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Karlee’s Blog: Drawing a Line

Hi Bride Tribe!

It’s boss time. I know some of you are business owners already and love marketing so I hope this isn’t way off base for everyone. This post is business related, but has a deeper meaning, I think. Owning a small business is hard and can be lonesome, but the journey is e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. What you learn is incredible.

I’ve been thinking lately about how it’s never too soon or to late to start over. I’ve done it so many times and it’s worth it each time. No need to carry something on if it’s just not serving you, no matter the time you’ve invested in it, how much you spent on it or how much it once meant to you.

If it no longer gives you life, time to draw a line under it. Tomorrow is a new day. New you, new life. Cut your hair, put on a new outfit and go get it.

Change is the Only Constant

‘Change’ is something many people avoid. Especially if it’s your business or god forbid, personal comforts. Change is the only constant thing in this world. We not only need to depend on it happening, we need to actively take part in it. ‘Change’ is not a dirty word. ‘Fuck’ is though, if you were wondering.

As someone who owns their own business, I can see how it’s easy to just to keep selling what you’re selling, even when it takes a permanent nose-dive in sales. You can do a million things to try to keep going, with maximum effort, and your sales may still stay low. This could be true especially if it’s something niche or starting to go ‘out’ of fashion.

This is where change needs to be embraced (I’m embracing it as we speak – come here, change!!). Instead of flogging the dead horse move on to something new – entirely new if needs be – it’s time! Even if you still enjoy your work, don’t romanticise it. The very last thing you should be doing is falling in love with your work or products; you should be falling in love with your customers. Have they moved on? What is it they’re looking for instead? Is there something you can do to your product line to enhance them in some way to fit that need?

If you love love love what you do, by all means, keep doing it – but you don’t have to funnel so much energy into selling it. You can always sell something else. Or sell to someone else.

How has this affected me? Eco-friendly invitations. I wanted so much to create something for those who love the environment and want to make sure their wedding invitations aren’t covered in glitter, foil or wrapped in plastic and are made from awesome materials that are recycled, biodegradable, compostable and in some cases, plant-able.

I went to lengths to make everything as good for the planet as I could. Re-designed all my lines. Then, after teaming up with some amazing wedding planners who are eco-wedding centric, I’ve found that each and every couple will hands-down choose electronic wedding invitations over hard copy, no matter the price I presented.

That’s just the reality of it, it’s the most eco-friendly option and it wins for eco-couples. Most will want to create them themselves also, using an online builder. I can’t develop a platform to compete with that, so as much as my products will remain eco-friendly, I’m not going to push my energy into selling to a group that is not looking for what I have to offer.

Eco-couples who still want invitations will still be out there, and I’ll be right here waiting for them, but that’s not where I should be concentrating my sales focus. I had barely written this latest eco-iteration into my business plan and it’s time to move on already. There’s no need to hang on or push for it. I tried it, and it didn’t work.

Good – now I know what not to do. *Draws line*

My first action was to go back to the literal drawing board and fill myself with inspiration and head-space. Time to sketch, time to create. I went back to the business plan and make some changes soon after. While reading it, something else looked out of shape in there…

It occurred to me that if the business itself is viable, that’s not enough. The business I have would be better suited to a small team. Instead I needed to make things viable for just one person – me. Make it work for me, my schedule and long-term goals. Else, what am I doing here, doing 5 different jobs?

It’s not practical. *Cuts hair*

I don’t have to make one change at a time and nor do you – shake shit up and try everything out. Try not to get in a rut and let things slowly die a stagnant death.

If you’re feeling like this too, look at your plan again. Is it going the way you wanted? Can you see clearly why? What can you do to make it better for your customers? What can you do to make it better for yourself?

If you put enough critical thought into it, the formula will one day be perfect *slides on new outfit*.

What happens if you can’t get it right? And what happens if you’re just over it? Move on my friend. Oh it’s already been time to take action. There’s a load of new things out there waiting for you. And just know that you can always come back if you miss it. It’s not over forever if you need a break for a year or two. It’s all a normal part of the business process, it’s a life-long game. No need to get it right as soon as your feet hit the ground. Relish that you have the power to make the choice to move on.

Good luck to all small business owners and take care. If any of this resonated with you, let me know which bit, and how.

Masses of love coming your way. Namaste.