Breaking rules and ignoring guidance?
At the time of writing this blog, the media is buzzing about the government (allegedly?) breaking the rules that they themselves set in order for everyone to restrict the spread of Covid-19.
But why should this be part of a BarMadeBags blog, which are not usually political? Let me explain!
I want to assure you that whatever uncertainties there are around, you can be certain that I will always be truthful. So I'd like to come clean and let you know that, even if I'm not breaking any actual rules, I am ignoring guidance. More explanation needed? Read on!
At the end of any year and the beginning of a new one, many of the social media accounts that I follow are reviewing the previous year and setting their goals for the new year. The guidance is clear: if you want to grow your business, get more attention and more sales, you need to be clear about your goals, and plan for how you're going to achieve them. I am sure this is correct - having a clear plan in your mind makes the processes involved more efficient and streamlined. And yet, here we are at the end of January, and I have failed to set goals or make a start on any sort of planning.
The last 2 years have shown that even the best laid plans can be disrupted by circumstances totally beyond our control. When I wrote my blog at the beginning of 2020, I set a longer term aim of making-to-order rather than speculating on what you, the customer, might want. As it turned out, that was an ambition which I was able to work on, despite the restrictions of lockdowns, and I am delighted to be well on the way to achieving that goal, especially with my rainbow patchwork bags.
However, to continue to drive customers towards made-to-order or bespoke BarMadeBags, I know I need a more effective publicity campaign. So surely this is the basis on which to make a plan? I have vague ideas about how to go about that, but feel frozen when it comes to formulating a strategy. Why the inertia?
The cause of it can be traced back to October of last year. We decided to sell the house we've lived in for the last 20 years and buy another, smaller one. (The reasons behind this may form the basis of another blog in future).
In a crazy week, we found the house we wanted to buy and had our offer accepted, and also sold our house to a cash buyer. There was no onward chain and, in anticipation of moving before Christmas, we started the process of sorting and clearing out and some packing. I decided to concentrate on selling off as much of my existing stock as possible while still needing to be ready for any made-to-order requests. I started to plan out my new sewing room and put on hold any other plans for BarMadeBags. After all, I wanted allow myself the time and space to settle into a new home and get to know a new environment and community.
Christmas came and went, as has January, and we're still no closer to actually moving. We feel in limbo and stress levels are running high. We get suspicious about why there's been no progress; have we been lied to about documents sent, could it still all fall through? And, quite simply, I've no inclination to make plans for BarMadeBags (whatever the guidance) and my sewing machine remains unusually inactive.
Sometimes I think that when we eventually move, I might decide that it's the right time to wind up my small business, but there again new avenues and directions for it might arise and I'll feel energised into making exciting plans. For now, the future is just too uncertain.
In the meantime though, what you can be certain of is that if you want me to make a bag for you, I can still oblige. My sewing room will be the last place (with the possible exception of the kitchen!) to be packed up. And if you'd like to help to reduce my existing stock, there's a special offer for you as a reward for having read this far! Click here to access it.
Happy New Year (belatedly) and may honesty and consideration for others be a mantra for all.