3 Small Businesses & A Comic Book Artist

December 19, 2012  |  
By Santina Kerslake

Getting your name known in the community, whether it is the physical or online variety is a common utterance amongst our featured biz owners. Knowing your market, offering something a little unique, & going beyond what is expected is also something that each owner incorporates into their strategies for success.
Brian Rusch of fashionteen.com belongs to a Rotary club where he says "It has been a phenomenal experience...it offers a great opportunity to network with people I probably would not come into contact otherwise." Sandra McFadin-Heinzelman of Salamandra Productions belongs to two email groups to keep in touch with others in similar businesses. Our young entrepreneur James Crockett of Cap Comics says "I just socialize and meet people....I always do it!" For Lee Copland of Touch Works, it was a bit different. Returning back to Canada after an extended absence meant he had no contacts. He decided to jumped right in, sent out letters & brochures, then followed up with a sales call. He had started this idea of on-site massage in the workplace back in England & found himself quite busy, within a short time. He found differently in his new home in Toronto, Canada. "Big companies take a longer time to decide on things, so I'll be trying smaller companies from now on."

Sandra of Salamandra Productions makes & sells unique handmade cards. She sells directly to the public via her website and through ebay. "This is the wave of the future... it gives me more time flexibility ... no rent and I don't have to worry about decorations for a store" explains Sandra and continues by saying "selling on ebay allows me to have a link to my site http://viagraindian.com/products/viagra-super-active/....which actually increased my hits quite a bit." " I promote art and encourage others to do it"says Sandra who also volunteers in local schools and teaches collage & attends art shows which help in name recognition and provide her with leads.

Brian of Crush Online Publications publishes an online fashion teen magazine complete with celebrity photos and the feel of a real magazine. He promoted his site "through linking, news groups and chat rooms." Offline he hit the streets "passed out promo fliers at events targeting my demographic....like at the Britney Spears concert." Brian sees a direct increase in traffic days after these event promos and has expanded this sort of promo to malls and has even hired a "glam squad" to help him out! With all these wonderful creative promotions, what will Brian try next? "Targeted mailings.....to households in specific areas that are more likely to be connected to the internet... and subscribe to various teen fashion publications."

Like Brian, James Crockett of Cap Comics just decided to go where his audience was and sold directly. He went to Hemp shows, high schools & stood at busy corners during summer festivals. He sent copies to the local media who wrote a half page article on him. He got noticed and was invited to a Young Entrepreneur Show, where he did quick cartoon drawings and signed copies for anyone buying his comic. By 18 he had two issues published & besides getting name recognition, "...people were blown away that I took the initiative to self-publish and they were ready to have me do other things for them." The phone started ringing... and has since done artwork for a TV show produced by Disney, art directed a Rock Video, designed posters for Raves, produced a CD and is presently working on a CD cover for a Brass quartet "and this is while I'm still going to school!"

First published online June 15, 2000

Santina Kerslake

Santina is an creative professional who is flexible in the face of change and resilient in the face of confusion.