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New Year Tetchiness

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  • New Year Tetchiness

    I don't know about you but I think that I'm feeling concerned and worried and tetchy about.....well everything......

    We're all supposed to feel optimistic at this time of the year (yes yes, I know, what we are supposed to feel and what we do feel differ greatly) but I think that this year......after, what is it? 4 years of recession? things are starting to bite.

    Employment figures are down. Those of us who have tried to make this our business for personal/professional/health reasons are finding our dreams at risk because of changes to the system that will filter through from Autumn this year. Jobs are hard to come by, and if not hard to come by have no security. There may well be people with money in their pockets but there are fewer of them in my experience who want to buy what I have to offer. I am trying to change what I do but sadly I am driven by my art than any business sense and so I am suffering. That's no-ones fault but my own.

    I'll be honest (I hope I can be honest? I mean no harm...) I am worried by the amount of people who think that setting up a small business (with the idea that it will grow into a big business) is as easy as setting up a website and making something. There are so many things to take into account. So much work to do. At a time when the average food shopping bill has increased by 30% (ok, I don't have statistics to hand but I know what I bought this time for my cupboards 2 years ago is not what I can buy now for the same money).

    Is it just me or are we all feeling tetchy? Ill at ease and underneath our everyday cheerfulness in dealing with the stuff of life, worried?
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  • #2
    Blackwillow
    I think you echo the sentiments of most of us just now. Life isn't easy and hasn't been for a while, but if we all give up on our dreams where will we be. I believe we perceive that some people coast through life but I'm not so sure that's true, everyone has their own Everest. I understand your sentiments regarding people setting up who think it's all easy, maybe when we started we felt a wee bit the same, would we have made that choice otherwise? Reality catches us all and those who think it's easy may find out different. The begining of a new year is always looked on as a new begining but by the middle of January many of us find it's just a continuation of the old one. We can find it difficult to look forward but, spring always follows winter and we get there (wherever there is) in the end. Just remember those wee snowdrops who survive the harshest of weather to tell us that better days are just around the corner!!

    Take care

    Isabel

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    • #3
      I know what you mean, last year was a disaster for sales against the year before. Even my xmas fair takings ( usually my best ones) were 1/2 the previous years. I lost a lot of enthusiasm for making stuff over the last year, I mean, what is the point if it isn't selling !! At times I wonder if I am really as talented as I think I am? I seem to have gone from a hobby seller to a business and back to a hobby seller.
      I know that I need to get access to the right market - the ladies who lunch etc but that isn't easy. The type of fairs those people go to are often really expensive to get into and I am reluctant to spend huge amounts with no guarantee that I will even make my table fees back. I may as well give the stuff away if I'm not making any profit.

      So I have decided that I am still going to do my jewellery - I have too many beads to give up - but have decided to branch out into fabric crafts and maybe crochet/knitting - sewing and needle work is the only other thing I am good at, and I have enough material to start a small shop. Even so, I have seen poor sales for some really talented sewers.

      At least when the recession finally ends those of us with years behind us will be able to put all our experience to good use and sell, sell, sell.

      Melanie

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      • #4
        You always find that during recession more small business's start this happened in the 90's and yes it does impact on the long standing particularly if people are desperate for money and make to sell cheap in some instances not registering as a business. This put s a strain on those of us pricing correctly to earn a living. Normally they do not last and as soon as things improve give up.

        Any business during times of recession suffers and as we could all be classed as the luxury end (in other words do you really need it) then sales will be down. There are still customers out there but they make considered buys rather than heart buys. If you can ride out the storm all the better but understand that less and less will be able to, you only have to look at the high street. The advantage we all have is in most cases no bricks and mortar, or if shops small enough not to hurt us, no employees. So whilst our worries are there if you look at the bigger picture we are in some ways better off as being creative types we can think outside the box for ways to promote and sell.

        Spend time researching how people buy and why, look at events throughout the year ie Christmas is the big one but there are others and try to adapt to fit. Most small business's again can do this as our own time not having to reorganise a large company. See what you can offer local buyers that the high street cannot.

        I have been through a few recessions and have always come out the other side, may have had my breaks from business but have always come back into self employed again.

        One thing I do know is the 'shop' lines to HMRC are always busy during recession, some feel guilty about using them but then look at it another way they are stealing from you by not being legal and it is all anon.

        Forgot to say think this weather is not helping and January is such a long month after the build up to Christmas, cannot wait until the spring whilst I do like the snow after a while not being able to get out gets a bit draining.

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        • #5
          I don't think that we've hit rock bottom yet. We are a nation in dire straights, governed by part timers in short term posts who don't therefore have our interests at heart. We have unprecedented competition from the Far East and times are hard and uncertain for many people at home. It is little wonder that craft and art sales are hard to find for all except the most established.

          However, it is not the time for defeatism, it's a time to work harder at promotion, marketing and tightening up on details. We have to fight to win what business there is by being the best we can possibly be, being innovative and broaden our outlook and market place.

          Smile through adversity, it's catching and remember opportunity usually comes from the people we meet and doesn't very often knock on our door.
          James
          www.facebook.com/CraftyCath

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          • #6
            Wise words from everyone, thank you for responding. Let's see what the day, the week and the rest of the month brings in terms of opportunities whether sought out or offered.
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            • #7
              I think today is officially the most miserable day of the year. And we have weather to match.

              The other thing to remember is money is always tight in January. I've just had the Christmas credit card bill in, plus gas, electric & phone so I'm buying the bare minimum this month. Valentines Day & Mothers' Day is around the corner so hopefully sales will pick up for us all then.

              Keep smiling and believe in what you do.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MarionT View Post
                I think today is officially the most miserable day of the year. And we have weather to match.
                Yes, officially it is called "Blue Monday" though for me it's not been particularly blue.
                View my flickr

                'I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work filigree by candlelight.' - Jane Austen

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                • #9
                  Just thinking again about setting up new businesses. Once of the reasons I'm feeling the strain (as I'm sure we all are in January) is I don't have the confidence to give up my day job (the one that pays the bills) so trying to do both jobs. Fortunately I only work 3 days a week so I do have the other days to fit in craft work but it can be a real struggle, especially as I often have to bring work home. But it's my choice to do this and I can always hope that one day it'll all fall into place.

                  In the meantime, it is enormously satisfying to create something and sell to even a few customers who appreciate it. I think I'm ploughing on with this because I can't bear not to! If a real live business comes out of it that'll be a bonus.

                  That said, I know I'm one of the fortunate ones who at least HAS a job and has the choice whether to craft or not. I'd love to make it a full-time occupation but am doubtful I could make a reasonable income.

                  Marion

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                  • #10
                    I'm with you on the techiness.
                    I've been riding this recession but last year none of my customers had any money (schools, museum and individual customers). I'm trying to decide whether to pull out of what used to be my best fairs or hope things will upturn.
                    The light levels are low. Are you suffering a bit of sad? The snow has cheered me up a bit as the light is bouncing around a bit more.
                    Then there's the wet. I'm battling a bog of a garden and stock going mouldy where ever I store it (except in the living room!
                    It's very, very stressful.......
                    And 4 of my teeth broke so I am feeling techy!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AnnieAnna View Post

                      And 4 of my teeth broke so I am feeling techy!
                      O, ow ow ow ow ow. Poor you - hope the dentist can sort you out. Hang in there. It can't be January for ever.

                      Marion x

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                      • #12
                        hope the dentist can sort you out
                        Ah, well he took one split up the middle tooth out, very carefully, it took an hour to do, and as I'd thought it was just a wonkly old filling needing to be glued back, I must have come out in a state of shock. (I control my dentist phobia by doing a rabbit in the head lights thing kidding myself I'm doing yoga and giving birth distraction techniques ). Anyway, I had to have a little lie down. I fell asleep and when I woke up I was shaking and fainty - and the pain kicked in - so I was more tetchy. I hadn't eaten all day too, so was even more tetchy.
                        Back to the dentist for tooth number 3. That just got filled so wasn't half so bad but I was on the verge of a panic attack. So came out shakey and you lose confidence don't you? You think you've cracked something and when you see a chip in your armour you go all doom and gloom. Well I did. "I'm loosing my grip. I'll never be able to hack it at the dentists again etc". So extra uber techiness and now I can't chew on both sides of my mouth. So I indulged on soup and smoothies yum yum but all the weight I lost has gone back on. so superuberextratechy.
                        I really must do something positive today. I have a craving to see a snowdrop. That would put hope back in my heart.
                        Anne
                        (What is she like? Such a drama queen, innit!)

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                        • #13
                          Hi AnnieAnna I found you some snow drops, okay I found them on the internet but hope they make you smile.Gallanthus.jpg

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                          • #14
                            Aw shucks, that's real sweet of you. I have a big smile on my face now and promise I won't moan about the cost of pain killers. Hmmm....what's in my painkillers? Maybe that's what's making me smile?....No it's the snowdrops.
                            Thank you for caring (Take a felt pen and blacken out some of the teeth on the emoticon.)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AnnieAnna View Post
                              Ah, well he took one split up the middle tooth out, very carefully, it took an hour to do, and as I'd thought it was just a wonkly old filling needing to be glued back, I must have come out in a state of shock. (I control my dentist phobia by doing a rabbit in the head lights thing kidding myself I'm doing yoga and giving birth distraction techniques ). Anyway, I had to have a little lie down. I fell asleep and when I woke up I was shaking and fainty - and the pain kicked in - so I was more tetchy. I hadn't eaten all day too, so was even more tetchy.
                              Back to the dentist for tooth number 3. That just got filled so wasn't half so bad but I was on the verge of a panic attack. So came out shakey and you lose confidence don't you? You think you've cracked something and when you see a chip in your armour you go all doom and gloom. Well I did. "I'm loosing my grip. I'll never be able to hack it at the dentists again etc". So extra uber techiness and now I can't chew on both sides of my mouth. So I indulged on soup and smoothies yum yum but all the weight I lost has gone back on. so superuberextratechy.
                              I really must do something positive today. I have a craving to see a snowdrop. That would put hope back in my heart.
                              Anne
                              (What is she like? Such a drama queen, innit!)
                              There is nothing worse than having to go through all of that at the dentist - I really feel for you as I too need to vivist the dentist and I'm dreading it. Hope you begin to feel better and much more positive soon xx
                              Custom tribal belly dance costumes & accessories

                              Unique jewellery for those who love to turn heads

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