it.

SL: What made you decide on stork signs as your home business?

Teri:   I saw a feature story in our newspaper about a lady on the other side of Atlanta who was renting the Stork Lady signs.  I thought it would be a fun business and contacted her to ask about how she got started.

SL:  What different kinds of marketing have worked for you?

Teri:   My website and the internet are the best marketing tools I have.   Leaving a sign with my company name, phone number and website near each stork I set up in a yard is a close second.

SL:  How has being in this business affected your life?

Teri:  It has had a very positive effect on my life.  It’s such a boost to my self- esteem knowing I can run this business, especially for this long!

Storks By The Yard
Northeast Atlanta area
770-833-9069
Home Based Stork Rental Business

SL:  What do you like most about being in this business?

Teri:  It’s fun working with people who are celebrating one of life’s most joyous occasions. My customers are happy 99.99% of the time. You can’t beat that when you are in business!

SL:  What personal qualities does someone need to be successful in this business?

Teri:  I think you should have a happy personality to enjoy this business and do well in it.

SL:  How have you used the extra income earned in your business?

Teri:  I’ve used the income made in this business to cover payments on two cars and for personal spending.

SL:  What advice do you have for someone just starting out?

Teri:  I would advise a new Partner to have a good website and list your service with as many online directories as you can.

SL:  How many hours a week do you put into your business?

Teri:  I spend about 16-20 hours per week. It depends on the number of calls.  One thing I do enjoy about the stork sign business is it’s flexible and I can work it around my life.

SL:  What is your most memorable Stork rental experience?

Teri:  The funniest rentals have been when another stork business is called out to the same house.  It doesn’t happen often, but once I was called out for twins and another company had been called out as well.  The new parents had four storks in their yard!

Thanks Teri!

Please visit Terri’s Facebook page and be sure to “like” it  .  If you are in need of a stork sign rental in the Northeast Atlanta area, including Norcross, GA and Gwinnett County, please call Terri at 770-833-9069.  You can check out her website for more information about her stork sign rentals at http://www.Storked.com

TeriCrane1

Storks By The Yard
Northeast Atlanta Area
770-833-9069
Home Based Stork Rental Business

You Have To Have One!

 

I’m back with more information about how to have a successful stork yard sign business. Today we’re talking about websites.

Joyful Announcements
Myrtle Beach, SC
843-222-0323
Stork Sign Home Based Business

Yes, I know, I’m ALWAYS hounding our Partners to get a website. But in order for your home business to be as successful as possible in today’s market you need a website. Your own domain name (website name) is probably the most helpful, cost effective asset you’ll ever purchase. Most everyone does business using the web these days and your presence is essential. You will miss out on a lot of stork rentals if your business doesn’t have an online presence in the form of a website. 

A website doesn’t have to be elaborate and it definitely doesn’t have to be expensive. I have a web developer who gives all Stork Lady Partners a deeply discounted price. In fact, if he builds your website, it will pay for itself with approximately three rentals. Contact me if you would like more information about this resource.

 If you would rather build it yourself, or have a friend who will do it for you, there are plenty of “almost free” resources out there you can use. Here are three of the most popular . . . but there are plenty more.

1. Right now Google has a great deal.  They offer a free resource to build your own website. they also give you your choice of a domain name and web hosting for a year for free! After the year is up, you pay $6.99 a month for the domanin name and web hosting services.  Go to www.gybo.com (Get Your Business Online) for details.

2.  You can also build a free website at WordPress.com. And the hosting is free. You just pay a small fee for your own domain name – usually around $20 per year. Details are at www.wordPress.com

 3.  Another highly ranked free website builder is Weebly. You will have to purchase a domain name somewhere else, but you build your website on Weebly for free and they will connect it to your domain name for free. Details can be found at www.weebly.com

SB Storks
Shreveport / Bossier City, LA
318-734-5528
318-771-5041
Stork Sign Home Based Business

Your website can be very simple. You just need a Home page explaining what you do.  You should have an About page telling a little about you. You need a Contact  page with the best ways your customers can reach you. And a Gallery (or Signs) page with nice pictures of the stork yard signs you provide, as well as a Pricing and Coverage page which states the prices of your rentals and the area you cover.

You need to be sure to obtain your own domain name (www.yourbusinessname.com).   The ‘free’ and ‘almost’ free services will give you a domain name but it will also have their name in it.    For example, (www.yourbusinessname.wordpress.com). 

There are many reasons you don’t want that.  I’ll share three today: 

1.      Owning a domain gives you credibility in business. 

2.      It also insures you have control of it and will keep it. Without your own internet address you are at the mercy of the owners of the domain you are using.  They may fold up or shut down your website for some reason only known to them. The internet is full of horror stories that confirm that statement.         

3.    Search engines will not give the same attention to websites hosted by free providers in the same way they do with your own domain. Many sites that are hosted by free hosting providers are not indexed by some search engines and it’s more difficult to find you. Your best bet is to take control of your website address and buy a domain and use it. Considering how easy and how inexpensive it is, there’s no reason not to.

Until next time . . . start planning your websites and let me know if I can help you in any way.

Yard Cards By MBR
Crown Point, IN
219-928-6592
Stork Sign Home Based Business

Stork Stories with Stork Lady Partner Stephanie Diamond of Ellicott City, MD ~ Maryland Stork Lady ~ Stork Yard Sign Birth Announcements

 

Stephanie Diamond
Maryland Stork Lady
Home Based Business

Today we will continue our Stork Stories feature with an interview of The Maryland Stork Lady, Stephanie Diamond. She is happy to share with us why she chose this fun home business opportunity.

Stephanie has been a Stork Lady Partner for 10 years. She serves the area surrounding Howard County, Maryland, including parts of Baltimore (County & City) and Prince George’s County.  Stephanie has an exubertant passion for her stork sign business and the personality to match!  You can see a glimpse of it in her big beautiful smile! She is the proud mother of a 15-year-old daughter, Bria, and an 11-year-old son, Edward.  Both are active in the business helping to create the bundles and set up the storks.

Stork Lady (SL):  Stephanie, why did you decide to start a home based  business?

Steph:  I started the stork sign business at the recommendation of a friend. I wanted to supplement my income while imparting entrepreneurial skills to my children.  This opportunity allowed me to continue my full-time job while working part time growing my own business.

SL: What made you decide on stork signs as your home business versus other opportunities?

Steph:  I considered other opportunities, but I chose the stork sign business because it offered me the greatest amount of flexibilty to create income without compromising the time I spend with my family.  I chose the Stork Lady signs because I was impressed with the design and  preferred it to all others.  I found the start up costs to be feasible.   I was also impressed with the network of Partners who have contributed to my success. And I felt comfortable with the Stork Lady. I have been blessed to find a business that works for me and my family.

SL: What different kinds of marketing have worked for you?

Steph:  Word of mouth is the best marketing.  I have a lot of repeat customers. My car magnetics have been a great way to get the word out. And I was also featured on our local Fox 45 television station twice.  They included our business in a story about Mother’s Day, and again when twins were born of a rare type of pregnancy. The story made the news and so did my storks. It was a big surprise! The news video can be seen here:  http://www.marylandstorklady.com/in-the-news/.

SL:  How has being in this business affected your life?

Steph:  I’ve been so proud of what I have accomplished with my stork sign business.  It has raised my self confidence and has taught me to reach for the stars. Most importantly, it has allowed me to show my children that you can do anything you set your mind to.

SL:  What do you like most about being in this business?

Steph:   Nothing is more rewarding than making my customers happy and seeing their smiles. I’ve met a lot of wonderful families. It brings me great joy to know that the community entrusts me with such a special task.

SL:  What personal qualities does someone need to be successful in this business?

Steph:  Caring. Customer oriented. Driven. Creative. And organized.

SL:  How have you used the income earned in your business?

Steph:  Education expenses for my children, as well as sports league participation costs.  Both my children have had the opportunity to travel beyond Maryland as a result of income from this business.

Thanks Stephanie!

Please visit Stephanie’s Facebook page and be sure to “like” it   If you are in need of a stork sign rental in Howard County or Prince George’s County, Maryland, please call Stephanie at  410-963-2174.  You can check out her website for more information about her stork rentals at http://www.marylandstorklady.com/about-us/.

MarylandStorkLady
410-963-2174
Home Based Business

SAMSUNG

Maryland Stork Lady
410-963-2174
Home Based Business

 

 

 

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