Argh! I was doing so well, too! Everytime I received a Lujos order, I immediately made the products, wrote out the invoice, and shipped it.
Easy, right? Well sure, if it’s only about products. But it’s not.
I now find that there is a lot more to running a small business (or any business, really) than just the purpose of the business. In the case of Lujos, I have to remember lots of things, such as:
- Order supplies. But it’s trickier than that, of course! I have to order supplies in enough time, but not too far ahead, or I have too many supplies just sitting around. And I can’t just order everything from one supplier – oh no, that would make life too easy! But no one supplier has everything I need.
- Review and change the website. The initial work of setting up a website has to be rigorously followed up. You can’t rest on your laurels – a static, unchanging website is dull and boring, and soon you’ll find your customers will no longer visit. You need to frequently change images and product content. You need to review, change and add special offers. You need to double check everything!
- Make products. Yes, this is a fun one! In the case of soaps, however, they need to cure, so there is a lag of 4 weeks between making and selling the soaps. So you have to be able to predict sale volumes a month ahead.
- Keep accounts of supplies purchased and orders sent out. Yeah, and I love accounting spreadsheets, right?
- Work on e-marketing. Sending out regular newsletters with offers and promotions, information on new products, or just information on skincare in general keeps our customers up to date with Lujos comings and goings.
- Invent new products and recipes. This is also fun! For example, I thought of our new luxury cream “Orange & Black” one day when I was making face cream. And our customers love it! But again, no resting on laurels in this house – creating new products, and retiring old products, makes for a lively business.
One of my favourite aspects of the business is helping a customer with skin problems. If someone has a certain type of skin, or is sensitive to a certain ingredient, I can work with them to come up with something perfect. I find that very satisfying – and after all, that is one of the big reasons I’m in this business!