Or, how to keep all those balls in the air all at once….
I love running my small business. I love all of the different aspects needed to keep it going. I’m amazed by the skills that I’ve learnt in a relatively short space of time. And I’m always fascinated by how much it has shaped my life in these last couple of years.
There really is no such thing as a typical week in a small business. Every week is different to the previous one, and indeed every day is different too. I always start out the week with a rough plan of what I’m going to achieve and when. Social media takes up a large chunk of the week. It’s a great way to get my product out there and to advertise what I do. But social media requires nurturing and constant attention, always trying to reach people and beat the algorithms. Despite its constant need for feeding, I do love social media and I’ve met some amazing people along the way. In the main it’s a friendly place to be and to find out what everyone else is up to. It’s an immensely supportive community too.
Next up, I’ll spend time photographing new products and listing them on my shops. That’s something that I’ve worked really hard on over this past year – getting my photos to be the best that they can be. I’ve got it down to a fine art now, and yes there’s always room for improvement, but I like the style that I’ve developed and the simplicity of the images.
I’m always looking to develop my business and invest time in to new initiatives. My branding was updated at the start of the year and I really enjoyed working with my consultant to tease out ideas and come up with the final images. I’ve also launched this website in the recent weeks and that took some time to get just right for my business right now. This site will grow and develop as my business grows too.
And then, of course, there’s sewing. That is my most favourite part of the business. I enjoy developing designs, choosing prints and patterns, making up the final pieces, and seeing it all come to life. I do find sewing to be a great stress-reliever and if ever I’m feeling a little anxious about something I’ll head to my sewing room and work away on the latest project.
I did say that there wasn’t a typical week. But sometimes something comes along which really throws things up in the air….
Last week I was approached by a magazine. Did I want to take part in an interview? Well, of course I did! Joan from Beginner Sewing Magazine, and I had a zoom call initially. She’s based in Michigan and I’m in Edinburgh but the wonders of technology made it feel like we were in the same room. Together we worked out a plan for a Facebook live session and immediately I set to work to bring those plans to life. First up I thought about what I would like to talk about, then how I would demonstrate that to the viewers, then where would I actually be in my home during the interview (not my work room as it happens as it still looks like a bomb has hit it!). I also pulled together a shot bio and a photograph for Joan to use in her promotions. Then there were practical things to think about. I decided to launch shipping to the USA as a way to offer my products to the viewers of the interview. That required me to research and update my PLI Insurance, and to research and update shipping options in my shops. It’s all a great learning curve and my first experience of media and publications is certainly a positive one.
For me, running a small business takes endless amounts of agility and flexibility. I have to be adaptable and go with what’s needed at the time. Yes, I have plans for the year head, broken down in to monthly goals, but these cannot be rigid at the expense of something more important. Opportunities come along and need to be grabbed. Bespoke enquiries come in and take priority. Home life needs some added attention. Or I just need to take a day off to recharge and regroup.
So, what are my plans for next week…? Well, Monday is typically a sewing day and I’m working on a great new range for summer garden parties and outdoor dining. Tuesday is always a ‘home day’ with the laundry to be done and the supermarket shop too. Wednesday I have my Facebook Live with Joan. And both Thursday and Friday are set aside for more sewing. But, Monday is a long way off and a lot can happen before then. Ask me next weekend how my week went!