Friday, 26 August 2011

Quiet Week at Rainbow Designs HQ

Warning! This post may (does) contain ramblings of a struggling (whiney) small business owner! (but it ends well)
Wow, what a quiet ol’ week it’s been so far, especially considering Father’s Day is just around the corner (Sunday September 5). It has meant that I have been able to do a bit of tidying up and reorganising but there is only so much of that you can do everyday! I’ve even caught up on my filing, goodness it MUST be quiet!
Last week* I added some new gifts to the range to include some yummy gifts suitable for people with special dietry needs plus the week before I included a new Peppermint gift box but unfortunately, so far, they are proving to be a very underwhelmingly popular (insert ‘fail whale’ picture here). Which has given me time to think (and eat!), what’s going on? Am I targetting the wrong people? Do people want to buy gifts full of lollies and chocolates? Is this the slow demise of Rainbow Designs? I told you I had time to think!

I’m not giving up though, I do believe people still LOVE lollies and LOVE chocolates (I know my family and I certainly do) and even if we are being more ‘health conscious’ it certainly doesn’t mean we have to give up the not so healthy foods. Lollies make people happy, chocolate makes you smile and they’re great to share (or hide!).
So, what’s going on? Why aren’t people sending more Big Lolly Boxes and Mini Multi Mixes? Who wouldn’t love to receive a ‘I love you more than chocolate‘ teddybear with a box of chocolates? When you’re feeling a bit down or had a slight mishap what better way than to add a bit of sunshine to your day than a bunny slipper wearing teddybear and his half kilo box of lollies!
I love you more than chocolate
Facebook is a great way to interact with our customers and has helped us spread the Rainbow Designs lolly love but I don’t think I’m making the most of it. Our ‘liker’ numbers has stalled, just can’t seem to get passed the 1064/65 mark - what do they want, what do they expect. These are things I’ve been thinking about, what can I do to engage people more plus get them to buy. hmmmmm
I send out a newsletter each month but I know I’m underutilising this also. another, hmmmmmm
Something I don’t want to do is exand our range too much. I want to keep it to the basics of boxes of lollies and boxes of chocolates. Nothing too expensive. I have deliberately keep our gifts a low/lowish prices because that’s what I look for. I want to be able to send presents to people but don’t really want to have to spend $70, $80, $90, $150 Sure you’ll have extra special occasions (or people) that you don’t mind spending a lot on but not for everyone, all the time. I believe the prices I’ve set for our gifts are very reasonable and make it so much easier (and affordable) to give more often. Shipping is pretty much the biggest expense so it can limit how low we can make a gifts, with shipping starting at around $11 it is very hard to price gifts lower than $25 without losing money (especially if we have to redeliver parcels due to incorrect delivery addresses or people being discharged from hospital early! There’s another $11). Plus everything just keeps going up!
Wish you ran your own business now  Don’t get me wrong, I do love it and would hate to have to go back to being an employee but, at times, I think it would be easier and less stressful to go and work for someone else. At least then I knew I would get paid each week!
So I guess all I can do is use this quiet time to work ON my business and improve my business and maybe eat some chocolate!
I also want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has ever order from me, without you Rainbow Designs would not be here, in cyber space (and Port Macquarie) and I wouldn’t be running my own yummy business.
* To be fair, it hasn’t all been doom and gloom here, we did complete a huge order last week  It just doesn’t happen all the time!

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