I am nearly finished with setting up the shop! I am excited to share it with you all - mixed with the usual apprehension that accompanies the revealing of something you have worked so hard on ;)
I have tried to look at it from a customers point of view and hope to have made it appealing and easy to navigate..Time will tell and tweaks can be made. What a learning curve this has been with soooo much more to learn and implement..It's all good though and once this week is done and dusted ( and I give myself some time to just 'be' over the weekend ) I can begin on the next phase.
In other news...A short while ago I went for a meeting with Jacqui from WISE and she mentioned that she would like to nominate me for a business award at The Wise and Bec awards ceremony that was to be held in March. At first I was sure it wasn't something I wanted to do..However reading about it I realised it would be an ideal opportunity to show my appreciation for the help I have received and that if by chance I got through the first stage and was short listed I thought it lovely to be able to celebrate the success of other small business owners at the event. So I filled in my application and thought no more about it..
Then a letter to say I had got through!! There was a prize of £250 that I hadn't known about!! The day was to begin at 8.30!!! I could have a table to display my products and there would be networking opportunities!!!! I am not a networker ;) In my old life as a senior manager I had to do it a lot and it was never my favourite part of the job.. However Alan was able to drive and support me there so I decided it could be done.
To cut a long story short...We had a lovely day..friendly folk, great venue, well organised, good fun!
And lunch to boot :) By another local company who has just started out Wild Zucchinis The award part of the day was in an auditorium with tiered seating like being in a cinema :) Alan and I got ourselves sat at the back right near the wall - well, I was sure I wouldn't have to get out so it didn't matter.
There were talks from some of the businesses that had been helped by BEC and WISE that had gone on to be very successful..very inspirational..
Then it was time for the awards to be given out. The award for Change trough commerce had two highly commended awards and then the category winner..
The feeling is hard to describe when my name was called out but amongst the shock and sudden urge to cry was horror at having to go down all those stairs and past all those people..It was all a bit of a blur but at least I didn't have to give a speech :))
I am so impressed that this category is one that is celebrated in the BEC and WISE awards.
Setting up your own business can change your life and taking that step to make the commitment to work for yourself and put money on the line and the effort it takes to grow that seed of an idea is not easy for anyone that takes that step.
It is not all about the profit and loss or the growth percentage though... sometimes it is about how your life has been changed by taking that step. My business has not had huge income and it is moving slowly when very often in the business world speed is of the essence. My life has changed since setting up and having the ability to manage my symptoms and usually ( but not this week!!! ) being able to pace myself and to combine family life whilst trying to move things forward in the business means that - for me - success has been achieved.
I cannot thank Jacqui from WISE enough she has been so supportive and patient and it is a genuine joy to go to meeting with her :) Through this award process I have also met her boss Debbie who is equally lovely and supportive.
Aside from the exhaustion that overtook me after the awards there was a determination came over me that I 'can' do this! I have to go at a pace that works for me - there is no way round that - and that is a good thing...balance is the aim...
Thank You WISE and BEC... lucky to have the courses and support available. When you don't know all about cash flow projections and business plans and all the nuts and bolts they are there to help..In my case it has been so much more than that and the support has been invaluable on a very personal level. <3