While many people like to see a noticeable change on the outside to see progress, I’ve been taking time over the last week and a half to quietly do some work on the inside, so to speak. I’ve been tidying up a few things here and there and improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) wherever possible all through the website. Its not the most fun task to do but it sure does make a difference. Not really something people notice on the website, but when it comes to being found on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, it really makes a huge difference.
I am constantly learning new ways to improve the website so as to keep it looking and performing at its best. Being able to do this means I can offer a better rating and better chance of being found to all the business listings on the directory, not to mention I help all the wonderful handmade and farmers markets around Australia to also be located as well as Guilds and Groups.
Not so long ago, I was asked ‘Why do you do it? Why do you even run the website if so much on it is for free?’ Simple, because so many people out there have small businesses and find it hard to compete with all the big businesses who offer such a huge range at such small prices. Many of the handmade businesses I keep in contact with and list on the directory are people who are trying to supplement their income, many have part time work because they are unable to do full time work for whatever reason, some are retired, some are stay at home Mums who can’t afford to or don’t want to put their children into day care all day, every day.
I’m a big believer in doing what makes you happy, too many people in the world are stuck in jobs that they just don’t enjoy, they go to work every day like it’s a chore, there is no fun or enjoyment to be had. These people running small handmade businesses are doing and creating things they enjoy, they are catching up with other small businesses at markets on weekends and enjoying life, the freedom to be their own boss and that is commendable. Yes there are always going to be ups and downs with being a boss, but the important thing is, they are happy.
So why the small monthly fee to list a business on the directory? I’ll tell you why, there is not always a lot to be made when you run a small handmade business, the money that is made, it doesn’t go towards paying off a mansion or a Ferrari. It goes towards a child’s education, dance lessons, putting food on the table, sporting clothes and back into the business and also back into the community. These small businesses, believe it or not, are helping to keep their community and Australia going. The big businesses providing a huge range of factory made products are convenient to say the least, but does their money go back into the community? Are their products made with the same passion, dedication and love that handmade products are made with? I know one thing, you cannot walk into a retail clothing store and find an outfit you like and tell them you want the same but a little shorter in length, made of a different material and also a different colour. Handmade businesses will give you that opportunity.
That is where the big businesses win, they have the money to put stores up all over the place, to market and advertise and offer cheap prices, because it is all bought in bulk and they know, they are convenient to you. They know if they have the right range, you’ll pick them over a small handmade business.
So why pick handmade? Handmade offers customisation and variations, they can make an outfit that will fit you or your child, they can custom make jewellery to go with your outfit for your wedding or formal/prom, they can personalise a dozen candles for you as gifts or for use at a wedding, if you have a skin condition or sensitive skin then many of the handmade soap makers are wonderfully understanding and can make soap for you that won’t irritate your skin. In short, handmade businesses care, what more of a reason do you need, that’s why I support them like I do.