Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Too Much Thinking...

I needed some time away. I had some thinking to do. I'm that kind of gal. Some things happened with my customers that put me in a spin. I know that I am supposed to be tougher. Believe me. My husband has told me that a time or two. He tells me that having a business is not an emotional journey. I don't know if I'll ever be totally there, but I am learning...one situation at a time.

It all began with an exciting order for 6 dozen cookies. They were for a party on the upcoming weekend. I am always honored when someone decides to choose my baking for their event. And when you are starting out, each event is an opportunity for others to experience your work. My customer paid for her order and told me that Paypal incorrectly put it through as a check. I was disappointed because that left me having to choose between waiting for her check to go through, which would put the order arriving too late, or trusting and coming through for her in a pinch. I made my decision, knowing the chances. I wanted to believe that no one would steal baked goods. Someone stole baked goods.

I won't bore you with all of the details, but it got more tangled as the days wore on and I shipped the order in a panic to please a customer. The next day, her check came through as bounced and I had to have USPS return the box to me. The cookies were all stale because it took so long. Oh- She closed up her account and ran.

In the week following, I had a few other shipping nightmares. My customers left honest, but not so positive feedback. I began to doubt what I am doing. Shipping these baked goods is very expensive and very difficult to pull off successfully. USPS really has no understanding for FRAGILE. Let me tell you. One of my mistakes was that I was wrapping my cookies so they looked nice. I am going to have to wrap them to stay in one piece. That means that baskets or platters cannot be setup and shipped. I have worked on other techniques and I can assure you that I have tried my best to fix the problem. I don't want to let the difficulties stop me from doing what I love. And I DO love baking for my customers.

So I have decided to crank the oven back up, take out the cookie sheets, and get baking again. I am trying to think of some fun ways to promote my shop :) I am going to think of it as a brick and mortar shop. I'll be having specials on certain days and flavor specials on other days. If you can think of a fun way to celebrate sweets, let me know! You just might find a few goodies on their way to you!

1 comment:

City Farmhouse said...

Hi Lisa,
It takes so much time to figure all of this "stuff" out. Don't let it get you down, EVERYONE goes through ups and downs in business. Be patient and listen to your customers responses(it's hard, I don't like hearing negative either) and you'll find a way to make it better for the next time.
I had a similar situation and I had to keep reworking how I made my product and how I shipped it.
Good Luck!