Monday, August 2, 2010

Running a "business" from home.

My brush project has been a real eye opener. I don't really look upon it as a "business" but in effect that's what it is, albeit in its infancy. The research and assessment of all the things you need to do before you can launch a product is considerable. And if you sell directly yourself in this modern world you soon get hooked into 24/7 mode. Enquiries come in and you feel the need to give a prompt response, and once orders start coming through you need a routine for recording, responding, packing and trips to the post office. At first it's a novelty. Then you appreciate the commitment. People rightly expect good service. And that means promptness and a personal touch.
I launched my first New Forest Brush on 26 June. Five weeks later my first batch of 150 had sold out, apart from a few "seconds". This week end made me realise just what an effort it has been. And this for just one item! So I cannot begin to imagine the impact that running on line businesses at home must be having on some people who offer a wide range of products.
When I look at some of the fine ranges of shaving brushes on the market today and the inevitable chain from manufacturer to retailer I feel a little more sympathetic to the high mark ups on brushes, although I still think that some at the high end are hard to justify.
I'm now taking time to reflect on my future strategy. I am going ahead with at least three more brushes and will deal with each one as a separate project, aim to sell out, take a break and then move on to the next one. Then I will assess options for the future. Some brushes may prove so popular that I will consider restocking. And I can continue to add more brushes step by step.
Running a business from home can be fun. But be prepared for the hard work and find a way of ensuring you get some free time!

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