Organizing a business after 6 years of chaos is not a simple task. It's pretty amazing to have come this far relatively intact, despite not having much of an idea of what I was doing - more like a vague goal set in some future misty realm. Sad, I know. So when I realized that it was time to either expand or collapse, I knew that I had to stop procrastinating and tackle the really important basic issues that had been too successfully avoided for too long.
According to 'dull' statistics (These are from www.statisticbrain.com and www.startupbusinesshub.com, but there are a huge number of sites out there pointing out the same awful truth), around 55% of businesses fail after 5 years, due to lack of planning amongst other things. Lack of planning - does that apply here? Unfortunately, yes. Was the business to fail after this long, after having this much love poured into it? No.
Knowing the pitfalls is one thing, however, and deciding to DO something about it is quite another.
In February I started digging around for help online and was fortunate enough to bump into a free Video Summit being held at The Right-Brainers in Business, by Jennifer Lee, founder of Artizen Coaching and award-winning author of The Right-Brain Business Plan: A Creative, Visual Map for Success (see book list below). Truly brilliant. She teaches us that business doesn't have to be dry, boring and difficult to tackle at all. On the contrary, it can be fun and creative as well as amazingly successful.
That's all it took - realizing that it was up to me to decide how to approach the whole scary idea of getting Floating Lemons sorted out professionally. Since then I've been devouring books, searching through countless websites, and, most important, actually beginning to weave everything together. The filing, the planning, the schedules and templates (I've been creating my own on Word and Excel ... yes, I'm a bit of a wanna-be geek!), and even, as I've mentioned before, the dreaded accounts.
I'm not saying that it's a well-oiled machine running smoothly ... yet. But determination and visualization are throwing me into it with a fervour normally reserved for art. That's a good thing, a very very good thing.
I won't bore you with all the details. We all have different problems to tackle and different approaches. The books below, however, have been eye-openers in one way or another, truly. If you're having the same problems and would like to learn how to approach the whole left-brain process in a relaxed, creative, right-brain way, start collecting them ... They haven't all been read yet, there are a couple that are opened regularly for choice bits of info, and others being read for the second time, but I'll eventually go through the lot.
Here's the list of books and their respective websites:
- The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin - karichapin.com
- Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin - karichapin.com
- The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee - www.rightbrainbusinessplan.com
- The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin - www.sethgodin.com
- I Just Like to Make Things by Lilla Rogers - lillarogers.com
The websites are listed to the right of each book link, I suggest you explore those further to get an all-round idea of each author and check out all the exciting things they have worked out for us to learn from. I check them out regularly.
In a week or so I'll be putting up my experience with the whole business of blogging. Yes, I've been hard at it, and normally I'd be whining and complaining at the amount of work thrown my way (by no other than myself), but I'm seriously enjoying this whole 'looking at the left-brain via the right-brain' experience. I hope you do too!
If any of you have any books that you would recommend adding to the list, please let me know as I'm constantly on the search and still learning, and every little bit counts. I'm now off to create a visual interpretation of my business plan. Cheers.
The links on the list above have my amazon associate referral attached to them. That's because I appreciate every penny that comes my way. But I would never recommend anything I hadn't already read, purchased or really want to have in my greedy little hands. If you purchase anything via my links you have my deepest thanks and appreciation! Cheers.