reflections

Shop Open. What a rocky ride it has been.

I opened the shop two weeks ago with modified hours of 9-12. I’m excited to say, all went well. With the current situation seeming to be under control at present I’m feeling more confident to open longer.

From Tuesday the 12th of May the shop will be open from 9:30 am to 2pm Tuesday to Friday.

You may also have noticed some changes to the website. I’m currently working on getting a webstore back up and running and hopefully the problems I previously had with inventory is also solved by moving the shop onto Weebly which is powered by Square. Stock inventory problems should be a thing of the past. The downside is I’m unable to offer PayPal or AfterPay at present.

When I opened my little shop I really had no idea of what it really takes to run a retail business, especially in the digital age. I have had to learn so much. I never knew I’d need to learn how to put together a website, or what SEO is, still struggling with that one. I never envisioned an online school, or getting myself into huge amounts of debt because a supplier hadn’t billed me correctly for shipping. Or a coronavirus closing my little shop and studio space.

It’s all coming to an end….

(My catastrophic thinking..)

If you’d asked me two months ago if I was going to continue, I’d of said, “I’m DONE’. I’m tired, and fed up of battling. I’d invest a fortune in a new line of yarn, only to find it offered elsewhere in South Australia. For most businesses that wouldn’t be a huge issue, for me it is, as the drive between Clare and Adelaide is over an hour and if what I offer is now offered elsewhere there’s not the same incentive to make the drive, for new customers at least. Fortunately I have many who will come for the drive just for the chat and to hang out.

After chatting to a few friends it turns out I do have a Unique Selling Point, that no one else can ever have and that’s me! See I am a very slow learner. So I put back on my big girl pants and dug deep. And now I have an online school!!

It’s not perfect by a long shot, it’s a work in progress as I once more learn to do something new. No one started off being perfect, as I learn it will get better.

Then THE VIRUS hit, probably a perfect time for the school but not for the shop. The bills keep coming in whether I open the doors or not, insurance, interest, lease, supplies, rates, water, electricity, hosting fees. At that stage it wasn’t just a lack of heart it was also a lack of being able to cover the bills. I tried selling online again, another disaster, Australia Post was struggling to get the parcels delivered and I had customers who weren’t very happy. Overseas stock still hasn’t turned up 8 weeks later. I really couldn’t deal with disappointing people. I’m a true people pleaser, so my mental health was suffering and I was not coping.

And Now…

In the last two weeks things have settled. I accessed my super and paid off my overdraft, was granted Jobkeeper, thanks to The Australian Government and my landlord has kindly reduced my rent. Once more I think I can do this. I’ve ordered some exciting new stock. I will wait another couple of weeks before launching the new webstore, just to let Australia Post catch up on the back log and let me get my head around how it all works.

Every crisis really is an opportunity for growth.  Sometimes the lessons we have to earn are hard ones but if I can learn from them I will be a better person.

 

 

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