ME, Myself and I (kind of): Starting a Business (a Bit of an Update)

I did have another post planned but I realised I haven’t posted anything much about this after August or September and today was not a good energy day. I had a blood test yesterday and I’m never great with them, it always takes more energy than I expect and my arm seems to go all weird and weak the next day so this will be quite a short post. I’ll do the post I meant to do today next week instead, I didn’t realise how long it would be so it may become two parts.

Having decided I was going to start my own business over a year ago it’s still not been officially open because the people helping me set it up that I was put in touch with through the Job Centre wanted me to set up a business plan. However it is finally happening, I have a date that I am planning on opening my Etsy store, April 1st, so now it’s all getting more real and I have these things I need to do and make lots of stock ready to sell.

It’s probably going to sound odd but I didn’t realise how much I needed to do, how much actual planning there would be for starting a business. I was originally going to go with the ‘make some stuff and see if it sells’ and then go from there but this way I have more of a plan and know how much I actually have to make and how much everything will cost which is a good thing in the long run. I was surprised about everything that should be included in the cost of making something, not just the things needed to make the product but the things like the envelopes to send out online orders, paper and printing ink for invoices, business cards, the electricity, internet and phone used for anything I do and all sorts of bits. I still haven’t got a logo so I need to do that and get the business cards printed out as well as the jewellery care cards.

At the moment I am kind of setting up a list of things to do and setting a deadline for each, I’m hoping this method will work but I was planning on making a few things today but only managed a necklace. I have ordered a collapsible box thing to take photos in so when that arrives I’ll have to start having a play around and post some photos on here. I’m still posting in my Facebook page but getting it all built up over there so will post a link for that when I’ve got it all set up a bit more and closer to the actual opening. I bought the photography box thing for the jewellery but I will definitely be using it for the blog too, see if I can improve my photography skills and have better photographs of my jewellery. I might also review it, it’s only cheap, around £12 so if it’s any good maybe someone else would be interested in it too.

In the end I’m hoping to have my own website for it, to be honest website design is what I’ve planned to do for a living so it’ll be good to have a way to use this, but that’ll be a lot more long-term, probably not even this year unless it really takes off. I love the design aspect of jewellery making and how I can use the skills and things I learnt in design and even specifically web design information in this even if it’s just which fonts are the best for people to read information compared the ones that catch people’s eye or the ones that suit different styles of product the best.

I’m still loving making jewellery, it’s still fairly relaxing but having a deadline does make it less so. At least it’s over six weeks away and I can dedicate whole days to just making jewellery while still pacing and seeing how much I can physically do with this without crashing. I think that’s going to be the best thing in a way, finding out my limits in this with making things, finding the balance between having enough jewellery to have stock to sell and not overdoing it. At least with Etsy or if I do stalls at craft fayres it’ll just be selling what you can see. I’m planning on having other colours available if people are willing to wait a few days for them but then it gives me the time to make things and, looking at other people’s stores online, it seems a reasonable time to wait for something that I’ll be making at the time.

At the end of the day it’s something new and something that I can manage and control myself as I don’t think I could even manage a part time job at the moment. In an ideal world I think I’d have a job that let me work from home and the hours that I can with breaks in between, having a certain amount of hours a day rather than the hours between X and Y but I haven’t found one and even if I did I don’t know how long I could do it before it made me more ill. This way I can get a bit of independence, do something that I enjoy and, I hope anyway, people like the things I make and they enjoy wearing them. I know it’s been a long time since I posted about this so I hope some people might still be interested, it’s definitely taken me longer than I expected to do this all but I have a better structure and understanding for everything now so hopefully that means it’s less likely to fail, though if ME has taught me anything it’s that plans can always fall through at the last minute with this illness so I’m still crossing my fingers!

I am hoping that the skills that I have learnt for managing my ME through studying is going to help me through this, I think it’s a case of making sure I do what I post about with the pacing rather than reverting back to my old ways of boom and bust which then affects how much I can do with this as well as my health. Until April 1st it’s definitely all focus on this, timetabling everything and sticking to it as much as possible and being aware of how much energy everything I do will take so it doesn’t knock me back. I don’t think I’ve been this nervous about my health affecting my plans since my GCSEs when I had only been ill for a year or two and didn’t know what it was or how to control it. It’s a bit of an odd feeling and probably because for the first time since then when I was studying at home pretty much by myself without the smaller deadlines of my OU courses so I only found out if I was on the right track when I opened the exam papers really. At least this time I’ll be nearly 11 years older and have all that extra experience dealing with ME so in some ways there’s less pressure.

Once again I feel like I’ve gone a bit off topic and I’m sure I will have forgotten something in here. It always seems to happen that when I start these updated posts or ME related ones I have a clear plan of what I want but as I go on my brain gets fuzzier and it goes off in another direction or I forget things.

If the photo box thing arrives before this weekend I think I’ll do a bonus post if anyone’s interested with some photos, have a bit of a play around and see what I can do with it to show off what I’ve made already. I might start doing more regular updates on it too as it gets closer, I’m not sure if anyone would want to read them though. I would do these on the weekend on top of other posts and they’d probably mainly be photos of things I’ve made or the jewellery making bits I’ve bought recently, like hauls for crafty bits. Is that something people would be interested in seeing?


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