This is me.  And this is how I’ve felt for most of this year:

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While I’ve had good intentions right from the start of this venture – of being organised, doing my research and getting things right – I have made some mistakes.  With the end of the year now upon us, I’ve decided to look back at what’s gone well, what hasn’t and plan what I can do in 2017 to help my little business grow.

In no particular order, I plan to:

  • Look at arranging shipping myself for my next order.  If you’ve read previous posts you’ll know what a massive headache shipping was for me.  At least part of that was the lack of control I had, as I wasn’t the sender (or the recipient).  I think managing it myself may be more work the first time around, but I hope it will end up saving me time and money in the long term.
  • Investigate alternative suppliers.  I’m happy with the one I have but, now I have a better idea of what I’m doing, and what I want, I think it’s worth getting a few more quotes and seeing what else is out there.  I think it’s probably sensible too, as if my supplier suddenly went out of production, what then?
  • Expand.  This week, Tiny Chipmunk went Global (or European at least) when our first products sold on Amazon.it.  Woohoo!  Next year I plan to expand to as many other countries as is feasible, as well as looking at other sales channels outside of Amazon.
  • Get organised around marketing and sales.  I have so many ideas of what I can do, who I should speak to, where I should go – but I need to sit down and plan it all out properly.  Whinging it is fine when you’re just starting out and need to get out there, but if I want to build a brand I need to think of the bigger picture.  (Excuse the corporate speak!)
  • Network.  It can be lonely working on your own. The biggest successes I’ve had so far have been through knowing people (or people who know people) and I need to build on that by getting out there.  I’m not the best networker (although in my corporate life I quite enjoyed it), so it might be a good personal challenge too.
  • Look at other retail options.  My littlest one will start at nursery at some point next year and I’ll have some completely child-free time to work. I need to make the most of this and get out to places I can’t necessarily go with a baby, and see if there’s any interest in anyone stocking the product(s).
  • Launch new products.  If the swaddles sell well, I already have ideas in the pipeline for what to introduce next…

It’s been a challenging year in some ways (new baby, new business), but also rewarding.  I’m pretty proud to have made it this far and it’s only the beginning.  Thank you to everyone who’s supported me so far – and happy new year!