16 November 2017

NOTES FROM MY DESK | BUSINESS UPDATE



Today I thought I would have a little catch up with you guys about what I have been up to with my new business, how things are going and what I have planned for the next few months, as well as sharing a couple of things I have learnt so far. I know this post won't appeal to everyone but I hope it does to someone who may be considering setting up a business, selling crafts at a market or on Etsy or someone who is a bit 'stuck' with their goals (let's face it, if I can do it, anyone can do it!).

S I N C E  L A U N C H I N G  L E A F  LA N E  S T U D I O . . .

Having launched on 1st September 2017, Leaf Lane Studio has been 'out there in the world' for little over two months. I have been working hard to try and get my brand in front of some wedding industry people and, I must confess, it is a daunting task, but a task that had to be done and I even surprised myself with how fast I have just got on with it (as someone who can sometimes shy away from such things). It is hard to have confidence in what you put out there at any time, but I think when something is brand new, and you have no idea how it will be received, it can be even more of a challenge.



Having worked with Gemma Sands, my beautiful and very patient coach, for a long time now (she just can't get rid of me the poor woman!), I was prepared with a spreadsheet of people I wanted to get in contact with, such as wedding magazines, blogs, dress shops and venues. As soon as I had my sample packs ready to go, I drafted several emails (for various situations) and just sent them out...boom! Not that I am an expert, but I highly recommend that you don't bulk send emails; take the time to personalise them, find out who you are talking to, use their name and make the emails sound friendly and not too 'salesy'. This is something I took a long time thinking about and it seems to have paid off in many areas. I have built up a good dialogue with a few magazines and planners now and am happy that I took the time to really consider my words. Initially, the first email I drafted just didn't sound like me, so I worked and re-worked it until it did. I was scared it may be too friendly and not professional enough, but the responses showed me that it had been opened which, according to many podcasts and articles I have read about contacting journalists, was something that was hard to achieve.

On the subject of contacting professionals, and I guess this is more specific to magazines, I also found that being super transparent was helpful. That is possibly a no brainer, but what I mean is that when I was contacted back with a 'here's how much it will cost to advertise in our magazine' type  of email, I knew that I didn't have a budget for magazine advertising as yet, so simply thanked them and explained that, as a new business my budget is non-existent, but I would love to work with them in the future. This resulted in a magazine saying 'we understand and we'll see what we can do' and featuring me in one of their style spreads for winter weddings! (I may have cried a bit when I saw it!). The lesson was learnt... just go for it, make the contacts; the worst that can happen is you get a 'no' or you don't get a response at all. If that happens then maybe they aren't your 'people' anyway, so move on to the next lot!



T H E  T O U G H  B I T S

This is quite specific to me in my current situation because, moving to Cornwall in February meant that I left my full time job behind and I was fortunate to be in a position where I could work solely on getting the business launched without any other distractions. Having no income for a fair few months has been difficult, very difficult but, that said, I have survived and am looking to sort out something part time very soon (CV update required first!). I also chose to launch Leaf Lane Studio at the time when the wedding season was slowing right down. This was partly because I wasn't ready to launch but also a conscious choice too. I needed to just take my time and feel my way into the industry; not that I thought I was going to be overwhelmed with orders immediately when I did launch, but it was just a bit of a 'safety' choice I guess. Yes, the finance thing is a big deal and the one I am feeling the most pinch from but I will be turning that on its head soon enough and normality will be restored; other than that though, I feel happy with how things are going and felt like I was fully prepared for it all anyway, so there have been no surprises!


^^ 'Together we can illuminate galaxies', downloadable print ^^


^^ 'Keep shining bright', downloadable print - available FREE, click here ^^

T H E  G R E A T  B I T S !

Schedule, schedule, schedule! This has to be the most wonderful thing about working for yourself by far. Even if, on some days, you work a sh*t load of hours, you are still the one dictating those hours and that is a game changer. I have become super familiar with my body-clock and the times of the day I am best suited to doing certain tasks. For example, I love to get up at about 6am and get to the gym, something I have been doing for several weeks now for about five sessions a week. I noticed that on the days I didn't get up and get my backside there that I felt sluggish and out of my routine. The longer I had off training, the harder it was to go back to it and it was a constant nagging voice in my head. Now that I have established this early morning ritual of exercise, and doing it more often, I feel a lot better for it.

Part of my daily routine has become slowing down at about 2-3pm for a bit, because I always get super dozy then and whatever I try and achieve is not done to my best ability. Then, once the evening time swings around again I am super inspired and feeling locked onto my goals again. That is the thing about working alone I suppose, you can set your timetable to fit your own needs and, as long as the jobs are getting done, it is all good!

C O M I N G  U P

My main aims for the next few months are to get another wedding collection designed and ready for launch soon and to get some physical products in my store and on my Etsy shop too. I would have lots of things up for sale already but, as I said above, the finances are somewhat restricted and, to create a physical product means laying out a bit of money first, which is not always a possibility, but I will get there and am planning on starting by selling some small prints, little notebooks and postcards/greeting cards and going from there. I have ideas-a-plenty so stay tuned for more from me soon!


^^ 'All I need is the ocean, moon, stars and you', downloadable print ^^
SHARE:

No comments

Post a Comment

© From Lucy, with Love. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig