January 25, 2010
If last year was the year of no risks and playing it safe this year is my year of living dangerously. I have decided that to make it big you have to take big risks, do big things, make big changes and talk to big companies. Big is scary, big is not safe, big may not always be better. But big can pay the bills.....
Last year we had plans to update the website, rebuild it, re-design it - those were some big plans. Then, well we took a little detour and decided that maybe it would not be the best use of our time (or money) to not do that, with the smaller sales and all. This year is different. We have already set the wheels in motion:
A brand new website we (well not really we hired someone, I can't do everything) will be building. It will be fantastic, from what I am told. Our last site was built over 5 years ago and we need to change it for a number of reasons. No one can find me, our on line sales are not even what I would call decent and our design is outdated, out everything - the time has come for changes.
New costs money and we are going to have to pay for this. It is my possibly my swan song for Jamie' s Painting & Design, you know let's go out with a bang. But, I think it is more like a necessity, we need to do this and we need to do it now. I don't know how long it will take but I am excited about it. I am more excited about the possibility of it, the possible opportunities for us, and the whole shiny new thing!
Not Just New Accounts Big Accounts
My other goal, wish or whatever word you want to call it is going after big accounts. I have wanted to do this for quite sometime and I have approached big companies in the past. However, usually if they do not bite right away, or call me begging to carry my products I have sort of have gone away quietly. But not this year. This is different - I feel like I have nothing to lose and I have everything to gain. I am going to be bold, I am going to be risky I am going to get those accounts.
I made a list of my top companies to approach and I started doing research. I sent the list to my husband - that way I had someone who would keep honest about it. It is easy to have a list in my head and think about it, it is harder to have someone hold you to it. Being the boss sometimes is hard - no one gets to tell me what to do or when to do it. And, uh....sometimes I just talk about it....and don't really do it. Other times I wait to the last minute to do it - a flaw of mine, yes I will own it. I don't know any entrepreneurs that always do everything they say they will do - I am sure they exist I am just not that person - and sometimes I can only do so much. Sometimes I am just lazy or scared too.
Experimenting When I Don't Want To
For years I have gone back and forth with another business owner over designs, colors, what to do and not to do. I had said long ago that I need to own my style - that way no one can copy it. Well, anyone can copy - it takes a bold person to do it, but it has been done. I am going out on a limb (for me) and trying some new designs, some new ways, some new things. It is not a huge thing - but it keeps things fresh, exciting - makes work enjoyable.
New Year New Changes
I am reading Don't Sweat the Small Stuff for the second, or third time. A good friend (she is kinda smart and all) suggested that I might need to read it. She was right, I will probably continue to read it over and over till I get in my thick skull that shit happens and I need to not run around like Chicken Little every time it does. I start to fear I am going to some day have two children that learned this from me and in their teenage years will be freaking out over a zit.
At one time I was on a mission to have as many accounts as possible. I collected stores, catalogs, websites, fund raisers, craft shows - anywhere that I could pimp out my products. As the economy faltered and then fell off a cliff I noticed we were losing accounts, some were not paying on time, or timely enough and some of our channels were drying up. I am not going to obsess, guess or assume why this happened - it did and it's done. However, now I have to accept the aftermath.
We have had to end some of our relationships with some accounts. It is not personal - it is business. I am in the process of possibly ending another business relationship due to the lackluster sales. I already mentioned in my last post about another loss, and I have seen a few websites disappear overnight. I have decided not to freak out though. I want to grow the good accounts and put my focus on those. Why spend precious time on accounts that don't do enough for me? My new favorite quote for 2010 is still, "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result".
Let it Be
With 2009 behind me I have decided to just let it be, move on and not obsess over the tough year it was - and oh it was a tough year. I am being honest - it was not as bad as I once thought - but it was bad. I am also tired talking about it, as it is the first question out of many friends or acquaintances mouths when I see them. I am polite, I answer with the humorous antidote and the amusing stories. But, I am dog - gone tired of talking about the rough year I had. I am ready to move on - that chapter is closed and I am so glad it is over. So here's to 2010 - I am toasting a glass to a more prosperous year for me, for my industry for everyone that owns a small business. It can't get much worse eh?