Sunday, 12 September 2010

I'm drowning.... a sea of orders.

Now I'm not boasting, showing off or complaining - just stating a fact. I'm a very organised person and I like to know what I'm doing and when. When I was teaching I was always very well planned and despite the odd hiccup things all ran very smoothly.
Naively, when I started doing dots and spots I thought I would be able to organise my time, even go on the odd sneaky shopping trip whilst the children were at school or meet friends for a coffee but since July I haven't had a spare minute and haven't been able to plan my time at all.
Harrogate has been a real turning point in the day to day existence of dots and spots. I basically have not stopped and at the moment I seem to be under this mountain of orders.Yes! it's great, fantastic - everything that I hoped for and more BUT there is just no let up and no organisation at all - just wading my way through them one at a time.
I seem to spend all my time boxing up orders - this makes me sound very ungrateful and I'm honestly not but I have just worked another weekend and into the evenings until 9pm since July and thinking I'd cleared my books on Thursday, I've become snowed under again - nearly all are marked ASAP so slowly but surely I'm working my through them.

The orders go via my red and white spotty folder to the premises or dots and spots HQ, as it's now known. The premises are going to be great and once I get some time and make up some stock they will be even better - I'm at the stage of needing help but not really being able to afford it.

Sorry to whine - I just sometimes seem to be a little overwhelmed by it all and I just hate feeling out of control. Things will get better - by Wednesday I will be well on my way, working through them all but no doubt the next wave will come in.

I just want to freeze time for a week - get a huge amount of stock made up, have some design time, then 'ping' orders can come in again as many as they like - I just need a little time to catch my breath!


winnibriggs said...

Hi Becky, O how I just know what you are going through. We went on holiday for a week to France and so I left Giddy Kipper with no staff at all. Many nights working to 2am has shown them too that they need more staff, and hopefully this will be resolved soon and I will be back to making slippers to earn a crust. Good luck, you deserve it. It will come out right in the end and you will have every reason to congratulate yourself.

Anthea said...

I know how you feel! My OH expanded into a second bike shop a year ago but due to a series of unfortunate circumstances we are down to only one other member of staff. Things tick over but at the moment we just can't afford another person. Coupled with trying to run my own business and do the mummy thing sometimes it feels like it is relentless...but it will get better. In the meantime you might want to stock up on caffiene and chocolate! ;)

Jenevieve said...

Congratulations on the orders, hope they slow down enough for you to catch a breath! :) x

Vintage to Victorian at Dairy House Antiques said...

... and breathe ...

Double edged swords and all that. When do schools start doing work experience? You could do with someone on permanent WE methinks!!


Elfcrafts said...

Congratulations on getting so many orders - you are living the crafters dream. Although yes it's not perfect it is nice to get time to yourself now and again. Hopefully it will all work out smoothly soon. Put your feet up for a well deserved cuppa xx

Jenny's fabric days said...

Welcome to the world of being self employed - if you don't do the time nobody else does! It has so many advantages tho, flexibility with the kids being the main one.

Do you have anyone nearby that can help out only when needed? That's what I do and it works really well. It sounds to me that somebody to pack the boxes and go to the postoffice would be a start in order to free your time to design new ranges as that is what you like doing best.

Marion said...

Yes Becky, that's what it's all about - self employment. There's two of us here full time but I'm still up to 2am almost every night. I usually also have two part timers but both are off sick long term just now, so I've had to add their hours on to the end of my working day. "Overwhelmed" is a feeling I get now and again but not so much lately (I'm either more organised or I'm just getting tougher!lol). Think about who you're doing this for. Is it for your customers? No, it's for you and your family. Don't be intimidated by ASAP requests. You're only human and the stockist won't go bust because your order is a day or two longer than expected.
I do think it would be a good idea to get some help. It's just plain daft to be the owner of the business and yet spend most of your day packing orders. You may think you can't afford to employ someone but ask around. You might find a mum of one of your pupils who just wants some pin money and is happy to work on a casual basis.
And it's good you are so busy, just don't let yourself get bogged down.

softearthart said...

Great that people just love your stuff, do get a helper,perhaps you can pay them a different way, sometimes,it does not always have to be about money. love your stuff, cheers Marie

KC'sCourt! said...

Wow you are doing well - hope you get sorted soon, but do employ someone as Marion suggests because your business will not be any good to you if you are ill
Julie xxxxxxx

dots and spots said...

Gosh - thank you everyone for taking the time to write such fabulous comments - I'm sure I was just having one of those days but I think I will get a couple of mornings of help next week, just to try and catch myself up a little. Then maybe it won't all seem quite so much and I won't feel quite so out of control!!!

joy said...

I can only re-iterate what others have said. if I were a bit nearer I would offer to come and help for a couple of hours here and there, but sadly its just a bit too far. I'm sure if you ask around you'll find someone to give you the short temporary help you need, and you might then keep them on standby for other occasions. I do that for a b&b near to where I live, just go in and help them when they need an extra pair of hands, and it doesn't always need to be paid for in cash, you could work out some sort of "in kind" or exchange deal, maybe? good luck, I'm sure you will be sorted soon, and just think how successful your business has become in such a short space of time.

Jane said...

Becky - I am going to go against most of the comments here and say that you need to take some time away from the HQ - and sort this out now.
Working till 2am, working weekends - that is NOT the crafters dream.
I did that all last autumn, felt that I hadn't seen the family, was so tired I became inneffective.
It is very, very difficult - I certainly haven't got a proper balance yet - but I no longer work hours that mean I don't see life.
I found to some extent that once I had actually MADE the decision that I needed to stop being a busy fool, that solutions made themselves obvious.
So - turn your back on those neat files, go for a walk with a notepad. Because it is only going to get busier - and what are you going to do - work till 5am?
This probably sounds very bossy, but I've been there and it isn't worth drowning.
J x

clare's craftroom said...

All very reasonable and not whinging just explaining . I hope you get a breather even if it's just a relaxed cuppa , take care .

hello gorgeous said...

hey gorgeous, I am agreeing with both Marion AND's hard to know what to do ~ carry on slogging away or stop and take a breather...catch 22 springs to mind, but Jane does have a point, Christmas IS coming and it will only get busier.

I am SO pleased it's taken off for you in such a big way, sending you lots of hugs {wish it was helpers} maybe santa could spare a few! lol!


hello gorgeous xxx

made with love said...

Becky it is great news that you are so busy. I was going to suggest that you ask at the high schools to see about work experience people and also ask about your friends and parents on the playground, I see that they have already been suggested.
Wishing you lots of success in your lovely business,
Rachael X

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel too Becky as my business has grown so much. This is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black ( and I hope my husband doesn't see this!) but you have to try and delegate and employ someone part-time. Perhaps a mum who wouldn't mind working while her kids are at school?! I know how difficult this can be as I am a complete control freak! It's not worth having your own business if you can't spend time with your kids and hubbie at weekends. Failing that just take your work into school and rope the kiddiewinkles into helping you!!