Living the Dream. A taste of independence

Most of us dream of having our own business and being our own boss.
If nothing else, this lockdown has given everyone the rare opportunity to glimpse into the world of having their own business.

For others that already have started on the path of having their own business, it has been a sink or swim sort of time.
Depending on how far along their business plan they were when lockdown happened.

Last year just before the start of lockdown my other human was sent home from work to shield. My human also had their work shut down due to the lockdown.

It was a scary time and although there was still money coming in from my other human's work, I knew I had to do something to make up the shortfall.
My business was only 2 years into a 5 year plan and I was focusing on my website and newspaper.
I did not have a large customer/ visitor/follower base to direct extra advertising or sales pitches.
I had to weigh up if I should spend what little money I had on extra stock or run with the hope if extra sales from the small amount of stock I had.

So like most small businesses starting out, I spent money on stock instead of focusing on selling and renewing stock.
The reality was that I realised it was suddenly a flooded market where I was one bark in a sea if many new businesses trying to sell goods.
The two good saving graces are that the treats stock has a long shelf life and I only sell things I like.
So in a worse case scenario I have enough treats to las me for the foreseeable future BOL!

So that takes me to the here and now.
I have managed to run my business for a whole year as my full time career.

What have I learnt about my business?
I managed to get a small increase in sales and I met some pawsome new followers, website visitors, repawters and customers along the way, which was great as I know it takes time to build up a good customer base.

My business is definitely where I want to be full time.
It gives me the creative freedom to do what I wanted to do when I first started, which is, to have my animal community website and newspaper which is By Animals For Animals.
With some own brand products to sell. Plus I get to walk my human when I want.

I got a lot of experience.
I also had time to try some new ways of posting on social media and seeing what worked and what didn't.

Have I been put off?
Absolutely not! I saw a small glimmer of what I wanted to achieve and the freedom of being able to work on what is important to me.
Although I seem to have a bigger ‘to do’ list and a few ideas for improvement. BOL!

What next?
Looking at the increase of sales during lockdown, and being realistic that I may not still have all of those customers after lockdown as their normal stores open again.
I may have to get my human to look for part time work while I continue to build my brand.
Hopefully I get a huge eureka moment and I will get noticed and become almost nearly famous BOL!

Would I recommend starting a business to anyone else?
Yes, it is always better to try and find out, rather than not try and never know.
Saying that, only try if you can afford to ‘lose’ the money you invested into equipment and stock etc.

Making profit is not an instant overnight success.
It takes time and hard work.

Most importantly, stay true to yourself and your brand.

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