Can I do this alone?

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I have been planning, making and selling my products since I had the dream of opening and running the business. I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed. There's so much to do in the way of administration, production and sells I can't keep up. Is there anyone else doing this alone? How do you manage? What does a typical day look like? When do you sell outside of markets? Do you sell on consignment? Is that better? Do we have a standard sell on consignment agreement?
 

shunt2011

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I run my business alone. I also work full-time on top of it. I do shows and I also have 1 consignment and 1 wholsale account and a website. It's something I enjoy and unfortunately along with it is the bookeeping and other necessities to run a business like maintaining insurance and licensure. The agreement for my consignment was drawn up by the business and I found it a very pleasant experience. However, I know that there are many that have had bad experiences with consignment and will only do wholesale.
 

paillo

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I too run my soaping business alone and work a full-time job that is often many more than 40 hours a week. I do wholesale to two local stores, a few festivals, intermittently a weekly local market, and my Etsy store. I would like to do more, but have decided to be reasonable with myself and stay small, only what I can manage. I'd love to try to get into Whole Foods, do more festivals, and greatly expand my Etsy store. But, realistically, I would be full-time exhausted. My real job starts at 5:30a, so I'm done mid-afternoon though always on call. My evenings and weekends are for soaping and soaping sales activity.

If you are committed to doing it, you can and will do it, and relish every minute of it. Yes, even the bookkeeping, taxes, insurance, licensure, and all the rest of the housekeeping.
 

AKjulz

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This is a difficult question with so many variables. I run my business alone for the most part. One of my teenage daughters helps with shows sometimes and my husband provides moral support. I think we all have our hurdles to overcome in running our own business and you need to determine how much YOU can handle. Easier said than done, I know. I have fibromyalgia and I makes it hard because I never know how I will be doing physically at any given time. Because of this I struggle committing to things in the future which can make this type of business difficult. I currently do markets and shows from June through December, I do consignment sales with two retail shops and just started doing wholesale with a third. I also have an etsy shop, though that is my back burner thing, never have enough time/energy to get all my products uploaded or pics taken for that but it still generates some sales.

As for "what does a typical day look like?"...well it never looks like I want it to. Lol
I haven't actually ever made this work, but I think if I put in 4 hours a day towards the business (average) I could keep things running smoothly and not freak out. Okay maybe that is a low estimate...I'm way behind on my paperwork, and all the time I spend on research and on this forum doesn't count either :)
 

shunt2011

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I agree with the others. After getting home from work I usually just go go go...Evenings and weekends are pretty much my soaping, b&B work time. I do have a very supportive husband who has made all my molds, my mutli wire cutter and my display shelving for my shows. Fortunately our kids are grown and on their own so it's only the two of us. Some days sleep is a luxury but I enjoy what I'm doing. Currently we have no christmas tree, presents or decorations but crap happens. I'm going to be very busy this weekend. You just have to want to do it and enjoy it. If it's no longer fun then it's time to get out.
 
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Thank you. You guys are a big help. I love making soap, it's sales scare me. So I went out and bought a book on how to go about it. Selling on consignment and setting wholesale prices is a hurdle I have to get over. Again, thanks for your input.
 

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