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Posted by: In: Our Clients, Tips and Tricks 20 Sep 2013 0 comments
The point that I would like to emphasis about this article is that an online store is a great way to augment your brick and mortar business. It gives your customers the ability to shop your merchandise 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. And it also broadens your customer base from the confines of your neighborhood to the entire world. I know the ins and outs of running an online business and would be happy to work with you in finding the same success for business!

The following article was written by Bryce Gray and published in the Lake County Leader.

521f8ef919066.imagePOLSON – Before last year, Polson resident Michael Brandt had never found a four-leaf clover. That all changed when an ordinary trip out into the yard took a fateful twist, and Brandt and his girlfriend, Ali Bronsdon, discovered one four-leaf specimen… and then another… and then another…

In what was either a stroke of fantastic fortune or a fluke of frontyard ecology, a half-hour search that day yielded a staggering haul of 180 four-leaf clovers. With some creativity and clever marketing (not to mention an ever-growing collection of clovers), Brandt was soon inspired to launch the website and has been seeing green ever since.

Little more than a year later, Brandt’s start-up has helped him become a veritable kingpin of the “surprisingly lucrative” online clover business, netting over $2,000 in sales and attracting customers from all over the United States and Canada.

Brandt says that originally he had no intentions of climbing towards the top of the four-leaf clover industry. But after amassing a stash of clovers that would turn a leprechaun green with envy, Brandt says that his “entrepreneurial nature” quickly got the best of him.

“When I got 200 of them, I wanted to be competitive in the clover business. So I found who my competitors were and honed my search engine optimization,” says Brandt, who runs a website development company called Striped Rhino as his day job.

Soon, Brandt had ensured that was one of the top Google search results for prospective customers before sitting back and watching the orders come pouring in.

Brandt has been impressed not only by the sheer volume of orders, but also by the size of some of the orders received. Single clover-hungry shoppers have placed orders of $90 and $120, and, earlier this month, someone requested 200 clovers, which slightly exceeded the site’s current inventory.

While the money from his foray into the clover business has been a pleasant surprise, Brandt says that he has benefited from the side project in other ways.

“I’m a website developer and have clients with stores and I wanted to figure out how it works. With this business I’ve been able to figure out the nuances of running an online store. It just so happens that it turned out to be fairly profitable.”

Brandt has also crafted the website into a good corporate citizen, making a donation of 10 clovers and $100 to the charitable Wings for Wishes fundraiser held last weekend.

In addition to “naturally grown” four-leaf clovers, Brandt’s yard has even borne a number of rare five-leaf clovers, which are available on the site for a premium. However, Brandt says “there’s no market for them,” as they have not sold as well as their quaternary counterparts.

The meteoric rise of the start-up has not gone unnoticed by the industry’s power players. Brandt was recently approached by a “purchasing agent” from South Korea offering to become an offshore middleman for four-leaf clovers at a reasonable rate. Brandt turned down the supplier’s proposal, but not after receiving a free sample of “really high quality” Korean clovers in the mail.

With more than $600 in sales over the past month alone, business is booming as summer draws to a close, although leaner days loom in the company’s immediate future. Brandt says that the inevitable onslaught of winter will put an end to the harvest and temporarily deplete his inventory.

But come spring, the yard will be lush with a new generation of clovers waiting to be paired with another wave of customers.

Posted by: In: Tips and Tricks 21 Jun 2013 0 comments

The Ironman Coeur d’Alene is this weekend, Sunday, June 23, 2013. Spectators and racers can feel free to use this map in preparation and for cheering purposes. It was created based on low resolution maps on the official website, so I do not guarantee its accuracy, though it should be pretty close.

View Ironman Coeur d’Alene Map in a larger map

Posted by: In: Cool Code, Tips and Tricks 12 Mar 2013 0 comments

What does it take to own, operate, and maintain a website? With a WordPress based website, maybe not as much as you think.

The latest version of WordPress, 3.5.1, is not only more secure, it also allows users to easily update pages, and add new blog posts, and maintain e-commerce products more easily than ever. This process is as easy as writing an email, or updating a word document. Simply select the item you want to edit, view the document in the visual mode, and edit away. There is no dealing with computer code, what you see is what you get! When you are finished with your updates publish the document and it is live for the world to see. Adding pictures and video to your pages for visual appeal is simple too.

Afraid of writing over and being unable to recover important information? WordPress has that all figured out as well with its built in Revisions Section. Any saved content is automatically added to the database. Revisions of old material can be restored from any point with the click of a mouse. No need to worry.

After the initial set up, and with a minimal amount out practice and instruction you can be running your own website without the hassle and expense of relying on a webmaster.