Saturday, 30 April 2011

Oops I've done it again!

Well, I've just realised I have yet again forgotten to keep my blog updated! Honestly, if I was still at school I'd be in detention several times over for not doing my homework.

In my defence, I have been quite busy (excuses, excuses!). I spent three days at a big country fair over Easter. The weather was glorious - in fact, every time its lovely I seem to spend the time in a marquee (last July and last weekend for example), still I tend to just go red and freckly anyway so perhaps somebody is trying to tell me something.

From my point of view, the fair was fairly successful. It had been quite expensive to book a stall in the first place but I told myself I would easily cover that - hmmm ... or maybe not. I guess the current economic climate coupled with the fact that people were being charged an arm and a leg to come in, meant that not much money was changing hands.

In fact, most of the stallholders were bemoaning the fact that people just didn't seem to be buying, which made me feel slightly better as I was beginning to think that what I was selling wasn't up to scratch.

So, after much consideration and deliberation, I have come to the decision that maybe fairs aren't for me and I should concentrate more on the market side of things. So, in a couple of days I will be standing at one of the biggest bank holiday markets in my area - wish me luck!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Google rating

Well, after my website has been live for over 8 months and from its start on page 6 of Google, yesterday it finally made page one! YAY!!!!!!!!

Quite how long it will stay there I don't know, but I was so surprised when I checked last night.

At first I thought my computer had got it wrong so I also checked on my middle daughter's personal laptop and my mobile phone via the internet before I announced it to everyone.

Apparently, whenever anyone searches on Google for something to buy, they will inevitably buy from one of the websites on the first page, so I'm really hoping my web based sales will be boosted by being on page one.

Since I started my nappy cake business, the amount of listings of other people also making them now has probably quadrupled. It is certainly an up and coming craft. Bearing in mind there are thousands upon thousands of babies born every day in the UK, there should certainly be enough business to go round.

So, I'm waiting with bated breath for the orders to come flooding in (if you don't hear from me for a while its because I'm still holding my breath!!!!!).

Sunday, 10 April 2011

A Nice Surprise

As I explained in yesterday's post, I have pretty much made up my mind to start attending markets as opposed to events and fairs, but obviously I have to go to the ones I have already booked.

So, today I travelled up to Peterborough for a baby and toddler show.

I'm not sure whether it was because the weather has been so glorious and everybody had rushed off to the beach or were having bbqs in the garden, but footfall wasn't great.

I did, however, manage to sell a few bits and pieces and by 1pm had thought that was it for the days sales, then a couple rushed in and said they had seen my nappy cakes on the advertising for the show and were looking to buy for some friends.

What a lovely surprise - just when all the exhibitors thought that was it for the day, this couple bought 3 x nappy cakes and a memory box!

Don't you just love it when that happens.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

All good things come to those who wait

Like everyone who runs their own business (be it part-time like me or full-time) that dreaded time of year has just come round which involves you sitting at your computer frantically trying to work out how to finalise your book-keeping and wondering whether you have managed to keep everything up to date and in order over the previous 12 months.

As the beginning of April marked the end of my first year of trading, I duly sat down to try and work out what I had to do - not helped by a very nice package from the Government which plopped through my letterbox yesterday!

To be honest, I have been pretty good about keeping my books up to date. All my receipts are in date order and now I just need to figure out how to fill in those pesky forms.

So, as its the start of my second year, I am going to make the effort to try and get things running on a more professional basis (I did say this was all a pipe dream didn't I?!!!). I am going to start looking for other outlets that want to stock my nappy cakes and try out different markets until I find one which works.

Fingers crossed that its onwards and upwards from hereon in.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Sorry .....!

Oh good grief - it only occurred to me tonight that I haven't blogged for an age so huge apologies for those of you who have been waiting with bated breath for the next installment (I'm not actually sure there is anybody out there reading this but we can all dream can't we!).

I promised my family that I wouldn't book so many weekend events in 2011 and I was very good to a point, but then people kept contacting me asking if I could attend a fair/event they were organising and I found myself saying yes to everybody - oops!

Since I started making my nappy cakes, I have found there is no rhyme or reason to how many things I can sell on a day. No matter what sort of fair I have a stall at, some days nothing will sell and others I'm busy. However, last weekend I decided it was worth experimenting at a town market.

I knew from previously walking through this town on a Saturday that plenty of people were expected and they didn't disappoint. Apart from the fact that the wind tried its best to blow everything away, the footfall past my stall was high and I did a very good trade.

So, decision now is that I am going to start looking at more local markets and see whether it is worth concentrating on them more than fairs and events. In the current economic climate I know everyone is reigning in their spending, but as babies are constantly being born, I'm optimistic for my little fledgling business.