BALANCE mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.
There are so many things that I haven’t had time to do that I want…scratch that….NEED to do. I have been amiss on organizing/putting together both of their baby albums (bad mommy), I will need to start making time for homework, extracurricular activities and PTO. I struggle to find time for the little unexpected things now – my schedule just isn’t going to work in September.
So…now I’m faced with the big question of what to do. My Etsy shop is booming, my blog is a true joy to maintain and is getting more popular, my mind is exploding with ideas on a daily basis and I still have a dream of opening a fabric shop someday. ugh. I am one person and can’t keep up with EVERYTHING.
What I do know is that I need to slow down. But how? I want to do it all, but it isn’t realistic. So, I’ve made the decision to slow my custom cover business for the next few months. While custom orders are my mainstay, they also put the most stress on me. Because of their popularity, I get back-logged with weeks and weeks of orders and because of my dedication to customer service, I make every effort to get them out the door in the time frame promised. It is this backlog of orders that stresses me out.
While I do pad my turn time to allow for the unexpected events (children getting sick, unplanned events, life, etc.) I have not accounted for burnout. I’ve been making covers for about 3 years now and in that time I’ve cut, ironed, sewed and mailed out about 3000 covers. That’s about 20 per week. That may not sound that bad, but add to it maintaining the business end, accounting, blogging, packaging, website upkeep, photographing, tutorial making, purchasing, answering questions, etc – it gets a bit hectic around here. I’d be lying if I said that it didn’t get a bit tedious sometimes and honestly, keeping up with all the government regulations and laws regarding children’s products is a job within itself. (If you ever think about making & selling children’s items research thoroughly BEFORE jumping in – had I known what I was getting into, I may have thought twice….the testing requirements, regulations and labeling laws are a bit overwhelming to say the least)
So, how does one go about changing an established business? Well, I’ve taken the first steps by pulling all the custom listings from my shop. I’m about 1 week away from completing my outstanding orders and then I will work on stocking my shop with pre-made inventory….at MY pace with NO deadlines to meet.
While I am building my inventory, I have decided to keep a wait list for people who want to order a custom cover. The nice thing about the wait list is that I can take these orders as time permits. The customer doesn’t pay until I let them know I’m ready to take their order. This takes a lot of pressure off of me.
Wow….that was a lot of “stuff”. I hope I didn’t bore you! I’m sure that this attempt at balance will be modified again and again as time passes but this is the fist time I’ve made such a major change in the way I run my shop. Fingers crossed that it is a step in the right direction!