What chance do you have at being an Internet entrepreneur if you have no on-line experience? Who will teach you? How much money should you pay for advertising and getting traffic to your sites? My guess is that most people who want to make money online ask these very same questions. Betty Moore of Crazy Horse Industries was one of those people about a year ago. She told correspondent Lisa Di Clemente a little bit about her successes to date and they talk about how life’s challenges don’t have to be failures, but can turn into learning experiences.
Betty, you have several retail shops online, but I am very interested in Crazy Horse Industries. Can you tell me what inspired this business, and where did the name come from?
The name Crazy Horse Industries came from several we chose and this one was a name my teenage daughter came up with. Since we are avid horse people, of course we needed a name to be something we could relate to. We are also of the the Native American Culture. We decided to begin an online business to bring in an extra income (since horses cost and doing anything with them such as shows, games etc cost more!) We are on retirement income and have a daughter that is going to College in the fall, so this was my idea to help the cause. I had worked for 34 years with the State of Oregon and wanted no more of that that type of work. I also have two small grandchildren that I assist in their care, so I needed to be home during the day. We wanted to sell something that was related to our way of life, so we could be passionate about it. If you can’t relate to what your selling it would be harder to sell, in my mind. We were looking for horse gear etc, and came across the pewter jewelry. What gal does not love jewelry? So after looking at what they had we were energized that it was western, American Indian, Betty Boop (who I have always loved), Elvis (who was always my hero) and PBR products. (stands for Pro Bull riders. We make sure we watch the PBR all year long!) So the business came from the need for more income and the name came from who we are and what we love.
What about Social Networking? How important has this been for you?
Social Networking has been a fantastic way to learn and get my web pages linked to other similar web sites. It has really helped me learn and feel more comfortable being out there on the web. The people I have met are knowledgeable and they don’t mind helping an ol’ gal when I get stumped (which can be often). I know that I can make this work. I know how important link exchange and networking with others can be. All of these factors can send customers your way. You can do the same for them. Its people helping people.
What are some of your biggest challenges in promoting your retail sites, and how do you work past those challenges?
My biggest challenge was lack of knowledge and understanding of the task I had set out for myself. Creating a business on-line and promoting it takes lots of time, effort, learning, social networking and link exchange. I had no idea. I thought, you get a web site, and all the $ comes to you. NOT!. But I love all my sites and all my products. I believe in all of them. Crazy Horse is still my favorite as its my “home base”. It’s the one that relates to our horse world and my life. But it’s a challenge to promote a web-based business if you’re behind in the learning curve. I have worked past some of this with a belief I can do it, knowledge I have to do it, and fantastic friends on-line as well as my Mentor, who I can email or call at a moment’s notice. We all need that someone who can be there and talk us through the tough times. Starting a web business without any understanding or knowledge of “how to” is not too smart. It takes dedication, time, more time and then more time. I learned AFTER I spent what little money I had, that you can do it without large investments. Those companies out there taking your money to do what you can do (with a lot of effort and time) really cause more sites to give up than to make it. They get in too deep and sell nothing, so within a year they shut it down. I might have been one of them without MG and the folks on the social networking sites. They say don’t give up, keep going, it takes time and lots more time. Effort and lots more effort.
Can you also tell us about personal set-backs? Sometimes life throws you some curve-balls, am I right?
Yes, sometimes life throws you some curve-balls. Mine came in the form of a day my husband just couldn’t get enough energy to take a shower. We headed into the Doctor office. The next thing we know is he is being admitted to the Hospital for a scope to see how blocked his arteries are. They went in but couldn’t fix his blockages because he had almost no blood count. They admitted him into the hospital, ran tests, and found he has leukemia. It is terminal. They decided to do Chemo. He was in the Hospital the whole month of December and came home the 1st week of Jan. It took me by such surpise, I just was not ready for that kind of news. He is a tough guy and we thought very healthy man. Now he has all these life threatening illnesses and when he left the hospital they said he had just days or weeks to live. I had a hard time getting back to my business full time when he came home. While he was in the hospital, I would be with him until after his dinner, then come home and check orders and take care of business that just had to happen and go to bed. Now he is home, on a different treatment process and doing outstanding. He has gained weight and much more energy. I am back to spending 8 to 10 hours a day here on the computer. I have a list of daily duties, (suggested by my mentor) that I do each day. This includes writing blogs, updating sites checking old ad’s writing new ads’ and of course my Linkreferral and Social Networking sites.
When Del came out of the hospital I knew I had to try and make this company work. I had a walkie- talkie in the bedroom with Del and I sat at this computer with more than a little dedication to my goals. Times like this you just do. You catch the ball life throws you and run with it the best you can. I have had 38 years with my partner, friend and love of my life, I hope the Doctors can give us a few more. If God wills, then so it shall be. But I know I am doing what I can to make his time better and our financial goals a little more secure. You just have to believe, and then do. We know he is terminal, but aren’t we all? We take each day we have and say thank you. Don’t stop living because the ball’s not in your court. Keep playing the game.
What is the future of Betty Boop and Crazy Horse Industries?
The future of Betty Boop and Crazy Horse Industries would be one in the same. I am hoping for a long go with both. I love writing as Betty Boop, I enjoy and am proud of my jewelry from the Crazy Horse Industries site. Betty Boop is one of the themes sold by Crazy Horse Industries, so she will always be involved the the promotion of the site. I give the jewelry as gifts, as well as promote the site to sell these awesome pewter products. They are good products at reasonable prices, and I believe I can do it. Betty Boop has so many adventures to explore, I am sure she will be here a long time. I want to make a roaring success of my sites and be able to buy a lap top computer so I can travel with Del and still have my business close to run when we are away from home. I want the two of us to see and do all we can manage while he is still able.
By Lisa Di Clemente for the Business Opportunities Weblog.