Ideas Can Be Dangerous!

bright-ideaIdeas can be dangerous.
As most of you know, writing is really my forte.  As a true entrepreneur, I am constantly coming up with ideas for new businesses to create and new ways to share what I’ve learned through the years with anyone that is interested enough to read what I write.

But as I said, ideas can be dangerous.
Take this past week, for instance.  I keep a running list of these ideas and the list is growing longer and longer.  There is no way, in this world, that I can ever use all of them.  That may be just as well as some of them are probably not very good ideas.  But many of them are.  I can see the potential.  I know what they can become. But I also know that even though they may be good ideas, they will be dangerous ones for me if I don’t focus on what is really my passion.

Ideas lead you to believe that you can be everything to everyone.
And, of course, you can’t.  I was recently asked for my resume and the person reading it asked, “Okay, when do you sleep?”  I sleep as much as most and probably more than many. I just love what I do and spend many hours doing it. But, to me, ideas have become dangerous.

Ever now and again, I have to make myself sit down and take a good talking to.  I say, “Self, how are you going to fit all of this stuff in without neglecting what you already have going for you?”

I continue, “You can’t just jump from one idea to another.  Since you can’t do everything you want to do and you can’t be everything to everyone, what is really relevant and how are you going to deliver the essentials that the largest number of your readers and customers want?”

And that is what I am currently trying to do.  I’ve developed a magazine.  There’s a free forum.  A worldwide directory. And I’m writing ebooks.  The other side of my business has created e-commerce sites in a variety of areas.

So now, I’m asking you.  What is important to you?  What questions do you have that you’re dying to have answered?  What solutions are eluding you to problems that you are experiencing?  What needs to you see that you would love to have filled?

Help me out, folks!  Help me focus on what is really essential.  Tell me what your ideas are in the comments area.  All these ideas that I have are just too dangerous for me to try them all.




8 thoughts on “Ideas Can Be Dangerous!”

  1. As Eve says, red can be used for many different themes. They are great additions to birthday gifts or any “happy” type gift. You wouldn’t want to use them for sympathy but even in a get-well gift that you want to be really cheerful, red can work.
    And, yes, Eve, you are right about those early discounts. Most of us are procrastinators and even though we realize that ordering later can cost us more money, we tend to do exactly that.
    One way that Diana might make it easier on herself for those last-minute orders (particularly Christmas Eve) is to have a few gifts already made up. When a procrastinator calls, you can always tell him/her that .you only have certain things left that can be filled for the holiday. They will usually take what you have and if you have it already made up, it’s so much easier. Another option is to push them towards a New Year’s gift instead. Tell them how much more it will be appreciated and remembered than a last-minute Christmas gift will be.

  2. I find that red, red, red items work well for me from November on, so that they can be used from Christmas, through Chinese NY and then through Valentines….. My Chinese baskets usually incluide some chocolates so the red tissues, ribbon even embossed and packaged chocolates in red / gold can go on and on. Joyce it is so right to mention keeping your inventory to a minimum of choices, it can get out of control if you always give brands in your descriptions, I learnt ( Brit spelling sorry….) this very early on. The discounts for early ordering never seemed to work for me but worth a try……

  3. Glenda, you’re right that it is a trade-off of either time spent learning how to do it yourself and actually doing it or spending money to have someone else do it for you. Unfortunately, most in this industry don’t want to spend either. That’s why the “big boys” do so well.
    As far as who to recommend when you prefer to spend the money, I really don’t know. Since I do my own and learn from experts in this area who teach but don’t provide the service for pay, I can’t tell you who will actually give you value for your dollars or who will rip you off. One thing to remember is that no one can guarantee you a first page listing on google unless it is a PAID listing.

  4. Diane, those last-minute orders are always a problem. One way to handle it (and this doesn’t always work) is to offer them a discount if they order by a certain date. You mention waiting to place your orders until you see what your customers want to order. This makes me wonder if you are offering them too many options. The only way you can control your inventory is to buy products that you can use in different combinations in many different gifts. This way, you can create gifts that look completely different, but contain combinations of the same products, by the use of different containers, enhancements, and even labels and gift wrap.
    If you read the article in our current magazine (May/June 2013) about “why my gift baskets don’t look like those in the magazines,” you’ll see that many, who are new to the industry, think they have to have cases of themed products to produce gift baskets that their customers will want. As I stated in the article, if I ordered all the themed Halloween products that are used in a magazine photo for Halloween, I would be eating Halloween products for the next year.
    It’s a simple task of buying smarter and understanding how to create products that actually sell. A good idea for the next ebook after the two I’m finishing up are out. Thanks for the idea. And I hope this info helps.

  5. Joyce, you have always amazed me at the “idea machine” that is your brain. I “only” have 2 businesses, and I’ve lost count of yours, and I, too, am amazed at how you can get so much accomplished. We all have the same 24 hrs in a day, but some of us use it more effectively than others. Now to my question, I guess it would have to do with how to get orders via my website. I know you and I have had lengthy email discussions about this in the past. SEO…that is the problem. I know that obviously my website much have SEO issues, otherwise, surely I would get orders from it. The problem is that I haven’t stopped to figure it out myself like you have, or also I haven’t hired some SEO expert to do it for me. I guess it’s either/or. So therefore I guess my ultimate question is …Is there any specific source that you would recommend for this assistance if you’re not going to get around to learning it yourself?

  6. Joyce, thank you so much for this, I really appreciate your comments. Every year this feels like a huge gamble and I leave a lot of my extra ordering until orders have started rolling in, that way I don’t feel like I’m ordering the wrong things. I try really hard each year to get my regular customers to buy early so that way, they definitely get exactly what they’ve ordered. Are there any good secrets that you use to help in this situation? I’m still making some gifts on Christmas Eve, in among my deliveries.
    I will search out the tinned Salmon that you’re talking about because I think that one of my suppliers has some of this. I also like your other suggestions, they are most appreciated. Have you written any ebooks that include this sort of information?

  7. Diane: Some excellent questions. Inventory is a problem for most of us since most food products have a relatively short shelf life. But, as an aside, did you know that smoked salmon that has just been packaged has a shelf life of five years?
    The way I handle it is that in my product descriptions I am never specific as to brand names. I usually say something like, “this gift contains gourmet crackers, delicious cheese, cookies, chocolates…:
    This way I don’t have to have specific products. There are staples that I always keep in stock such as crackers, cheese from Northwoods, smoked salmon, a couple kinds of cookies and chocolates. I almost never order “holiday specific food products.” I theme with containers, ribbons, gift boxes, enhancements that are not perishable and can be saved from year to year. I have even wrapped products in holiday gift wrap or gold/silver foil gift wrap to give the holiday flavor. This works particularly well with boxes of chocolates.
    When planning the amount of product that I am going to need to stock up more heavily for during the holidays, I look at what I sold the previous year and buy based on that. I always buy enough extra that can be carried forward to January and even February. Since I live in AZ, and all my orders have to go through Phoenix, which has temps in the 100+ range in the summer, I order all my chocolates for the year during the winter. In the summer, I use chocolate only for local deliveries.
    I have ordered holiday products in the past , such as some of Too Good Gourmet cute holiday stuff or holiday themed cocos and coffees. I use these products in the first gifts that I do and make sure they are used up before the holiday.
    During this time of year, I keep less product in stock (mostly the staples). One thing I’ve learned is to only have a couple kinds of cookies, a couple kinds of cheeses, one kind of crackers, etc instead of a bunch of different kinds. This way I can cut way back on the amount of inventory.
    Hope this helps.

  8. One question that I have Joyce, is how do you plan your stock and purchasing for the peak times, ie Christmas? Do you set a certain number of gifts for each product you have available and then purchase all the stock for them, or do you wait until orders start to roll in and start purchasing then? Do you indent a lot of stock in the middle of the year or do you keep a reasonable amount of stock on hand? Once your stock is sold, do you then put sold out, or create gifts from other mixes of products?

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