Small Business Snapshot

I came up with the idea for the company shortly after buying my first home. I loved everything about the home-buying process, and I had dreams of transforming my house into a beautiful home. Once I started decorating, I saw there was a gap in the market. I couldn’t find luxury bedding that didn’t break the bank.

That was my “aha!” moment. By bypassing the middle man and going directly to the world’s best linen factories, Crane & Canopy brings premium bedding directly to customers without the markup.

Advertisement

Our challenge is to continually inspire and delight our customers with fresh, smart designs. We are always seeking out timeless, beautiful styles and new design features that make the lives of our customers simpler and better.

We look to ensure that our global supply chain continues to deliver the highest-quality products at the best possible prices to our customers. We are constantly traveling around the world, visiting and meeting with our factories to check in and, if necessary, adjust our practices.

The year ahead will be another exciting one for our team. The textile and bedding market is expansive, and there are many opportunities to grow both vertically and horizontally. Expect to see exciting new fabrics, textures, and layering options, as well as a reinvention of a new textile category.

We believe in beautifully designed bedding that inspires you to lounge in bed a little longer each morning. With premium fabrics, chic designs and thoughtful details, each style is unique, versatile and perfect for the modern home.

How to Stay Focused On Home Working

Working from home can be wonderful: You avoid traffic, crowded trains and noisy co-workers, and you’re within your comfort zone. But it can also have a downside: Sometimes, you can get unbelievably distracted.

Between your professional duties and the responsibilities you have at home, working from your house can mix up your focus and take away from the work that really matters.

“Working from home can open up a lot of opportunities to do anything but work,” said Gerald D. Vinci, owner of Vinci Digital Marketing. “A pile of dishes in the sink or laundry in the hamper might be calling your name, but too often, these distractions wind up greatly impacting productivity.”

Advertisement

To help you avoid distractions and keep you on track, here are six strategies to use when you’re working from home. [See Related Story: Ready to Work from Home? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions]

Have a designated workspace
A dedicated space, whether a home office or a dedicated corner of the bedroom, is the key to staying successful and productive. You still need to feel that you have, in some way, “gone to work,” said Bill Conlon, corporate communications manager at business communications company Polycom.

Be technologically equipped
Beyond a reliable and speedy Wi-Fi connection, you’ll want strong collaboration tools that will let you hear, see and share effectively. Conlon noted that videoconferencing and content-sharing technologies are critical to being productive.

Stay connected with your co-workers
When employees work from home, the biggest thing they miss is the conversation and commentary that occur after the meeting, Conlon said. Make sure to use your cellphone, instant messaging or audio or video calls to check in. To avoid being forgotten by not being “seen,” consistently communicate about progress, ideas, insights and what you’re thinking — but make sure it’s relevant, he said.

Commit to work tasks during your working hours
For some people, keeping focused on their job while working remotely can be difficult, especially at first. When you’re on the clock, ignore the laundry, yard work, dish washing or cleaning. Conlon reminded telecommuters that this is another reason why having a dedicated workspace is so important.

Remember to move
It’s easy to stay glued to your desk or couch all day if you work from home, and that’s not good for your health or your mental acuity. Make sure you get up regularly, stretch your legs and walk around, Conlon said.

Working from home doesn’t need to literally mean “from home,” either. Getting face time with clients at a coffee shop, working in a Wi-Fi-capable location or changing scenery are ways to remain productive while moving around.

“I find myself running out to meet with clients or attending networking events on a weekly basis,” Vinci said. “By establishing a routine to dress and look the part, I can easily come and go throughout the day without stressing about getting ready for a last-minute meeting.”

Don’t work 24/7
Drawing a line of when work begins and ends is crucial as well. After work, it’s important to keep your home office door closed, as it’s easy to walk back in at midnight to check emails, Conlon said.

Business for couple tips

images (20)It’s not easy to run a business with your spouse or significant other. But for couples who have built up a solid foundation and who know how to handle conflict with each other, small business ownership could be a step toward financial independence and even a stronger relationship.

If you and your partner have made the decision to start a business together, you can choose from plenty of startups that are well suited for a two-person team. As with any partnership, these business ideas work best when you each take on roles that best fit your skills and strengths. An entrepreneurial relationship, like all business ventures, is truly a labor of love.

Food truck vendors
For those foodies who also love to travel together, consider opening up shop as a food truck vendor. Whether its music festivals, block parties, or private events, food trucks are a great way to make some extra money while traveling and meeting new, interesting people. For many food truck vendors, the freedom of the open road and the appeal of their favorite activities has led them to strike out on their own; doing exactly that with the person you love might just be the best way to see the world together.

E-commerce retailers
Crafty couples who share a passion for DIY projects can launch a successful e-commerce business on platforms like Etsy or Zibbet. One of you can handle marketing; the other can handle customer service, and both of you can work together to fill your orders. Not only does e-commerce represent a money-making opportunity, it also offers you and your partner a chance to be creative together; what’s better than having fun while turning a profit? [See Related Story: Best E-Commerce Software for Small Businesses]

Fitness instruction
If you’re the type of couple that goes running and hits the gym together, launching a fitness business could be right for you. Whether you’re interested in personal training or class instruction, you can become certified through organizations like the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and begin taking on clients. If you both specialize in the same area, you can double the number of sessions or classes you book. Alternatively, if one of you is a personal trainer and the other teaches a class, you can expand your client base through your service variety.

Home cleaning service
For working parents with long hours, cleaning the house can quickly fall to the bottom of the to-do list. Offer your weekends and evenings to these families, for everything from light housework like vacuuming and dusting to heavy-duty chores like cleaning the kitchen and bathroom. With you and your partner working as a team, you’ll be able to get these tasks done twice as quickly.

Pet sitting
Do you and your partner love animals? Spread the word to friends and neighbors that you’re available to watch their pets while the owners go on a vacation or weekend trip. Pet owners often feel more comfortable leaving their furry friends in the care of a trusted homeowner rather than placing pets in a boarding facility, so getting referrals shouldn’t be too difficult. Offering two caretakers also means more individualized attention for your clients’ pets, which can be a great selling point.

Tutoring
SAT prep and subject-help tutoring are just as in-demand as ever for students across the country. With strong teaching skills, a wealth of knowledge and great personalities, you and your partner can make extra money educating local students in your home. While self-employed tutors are usually solopreneurs, this business can be even more lucrative for a couple if both of you can tutor. Otherwise, one of you can do the actual tutoring, while the other focuses on marketing and spreading the word.

Yard and garden consulting
Are you and your partner master gardeners? Do you love spending time improving your yard and growing your own veggies? Take your talents on the road and help others do the same! If you have green-thumb, there are plenty of homeowners willing to pay for your advice on what crops to grow and where; help turn a hum-drum backyard garden into a real Eden. Beyond gardening, you can help homeowners create a more environmentally friendly backyard, by helping them install rain gardens, rain barrels, and compost piles. These types of services are becoming more and more popular as people increasingly become conscientious about their environmental footprint.