Pen Creator, Veteran, Small Business Owner, Father, Husband
Name: Randall Cunningham
Profile: Veteran Handmade Pen Creator
Email: [email protected]
First I am a husband to my wife and a father of 2 children. I am semi-retired and a ARMY veteran who is just trying to enjoy life as it comes along. I live by the rule of always try to pay it forward!
By trade I have always been into electronics and management of service technicians. So over the 20+ years I did that type of career just trying to make a difference in my technician's lives and show them a way to grow.
In 2019 I had heart surgery and realized that everyone is replaceable and companies are not loyal even though they say they are to your face. After my surgery I was released from my company, luckily I had been creating my handmade pens since 2012 as a hobby. Well at that point I decided to go fulltime and start a business with my custom handmade pens and it has been doing very well. Now that is what I mainly do to make a living and enjoy life with my family.
These are the couple things I do to keep me busy and to provide for my family. Please if you like something just click on it and check it out!
This is my small business where I create unique handmade pens. I use different materials like wood, resin base, images under resin, and my newest creations of metal pens. Most orders take an average of 1-2 weeks to create. I am a one man show so I do everything from creating the pens to maintaining the website to doing all the backend accounting and marketing.
Most of my pens are custom orders from customers but I do have my normal production pens on my website WhataPen.com
Also my contact information is at the bottom of the page.
As a small business owner without a large cash flow I found myself in a situation early on. I wanted a website of some sort and I did what many have done and started with Square or some other selling platform. With these I found the ease of putting my pens up but the monthly fees and such started to add up quickly.
I felt there had to be another option and I began my research. After a couple years or so of checking into this or that I stumbled onto a company that had a eCommerce store builder and website builder. The builders seemed very good and it could teach me how to modify and maintain my own website and ecommerce store which is what I feel most business owners should learn so they know what they may be paying for down the road if they hire someone to do it.
The biggest advantage of this company was everything was included and I didn't have to pay a monthly service fee, it was free once I bought my licenses as they call them. Well I had my own website and ecommerce store up fairly quickly. I have tested and changed things over the years from a website to just a ecommerce store to just a blog feeding the ecommerce store and back and forth till I found the combo that works for my pen business. The how to videos they have and how they continue to upgrade the system, etc. was so worth the small amount of money spent back then.
Over the last year or so I have been helping and offering my extra website and ecommerce store licenses to other small businesses to get them started. Now I will set it up some but I really want them to dig in and learn themselves. I don't charge much for this so if you are interested please just email me from my contact info below.
Now I got my website and ecommerce store up and going, I needed to figure out a way to get them seen. Well one way was social media so that was the easy part. It's just a matter of sharing with all your friends, etc.
But for organic traffic that was the part I needed to figure out. First thing was to make sure they were SEO optimized to the max. So I did that over time and learning new things and ways.
Other thing is to make sure you get your GBP setup, Google Business Profile. It's free and it can appear in the 3 map pack on searches. So fill it out and add pics and other stuff. Then continue to add post every week or so.
Also after researching I found that backlinks and citations can make a big difference for ranking a website. In the beginning I started doing them myself and I found it was a very time consuming task. So I began to look around and I found a way that I use and it has put my ecommerce store on page 1 and 2 of google for specific keywords I wanted to rank for.
If you are interested in my backlink or citation service or any help with setting up your GBP, please just email me at the contact at the bottom of the page.
So one of the things I found out early on in my pen making was, social media was king for me. So over the years I tried a couple different things and found some nice ways to make my social media become my lead order magnet.
Once of them was I changed my personal FB profile to be my business. Reason was I now didn't have to get someone to become a friend and then ask them to like my business page. That just seemed to always fail at that point. So after researching I found that if I just sent a friend request and they accepted I can just have all my pen stuff on my personal page so there wasn't another step. I also decided to make my FB profile public and searchable by the WhataPen as my username.
Well with this I found myself getting more and more friends on my page most were engaging but I found some that were not. So I did more research to try to understand the FB algorithm which seemed simple but complicated. Well I found interesting information and then it was time to find a way to maximize it.
If you are interested in a couple chrome extensions that I use just send me a message.
If you are business owner then you need to make sure you have your Google Business Profile setup and optimized! Over the years google has changed how this was done and added some good things.
But the main goal of your GBP is to get eyes on your business. So that means when people are searching for a keyword or niche you show up in the map section. The ultimate goal is to be in the 3 map pack that shows on the google search.
I found that posting daily to my GBP really has helped it rank and also rank my website since they are the same business name. Now I know this takes time everyday to do a simple post and I struggled with it too.
In October 2022 I decided to launch my process I use and help other businesses to get the results I have gotten. Basically I will do a daily post with a niche relevant image and comment that you and your customers will like and it just goes well with your business. I mainly offer to post to your GBP daily but I can do other social medias too. Now as anything there is a monthly charge for this service and after a couple weeks you will notice more eyes seeing your business and a change in position when searching "niche city state".
Or you are interested in my Daily GBP Posting Service, please send me a message.