For the last two years, I have been a stay at home mom toying with the idea of starting my own business. First, it was cupcakes. Baking has been a passion of mine for about 12 years now and so naturally that was my first venture into the business world. I had a cutesy name. I picked out business cards and I even started a Facebook page that displayed my homemade logo. I was a baking maniac. I was researching flavors. My kitchen was a mess. I brought samples to my co-workers. I was a woman on a mission. Then I got my first order.
I was about four or five months pregnant when my first custom order came in and boy howdy, did I learn some lessons.
- Limit the amount of how much someone can custom order their order. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a crazy order, extra used inventory and a headache.
- Write a contract.
- Get a deposit.
- Plan ahead. If your order is going to take a certain amount of time to make, plan on starting at least 1-2 hours in advance.
- I should not be allowed to handle crazy stressful business decisions while pregnant. I’m honestly surprised that I didn’t go into labor. Those cupcakes were seasoned with my salty tears. (Not really)
- Don’t be upset if, even though you worked really (really, really, really) hard, you don’t gain more business by word of mouth.
- Consider extra fees when planning your order prices such as delivery and labor.
After that fiasco, despite gain lots of verbal praise, I was done selling cupcakes. It took me about another almost year and a half before I baked again, even for myself. The whole experience made me hate baking.
In hindsight, I was angrier at myself for not properly researching how to start the journey. I didn’t have a business plan, contract, backup plan, and let’s face it- common sense. I naively assumed that there would be an easy road to this first order since I knew the people who were ordering from me. I guess I expected them to take it easy on me and not to treat this as what it was, a business relationship.
So here I am, two years later, still broke and still wanting to start a small side business to earn some extra money. This extended hiatus has come courtesy of the birth of my son, lack of sleep, and to be honest I’m too lazy and confused to get started. I’ll start to plan and start designing business cards again. This time I want to either work with my photography or with sewing. Yet, everything I design never seems good enough. I keep flashing back to how I felt with my last venture into business. My palms get sweaty and I get a little nauseous. It’s a mini panic attack. I don’t want to lose the love of something else. I need to actually start the journey or bury the idea.
The first step is the hardest because it deals with dealing with the confused odd creature that is me. I need to find out why I want to do this. Am I trying to be the next big wig online entrepreneur? No. I just had to have Grammarly correct my spelling of “entrepreneur” for crying out loud. Now I’m trying to do it correctly and slowly. I have enough stress on my plate without another failed business.
- Is it to make a living?
- Is it for a hobby?
- Do I want new boots?
- Is it to start a Pioneer Fund for my kids if this system lasts long enough?
- Contribution box?
- All of the above?
Then I have to decide how much time I have to dedicate to this because depending on how big of a project I want this to be this may become a full-time job? So pardon me as I have some deep thinking to do.
My name is Meg and I have a headache but I’m going to do some thinking.