Transitioning Your Business
Hello everyone! Welcome to another blog post and thank you for following along as I share my entrepreneurial experiences with you. These blog tales are not only for entrepreneurs to read but also for my existing and future customers and followers, friends and family, just to give you a more in-depth sense of where my thought process has led me.
As I mentioned before, these past few months of quarantine have encouraged me to really think about my small business and consider its future. Am I happy with how it is currently operating? Is there anything I would change or improve? Are there any areas that I don’t love about it? So many questions to ask myself, but now is the time to make these adjustments. It is always important to remember that when you own a business, and especially when you run it as a solopreneur, it is YOURS so you should be proud of every step you take and everything your business represents.
First and foremost, if you are going to find long-term success with your business, your passion needs to be present at all times. It may take a few trial and error runs to find your niche and figure out what you truly love, but eventually you will find your likes and dislikes. For example, in the first couple years of running Pass the Cookies, I took on many custom orders for cakes, cupcakes and other desserts because I was a baker and so, why not, right? However, I deeply dreaded making every cake order I took. I began to ask myself, why am I doing this?...I don’t need the extra business, I’m busy enough with just the cookies as is! And with these thoughts in mind, I took into account the saying, “it’s better to be amazing at one thing than mediocre at several things.” And so from there, I decided to direct my focus solely on sugar cookies. After all, that’s what my initial intention was, just look at the company name. It dawned on me that there’s nothing wrong with recommending fellow bakers who specialize in other desserts, I don’t have to take on everything myself. It’s important to take a step back every once in a while to re-evaluate your business and make sure you’re doing what you are passionate about. If there are things about your business that you don’t like, you have the power to change it!
I recently took a step back again and while I am so thrilled and happy with how bustling business has been recently, I decided that it’s time for me to readjust some areas once again. I have really been thinking about the future years lately, and the term I associate with that is longevity. If you want to find success far into the future, you need to set yourself up so that you can continue to run your business regardless of any scenarios that may arise. I’ve mentioned before about how labour-intensive baking can be and how easily it can take up your entire day and before you know it, your entire week. With that in mind, I need to restructure Pass the Cookies to be able to run smoothly even when I start a family or something of that nature.
There are several avenues I could take….I could open a bakery and hire employees, or perhaps I could franchise the brand. But what I have loved about operating a creative business is the personal style that is a part of each product, and I am rather attached to that ideal. Something you may not know about me...I have been drawing all my life and also enjoy dabbling in graphic design. So in my own time, I have been working on a greeting card collection. For years I have fantasized about creating a greeting card business but thought it was way out of my league until one day I thought, why not make a card line that features cookie characters?! And so, I did it. I began designing within a month of coming up with the idea, and a couple months later I had over 20 cards ready. It’s actually the perfect pairing with cookies, since most orders are for special occasions and celebrations already...why not get a matching card? The more I design, the more I fall in love with the stationery concept, and so I have decided to make it a permanent part of Pass the Cookies, introducing it as PTC Stationery.
So what does this mean for cookie orders? Truth be told, I don’t want to continue baking cookies forever. My piping-hand hurts more with each year that passes and it takes up more and more of my time as business continues to pick up. Believe me, I’ve already had people look at me sideways and say “NOO you can’t stop doing cookies!” or “uhmm..okay..I don’t get it,” but most people just see the artwork and not the pain behind it. For now, I will carry on with taking custom cookie orders, but in time, I will be reducing the amount of orders dramatically, and shifting my focus towards the stationery line.
I understand that it will take some time to transition from cookies to cards, but I am so excited about making this move that I strongly believe it will all work out. A word to all entrepreneurs, if you want to change up your business, it’s never too late to do so. My cookie business flourished on its own, which is amazing on one hand, but on the other hand, in the beginning I didn’t have much of a handle on which direction it was going. I knew NOTHING about business and had no plan when I first started out, but you always learn as you go, no matter how prepared you may or may not be. It’s better to take action while you’re inspired than to plan forever and not make any moves at all. I look forward to sharing my business transition with you all in these coming weeks, months & years!