May 2020, I had my biggest month and brought in over $30,000 in sales.
I was confused. We were in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic where everyone was stuck at home. I navigated ensuring my manufacturing team was staying safe and keeping our materials sterilized, hiring as cautiously as I could to help shipping, and changing out vendors as needed because of material shortages.
I thought this was finally it. After running a "slow-as-you-go" paced small business since January 2015, I had finally tapped into a bigger market.
And then it just stopped.
No one in modern times had experienced what comes after a drawn out pandemic.
People returned back to work. They vacationed again, and somewhere along the way, they realized they pulled a shade of debt over their eyes during the hardest part of this mess.
Now that the dust has settled, millions of small businesses are left wondering how they move on- or if they do at all.
Two and a half years after that milestone month, my company has pulled back from $30,000 month goals to a hopeful $600. My once lively office saw 3-5 short term employees and now only sees me and my pack of dogs. It's a ghost town. No amount of viral videos, paid ads or new product launches could claw me back to where I was.
So what do I do now?
That's the beautiful thing about running a small business (maybe the only, at times!) You get to choose your own path, every step of the way.
I'm personally choosing a modest path where I take 3 closets full of supplies, my creative mind and a lot of grace to design sporadic collections dropped to my die-hard following.
I'm not force feeding them mass produced prints like before, because I recognize they are reeling from the last few years, as well!
I decided to create an outline for this "sinking ship".
The way I see it is I either productively use the materials I am sitting on to earn my way back up or slowly dissolve my business. Truly, I am okay either way.
The outline has been turned into this worksheet to help me focus. You can use code FOCUS and snag it free!!!
I'll also be doing a weekly update during Q4 on what *exactly* I did for my business that week and how much I made.
I hope this is helpful: to businesses in my exact position, to brand new businesses just starting off, and to anyone out there second guessing how much to grind and how much it brings forth.
So, here we go.