Friday, August 3, 2012

Growing Pains

This picture (of my huge pile of packages) is a perfect representation of where I am right now, reaching for the sky and trying not to topple over!

The last few months have been the most exciting/scary time for me since I started my business. I'm only just now starting to believe that it's possible for me to reach my goals, and yet they seem so far away.

I have the advantage of having a father that is a small business owner, and my husband was describing to him what we're doing right now. Trying to grow but needing more capital. Nobody willing to loan us money because we have to grow more. Hearing that everybody who starts a business goes through this is both comforting and terrifying. You mean, this is normal?! The balancing act, the personal loans I've taken to get it off the ground, the fear that it will all come crashing down? Yep, according to my dad that is all to be expected. And I have it GOOD as far as that goes, since when my dad started his business, an industry that requires a warehouse full of material and expensive machinery, he had to take out a second mortgage on his house and sign loans for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Well, my poor little house is not even worth what the FIRST mortgage is for, and with the economic climate the way it is, there will be no huge loans for me. I just keep thinking that if I make it through this, I will be better off, having done it mostly on my own. That's what I keep telling myself anyway!

Another struggle I'm having is the constant refrain, "we need more product". As a busy mom of 5 children, I do my best to produce enough product, having a daily production goal. Often, I get so caught up in filling present orders that I don't have time to produce more products, and it's an endless cycle.

Hiring Jordan helped a lot with that, she's able to package and label custom orders and others while I make stuff. And she cleans up after me! No kidding, when I'm in the groove, I need somebody following along after me to clean up and wash and sanitize the dishes I use, and it's much more efficient than me stopping production to do that. I'm hoping to ramp up production the rest of this month. I have a daily sales goal, so I have to make at LEAST that much inventory that day, and my goal is to make twice what I hope to sell every single day. I'm getting there!

Wow, does this post sound like a downer to anybody? It's not meant to, in reality I'm hugely grateful and blessed to be having these particular problems, because it means I'm becoming a "real" business owner. But I won't deny it's stressful and it's something I fell sometimes unprepared for. But as my fave John Wayne says, "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway". Giddyup!

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