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Business During a Pandemic

Planning for 2021

Uncertainty lingers as we head into the last months of 2020. We have witnessed scary and sad times but let us focus on the positives. For example, I don’t know about you but for me the pandemic has opened up time! Due to less client work, I have time for planning ahead for my business (something I did not have time for when I opened). During lock down parents were home with there kids and kids were so happy and thriving because of it, we made progress with the environment all over the world! And my friend told me during (sensibly distanced, outside) drinks this week that NICU has half the patients because pregnant women are getting the rest they need. Always find the silver lining!

The newfound time simply means that I’ve had time to find new ways of offering women entrepreneurs more of what you need in 2021.

New just for YOU:

  • A New Blog Series – Called Tea Leaf Readings (the name will be explained in the first blog which will be out shortly) to interactively connect and celebrate the Whole Women Entrepreneur on a more personal level because we must take care of ourselves (mind, body, and soul) before we can take care of anyone else (in business)! And it will be open to comments so that you can comment and connect virtually.
  • Email Newsletters – When you subscribe (from the popup on the homepage), you stay informed and receive
  • Freebies! – Quick reference lists to move you through what you need to know to help your business run smoothly.
  • Courses – An email course is in the works for women that have a business idea but need to know how to plan for it, launch it and grow it.

Marketing Adjustments

Most people are in a state of fear over the pandemic not only for health reasons but for their businesses and rightfully so. However, while staying safe and cautious you can find the opportunities during this crisis as well.

The best way to prepare your business is to ask, “What will our customers need most in an extended pandemic OR a recover?” Restaurants are a great example. They had needs that both old and new vendors could supply. During the pandemic they needed plexiglass shields, QR code menus to decrease use of touch menus, an increase in their need for takeout containers, sanitizing solutions, and attention grabbing signs that reminded people that they are open – just to name a few.  

Pivot to Profit is a term used by Kelly Roach, The Unstoppable Entrepreneur. If you have not heard her podcast and take on current day circumstances, I highly recommend a listen. UES 535: How to be of Service to the World Amidst Crisis and Chaos. “While everyone is cutting marketing dollars, competition is becoming nonexistent and advertising has never been so affordable.” I can see that this would be true for Google Ads, PPC, and even less effort would be needed for organic SEO efforts as fewer companies compete.

When people are greedy, be in fear,
When people are in fear, be greedy.

Warren Buffet

So, what should you be doing during this time of crisis? First and foremost, keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy. And, with that being the priority, when business is slow consider taking care of these items with your newfound time.

  • Photoshoot – A photoshoot can be done outside and social distanced. I need a photoshoot so bad for my marketing. I have been using stock photography as a placeholder to represent myself when needed but it is time to get that done. How about you?
  • Advertising is more affordable now in most areas. Go ahead, research the new affordable cost. Figure out which one is right for your business and if you need a print ad or social media ad designed, I am here for you!
  • SEO – with marketing budget cuts across all industries, SEO efforts might take surprisingly less effort to get to #1.
  • How is your logo and brand? – Did you go with a cheap option in the beginning and realize you make more money when your brand is stronger and more credible? Hiring a professional designer can make the difference between a 5-figure business or one that could scale to 7.
  • How is your website? – Are you experiencing glitches and issues? It could mean your website needs system updates. Is it secured? That can affect your SEO.

J. Lacey Taylor is a digital design and marketing resource for women-owned businesses and JLT is available to help you with all of the above. Call for a free consultation today! Don’t forget to get your freebie, 13 Steps to Successfully Launch & Grow your Business when you go to the homepage and subscribe. And, be sure to like the J. Lacey Taylor business page on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to stay informed.

Tapping into your Creative Flow

Types of Creative Blocks

We’ve heard of writer’s block, when an author of a book can’t come up with the next thing that they want to write.

We’ve heard of actors that have to take several takes in a scene when they just can’t get the moment captured correctly.

We’ve even heard of musicians that take sabbaticals from music because the music just isn’t happening. (My brother happens to be teaching a class on this subject – if producing music is having it’s blocks for you, then check him out.)

For me and art, I blame my lapses in creation on the many roles I must fill and the lack of time that leaves. I can see how those that don’t have my roles struggle to understand why I’m not painting all the time – some chalk it up to lack of motivation, fear of failure or something else. All I know is people understand it through what they have experienced themselves and not necessarily what I’m going through and that’s OK.

The truth of my reality is that my creative juices are flowing! I feel like a slingshot that has been pulled back for years and I’m nearing the release. What does this mean you ask? It means that some of my current roles are relaxing and more space and time is opening up for my art work.

Lack of HIGHER Connection

It’s easy to see that our society in ‘Merica is tapped into politics and so much anger associated with it. We are easily out of alignment from our natural state of being. If we don’t step back from it and see the bigger picture – we might all drown in our current negative fear and angry constipated state.

A painter knows how to do this naturally. We work up close in the details on canvas and then step back to make sure it all works together for the painting as a whole. Likewise for any artist that isn’t inspired, at least from my perspective, they can pause and find their connection to a higher source to flow through them.

Back to those actors that can’t perform. Have you seen the trailer for the Helen Mirren Masterclass? I always wondered what makes a great actor and I find her to be an amazing one. She simply says, “never act in front of the mirror, you are doing the exact opposite of what acting is about. Acting is all about what’s happening within you. It doesn’t matter what’s happening on your face.” What this statement did for me, was tell me I need to stop worrying about how I’m perceived (let go of ego) and instead create inside what I want to develop in myself and the world around me (spirituality, flow and connection).

“Never act in front of the mirror, you are doing the exact opposite of what acting is about. Acting is all about what’s happening within you. It doesn’t matter what’s happening on your face.” Helen Mirren

From Loss to Spiritual Gain

In 2019, we lost 4 very special members of our family. The first was one of my favorite people in the world, my grandmother who had just turned 98. And the last in December, was my aunt. My aunt hit me hardest as she was still young. She had spent 2019 reconnecting with me through my business for her business. She was a fine abstract artist and need a logo, help with her website, business cards and envelopes. We met regularly. This was not typical for my clients but she was my lovely aunt and I loved any chance to spend time with her.

One would think loss would stagnate a person. (I’ve had great loss before when my dad died and depression took hold of me for many, many years until I learned I actually had a chronic health issue that was making it hard to recover from that loss. Once I learned to manage my health condition, I was able to learn from the loss and create tools for faster recovery.) The latest loss of my aunt did stop me in my tracks for a month or two, but in dealing with my grief I found myself more connected to her and a higher source.

My aunt was the epitome of someone aligned with the universe. No matter the challenges in her life, she always exuded that she was on top of the world! And, she was in so many ways. She loved to be known for her fluidity. Her abstract paintings even showed her flow. She and I would have brief conversations about “flow” and I held onto it – better yet, I let it flow through me as a life long lesson from her that she wanted me to have. I notice when I take time to sit and be still – when I’m grateful for what is and I tap into the flow of the universe – creativity flows through me like wildfire!

Side note: the day I wrote the paragraphs above about my beautiful aunt, and using a word that I paused to use because I never use it, I had a very serendipitous moment. I had to venture out to the grocery store which is about a block away, I normally walk but I had just showered and it’s getting hot so I took my car. After getting what I needed, I got in my car and drove home. The radio started a song I hadn’t heard in years:

She comes down from Yellow Mountain
On a dark, flat land she rides
On a pony she named Wildfire
With a whirlwind by her side
On a cold Nebraska night

Oh, they say she died one winter
When there came a killing frost
And the pony she named Wildfire

In the short drive, I felt it was a connection to my aunt. And by the time the chorus came I was singing it and bawling like a baby, “She ran calling WILDFIRE.”

Hilarious now when I think of it

How to tap into your Creative Flow:

  • Meditatively Connect with Nature: Sit and be still or do a walking meditation each day, let go of any previous issues and realize the power of now, listen to what the universe is telling you (what patterns is it showing you) and set your intention for the day.
  • Marvel at the Universe, the world, the moment: take the time each day to feel in awe of a piece of creation. Or, likewise, find the serendipity and marvel at how things magically aligned for you. Appreciation for the mystery of life and the universe builds the connection.
  • Turn OFF to Tune IN: We could easily entertain ourselves all day with screens. But a large percentage of it doesn’t make us feel good. With TV most of the news makes us feel sick to our stomachs. With social media, connection is the aim but often “friends” don’t have the same agenda and it can leave you with negativity. Create a small window in your day for unwinding with the positive parts of screen time and leave the rest of your day for all of your other interests.
  • Create Space: Both the time in your schedule and the actual space that you designate as your creative space. (Space enhancers include: all of your tools for creation, candles or aromatherapy misters and music.) Purging your home is a great way to open up mind space. Clutter in the home equals block to creativity in the mind.
  • Collect Inspiration: I created a folder called Artspiration and it is where I put items that inspire me and speak to my specific style.
  • Have FUN!: Dance, tell your friend a joke, play a game, and find in your day what will make you laugh and say it or do it! Do what brings you the joy!
  • Make Someone’s Day: If I ask you to think of one person that made your day, someone will quickly come to mind – even if it was years ago. It’s something we don’t forget, and it’s something we didn’t know we needed. When you see the opportunity, participate in a random act of kindness for someone else. We do this, not because the Universe will reward us (and it will) – we do this because this might be the sole purpose of our lives.
  • Listen to your body: Get enough sleep, get so connected “to the source” that you only eat when you are truly hungry, rest when you need to rest, and push yourself when you need the challenge.
  • Don’t punish yourself: You’re tapping into a high power and it knows more than you, so the goals you may set for yourself might not be inline with the bigger plans – if things keep popping up interfering with your plans go with it – go with the flow – be fluid. Know that something better is awaiting you around the corner.
  • Surprise Yourself: Do something out of the norm. Try something new. Getting stuck in a rut is not in the flow – it means you aren’t tapped in.
  • Have faith: know that the Universe has your back.

From Blockages to Flow

Whether ego, politics, lack, grief or traumas are the culprits to your creative blocks, the solution is letting go. By dropping negativity and connecting to something bigger and smarter than you, you tap into unlimited possibilities and potential. Similar to riding on a horse like wildfire, you learn to throw all caution to the wind with total faith that the universe is your friend in doing all the good creative, beautiful things that life has to offer you.

Final Note

As I write this, I notice nothing flows through me faster than when I tap into saying what is good and right for humanity, mother nature and even what is good for my own soul.

Do you have blockages? How are you connecting to the source? What good things are you going to do? What creative endeavors do you want to explore? Let me know in the comments…

How to Start Your Own Business

Setting up a New Business

You’ve been playing around with the idea for your new business for some time. You have the vision, you know which companies inspire you, you know the solution you want to solve for your customers. You can visualize the lifestyle you want to live with your new business. But, you may be wondering how to start your own business. And, “where do I get started,” you may ask?

J. Lacey Taylor started her own business researching every little step. Her goal is to save start-ups like yours all of that time to move through all of the to dos faster and with ease. She knows the must-knows of setting up a new business and wants to be your resource to help you breeze through the process so that you can focus on the important things, like making money and making your dreams come true! Here is the beginning process…

First, lock in your name and make it official. You’ll want to go to Sunbiz.org and make sure the name you had in mind is available. While you’re at it, make sure the domain name/URL you had in mind is also available.

Second, do your research. You’ll want to understand your market inside and out. If you don’t know how to research, J. Lacey Taylor can provide an in-depth look with valuable insights to get you started off in the right direction with a winning strategy. Don’t waste time and money guessing your way through branding and marketing.

Third, with the marketing research you can better target your customers with your brand development and design.

Fourth, moving into production of your website and promotional materials is so much easier and decisions are made faster when your strategy is based on market data. J. Lacey Taylor has a degree in digital design and can help with all of your production needs.

Last but not least, launch and celebrate your achievement! You are in business and nothing feels better than being in control of your own future and goals! Not everyone can stomach this amount of freedom and control over ones life but if you are an entrepreneur you will know it in your gut.

The infograph below provides a visual representation of the steps you’ll need to consider to get started.

When starting out you’ll not only want a digital designer/marketer to help build a business that looks and feels creditable, you’ll also want mentors that can give you an outsiders experienced perspective on your plans. In North Florida the best organizations JLT has come across when starting a business in jacksonville fl, were SCORE (Service Core of Retire Executives) and SBDC ( Small Business Development Center) and their services are FREE!

Marketing a New Business

To show your customers that you are the right choice over your competitor, investing in assets is crucial. JLT created an Essential Items for Business infograph of the assets that give you the most bang for your buck. The cost for these items are small when considering what the value of drawing in leads equals for your business. The mentor organizations above provide great resources for financing your initial start-up costs.

The SECRET to getting AHEAD
is getting STARTED!

When you decide that you are ready to start your business, J. Lacey Taylor offers a new business start-up package that will provide you any or all of the items mentioned above at your desire and pace. Packages start at $388/m. Schedule a consultation with Lacey today to start building your dream!

new bu

Google My Business Services

Google Account Services

How to get more reviews
& optimize you Google accounts

Have you been missing out on online Google reviews? Somehow you still aren’t getting the reviews you need even though you offer great services. Ever wonder how to get more reviews? Google My Business Services will get your business where you want to be, but how, you ask. It is the most cost effective method for business growth, but it is hard to understand. JLT understands you don’t have time to deal with figuring out your Google accounts.

J. Lacey Taylor and Google are BFFs! Spending years working with their tools. Produce amazing results, JLT shares her knowledge to help benefit your business most. JLT created a package to optimize your google accounts and get more customer reviews!

With the Google Account Services Package, J. Lacey Taylor will:

  • Analyze where your business currently stands,
  • Set-up the Google accounts you need (whether its Google My Business, Analytics, Search Console, Gmail and Calendar),
  • Implement & optimize your Google accounts so that Google recognizes your business as credible in your industry,
  • Update content to make it fresh and relevant,
  • Check and correct any inconsistencies in the accounts,
  • Connect your Google accounts to the appropriate services to better automate processes,
  • Offer you a fail proof way to capture more reviews, and
  • Strategize & recommend solutions for on-going success.

JLT offers all of this to you for $499. Contact J. Lacey Taylor at 904-878-0881 or jlaceytaylor.biz@gmail.com, to win-over Google and capture more client reviews!

Website Design, SEO & Graphic Design | Jacksonville, FL

It’s Client Thanks-Giving Month!

It’s not too late to become a client and get goodies!

Personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday! It’s less about expectation and more about being grateful and getting together with your favorite people to share your gratitude for each other. Professionally as an extension of that spirit, J. Lacey Taylor (with it’s awesome website design, SEO & Graphic Design services) will be giving-thanks to our clients and new clients in the month of November. I’ve even started a local club for women owned businesses to have monthly “thanks-giving” type gatherings to take a fun break with other women business owners and share our business know how.

This November if you were a client in the last 12 months or if you become a new client this month, as a THANK YOU, you will receive:

  • An E-Book Titled: Advanced SEO Tricks
  • A listing on the J. Lacey Taylor Resource Page
    (Did someone say backlinks? Yes please!)
  • Membership into our local women owned business group.
  • Get entered into a drawing for a chance to win your choice of a post bragging about your business (wonderful for SEO) OR an infograph design (also great for social media posts and website display).
  • And, a major discount offer into our new Next Level Membership! (This is a new service membership that expands your team – leveling up your business to greater heights without bringing on employees.)
    Services offered by J Lacey Taylor that are included in the Next Level Membership are:
    • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Get found when your potential customers search for your services in Google search engines.
    • Graphic Design: Branding, Logo, Brochure, Flyer, Direct Mail, Promotional Collateral, & Advertisement Design
    • Marketing Research, Competitor Analysis & Strategy

Clients will receive an email with their thanks-giving gifts and details. If you’d like to become a client this month and take advantage of all of the goodies offered, contact J Lacey Taylor to schedule your free consultation about the service you need for your business! jlaceytaylor.biz@gmail.com & (904) 878-0881

Update: And, the WINNER IS…

Logo Design Ponte Vedra

Starting a business begins with logo design.

If you’re starting a business, one of the first things you’ll need, is a logo. Printers need a digital design file to add your logo to business cards, promotional collateral like flyers, brochures or shirts, and you’ll need to hire a Graphic Designers to create those files. Eventually you’ll want to add your logo design in Ponte Vedra to a website or in print advertising.

You’ll want to research local designers and make sure you find someone whose design work and personality is a good match for you. A good designer will listen to your objectives for the design and deliver three options that fit. From there, you will chose a design to go with and generally work three revisions to get the logo design exactly as you want it. In addition, if you plan to take your business to great heights getting additional brand development and brand guidelines will insure your brand stays strong.

For my recent logo design in Ponte Vedra, I worked with an artist and new restaurant. First I provided options. And, we work from there to go with the clients preferences. Ok, I may go above and beyond and deliver more than three options sometimes…

There were no set objectives for the abstract fine artist, so I sat down with her and showed her fonts and narrowed in on the few she liked. She decided she wanted to use a portion of one of her paintings in her logo, so I incorporated that into the design.

Logo Design Jacksonville

As for the new restaurant, the client had very clear requirements. Originally the owner of an Irish pub she wanted to keep the name but move away from the pub vibe and go coastal. She wanted the trendy rustic wood background or vintage coastal imagery and eventually decided she liked a circle design. All great choices. Note when I provide drafts images might include the Adobe Stock watermark because I don’t purchase the rights to design elements (such as the rustic wood background) until the client has decided what they want.

If you don’t decide on an equally sized design like a square or a circle, you’ll want to consider a horizontal and vertical version of your logo. I provide both when you choose, J. Lacey Taylor for your logo design in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra or even worldwide. Call to schedule your project today!

*FYI: October is a great month to become a client, because November is J Lacey Taylor’s Client Thanks GIVING month!

A Year in Review

Goals, clients, networking groups, website design in Jacksonville, SEO in Ponte Vedra and graphic design branding projects…. oh my! And never enough time to promote one’s own business.

I’ve had a blast, running my own business again – this time “full-time.” It was always my intention to run my own business and throughout my career I tested it out when the opportunity presented itself – in-between jobs or when I was raising my son from birth to kindergarten (which is nearly impossible-being an “all-in” type of mom).  I say all of that to say finding my niche should have been obvious, however, the insights I took away after reviewing my client list for the year were a bit shocking to me. But, there is a group of people that stands out and have truly supported my business. I found my niche!

In one word, understanding. A small business owner client who understands what it takes to be businessperson all while juggling the other roles in one’s life – is a true teammate. They get to business and leave the nonsense behind. There is no wasting of one’s time because they too wouldn’t want their time wasted. They keep it objective; they don’t play games. To put it simply, they’ve done their research – they found you – and you provide the service they need.

If I’m being vague about my newfound niche, it is because like any data reviewed, we can find trends in demographics, but it is not always the rule and it really comes down to being an observer during initial consultations and going with your instinct. In the first year of business, you take all the business you can get and in the second year you become more discerning – which is what you look for in a client as well.

Recently while at a networking event, the speaker spoke about referral business. “It’s the best business you can get. If someone knows, likes and trusts you enough to recommend you – that recommendation sells you itself. You are already the expert.”

Which brings me to this month’s celebratory discounts and chance to win prizes earn cash! But first, did you know I offer cash back to people who refer me business? I do! Depending on how fast the sale closes you could earn 5%, 10% or 15% of the sale-any month of the year! I tell you this because for the rest of the month of August I am offering referrers (whose referrals close in August) 25% of the sale!!! That means if you send me a client that closes in August on our smallest project – 1 hour of design work…you get $19.75. If you send a client that closes in August on our largest project – a Premium Consulting Website…you get $3,750!!! OR if you send me someone that signs up for a monthly service and closes in August – I send you a $100 gift card immediately. And, if YOU need my services in August – I’m giving you 25% off. Call to schedule your project or recommend me today – 904-878-0881.

Gift cards are sent when the client pays for the 1st month of a 6+ month contract. Checks are sent when the project is complete. Applicable for projects with first payments made in August.

 

 

 

 

Christmas Miracles: My work with charity Clara White Mission

It was a Christmas miracle when my friend offered a client of hers to me. My business is 5 months old, and I appreciated any new business. And, I’m thrilled she thought enough of me and was confident in my ability to recommended me. She had previously worked with a different web developer BL (Before Lacey entered her life) 😊 and, the designer had developed a new website but left all basic functions unfinished. And, this client was a charity! Clara White Mission was left without a way for sponsors to donate, volunteers to register, and the hungry to contact them for a meal! Who would do that to a Charity? To do that during donation season seemed so heartless!

For over 100 years, the Clara White Mission has helped Jacksonville’s at-risk individuals gain new perspectives on life. Founded by a former slave whose compassion for her fellow people moved her to action, the Mission has been the one-stop community center stimulating economic development through job training in educational programs, daily feedings, advancement and more. The Clara White Mission offers more than meals for the hungry and shelter for the homeless. We offer hope and a way out of the misery of a life on the streets. Yes, we provide food and shelter, but we also offer vocational programs to put people to work. Our goal is to restore those in need to meaningful, dignified lives in the community.

In my first call with the charity, they told me what was going on and I was truly flabbergasted as to why this happened. I offered to donate an hour of my time to investigate the issue and report back to them if I felt I could handle the project. There were too many unknowns and I didn’t want to waste their time or money if I didn’t know how to fix the problem. In that hour, I figured out the issue and reported back what needed to be done. My friend tells me they were very pleased that I knew what I was talking about and described it in a way that they could understand.

In the following conversations, we worked out our partnership. And, I went to work a week after because the previous website designer housed the website on his server and had to move the site to a new server with my recommendation.

Within my first hour of work, the functionality was working. Indeed, another Christmas miracle. Donors can donate, the staff get notification emails, PayPal accepts donations, and donors get a confirmation and receipt email. Their calendar of events accepts volunteer sign-ups, contact forms can accept information and send it to staff. Everything is working as it should!

If you know me, then you know that working for causes have changed my life. This project gave more to me than I gave to them. When I think of how this Clara White Mission works in our community to help the homeless and that my work somehow helped them do the work they need to do, I know I’m on the right path for my career and life.

If you are looking to be someone’s Christmas Miracle this holiday season, please test out my work and donate today at www.clarawhitemission.org.website development jacksonville

Update 1/4/19: While I made great strides to rectify most of the important issues with the new site (built by a different website designer), we are finding more items that need to be addressed, and have decided to place the website in maintenance mode until all of them are resolved.

A New Digital Agency | Website Development Jacksonville

Friends,

I’m embarking on a new adventure offering my experience, skill and talent to businesses that want to grow.

J. Lacey Taylor, is a one-stop digital design, marketing and optimization agency for high growth entrepreneurs. I specializes in website design and development along with SEO (search engine optimization). I want to make sure potential customers find my client’s businesses when they search their services or products online. Because their success, is J. Lacey Taylor’s success.

I appreciate your support and friendship. Connect, and follow J. Lacey Taylor on social media. Contact me if you have a business that you want to grow. And, spread the word to other high growth entrepreneurs that could benefit from  digital agency services.