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Re-Focus for 2017

Re-Focus for 2017

As 2016 winds down I have been taking some time to reassess where I am in my business goals for the year and making some adjustments and new goals moving forward into 2017. I like to start thinking about my New Year’s Resolutions early so that I can start making the changes I need to now and not wait for a magical day.

In fact I like to check in with myself throughout the year to see if I am making progress on my goals and make adjustments when necessary. Last week I shared a list of the planning questions I ask myself so that I can plan for Balance and Success in each area of my life: Family, Friends, and Business. (Click Here to check it out that article and to download the worksheet for yourself!)

Over the last month or so I have taken a little break from my day to day business to focus on my personal and mental health. The US election of 2016 has been harder on me personally and mentally than any election I can remember in years past – and I know I am not alone in saying that.

I am a liberal feminist and the build up to and the results of election day were a huge blow to me on many different levels. I actually feel as though I went into a bit of a hibernation in the week leading up to voting day and a mourning and coping process in the month that followed.

In that month I did a lot of soul searching.

I think everyone wonders how they, as one person, can make a difference and I have been searching for what that means to me. Here are a couple questions I asked myself:

How can I take action to effect the change I want to see in the world?

How can I as one person touch as many people as possible with my platform and my own unique gifts and talents?

While I was thinking, I did what I needed to do to survive. I did some running and walking and I also made some art. It was in these quiet moments where my body was busy with a task that I was able to sort through all my thoughts and emotions.

I have learned, that for me, making things that spread more love and light into the world is something that I need to do for myself and to make the world a better place.

I have become determined to use my art as a way to bring people together in love and in friendship.

When we are thoughtful, and focus on our relationships magic can happen.

It is when we pull in and only think of ourselves – in a way that only focuses on self and not others – that we can really begin to do damage to every aspect of our lives and world.

I have also done a lot of thinking about how I can touch as many people as possible while I am still a small one woman design & print stationery company.

I am going to list some of the pros and cons of 2 different business model possibilities so you can see why I have chosen the path I have for my business and personal goals.

The first possibility is to focus on being a B2C business.

What that means is that I focus all of energy on you as the customer. All of my making, selling, marketing and social media centers around you. I write my blog for you, I create social media posts for you, I direct you to buy from my website and I also sell in person at as many craft shows and events as I can find.

Pros

  • Face to face interactions. Learning what you like and why you like it so I can make more of it.
  • Building relationships and my tribe
  • Move forward with my mission and passion project of helping you to create better, deeper, life long friendships using letter writing, therefore bringing more light and love into the world.
  • Higher Margins

Cons

  • Building my audience will be very time consuming with slow growth results
  • In the beginning I will be focusing more time on content that won’t be bringing me revenue.
  • Selling in a lot of shows which will take me away from my family on a consistent basis.
  • Reaching a limited number of people in the beginning while I spend the time to grow my audience therefore not reaching as many people as I would like to bring about massive change more quickly.
  • More of a long game business plan.

The second possibility is a B2B business.

For me, this model would mean selling wholesale and working directly with boutique owners and buyers as my direct customer. Boutique owners have a B2C business model. Since they have a brick and mortar location they have Customer interactions on a day to day basis. They are able to touch more people over time than I could by doing sporadic craft fairs and pop up shops. And when you factor in having multiple boutiques as your end customers the number of end users goes up exponentially.

Pros

  • Working with and creating wonderful relationships with fun boutique owners and buyers in stores around the country (and world) who are able to sell my work daily.
  • Getting my work in front of more and more people growing exposure to my business more quickly
  • Larger volume sales allowing my business to grow more quickly
  • Exposing business owners to my passion project so that they can get on board (most of them already are in one way or another already) and relay my message to their customers for me.

Cons

  • Lower margins
  • Less face to face interactions with my end customer making market research a little trickier
  • My mission and passion project of helping you directly to create better, deeper, life long friendships using letter writing, therefore bringing more light and love into the world will have to go on the back burner  

Sometimes in order to do the things you want to do, you need to do the things you have to do in order to make that possible.

Refocus Do Not Give Up

I am beyond passionate about bringing pen pals back into the mainstream. BUT, if I don't begin to focus on growing my business right now, I won’t be around to be able to make change on the level I dream of.

What this means for you and the things I have talked about doing…

This blog is going to change slightly. I will be focusing on writing more about what I am doing to grow my business as a B2B business and less about building friendships.

My DIY stationery and printing tutorials (which never really got off the ground because they are SO time consuming to make) are going to go on hold. It’s hard to justify spending the time making these when the ROI (return on investment) just isn't there right now.

My library of free content will not be launching though if you go through my archives of my blog you will be able to get access to and download them as long as my site remains up.

My plans of launching a Facebook group dedicated to finding and talking about stationery and pen pals are going on hold until my business can support the time it takes to facilitate that.

I will be mainly focused on selling to retailers BUT all of my stationery will also be available for purchase for you or your friends on this site and the occasional in person events which I will announce here on my blog and all other social media outlets.

The Low Down

Basically I have been focusing all of my time on my passion project and almost no time in growing my business.

I have had to get really honest with myself about what my goals are and realizing that by working on things that do not bring me money I was essentially running my business into the ground which won’t help anyone in the long run.

So in order to focus on the long game, my passions and dream goals I need to focus on things that are going to grow my business so that the long goals are possible.

I hope you will continue to pop over here to read my blog about my business journey. I am going to be sharing all the ups and downs so that anyone wanting to follow in my footsteps can learn from my experiences.

And remember to keep an eye out for new releases here on my site. If you can’t get them in your area (BTW you should totally tell your favorite boutiques about me so you can!!) then you can find them right here in my shop!

Thank you so much for all of your support, it means everything to me! Now I am going to get back to designing some kick ass stationery for you to send to your friends.

If you ever see a card that you think would be perfect for your bestie buy it! Your BFF would love to get a surprise letter from you!

KIT,

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