It's August 10th, 2019 and I'm in the studio designing and uploading some gorgeous star Christmas T- Shirts. Feels very random especially since it is the summer holidays and I should be out and about with my girls. However the beauty of my two teens is they don't actually want to do anything... more work time for me.
Linda and I soon discovered in the first year of our new business (2016) that we had to be much more organised! We had completely underestimated the amount of orders we would receive and as a result had to turn down business - never a good idea. We find Christmas orders begin from now, particularly from overseas and as a result we have to be prepared.
Almost three years on, our business 'The Creative Bag Company' is unrecognisable from what it started as.
Linda and I met 11 years ago, when our now 16 year old daughters were in Reception together. We often mulled over the idea of sharing a business especially over a glass of wine or two! Linda is a pharmacist and I am a teacher, so we were both very busy working mums. However we both felt very strongly we wanted to do something for ourselves.
We set up on Etsy and currently have over 3000 sales and 5 * reviews.
The business has been a massively steep learning curve for both of us. We have very different skill sets but work brilliantly together - we are very lucky that it works so well. We are both very laid back, work well under pressure and have an amazing amount of fun.
We felt it was time to set up our own website in order to develop further - hence the new blog!
Follow our progress and updates and hopefully some insights that may help you to set up your own businesses!
10 Do's and Don'ts to setting up your own business.
1. The rule of thumb is NEVER go into business with family or friends - always exceptions to every rule!
2. DO research your idea before you begin - study your would be competitors. Don't copy. Try to bring your own ideas to the table.
3. DO be prepared to work bloody hard for very little - at least to begin with. Linda gave up her day job, I haven't - yet.
4. DON'T expect miracles - you need to grow your business organically - socal media/facebook/customer loyalty takes time . Be patient.
5. Always have high expectations of your products. Ours are handmade and we are very particular. If we aren't happy we DON'T send it out. Simple.
6. DO source good materials - this is ongoing- we have tried many different products and have found organic the way forward.
7. DO keep a sense of humour - especially at Christmas when you are surrounded by hundreds of packages and postage labels!
8. DO expect to work when your children are in bed. Even if you have to get up early for the day job - in my case teaching!
9. DON'T expect any housework to be done EVER.
10. DON'T ever promise what you can't deliver. Manage expectations and communicate with your customers.
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