This is what I have been working so hard towards! And yesterday, I attended my very first craft market. But you know what? The hard work doesn’t stop there! Just because the market is over, it does not mean that the work for that market is done. But I’ll get into that.
One thing I’m learning to absolutely appreciate these days is all the effort that small business owners have to put into their business. It takes blood, sweat, and tears. And money. And a lot of sacrifice for the family belonging to the business owner. I never completely understood all the effort it takes to really launch a business from scratch. This past year has allowed me to absolutely respect the effort of my fellow small business owners that are putting into managing their businesses correctly. And if you are the only person running your business, then my hats off to you. It is a labor of love. I truly hope that you are feeling rewarded by the efforts you put into your work.
My journey started with inspiration to get into the soap making business. I still do not know where my inspiration came from. One day I can remember this business not being on my radar. And then two days later, I can remember that this is what I knew I had to do. From that day, I researched, planned, researched more, planned more, and finally got to a little experimenting. All the while, my hubby supported me. He supported me financially and encouraged me each step along the way.
Without him, I wouldn’t have been able to afford to even get my feet off the ground. I personally refuse to be someone that has to start with debt to someone other than myself on my head. Many business have to start with loans. Restaurants, for example, are very expensive businesses to start. I used to dream of owning my own restaurant. I knew it was expensive; but I dreamed anyway. Realistically, I would need at least 250,000 to start a small restaurant. Even then, I am afraid that much money wouldn’t have been enough. I don’t have that kind of money sitting around — very few people have that kind of money sitting around. That’s where loans would have come in.
And just like that, you have the stress of a large loan looming over your head. If all goes sour with a business, you can lose potentially more than just your business. Depending on the type of loans you secure, you can lose everything you have. I am so thankful that I never had to go this route.
Thankfully, I feel as I have been blessed to start this business. As I mentioned before, I do not know exactly what lead me towards this path. But, everything has lined up for me in a row like perfect little steps towards what I believed I needed to do.
- My hubby supported me by working with our monthly budget to be able to afford the supplies as needed and pushing me to work hard to start this right.
- I have friends and family that have been supportive with excellent information, tips, and assistance with product testing.
- I have had the most tremendous luck in acquiring most of my supplies for a fraction of what it would have cost me to purchase new. This has been the biggest blessing I could have asked for. If it weren’t for this simple fact, I couldn’t have afforded what I have now. Not for years — many, many, many years down the line.
Don’t get me wrong. I am absolutely still in the red. Depending on how many markets I am able to attend in the future and how soon I am able to get my website completely finished with an online shop, it could be a few years until I actually dig myself out of this financial hole.
But I intend to eventually see a true profit. I am keeping track of every purchase, every cost, and every bit of money that I have to take from budget. I want to be able to pay back every cent that I have essentially borrowed from my family to start this small business. I want to be able to assist in supporting my family down the road through my efforts. I want to be able to help afford to put my little girl into dance classes next year. So when you see one of these memes, remember that this meme is absolute fact for the small business involved.
Which brings me back to my show from yesterday. It’s still not over. I have to factor in my booth fee and material costs of the items I have sold. Once I have figure that out, then I know what my “profit” was for the show. And, as I mentioned before, anything I earn above material and booth costs not really a profit. I have to pay my family back. When I have finally earned enough with my small business to have a “profit” AND not have to pay back into my family, then I will have truly created a business that is providing for my family.
I have a long way to go.
But enough with the dull and depressing side of owning a business! I attended my very first craft market yesterday. It was such a great learning experience. I think I earned enough to actually pay for my booth fee after material costs are factored in. I had an enjoyable time for all aspects of preparing for this fair. I actually enjoy the paperwork process that comes along with counting inventory, making sure all things are inputted into the proper spreadsheets and inventory programs. I had fun playing around with setup at home for practice. And I even appreciated fitting everything into the back of my SUV to transport!
The result of all my time and effort was beautiful! I liked my display. I put a lot of care and effort into making it pleasantly presentable and organized. I enjoyed interacting with customers. And I rather enjoyed watching little kids appreciate my little scent bottles and “voting” for their favorite scents.
I can see myself doing this full time. With each craft market I attend, I will learn, grow, and streamline! It can only get easier from here. So wish me luck, support small business, and realize that there is so much more that goes into starting a small business even before they make their first sale.