Saturday, December 8, 2007

Relatively Unimportant, but Urgent

I spent about half the day, getting a Knights of Columbus bulletin ready for mailing. Well, maybe not half the day: but counting those bulletins, filling out the postal forms, and getting the carefully-sorted mess to the Post Office took time. So did waiting while the new fellow behind the counter worked his way through a relatively complicated and unfamiliar procedure.

Then, I had errands to run for the family.

This evening, I'm trying to catch up on what my business requires: which is creative work today. I'm not going to get as far along as I wanted to.

Next, I work on the family's Christmas letter.

Without a family, and a few community responsibilities, I could concentrate on business. But without the family - and, I suppose, the community - what would be the point of a business, or much of anything else?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Getting Sick is Not a Good Idea

My wife took the two at-home kids to the clinic yesterday morning. They've got strep. My wife's coming down with it, and that might explain the way I've been feeling lately. Although it's more likely that what's been slowing me down is a warm-up act. I'll probably come down with Streptococcal sore throat later on.

I wrote more about this family's experience in another post, Tuesday: Due to Lack of Interest, Monday was Cancelled this Week"

The effect that all this has had on the Brian H. Gill company is the same as if the entire staff of a larger company came down with a mild pip. In my case, no amount of positive thinking or rugged determination will raise my efficiency when I get caught between bugs snuggled up among my cells, and my immune system.

The only way I know of to avoid getting minor illnesses is to live in isolation from other people.

I'm not likely to sequester myself in central Alaska, or some equally isolated place So, I'll have to continue accepting those times when my depths of imperfection become more profound than usual.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Of Selling Furniture Online, Marketing,
and a Linkback Contest

This is a good idea I probably won't be using soon. Unless I can think of a valuable and desirable prize that costs me nothing.

However, Barn Furniture's Linkback Contest looks like a good idea for marketing.

The webmaster of Barn Furniture, an online furniture retailer, left a comment on one of my posts on another blog, "Thursday: More Family Stuff." Barn Furniture has a blog linkback contest and, more to the point for this blog, the company has a pretty good website, and an attractive line of furniture.

I checked out their Home Office Furniture section: wishful thinking on my part: I've got a home office, but no budget for new furniture. Barn Furniture also has quite a decent display of Bedroom Furniture, Amish Furniture, and other breakouts of their selection on their website.

I also checked out their domain registration. For me, this isn't anything unusual. Before I send my name and a valid email address, I like to know who I'm dealing with. Besides, these days research like this is fast and easy.

The addresses on Network Solutions' WHOIS Search, Barn Furniture's website, and Google maps all match: plus, a few clicks over, Google even had a photo of the storefront that more-or-less matched Barn Furniture's 'here's our store' photo.

Selling furniture online? Furniture?!

It's not as far-out an idea as it sounds. A few years ago, I heard a small business conference speaker tell how he turned a billiard table retail store around by marketing and selling the things online. He found out that people were willing to pay shipping charges, if they found something they liked. So, selling furniture online can work.

Studying the Barn Furniture website didn't convince me that I should be selling furniture. On the other hand, what I saw helped me get more specific about an idea or two that have been sloshing around in my head. If anything comes of that, it'll show up here.

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