Starting a business . . . really??

gift set 2

I have tons of ideas.  Most are good, viable moneymakers.  Others, not so much.  Recently, a walkway to a new school opened near my house.  It winds through the woods for maybe 1/4 mile before it ends at the unfinished school. Several kids from my neighborhood will go to the school when it opens, but parents are leery of the isolated pathway and likely will drive their children to school instead of walking with them.

So, my brainstorm was to offer walking services to kids and their parents for a small fee.  It seemed like a win-win in the first minute or so.  Then, my internal editor/parent/critic started up with fifty reasons why it would not be a good idea.  A few of the highlights:  what if it rains? What if somebody gets hurt? What if my ankle and back get too sore to do it? And thus endeth that brilliant, flawed idea.

My newest venture is soapmaking.  Actually, making soap is but a part of my business. I’ve started making bath bombs (whoo, boy, the kitchen smells like someone slaughtered a bale of crisp cotton) they are now curing in the laundry room. My coffee scrub is very popular with at least one customer. My next product rollout will be wax melts just in time for the holidays.

“Fail to plan, plan to fail”. I’m seeing this in action.  I’ve watched at least one hundred videos on every aspect of the soapmaking business, from marketing to packaging, and I’m seeing a pattern.  Successful businesspeople actually get out of the niche and generate more income streams with videos, affiliate marketing, instagram posting, and their original business has settled into a solid grounding, but not the only income they rely on.  Hmmm.  Interesting.  So, first things first.  I have gotten great views on facebook when I make videos of my processes. I will likely start making weekly videos on whatever I’m working on at the time in addition to building my product inventory.  I have a possible retail space opening up in a store in a very hot area here, so definitely, more inventory is in order.

Packaging.  I really am not very good at it, honestly.  My label making skills are somewhat on par with a toddler banging away on My First Tablet.  I spent hours yesterday trying to make one label, and it didn’t go as well as it should have.  So, I found a video that showed some easy peasy ways to wrap soap, and I thought, oh, yeah, this is the way to go.  Then I remembered that I cannot wrap a present, much less make a cute, tight little soap wrap.  So, I can go for easy and inexpensive, or I can go for easier but more expensive.

Right now, I’m giving away a lot of products. Most everything I ship costs as much to ship as what I charge, so what am I doing? I’m getting feedback on what works and what doesn’t. My beta customers will always be the ones who will get the discounts, the secret goodies, and the upcoming production runs and the new scents available.

I must be doing something right, because I’ve been waking up at 1 am every night, having an anxiety attack, hearing my internal critic berating me unmercifully.  I get up, get a drink of water, and go back to my recipe book in search of new combinations.  Sometimes, that is just too much.  That critic can get so loud that I feel like giving up, but then I remember why I do this.

I love it.

I didn’t get into this for money. I do this because I love to create.  My creations will sell themselves because I’m sold on them. That reminds me: I have a commissioned art piece I need to start working on.

 

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