I found myself in a pickle in regards to my small business series, but after taking a moment to think about it and weighing up a couple of different plans I came to the decision that this in and of itself would be a good topic to post about. As a small business owner, dog mum, and childminder sometimes everything piles up. Although Foxy likes to think he’s the boss his paws aren’t all that helpful when I could use a human hand. My partner is a huge help, he does all of my post office runs and is a great motivator, but ultimately as I’m the artist, blogger, and salesperson sometimes I find that I’ve taken on a little bit more than my tired self can manage.
An most important lesson that I hope my small business series will teach is that you are just one person, and that’s okay. This might sound like a terrible lesson, and maybe an obvious one, but what it isn’t is an inherently bad thing. It’s not a negative thought, nor is it admitting defeat, rather it is a fact that once you have accepted you can then manage and use to create a schedule or business plan that will be achievable and encouraging for you alone. Some people are lucky enough to start businesses with partners or small teams, but my series is mostly directed at the individual. It can be daunting and stressful even thinking about everything that you have to do to make it as a small business owner, but you can do it.
People often talk about timing, and something I’ve learnt that’s as important if not more than the above lesson, is that the ‘right time’ doesn’t exist. There will never be the perfect time to start your small business, and when you’re up and running there might be times where the last thing you need in your life are the pressures and responsibilities of a small business. This is why it’s important to have accepted that you’re just one person, and to acknowledge and be okay with taking breaks when you need them. Never be afraid to be open and honest with your customers, as far as you’re comfortable of course, and always know that when you are ready to come back you will be able to continue to be and become a success. If you do need to take a break, give yourself the time to create a new plan from the lessons you have learned, but also make sure to switch off for a time to allow yourself to find balance and calm before diving back in.
This past couple of weeks it had been my plan to be writing this blog series, creating new art, advertising for commissions, and actively selling and promoting my August print and sticker series. However, life happened and I had to take a short pause. I was working full time whilst a rollercoaster of stress was going on, and when we were away from work we were stuck in our apartment building which has suffered massively from overheating. It’s not been fun, nor has it really been a ‘break’. It’s safe to say it’s been difficult for me to keep up with consistent social media posting, especially where social media groups are concerned – we’ll get into that in a future post. This week or so off I’ve taken hasn’t been the relaxing break I would have liked, and it’s been scary at times to think about how it might be impacting my business, but it’s given me the chance to rethink plans I’d made a few months ago for Bethanie’s Place.
So, where do we go from here?
Things are cooling down in every sense, and my brain is starting to untangle from the recent stress fest it experienced. I accepted a pet portrait commission earlier in the week that I have a good while to work on, and I found the time to design a Bethanie’s Place exclusive Halloween print and sticker that I’m really excited about promoting in September and releasing at the start of October. I will be moving out of my apartment at the end of September so there are future hurdles facing Bethanie’s Place, but I feel more prepared after taking some time away. After posting this I’m going to hop onto my social media accounts and catch up with my groups, send out a couple of promo tweets, and when that’s all done I’m going to make myself a flexible low pressure schedule to see me through September.
This wasn’t the post I wanted to share today, and I had hoped to have continued my small business series weekly as I first intended, however it has become clear that my schedule simply won’t allow for that as it stands. I am instead going to aim for a biweekly small business post, with the odd art post in between. Something important I have had to accept is that I am one person, and that sometimes I won’t be able to do everything that someone who is running their business full time can, or that a team of people could do, but that what I can do will be enough and will help my small business grow.
Thank you so much for joining me today, I hope everyone’s doing well and enjoying the summer. I will be back soon with new art pieces, poetry, and small business posts. Until then, stay safe and I’ll see you in the next one. If you haven’t seen my Art For Change page go ahead and check that out now and have a look through the resources I have shared there regarding the incredibly important movement happening right now globally.