How We Survived Our Start Up Christmas

Here’s the good, bad, and the ugly of how our family survived the sweet & charming launch (Nov. 30) and Christmas in the same month:

What I’m happy about:

  • We focused on the reason of the season at home; we didn’t have our tree up until Dec 22, but our Nativity was out most of the month and we talked about it everyday, reading Christmas books, enjoying all of the holiday cards, and singing a lot of Christmas songs together
  • Sam’s Club and Costco helped us get through the food issues and holiday guests (my parents and My mother-in-law came for Christmas); I didn’t bake, I didn’t really cook, and we ate well. 🙂
  • My baby started eating more solids this month, yippee! This freed me up a lot, but it was also a bit sad to me…mixed emotions here.
  • We had help, lots of it; my Mom was here for the month helping with daily carpool driving, laundry, keeping my girls entertained, and helping with anything and everything for my business (sewing sweet & charming original products, sorting, pricing, organizing, even called some vendors for me). We had our house professionally cleaned on the 23rd and I even hired someone to make my husband’s holiday favorite–banana cream pie.
  • I didn’t do it all (this is good and bad) I missed book club, invitations to parties, a couple of concerts, The Nutcracker (my mom took the kids); I tried to just do the essentials because that was all I could do
  • We send out Thanksgiving cards annually, so we were already done by Nov. 20th
  • We were able to save a lot of money on gifts because I could shop from myself!
  • We were able to share Christmas with a family in need because of our inventory
  • We made enough sales the first week at the kiosk to cover our part of the rent 😉
  • I’m grateful we had the opportunity to be at the mall this Christmas and test our concept, get an email list of princesses, and loved being there! Glad that Carolynn Duncan included us in her experiment with the Hundred Dollar Business and that we didn’t have to staff it (although I have worked here and there to give her a break).
  • We kept good records of what was selling well and who made purchases
  • sweet & charming original products were popular and in demand!

Here’s what I’m not so pleased about:

  • I am burnt out (and so was tired that I got the flu recently and passed it to my entire family!)
  • I wasn’t always the most patient mom or wife; stress often ruled over peace
  • It was hard to be in the Christmas mood when I was constantly staying up late and pricing inventory to bring to the mall, etc.
  • I didn’t take a shower everyday (aaah!)
  • I wasn’t able to visit with family and friends more during the holidays (although we have some plans this week).
  • I feel overwhelmed by the prospect of continuing on my own…however, I know that we’ll sort it out and come to a peaceful resolution about what to do next
  • I never took the time to sort out my finances the first week of the kiosk, so now it’s a mess I need to clean up
  • I was working at the mall when my baby got the stomach flu
  • I didn’t ask more questions of my vendors when I ordered product (how much is minimum to get free shipping? are there any new products? specials?)
  • My dates with my husband were going over Quickbooks invoices and such!
  • We didn’t have any idea we were going to do the kiosk so we didn’t have adequate stock when we opened that first weekend…and it took 3 days to get more

We have only 5 more days left at the kiosk and then we’re closing shop for awhile…time to do more analyzing and planning…nice to have a break!

images.jpgToday’s Magic Wand: Be honest with what is good, bad, and ugly with your start up; it helps you to improve and recognize what’s working well. You don’t have to blog about it, just write it down for your own use.

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