I spent most of my afternoon Sunday working on ordering and designing business cards. It was tough work. It actually made me doubt my ability to design because I could not get the proper dimensions for an online card system. However, when I finished, I felt quite happy. I felt happy that I had completed something that IS a big deal in starting a business – business cards. For the past year and a half I’ve had no business cards. I’ve relied on virtually no marketing whatsoever!
I wish I could blame every one and thing but myself, but that’s not the reality. I have pushed in certain ways and not in others. A good example is my still lacking website. However, it should be noted that this year I went legal with the federal and state governments, got all the necessary stuff for my friend to build my website, and started thinking about products and product lines to develop.
When you mix in the fact that I’ve had orders, actual paying orders that have been time-consuming and have been my biggest distraction, you might understand a bit more why I have been so behind on making something as simple as business cards. I think the other fact behind it, was that I was heavily under the impression that I needed something snazzier and better than what I can afford, or should have.
I was once a business school student. I minored in marketing and I LOVED my classes and everything I was taught, but now a whole whopping 12 years later, I have realized that marketing is intuitive. Yes, there are some people who do it better and excel in their chosen careers, but over all a monkey could do it. Why a monkey? Well because it takes simple, genuine and intuitive feelings to market a product or a belief. The easiest thing that we do as people is pass along our passions. They’re contagious. It’s the basic principle behind “Buzz Marketing.”
With only eight months to go before S2 Stationery and Design marks the two-year anniversary, I’ve sustained on buzz marketing. Mainly because I have a full-time job that takes a lot out of this gal, but also because friends have spread the buzz. My friends have been awesome the past year–they’ve celebrated, critiqued and even cut shapes out for me. They are my cheerleaders, reminding me every day since I launched this that I am doing what I should be doing and that I shouldn’t stop.
Because of this, I’ve managed to survive and while I am not rolling in the money enough to make it my full-time job, I’ve been able to not been forced to plan and map. Several weeks ago, I was at dinner with a good friend and her friend and she is an MBA student. Kudos to her, but remember I have a business background. I’m aware of all the SHOULDS-the items like a business plan, marketing goals, budgets, etc. I just haven’t done them. Not because I haven’t wanted to, but because I am busy. Because I didn’t expect to have a Bar Mitzvah invitation order that required 750 pieces right off the bat! Over the course of that period, I had to realize that I was going to have to get help from friends and that I couldn’t do everything. Even the logical things immediately.
Since then, orders and designing has taken precedence, especially since I need to have more of a collection and portfolio before I can think about BIG numbers and budgets. In the coming weeks and months as things change and the transition that will take place, takes place, I will have more time to worry about those things, but until then I will just continue to do and be.
Sometimes all the planning in the world will not protect you from an idea that fails. In that case, I’d rather be doing and focusing on doing and making things happen and then worry about the planning aspect (although I don’t want you to think that I haven’t planned, because I have and a certain number of metrics goes into every order), but sometimes you just gotta jump and everything falls into place.