It's only been 3 official months since I've started Berky's Bubbles, but it feels like forever. What a whirlwind! My mind has been on constant overdrive. As I sit now and breathe, and finally reflect on these past months, I'm becoming somewhat emotional about what I've achieved, and a little bit nervous about where this is going!
I figured it doesn't hurt to be a little candid in my process of "building a business". For those who know me, I've never been one to keep quiet or terribly secretive. So why start now? Entrepreneurs all go through these same stages (I think…right guys???!!)
First, I'll start by saying how SCARED I was to start this adventure. It equaled the amount of excitement though, as I dove in pretty quickly. I've always been one to "learn by action." I guess some may think that makes a horrible trait for a new business owner. But you see, I'm a quick learner. And believe it or not, I do have a business plan (as iterative as it may be):
Now I know good business comes from good planning. But when you're new at something, there's also a period of trial and error. I know I'm wasting tons of time now on random product development. I'm hashing out various techniques, recipes, ingredients, so on and so forth, so I can quickly get through the "fail" stage, pick what I like and what I'm most efficient at, and move forward with that goal.
Only then can I sit and reflect on all that I've done, to strategically plan the next step, formulate the "scope" of my project, visualize the timeline, and project my future costs. I do have a vision of what I ultimately want to become, what I want my brand to be, and to be more focused. Berky's Bubbles (part 1, year 2016) is just the beginning. Start up costs, and invested time, are going to be casualties in this first year.
While much of what I'm doing now feels oh so very random, I realize that out of this chaos comes a marketing scheme: see what people LIKE. I don’t want to make a 100 of one product, just to find out everyone hates it. I'd rather make 10 bars of 10 products, provide choices, see what drives people…and go from there.
Now I say people, and not customers…because while by definition you're a customer if you buy my soap, I just find that word so impersonal. You're a person, with individual style - and I enjoy talking to everyone, getting feedback (good or bad), and hopefully making new friends along the way. My current friends and family have been insanely supportive - and I thank you for that. You can't possibly know how much I appreciate the support, interaction, positive vibes, and inspiration. It is what keeps me going.
While I haven't really met too many other real live soapers in person, based on what I see online, it's also a friendly and accepting community. One that shares a unique passion to create something artistic (yet practical!). I enjoy scrolling through my Instagram and looking at all the "soap porn" - beautiful and artistic soap creations, which I hope to one day recreate and develop my own unique ideas!
In closing - after the Salem County Fair this week (August 9-12), I just really need to slow down, focus, regroup…I simply cannot spend ALL of my free time thinking only of the SOAP. By slowing down and creating a plan for the rest of the year, only then can I really enhance my business, focus more on marketing, provide you with what you want, and save some TIME. And maybe get some sleep.