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Advice and Beans Preparedness Update and 2011 Goals

I’m scheduled to be interviewed on the Dr. Prepper Show, the number one Preparedness Podcast, in the near future.  As I talked to Mr. Stevens (Dr. Prepper) a little earlier this week, I started to think about the types of questions I might be asked or areas I’d like to discuss. 

One thought kept coming back, and that was ‘Why am I here, writing about preparedness and selling food storage products?’  I don’t remember waking up one day and say, “Geez, I need to be selling me some Mylar Bags!” (Actually, it did kind of happen like that, funny as that sounds; that’s a story for another time!)  However, I do believe there is a reason my life is moving in a particular direction; I can’t divine the purpose, and perhaps I’m not meant to.  All I know is I’m doing something I love, meeting a ton of great people, and with hope, helping some folks along the way.

While I have strayed pretty far from my original intent for the blog (a post every day, for example), my overall focus is the same…provide a sane, safe place to learn the very basics of preparedness.  While some emphasis would be placed on food storage, as that is one area I have some expertise (though by no means do I consider myself on par with the folks who have been doing this as long as I have been alive), there would be plenty of other topics discussed as well. 

As I approach my first anniversary in business (April 1), I’d like to re-examine expectations for Advice and Beans, both as a preparedness website as well as a good portion of my family’s livelihood:         

  • Provide a sane, safe place to learn the very basics of preparedness.
  • Provide quality products at great prices, and provide a space to demonstrate the proper usage of those products. 
  • Talk a little bit about finances, personal discovery, and growing as an individual and member of a community, and how that relates to living prepared.

I am making concrete steps toward those goals, and I plan to expand on them in 2011.  First, I’ve found some time to squeeze out some writing for the blog; I’ve also introduced Advice and Beans on Facebook.  The interview with Dr. Prepper will, with hope, provide some momentum in terms of understanding what the audience is looking for.

We are working on some pretty important site design changes, including a quick link at the top of the page that will open to a Food Storage FAQ and instructional page (I will have a basic page up before the interview!).  I am also exploring options for a new WordPress theme.  I like our current theme, but I’m not sure it meets our current and future needs.  I believe a 2-column theme will give us more actual space to work with instead of having an entire column devoted to the date of posts.  We will also look for a theme with quicker load times, as I recognize that is an issue for some people (including me).

At the store, we continue to expand our offerings.  That will very quickly require us to upgrade our shopping cart software, which only supports 20 SKU’s.  I’ve also heard from customers the checkout mechanism could be easier, so I hope to address some of those concerns.

And in terms of non-preparedness writing, I want to spread some good news in terms of the benefits of frugality, how I built a business from scratch (and how you can too), and why living a socially interconnected life can be one of the greatest benefits in terms of preparedness.

Looking forward to a great year 2!

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02 2011

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