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bizbox: ideas?


i just posted the new bizbox post for this week (the do's and don'ts of getting your work online) and am preparing for next week's line up. the folks running bizbox have kindly invited me to extend my stay there so i'll be posting through december about running a small business. i've got a few ideas lined up (notes on starting your own business, blogging ethics 101, what to do when you're in a business rut) but i'd like to open it up to you guys. are there any ideas, problems or issues about design or small businesses you'd like to see addressed there? i'm open to fresh ideas and would love to take this chance to open things up to the design community at large. feel free to leave ideas below. thanks!

[ps: joy is starting a philly biz lady night, there's a san francisco group growing and our brooklyn one is over 30 people strong so far. we even have a tentative location...i'm so excited to see everyone getting together like this]


Blogger Shayna said...

hey grace,

looking forward to reading your bizbox posts through december. i just wanted to mention again that i've set up a group for women in the sf bay area who are interested in meeting. we're up to about 8 members so far and growing. if anyone is interested in joining us please check out:




1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grace, that new biz article was great. really honest and well put!


1:36 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

thanks joy!

i didn't want to be too complain-y but i thought it might be helpful to have these things out in the open. i know sometimes i wonder why anyone would send an email demanding that i write about something...

d*s ;)

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i loved your bizbox post! and thanks for the link to the sf girl design group ~ it's just what i've been looking for!

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks grace. i'd like to know how you market a small business, love designing things but don't know how to get the word out there about the product.


2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying your bixbox posts too. As a possible post subject, I would love to hear how you developed such a huge group of readers so quickly. Did you market yourself like crazy? Was it all word of mouth? I'm sure you must get that question a million times too.

6:47 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...


that's an interesting idea but to answer the question quickly- i owe the bulk of my traffic to being in the right place at the right time with the right content. the ny times article i was mentioned in (even though it wasn't a good piece for me) took me from 4 thousand readers a day to over 12. they helped me reach a larger audience and ever since then it's been building. i have some good tips for getting your blog out there but i haven't done any marketing for my site (contrary to popular belief). i try to stay out of people's space and not suggest my own site or posts that much. i did send around the shop when it opened but that's a rarity for me to send emails suggesting things from d*s.


7:00 PM  
Blogger design*sponge said...

ps: wanted to add this really quickly. since i come from a design pr background (i worked as an asst at a small firm for 2 years) people assume i've used that skill to market d*s. but it's actually quite the opposite. the thing i took away from that job was how much editors (and fellow bloggers) hate being bugged with unecessary material or material that they've already seen. i think coming from pr has taught me that word of mouth is the absolute best press attention you can get. sending out press releases just isn't my thing- i think keeping things small and grass roots is always the way to go.


7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get a lot of questions from designers asking how to draw customers to their products...I've got the wholesale end covered but no clue about getting traffic. Maybe that's something you can give some advice on?

9:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Grace,
Loved the article. Can't believe people are actually sending you emails like those you listed...that's really crazy !!
Bon courage ;-)

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second the motion regarding a post dealing with the marketing aspect of a small business. I would love to hear your suggestions about getting yourself out there. =)

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to know how to be able to buy wholesale. I make prints and right now I have to buy the frames at retail price. I'm spending $18 a pop for the frame I like, which means I have to charge more than that to cover my costs. How can I get into the places where shops and stores and fabulous buyers buy their items at cost? To me, that would mean I've become legit!

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm really glad that you posted about what to do and not to do when communicating to other blogs. i never really know how to talk to people sometimes without feeling like an inconvenience. it's good stuff to know. thanks for sharing that!

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying this series. I have one for you that I struggle with: some people are good/great at something be it design, cooking, crafts...whatever... something blog worthy that others will likely enjoy and let's say you have the business sense/experience/luck to develop a voice that showcases your skills ...how do you even get started to the point of attracting readers, how do you keep growing your reader base and how do you check into reality if you just aren't cutting it with other bloggers? I think this is the precursor to even thinking about advertising.

7:34 PM  

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