Often I get lovely emails form customers letting me know how much they love our products. This is a great compliment, as I love to supply something that not only looks good, but is also useful to my customers.
Here at Smart Calendars, family is very important to us, we are a 100% Australian made, owned, and operated, family run business from a family home. Our hope is that our Organisers will help create better organisation in your home, reduce stress and free up and maximise your time, in order for your family to spend more time with each other to create and fulfil your dreams, which in turn helps pay our bills and work towards fulfilling our dreams, WIN/WIN. It has been said that any society is only as stable and strong as the family units that make it up. So your positive feedback and e-mails really confirms to us that we are on the right track and producing a valuable product.
In return for all the lovely words sent that quite often share parts of your life when telling us how and what you use your calendars for, I thought I would give you (those that are interested) a behind the scenes sneak peak of operations at Smart Calendars 4 U. I also hope that this inspires any of you at home with a business idea to start, or keep taking steps to achieve your own business ventures.
Even though I have stated that Smart Calendars 4 U is a home run business we can’t do it all on our own and we need to get the help and assistance off other businesses. These businesses are mainly based in Queensland and New South Wales as well as the newsagents Australia wide who stock our calendars.
So here is a rough behind the scenes timeline for getting our calendars to your doors and on your beautiful walls.
I source artwork for the calendars over a year ahead of when needed, so the 2016 range is nearly complete at the moment, which is sourced from a number of areas. By the way if you know a talented artist or graphic artist whose style might suit our calendars, please let me know. For the 2015 designs we had one design from my Sunshine Coast Designers, one from a Brisbane Designer and the other from a talented painter from the Sunshine Coast also, who I came across at Eumundi Markets. I then spend hours and hours searching for and picking quotes or sayings to go on the calendars that need them, that part I really enjoy.
My Sunshine Coast creative agency and designer then puts all the designs together and gets them print ready. I then send out all the files to our wholesale buyers to choose which designs they wish to stock and get Purchase Orders, chat with our newsagent distributors and look at sales figures from the previous year, look at how many have sold through website and eBay in previous year and then make a guesstimate of how many to print. Not always accurate 🙁
During this time we make a number of changes to the website to display the new calendars. Proofs are sent to me for checking, correction and approval.
Our calendars are then printed, stapled or bound in Brisbane in July, and delivered to various warehouses in Queensland and New South Wales of catalogue companies, our newsagent distribution depot, our own contracted warehouse for filling and packing your orders (as so many of you are now ordering, I couldn’t keep up, you were wearing me out, thank you) and some stock to me to fill specialised orders and to use for marketing purposes (also for me to use as Christmas/teacher presents, very handy).
We then have images of the new calendars photographed for use by our Sunshine Coast creative agency on the website and our social media sites. These images I also use on our eBay store, which is something else that takes a fair bit of admin time.
I usually then send an email to all my subscribers letting them know that the following years’ calendars are now available. If you didn’t receive one, feel free to sign up now.
When this happens, it is all hands on deck. As orders start to fly in, calendars are packaged, sent to Australia Post and delivered to your door. I try to e-mail all of my customers personally as I really do want them to know that their purchases are so appreciated, not sure how long I will be able to keep this up, but hanging in there at the moment, please forgive me if in the next year or two I can’t keep this up.
It is a long process (and I have skipped some of the long boring parts, like all the administration, bookwork etc) but there is nothing better than hearing the great feedback I get from you all. We put a lot of effort in behind the scenes to provide you with a useful, soulful calendar that you will love. Many of you have even emailed to say that you will spread the word of our products. This positive word of mouth recommendation is the best advertising we could ever ask for, so thank you for your support. If you would like to tell your friends about our calendars please click share at the bottom of this blog to tell them via Facebook or if you are not on Facebook and happen to remember to mention our calendars over your next cup of coffee or phone chat, that would be awesome also.