September 29, 2019
Lindsay Peroff Schulz - Scaling a Highly Personalized, Locally Based Business

Lindsay Peroff Schulz knows that growing a local business depends on her being able to connect with her community, and build trust and relationships for long-term clients. She has very intentionally created a business that su...


Lindsay Peroff Schulz knows that growing a local business depends on her being able to connect with her community, and build trust and relationships for long-term clients. She has very intentionally created a business that supports her own lifestyle needs, and stays aligned with her strong values and desires. 

Lindsay and I had the chance to catch up and talk about her own journey from departing the corporate world, through to motherhood and finally deciding to become a business owner. She’s learned the importance of tracking and managing by numbers, and how critical it is to make informed decisions rather than just guessing. 

I loved sitting down with Lindsay and am so inspired by her constant innovation and problem solving, and can’t wait to see what she does next!

Find Lindsay at www.puregiftboxes.com

Full episode details at: https://realbusiness.stephaniehayes.biz/episode-02

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Transcript
Speaker 1:

Welcome to the real people real business show where we are talking with business owners who are in the trenches everyday, people who are working hard and have relevant and inspiring in sporing inspiring stories that you can relate to. Everyone we speak to is actively building and growing their business and is here to share their experiences, their lessons, their wisdom, their guidance so that you can be inspired to take action towards your own goals. Our guest today is no exception. She has been through the trenches and she has some great stories to share. So without further ado, I am so excited to welcome Lindsey . Perhaps shalts Lindsey , uh , has a business called pure gift boxes and she's actually local here. She's just down the street from me , which is super cool and I've met her a number of times through some of the markets and we've just gotten to know each other and she has an amazing little business. Um , she's been in business for a year and a half and is currently growing and introducing some new offers into our business. So welcome Lindsay . Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story today. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to speak with you. Yeah, well I knew a few things about your business, but I, I would love to dig a little bit deeper and really get to know kind of your story and your journey. And I know everybody here would like to hear it too. So let's dive in and , and hear how you got started. What was this? What was the trigger for you to start your business? Well, first of all, if you said, I've been in the trenches, I still feel like I'm in the trenches every single day. There's no doubt about that. But how I got started, I was a stay at home mom for nine years and that was after leaving corporate jobs, including being, doing public relations for an international franchise. It meant commuting though and the ones , um , didn't want to do that with my new little ones. So I literally good on Google. Literally was Googling best stay at home mom jobs. My husband has a very busy engineering job and I knew I was going to have to work around him. Every time I get a call of my kids being sick, you know who's going to have to go pick them up. I've had to do that once every single week so far since school started. So I knew I had to do that. So I Google best stay at home jobs for moms and gift baskets kept coming up, including on the Forbes list and I'm like, well Forbes is listing and I should check into this. But when I was researching, it just wasn't me. I'm just not the plastic. I come from a community as you know, that's very eco-friendly and sustained about sustainability and I didn't like the plastics, the big bows , just because it didn't represent me. It's very popular, but it didn't represent, I could only run a business if I felt I could be right behind it. So I did a little more research and I found the idea of reusable gift boxes and not using the plastic or the, you know, one day ribbon is , we call it in . Stuff like that. So I thought I could do this. Um, so I , and then I had more motivation. My mom had actually passed away that year and she was a big gifter so I think she was on my mind. She always was gifting to everybody and she inspired that into me also. And my husband said, fine, but I want to see a business plan. And so I never finished the business plan by the way, not to 100%, but I came up with enough information and research that he supported me to go forth. And so boom, I dove right in. And that was a year and a half ago.

Speaker 2:

And you've learned a lot over the last couple of years or the last year and a half for sure. But what's really interesting to me is that that what really drove you, and I speak a lot about , um, being in alignment with your business, but what really drove you where these two things around out , around this determination to create a business that you could run as a stay at home mom, which as we know is not that easy. But also the, the your take on it from a sustainability environmental perspective as well. So give me a little bit of background , um, how has , uh, has this worked out for you being a stay at home mom? I already , do you still consider your stay at home, you consider yourself a stay at home mom? Um, or is this some new hybrid that we should be looking towards?

Speaker 1:

I'm a stay at home mom , but it's really just about working around your family's schedule. Cause my kids are both at school now and so I still work right around them. They leave just before nine, they're home at three, so it's not a nine to five job. I work the hours that I want to work and I think a lot of people are leading towards that for a lifestyle. So for me that's what it is. They come home at three, but between three and five I may be answering some calls in that, but I'm bringing them to activities, I'm making dinner and then I hop on my computer and start curating gifts again in the evening after they go to bed. But I'm thankful that I love what I do, so I am able to do that. But I also primarily love the idea that being your own boss, being my own boss, nobody can tell me other than maybe my husband. But , um, when I can go on vacation with my family, when I can take days off, it's, I get to decide that. And it's the greatest feeling ever that it's not, you know, it takes off a huge stress of a big part of our life. If I have my child home sick, it's okay, I run and go pick them up. I come home, I can keep working. And I know in the community that we live in, because we're considered as you know, Stephanie , pretty much a bedroom community still you have Vancouver, Whistler and I think they still say it's something like not half, but um , 30% are going to Vancouver, which is an hour away, 30% are going to, Whistler will say it's about an hour away. So we're a bedroom community. So if you want to stay at home and not have to do that commute every single day. I mean, I live in a small town for reason. I love small towns, community living in the mountains. It wasn't to commute to the city every day and have to be in the hustle and bustle of the city. So you've got to find something that you can do out of your home. And I know in this community that's huge, like a lot of people are working out of their home because it's a lifestyle. It really is.

Speaker 2:

I think that's totally true. Um, I used to , uh, work within the startup community here and we are trying to generate more support for startups and entrepreneurs. And we actually have like this, this really interesting brain trust here because it's this little town with a whole bunch of people who moved here for the lifestyle. And so there is a lot of motivation to, I've done the commute as well. You know, you leave at six in the morning and you come home at six at night, right? And we have all these external and internal pressures because there isn't enough daycare for kids. Daycares don't open until eight because everyone else has the same lifestyle . So it makes it really, really hard in this community. And I D I , I'm willing to bet that that's not unusual for a lot of small towns that are removed . And so you figured out along with others here , um, how to make that work for you. But I think one of the more, one of the interesting things you said too, is that this isn't just about freedom. I think a lot of people kind of safe, I want my freedom, but what they really want is choice, right? They want choice and autonomy.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. Choice of what I'm going to do with my life, with my family and just my personal activity. What I would like to do if it's a sunny day, I really want on my lunch hour , sneak in a mountain bike ride and it's just, it's making choices for sure. And you making your own choices, not presenting it to somebody else saying, these are my choices, which can I do out of my choices? It's you really having control and I'll be the first to admit I'm completely type a. That's why I haven't handed over any curation of my gift boxes to anyone else. People keep saying you're going to have to hire someone this holiday season. I'm type a , I need to do that part myself still. I really do. I might be able to hand over some other things, but what I'm passionate about and what I'm really particular about, I just can't hand over. Right,

Speaker 2:

right. Well, you know what, we're all very personal, right? We're all very individual and our needs and desires for how we run our businesses are all going to be a little bit different. I find that there are like areas in our businesses where we will hand things over and areas where we just won't. And if you're clear on that and you're able to sort of follow those pathways, you, you build a business that's more in the flow and more in alignment with who you are. Right.

Speaker 1:

And being a small business, I've tried to learn so much myself this year, which is taken up a lot of time in love that has to do with finances. I know when they say, Oh, hire someone, hire someone. But if you don't have the finances to do it , um, you just, you can't do it because you could say yes to everything. I get contacted as a small business every single day from many different people for one reason or another, whether it's doing my social media, whether it's working on my website. And so you have to pick and choose when you're a small business. Okay, what can I hand over and I'm willing to pay for and what can I learn on my own? And some of the things were my website. I handed over a tiny tweaking that I couldn't do, but I actually learned to do a little coding this year, which was pretty crazy. And so I'm okay heavily my own website, what I've learned over this last month. Um, I want a scholarship for mothers and business, which I was totally excited about and it was to put towards search engine optimization for my website. And along that process what I learned was ad words, Google ad words that I've decided to jump into, thought I could do it on my own. Today I got another email from venture Webb who I love the over at venture bump here in town. I'm pulling out my hair now and so it's, is it worth it ? No, because it's just causing me stress. It gets me super grumpy and taking time away from what I should be focusing on, such as sales and getting my holiday corporate pitches out there to maybe something I'm never going to figure out on my own versus other things such as shipping website. I knew I could figure out on my own.

Speaker 2:

I'm a huge fan of business owners and I think we all go through this phase in our business where we're, you know, we're still kind of in infancy but we're growing up and, and I, I like the idea of business owners being able to learn a lot about how their business works. But you just, like you mentioned, you've got to get to that point where you know, it's time to cut off, you know , the struggle, right? And find someone who can do something cheaper or faster or with less headache. And in the corporate world we talk about core competencies, right? Core capabilities. What is really core to you, being able to get to making money as quickly as possible, but there's still value in investing in learning all these little things because then you know more about what you can hand over. You've just got to be smart about when you do. And, and not being afraid to make that investment.

Speaker 1:

What's was my biggest thing was really knowing my numbers. I am a numbers person. Um , I like it. I like numbers once a math awards when I was in high school and my husband being an engineer, he's always sitting down with me. So patient with me, I love it. And he makes me all these charts that says touches by monthly gift box sales. And it's great because with that I can go back and analyze and I love my numbers cause then I feel like I know my business. And again, it's being in control and knowing versus I've talked to too many small business owners and they really don't know what their true net profits are. And you'll ask them and they'll say, Oh well I made this much, such as an example would be I go to a few markets and they're like, well if you sell that much, you've made your money back, but you haven't because you have to take away your overhead. The type of products, the cost of the products, every little thing like that, the entry fee into the market or if you're going to a trade show. And so you have to calculate net profits and amazes me , um, that they're not working that way. And again, it's just personal, but I don't, I know to get ahead and be profitable and make this a success to make it a livelihood for myself. I need to know my numbers. I really do.

Speaker 2:

Oh, you're after my heart. Lindsay , I love you. I , uh , one of the modules that I teach my clients in my group programs and I went on programs and the course is, is getting familiar with your money and my group members are going through that right now in my group program. And I'll tell you, they went in kicking and screaming and they G they , they've come out saying, Oh my gosh, I feel so much more empowered now. I had no idea. And I can't tell you how many times I hear that from business owners. I had no idea if you can't answer that question when you're asked, you got some investigating to do. Right. But I love that. You love that .

Speaker 1:

Yeah. But I think it's because it's scary, right? Because if you go do that Excel sheet and put in all your information or all your prices and everything like that, all your costs, I think a lot of small businesses, especially , they don't want to know that number and that's because you might see the numbers actually in negative instead of, you thought it was in the plus and you were doing okay because you want to throw in the towel because it's not working.

Speaker 2:

Right. Which is a great place to be actually, because at least now you know, and it doesn't mean that you can't recover from that. Are you picking out of that? But here's a great place to start, right? One of my girls just posted in my group program and she's like, Oh my God, I just realized I'm not running a profitable business. And I'm like, awesome. That's great information. So now let's fix that, right? Yeah. Okay. I want to talk a little bit more about the , the work that you do. So you have, you have this kind of unique brand in the region that we're in because we have this very lifestyle oriented community, outdoor recreation, beautiful, beautiful, natural environment. People love it here. You have very intentionally built your gift boxes around these artisan vendors, these, these creators in the region. And so is that, is that what's unique about, I mean what, what is, what is unique about what you pulled together? I mean they're beautiful, but what attracts people to the , the boxes that you create?

Speaker 1:

It's definitely, right now I'm really working on the ecofriendly gifting because even though there are some other small businesses that offer gift boxes out there also, which in any businesses you're going to be in, there might be another one out there. But definitely what separates, if you Google gift baskets, you're gonna see that massive gift baskets with a lot of little cheaper stuff in them. And the big plastic around the big bows, which screams anti eco-friendly . And so it works cause sometimes it works in people's price points because they want the huge, huge basket filled with a lot of different little things for the same price point that something would , that is curated with sustainable items such as I offer these muddy marvels pottery mugs that are handcrafted and they're absolutely beautiful. The people want to keep, and that's what separates is such as with corporate gifting or just your bestie. Did your bestie really want a kit Kat on her birthday? Maybe she loves Kit-Kat so I shouldn't say that. But really they want something special. So it's more unique. It's something special that they're going to cherish, they're going to keep and it's eco-friendly. So a lot of the packaging I have is eco-friendly and so it is about the look. But when you look at my gift boxes too, it just, it'll scream. I have some more coming out next week cause I'm really trying to dial in again the ecofriendly and the ecofriendly look and that with I offer plants also and it is just that , um, plus the fact that I work one on one with my clients, I call them clients. Um , they're customers but they're clients because I think it's personal versus if you go on some of the bigger companies, you're just clicking and sending and it feels like nobody's behind there. Versus with me it's, I'm always doing a followup order, special follow up email , especially if it's their first order. I want to reassure that person even though they got my automatic email that says thank you for ordering your gift boxes being delivered on so-and-so day . I want them to know and not question, okay, did they get my order? Like the birthday's coming up next or you know, in two days, did they get the order? I want to know because if they haven't worked with me before, they might not know that it is going to happen for sure. So I just follow up with new customers, new clients, and it's that very personalized gifting. So people will contact me and say, I'm looking for a birthday gift for $75 and this is about the person. And so I will send them two choices, two different ideas to fit within their budget that they can choose and then boom, they just click and pay online. So it's just that personalized touch that I offer them also.

Speaker 2:

Yeah. And I think that, you know what , this is a competitive industry, right? And I have another client who builds gift boxes to you and I, so I know that there are, there's a lot of competition, there are a lot of um, kind of more pedestrian, you know, assembly line type services. And so you're, you're eking out a brand that is not only about the ecofriendly and the sustainability, but also this highly personalized experience and local artisan crafted , um, gifts within your boxes. So, I mean, that begs the question, how are you going to scale? Like, what, what's, what's next in terms of being able to, can you provide that same level of service that is so pivotal to your brand and continue to grow your business?

Speaker 1:

And that's a tough one because it is unique in the sense as you said, I work with a lot of, a lot of local artisans. So local artisans, the first thing, ding, ding, ding that comes to your mind is their , what they create takes time. So one of my biggest challenges is a corporate order might clear me out of my handcrafted candles. And so to get restocked on those candles could take weeks and that's an issue for my business. And that's a challenge I'm working on versus before what I was doing was, okay, well I'm just going to keep stalking up killer for my inventory overhead because in the end I'm a retail, I'm a service, but I'm a retail cause I have huge inventory with the products that I carry because they're handcrafted, they are more , um , they are pricier. So it's not the old days of wholesaling where it's 50%, you get 50% off the retail price that just doesn't exist anymore unless you're in , you know, taking the big box companies kind of thing. Um, so that is going to be one of my challenges. What I have started doing is really picking and choosing which artisans I work with, right? Because the newer artisans, unfortunately I've found it's just more challenging and it's not profitable for my business because I'm spending so much of my time. And that was the key is how much of my time am I spending on inventory that I could be spending on, I'll just call it my sales, but working more with , um, my building, my CRM that I'm wanting to build for my corporate gifting because corporate gifting is how I can scale corporate giftings . Great. Because someone may order 20 gift boxes all at once after a bunch of email. They exactly , um, after a bunch of emails back and forth and getting that right gift box, but they're ordering 20 of them versus often. And I love my personal gifting clients. I love them. And always have them, it can be a lot of back and forth, the same amount of emails as it was for 20 gift boxes. So I want to build the corporate gift boxes, but in order to do so, I need to also have suppliers still being unique and local BC that can supply me. So that's what I've been working on. And so I've made some shifts on who , um, who my suppliers are. Cause sometimes some of my suppliers, it was taking a couple of months and I feel guilty. I feel guilty because this is a small community and you get this guilt feeling, but I can't do it. It does it , it's not, you know, there , there gets to a point in your business of just being the nice person. Um, and you know, having everybody involved, but you also have to be profitable because this is how you're making your livelihood too . So to gain it, that is one of the things is changing up a bit. Um , not changing up a bit. I'm still keeping a lot of my suppliers, but going forward I do, cause I get so many inquiries about people wanting to be my gift boxes. They have to be established businesses and I know I need to know exactly what their turnaround time is and everything like that. Um, and that will help with my corporate gifting because then I will be able to be, when a cork is corporations, sometimes Lillie will call me and say I'd like this within two weeks. And so within two weeks having handcrafted unique items, I need to have reliable suppliers. And um , then the second thing to help me grow will just be, that's what I've been working on Google ad words is I deliver Canada-wide but I need to get the word out there. I need to be able to be out in the front of people that are searching. So not just my local community. I do a lot in my local community to get the word out there. But in order to grow, I need to be called selling. I need to be selling outside of my community too. And I have started. That's why I had a good push because of a corporate order after Christmas last year. And I said, I'm just going to dive in. I'm gonna , I'm just gonna do it. I haven't figured all of this out on shipping yet, but I'm just going to do it. And this was in January and it was a local business here in Squamish and they want a 20 gift boxes shipped across Canada. And I said, I'm just going to do it. And I did. And I was like, why didn't I start this earlier? Cause I figured it out. Um, and it was great. So I've completed that part. Now I just need to get the word out there so I can do more of it. I shift , I shipped your gift boxes to Australia, just dry . They made it. Okay.

Speaker 2:

Easy. Yep. Yeah, I'll tell you they loved them. And I think what's really cool about what you sell is that it's, it's so

Speaker 1:

unique to this area, but , and I think a lot of people come visit a very touristy area and a lot of people come here and they have great memories and they, they want to come back and relive those memories and they want, they want to, you know , go back to where they've been. So I think that's , that works really well for you , um, in terms of your expansion and your growth. And I think that's really exciting. Um, so what are you , what's worked for you in terms of getting the word out? I mean, you , you do a lot of kind of local interaction, but again, as you're starting to scale up and starting to grow, you've mentioned SEO . You've mentioned , um, you know, some of the more corporate directories. What is on your plate in terms of , um, in terms of selling and finding more clients? I do know that over 50% of my business is not people that live in my community. They may be sending to people in my community. So that includes everywhere in the seat of sky from Vancouver to Whistler and that's over 50% of my business. So those are the people I need to reach and they love that they're supporting local still and that it's sustainable. It's coming right from here. It's curated here. I need to reach those people. And that's why I did dive into working on my SEO. And so the Google, Google AdWords is going to be something that I'm trying because people are simply Googling for me. They're not looking for me on Instagram. That's what I do, spend time on my social media. I do know for a fact that's not where my leads are coming from. So that is the number one that I'm working on. And then number two and why I mentioned I want to get this CRM going and it's actually one of your clients told me a CRM that she uses that I'm going to work on cause I've become friends with her and uh , I need to work on that CRM too to reach out. That's the biggest, that's the biggest way that I get bigger orders such as corporate orders or people who are gifting all the time. So they're gifting for many different reasons. Their business or is this, they're busy people, they're more interested in just like, I need a birthday gift box for my mom. I need to send a birthday gift. So those types of people, it's having the one on one conversations and I need to spend more time and finding that time. So it's cutting down on other things. It's finding and you know, scheduling in that time to just be reaching out. And those are the, I know the two biggest things that are going to work and have worked already for me. You know, you run your business on numbers and without knowing your numbers, and I don't just mean your financial numbers, but also the all of the demographic information about where people are buying from, that's really good information for you. And without being on top of those numbers, you might still be trying to sell to an audience that just isn't that effective for you. Right.

Speaker 2:

So I'm really excited to hear that that's kind of underlying your business strategy. Um, the other thing that's , that I think is really interesting about listening to you talk is that there are a lot of parallels. So you run a very local business, you run a very , um, you know, you have physical products like a lot of people that are in this, in, you know, their listening , um, tend to be service-based professionals. But there is so much parallel between , uh , what you're doing and how we find clients in the service based industries as well. And I think Caroline , um, alluded to this in our last interview as well, but one of the things she's really realized is that connecting with people and being able to generate those, those um, connections in person is still feeding a service based industry is still feeding a product based industry. And I don't think that's ever gonna go away. So whether we're meeting in person or whether we're just creating relationships in an online world , um, that seems to be the starting point for all of our client getting activities.

Speaker 1:

People want to know that there's someone actually there they can speak to. Like I don't think that's ever gonna go away in business. It's how businesses before social media and the web and everything like that came about was interactions with people. And I don't think that's ever going to go away. And someone, people might once in a while be just that hiring somebody that they just need something quick. But to build a relationship with someone, they'll use your services ongoing when you build a relationship with them because they trust you is the biggest thing. They know you're going to get the job done. And it's easier for them because they're like, Oh, I know what they're going to do for me. I know it's gonna get done. I know what to expect. And it's always, I think it's always going to be that way. It's the old fashioned way. We're always still gonna use all the technology we knew now have. But in the end that's sort of to find people. But then to keep them connected you have to do it. And that was one of the things that I was working on with uh , venture web with my search engine and just everything. When they look through my website, they said I go between I and wheat in my website. They said it's all about you. Your business is all about you. People want to know that you're behind the box as they say. And so I went in and edited all my website and now it's all in I versus week cause there there is no [inaudible] this is my gifting studio. This just me, just me and my 10 year old that sweeps mine gifting studio now. But so I changed all that copy on my website too that it's just so people know they're going to have me and talking to a person.

Speaker 2:

Well and it's absolutely true. Um, I do a lot of work with Kendrick Shope and she teaches all about selling and her, her sort of quote is that all things being equal, friends buy from friends, right? If you, if I have an emotional connection to you and you, you become someone that I know. No. And that doesn't mean have to mean that you know, Lindsey lives down the street and so I'll buy from her. It could be somebody who lives on the other side of the world, but she's familiar to me. Right. I know you because you've shown up, you have shown up and you have a face and a name and that's someone I'm gonna wanna buy Friday night . I, I will say this till I'm blue in the face with every single one of my clients. You have to show up and be visible . Does it mean you have to do anything uncomfortable? Now does it mean you have to be on video all the time? No. It means that people need to be constantly reminded that you exist.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And that's what you had mentioned that, cause I am on your email list to get tips in that and on your Facebook group. And one of them is email newsletters cause I was shy about it. So shy. But I'm like nobody really wants to hear about me and you know, feel like selling. But then I was encouraged more recently and so now I'm committed. I'm doing monthly email newsletters. I just sent out my first one in September and I'm going to commit to a monthly one because then as you said, showing up. I mean I , I get your emails and I , it reminds me of you all the time and it's, it is just about that. So then I'm going to segregate my emails too now because again, learning what I can do with my own business, with MailChimp and I'll be able to separate those who do personal gifting, those who do corporate gift and be able to send them different email newsletters. And so I'm really going to get on that so that I'm showing up and I'm going to, I'm going to stop shying away from it. And if people want to unsubscribe, they can. You're given that choice at the bottom of the email. But I was, you talked about your Wednesday wins and I sent out, I , cause I hadn't, I have my kids all summer, 10 whole weeks. I have my children home with me. And so again, it's making choices and being able to work around them. So we'll go to the beach and then I come home and carry gift boxes and they'll play in the pool in the back. Well it's, it's not a full pool. Don't worry. And um , but with that, where was I going with that one? Um, so with that working also the newsletters, so I hadn't been doing newsletters for a few months and I was like, okay , I gotta get back on that. So I sent one out in September and my open rate was over 50% which in my industry is huge. So, and again it's me doing my own email newsletter so I know who's who's opening cause I can see who's opening what they're clicking on, what people are interested in. Um, and so that was a huge win for me that over 50% and so I'm going to keep it up and it might be only 20% next time, cause they just heard me, but it's still 20% and then hopefully moving into the holidays they'll more opens and it helps me refine what I put in my newsletters. I can see what people are clicking on and what they aren't. So

Speaker 2:

yeah, and you know, this is an opportunity for you to , to continue to build more of a brand because I look at your business and I see like there's a lot of competition out there. You are slowly eking out this identity and this, this brand around your business and your, your content allows you to solidify that brand, right. To make that brand bigger and to stand for something rather than just sending out promotions. You know what I mean? So I'm going to be really interested to watch where you go with that because there's a lot that you can talk about the beyond just like here's the things you can buy from me. Click here and buy them.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, definitely can talk about our local community or local artisans of my most recent email had to do with, there was a, from our district, the district of Squamish was doing a survey to help build their plan for arts, culture and heritage, a strategy plan for our community. And so I included the link because they also were giving away one of my gift boxes. So it worked out well that way, so I was able to incorporate that. But just that I had the link of the survey for our community members to fill out that they, a lot of people had no idea the survey was even out there. So just being able to bring in different ideas like that and what's going on. There's a huge what's going on in this town all the time and

Speaker 2:

we're growing like crazy that you eat . So you're now playing this role of connector, which is also super interesting as almost a marketing tactic for you because you get to be noticed around more than just something that you sell and people want to support someone who is pulling that community together. And there are, there are parallels in all of our industries, whether it's online or offline.

Speaker 1:

Exactly. And that's why to be part more part of the community was for me, you'll probably know this also from a, I know your client that has the gift box business also is price point. Always the biggest challenge is the price point of gift boxes because when you're unique and the products that I'm offering in my gift boxes, it's not my service, then I'm up, you know, raising the prices on. It's the reason it might cost more than, again, the Walmart gift gift basket is because of the products in it as what costs more. So I went over and I was like, I just can't offer a gift pox for the price point. Many people were asking me for it was I would be losing money because I know my numbers and I'm like I can't do it. And if I say start saying yes, I was racking my brains spinning , I was up at night racking my brains, how can I get this person? I really like this person I want to offer. I don't want to say no, how can I curate them? A gift box in this price point and you know, I would try and sometimes I wasn't making any money on that gift box and what was the point other than it was the first gift box. And so it kind of got them to know me and what I offered, but then they'd come back and ask for it again. So then I wasn't making money off of that one. So that's when like I figured out a way to be able to offer something else to my community. So that's where I brought in juke gift totes , which were a huge hit, such as for teacher gift . I brought them in for teacher gifts. So I was able to bring in a whole different part of my community into my business at a different level. That still makes me profitable because the gift totes cost me less than the gift boxes and the shred and everything and they take less of my time to curate. So I'm able to offer them at a lower price point. But I brought in more of my community into my business by being able to do something like that. So I'm , that was my a pivotal point for me this year because once I brought them in, you would not believe how many of these I sell now . I was , I was joking to my husband, I said, maybe I should have called myself your gift toads . I don't know, but I'm not because I'm I for shipping, I can't ship them Canada wide at the gift totes yet. You never know. I might figure that out. But uh , it's more of like maybe I should have called myself here gifting service. But anyways, I'm branding myself. Um, but they were huge and it just brought more, more people my way because I heard what they are saying. I listened to them. I met with a bunch of moms before the teacher gift packages came out and they said this is the price point. We're willing to pay, come up with something and I will buy it. And I was like, I can not make a gift box for that price. And so I racked my brains and figured it out and it's been awesome. Like pivotal point for me.

Speaker 2:

And they were so well received. I bought something from my peers and they were amazing. So what I love about this is that you have just, you have not given up, right? You did not look at your numbers and say, this is impossible. You said, how can I innovate? Where are the pieces that are costing me the most money? And how can I think around that? And without your numbers, without your data, you wouldn't have been able to do that. So that's a really exciting story. And also being able to take advantage of the natural patterns of gift giving. Like when are people thinking about these things beyond the Christmas and the birthdays and that sort of thing. Teacher gifts, right? It's a huge problem . It's a huge problem because every year you're at the last minute you're going, Oh, you actually produced a service by pushing out your promotion and reminding us all that this is a thing and I could get this done easily and also be

Speaker 1:

really proud of what I'm handing over to this person who has served my children for the last something they want to get, something you want to give and that they're overjoyed to receive because just that again, it becomes with the gift giving, somebody joked that uh , it was so actually it's more than the thought that counts just because it is the thought that counts. But as you said, for the teachers, they put so much heart and soul into our children every single day. It's so nice for them to receive something they're gonna use and they actually really enjoy receiving versus, Oh, what am I going to do with this? Or Ooh, no thanks. And everyone doesn't drink. So yeah, no, that would be my first thought as a tutor . What I want. I want a nice big bottle of wine. Okay. So what do you wish you knew before you got started? What would you like everyone listening to know that would help them build their business? Um , just how much time. Everything I was gonna do took me figuring that out before hand. My biggest one, inventory management. I know a lot of your group and clients are service focused, but just that, and I know you teach that in your courses is the chocolate blocks. And I'm still completely honestly working on that is the chocolate blocks of this is taking me this much time. This is going to take me that much time. I had zero clue how much time inventory management was going to take me, found the best app ever because of a , another face group. Um , group that I joined that specifically for gift boxes and I, so I threw it out. That's what groups are great about through doubt . They're saying inventory management is killing me. And so they said, Oh, I use this app that I paid for. But, and again, another thing to pay for, it's gonna save me hours every week, this app. So things like that of knowing how you can manage your time better, but more specifically how long it's going to take to do everything because can you do it that because if he can't do it, well maybe your prices need to be higher for you to be profitable enough to make it as a livelihood because you can say, and I'm someone who is a friend, you and I have talked before a friend in town also that owns a business that he, before I met you, Stephanie encouraged me on my pricing cause he's like, you can't do it. And I was so shy about my prices. And so that was another thing about , um, really knowing before I launched was my pricing. And I did get it down pretty well before I launched, but just before I launched was knowing your prices because it's easier to lower your prices and really just raise your prices right away. And so it was knowing, okay and be okay with those prices because otherwise it was going to take too much time for what I was making. And then you're not making even minimum wage if you've priced yourself incorrectly. Right? Because it's taking so much of your time because it may only take you with , if you're in the service industry and you are on a call and you schedule one hour calls with them, you may schedule that call and say, well, I'm being paid the a hundred dollars for that hour, but are you like, how much prep time did you need to do for that? How much time did you spend on your, your Google ads for people to find you? And stuff like that. So those would be the two specific things for me. There's a million things on my website I wish I had known now to do and everything like that. But those are all learning in any business, I think, unless you're getting someone else to do it all. But

Speaker 2:

for sure, and hopefully all of our listeners are collecting all of this great advice from all of our interviews and kind of cobbling it together to help them move forward. Um, and you know, when we talk about in my, my programs too , is that you have these sort of three legs of the stool. And that's what we go about building is , um, you know, you have your, your financial forecast, right? Your sales plan, you have the pricing that you set for your services or your products, and then you have your available time. And when you figured out those three legs of the stool and one of them's wobbly and one of them doesn't work, then you have these other, you've only got these other two legs of the stool to , something has to be adjusted. So if you, and this is where designing a business around your lifestyle and what you, how you want to work is so critical because I can look at those three legs of the stool and I could say, what can't I compromise on? I, I'm not going to work more hours because they don't have that. So my only options then are to either change my expectations in terms of how much I'm gonna make or increase my prices. So which 1:00 AM I going to do? And so the then you're at least making a a decision from an informed perspective and it sounds that like coming back to this collection of data, you having so much visibility into your operational data in your financial data has really helped you grow to where you are in in what I consider to be still a relatively short period of time.

Speaker 1:

[inaudible] yeah, definitely. Yeah. And knowing your business and all of that insight out really helps figure out which stool is wobbly.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I drag all my clients kicking and screaming through it, but at the end they are just like this was life changing. Exactly. So what's next for you, Lindsey ? You've , you've, you're

Speaker 1:

expanding, you're growing. What's the next big push? The next big push is corporate gifting for me, and again, it comes back to that I could spend as much time with one person and again, I always want to do that personal gifting because it's really what gets me up in the morning. I get excited to make one beautiful gift box that I know someone is going to be receiving that day excites me. But to build as a business and again have a livelihood, is to get into corporate gifting. So I've been meeting and because I get a lot of pushback from businesses, they want their brand, they want their brand there , they want the brand though it's all there. It comes down to, and I get a lot of push back for that and, but that takes a lot. It changes a bit what I do. So I was trying to figure out how, again, racking my brains how to make it still work in my business because I don't want to include the plastic swag that's not sincere or anything like that in my gift boxes. So with that , I've been meeting with wind studio here , um , the printing shop in town and what I'm coming up with is one from a gift totes for the local businesses I'm already working with. One realtor is instead of my brand on the gift totes , it's going to be their brand on the gift tote, which completely works and works in the price point and everything like that. And then secondly, with my boxes, it will still mean we have wooden good boxes, but covering the actual pure on the top of my gift boxes, it will be what we call in this in just my industry, a belly band. So it's a paper belly band that wraps around the gift box instead of ribbons about that thick and it has the company's logo on it. And it's recyclable because that's what I didn't want. I didn't want to veer because sometimes I start getting swayed a bit and then I got to pull it back in. And so this one makes me feel very confident. It makes me feel very aligned and good about this. It's simply a recycled belly band. Everything else, including my recycled shred, recyclable shred, a hundred percent recycle shred and everything like that. It's still all the same. But we're S we're then adding their big branding that the client can simply take off after feels like it's a sincere gift because it's coming from, you know, a real business, pure gift boxes and it's been curated and they don't open it up and just see the company's brand everywhere. So they still get their point across that Hey, it's coming from me, the business owner. But then with that at , uh , it just kind of completes the package and that's for me, I is the big step . So , um, as we speak, Travis over at wind studio is making me up a mock one using my husband's business logo. Um, and I am going to , cause , uh, I've made that corporate page corporate gifting on my website. So I added that page just last week and I'm gonna put it in there and show um , businesses what their choices now are, tend to create their brand. So , um, it's September and in my business I had to start all of my holiday stuff back in July. And so this is a push to make sure it's done within the next week because of this , the mid October I will start contacting businesses about holiday gifting. So that's going to be the big push for me this year.

Speaker 2:

I love how you're solving problems and finding new ways to grow. So corporate gift giving, I agree. That is a great place for you to be moving towards. So what kind of support do you need in order to get there? You've got a community of people listening to you right now. What would be most helpful for you?

Speaker 1:

Well, right now I only deliver , um , not only I do deliver Canada wide , I have not worked. Um, that would be another step in another conversation we have on another podcast about customs and exporting. But just if you know, any businesses that are looking for unique gifting this year instead of the ho hum. Done sincere , um , swag, plastic swag stuff that some businesses send out just because it's easy. Let them know I can make their gifting easy, still incorporate their brand and they'll be able to send sincere gifts to their clients. So any business out there, I'd appreciate just having the word spread around cause it's really word of mouth. I mean, I'm doing my Google ad and works . I do my search engine, but right now being a small business , um, it's all word of mouth. So I work on my reviews on everybody gets, I'm getting people to work on reviews on my Facebook and Google ad . Uh , sort of my Google business site because it's really both . That is word of mouth and reviews. So word of mouth really helps if you're talking to other businesses. Just

Speaker 2:

all right, well support a local business port of small business and I can guarantee you that the quality, my, my clients received these gift boxes at Christmas time last year and they loved them. They had , they put them all up on their mantel piece so they loved, they loved them. Okay, Lindsey, you're amazing and egg . Stephanie, you're a model business owner. I want to thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today. How can our listeners find you?

Speaker 1:

Pure gift boxes.com pure gift boxes to your gift boxes.com. I've got my contact page there, but it has all my on that website. Best way to get ahold of me.

Speaker 2:

Awesome. And you mentioned that you had an offer to share with our listeners today. Can you tell us more about that?

Speaker 1:

I do. I'm offering you free delivery in Canada for your first gift box if you want to try it out so you don't have to pay that delivery fee. Cause I know people don't love delivery fees, but it's a reality of our life. So you can skip that part and just order up a beautiful gift box, either sending as a birthday gift or if you have some clients that you want to send a thank you to for onboarding them.

Speaker 2:

That's awesome. And we'll post that information in the show notes. But how do they take advantage of that?

Speaker 1:

Do the contact page please. So just contact me Lindsey and let me know and I will put in the free delivery for you. I'll give you a code for it. And so do they just go, they're just gonna put in a code or they're going to mention that they heard you on the shop so they can, they can still order online 24 hours a day. But just messaged me and I'll give you the code and take advantage of it. And if you have any other friends that want to take advantage of it to Trump my services, I am open to that because I know once someone has tried once, then they keep coming back for their gifted services. So

Speaker 2:

especially when they've had that personalized experience. That's amazing. Lindsey , thank you so much for this. What an awesome gift for our listeners and uh , and that's a wrap. Um, I have loved speaking to you as always. We could talk forever and maybe you'll have to come down the street for a coffee sometime, but make sure you go and check outLindsay@puregiftboxes.com for her incredible offer. And thank you for tuning in to hear this story. The episodes that you're listening to are all featuring members of my free private Facebook group called the real deal business coaching group where we have daily prompts to keep you posted, keep you focused on building your business and sharing your everyday challenges. We have biweekly virtual coffee chats so everyone can connect with each other because it can be lonely. As a entrepreneur, we have open coaching and members support from this incredible communities that come check us out. Come hang out with us. And if you'd like to join our community or you want to be featured on this show, I'd love for you to come and hang out with us in the group. The link is in the show notes or search up the real deal business coaching group in Facebook to find us. And finally I would love for you to join us for our next episode where we're going to be speaking to Donya Gardner who is this incredible life coach who is working with moms to change the way that we think about being parents and being moms and supporting each other as moms. She is from the nurtured mama and we are going to hear about her next week on the show. So tune in live , uh , in the Facebook group or this, this episode will be out the following week, the following Wednesday, and you can listen to it on all of the platforms in iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, iHeartRadio , uh , and so on and so on and from our website. Okay. So thank you again for being here. If you've enjoyed today's content, I'd love for you to give us a review on whatever platform you're listening on. This helps us share these stories with an even bigger audience. And until next time, I am cheering you on over here.