*Happy New Year!*
I am finally back behind the comp after a well earned break over the festive season! And what a fab Christmas I had; both in terms of business and also having a lovely chill out :)
I started planning my Christmas campaigns well before the shops had put up their baubles, and it included a lot of headaches and steam coming out of my ears as I tried to get to grips with Facebook adverts. I had a goal of having my most successful Christmas for Squiffy sales through my own website (rather than the other online platforms I sell on).
And it all paid off.
Over the course of the last 12 months I have applied for funding and monetary help off people who say they invest in businesses. I wanted help to grow and work up a level with Squiffy Print. After hours and hours of writing Investors decks, pitches, travelling to pitch my business, more applying for funding and grants, Natwest saying I hadn’t got on their scheme, then saying I had, then saying I hadn’t (what a balls up from their end that was!) I didn’t pull any of it off.
I could have really let this demotivate me, and some days I really did question what the hell I was doing, but instead of shutting the business, I decided to work my arse off trying to get in as many sales as possible so I had the extra cash to invest back into Squiffy. I changed up my business model which left me with more time to concentrate on marketing activities & work on really bringing those sales rather than just working in the ‘operations’ department of Squiffy Print. My aim being to grow the business to a bigger turnover.
I researched my customers and marketing mix and began to figure out the secret sauce of how to put my products in front of people who actually liked them, and in turn bought them. If I’m not actually making money then this whole Squiffy journey is a very expensive hobby!! I knew it would be weeks and weeks of busy-ness on the run up to Xmas ( I had to turn my facebook adverts OFF!) and even though I was tired staying up past midnight most nights doing the artwork for the orders, I didn’t whinge as I knew the Christmas before was absolutely dire, and I’d rather be inundated with orders than sat twiddling my thumbs.
So on I ploughed!
And what a fab time for sales it was, I managed not to get *too* stressed out, and because all the printing is outsourced to another business, I didn’t have to print & pack & post the items myself, which meant more time for plugging away on social media and doodling all the lovely dogs!
I decided to have a decent 2 week break, which ended up being a little more due to illness striking down our household, I think I got off quite lightly in comparison to the two males I live with who obviously had it worse! haha!! I’ve used the time to not actually USE my brain, but rest it. I’m a bit gutted I haven’t read all the books I wanted too, but plenty of fresh air and Quality Street (of which the hard caramel ones are still left in the cupboard) has given me a mental breather and let me return back to work with (as Lucie Cooke would say) “fresh eyes”.
So this year I’ve decided to invest in ME.
I need to do some creative stuff to fire me into the new year with passion and learn new things that I will enjoy but can also apply to my business. I’ve booked myself onto Xanthe Berkeley’s 6 week filmmaking course to help give my socials a bit of oooppmph. Plus I’ve been itching to get making better films for a while so I am really looking forward to it! *cameras at the ready*
Being the book geek I am, I’ve also bought myself a new book ‘Digital Marketing Excellence’ to give me some ideas and food for thought on Squiffy marketing activities this year. It was a slow start to the book but I’m picking my way through it!!!
I’ve also signed dup to Amanda Perry’s 2020 5-day vision challenge. I’ve done one of these challenges before Christmas and loved it that much I signed up to be part of Amanda’s E-comm Facebook group: this is a fabulous group for info and help on running a small business without the agency type fees. I'm really looking forward to properly getting stuck into the group this year, there's a lot of expertise and advice and I want to soak it all up like a sponge!!
Then, an exciting thing I am going to create this year is an IGTV Series…so sound the klaxons & let off confetti cannons….it’s called……
"Casual Small Biz Fridays"
Each Friday I will upload a short(ish) video on a business related topic to my instagram account. This weeks is all about Christmas just gone and looking forward to the new year & what goals I want to achieve in 2020. I have had an itch to start a YouTube channel and podcast, however time isn’t always on my side so I thought this would be the perfect marriage of the two!
Plus I REALLLLLLY want to show what It’s like behind the scenes running a business: I’m not sat here in a lovely trendy city office suited and booted sipping posh coffee, I’m at the kitchen table in my scruffs with the dog starting at me because she wants to go for walks every 10 minutes.
I just want to finish with a MASSIVE thank you to EVERYONE who has supported me over the last year or so, especially in the run up to Christmas 2019 with all the orders that came flooding in, it really has given me the massive boost in confidence that I am doing the right thing in continuing to sail this Squiffy ship!
Until next week….
p.s. don’t forget to watch my NEW IGTV series ‘Casual Small Biz Friday’ over on my Squiffy account.