Casa Adalia

Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Letter from Lea:

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Hi, my name is Lea…. and I have a problem

Sigh, Sad …. July has been a tough month… a typical slow business month while still recooping from the business move. Getting the boy ready to go off to college… a month of company 2 family birthdays..

Its been 3 .6 years since dh was laid off and and we started the business… we paid off the car, paid off the house, I owe chase 450.00 and dh owes them 600.00 we cut out cable… use smart talk phones…
saved up for big things we wanted… grow a garden, can the food, buy our clothes at the thrift shops…

..and then I started looking at our bedroom curtains… oh I could make some… but it didn’t seem like I could find the right colors/ prints/ type I wanted… I looked on line and found a pair… way more then I would pay normally…. but they offered credit with a 30 sec. response…
APPROVED…. I bought the curatins

But why stop there the evil Lea whispered in my ear… you want several nice photo albums to sort through years of pictures and make books for each son….. maybe Kohls has them.. ( we only have a Walmart within 40 miles of us) … so I went online…. 15% off if you use a Kohls credit card… another 10% if you use it…. why heck yeah! I was on a roll

Target on line… 10% off the extra long twin sheets needed for my sons dorm room with a Target card…. type in the infor… wow that was easy! might as well throw int he matching comforter… BAM

Needed a couple of bras ( TMI.. sorry Eldred) … Victoria Secret was having a sale… and lookie here… I could get so much off my first order by applying for a credit card…

..at this point I had the exact feeling I use to ahve when I blew a diet…. if I ate a piece of cake .. if I blew it I might as well blow it all the way…

so… within 1 hour…. 1 hour of sitting on my sofa and sipping sweet tea…. I had spent 300.00 and acquired 4 credit cards…..

of course now I am listing things on the local yardsale board and only have 2 more credit cards to pay off and cancel…

I am ashamed…. don’t know what came over me…. just glad I was able to catch myself before I trolled any more websites and got more credit cards… thankful I didn’t do more damage…. and am back on track now….

Just got an announcement yesterday through one of my regional farming email lists

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

that a workshop is being put together for the end of this month, on the topic of purchasing farms via lease-to-own arrangements. It won’t be a snow-job type meeting either, with all sorts of happy-talk about ideal conditions. One of the requests in the meeting announcement was for folks who have used, or tried to use this approach to purchase ag properties, to please contact the workshop organizer so that they get the chance to share their experiences (good bad or otherwise). Should be a really interesting workshop with access to regional estate planners, legal counsel, lending institutions, etc. Given our recent talk on the topic, I thought it was extremely well-timed. I know I can’t be the only person mulling how to take the next step up into a bigger/more complete property, and methods for doing so. I’ll keep you all posted on what happens with that. I plan to go to that event, armed with LOTS of really good questions. And my laptop in tow so I can take a lot of good notes.

I have stressed going to the store less often, cherry picking sales, and using coupons

Monday, November 14th, 2016

I also have instituted a policy of baking at home, rather than buying sweets. My boys devour sweets, so I challenged them if they want cookies, brownies, and the like, they have to bake them to eat them. That idea is working. Now the doubling up we are not ready for, but I am working towards that. The buying a cow and pig idea we tried a few years ago, and it was not a good deal for us the way we did it then. I went to a butcher and we bought a quarter beef and had it cut up. I was not real impressed with the end result cost. Since we live in town, we can’t raise it ourselves. BUT, my folks do raise hogs, and eating home grown meat is what I grew up with. The problem is they are a 10 hour drive away, so I would have to arrange to pick up the meat when we visit once a year. Thanks for the ideas!

The issue of marketing and generating sales is a HUGE piece of any small biz

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Any biz of any size, actually. That’s where most businesses fall-down-go-boom. Sure, we go into business because we can make X gizmo over and over again and have it come out really well. But can we sell it? And can we find a big enough flock of people, to sell enough of it to live off the proceeds? There lay the difference between success and failure. And you’re well on your way now to figuring out how big a role that plays. My decision this week to go back to hourly work for awhile is exactly due to this conundrum. We can make the bacon. But we can’t sell enough of it yet to live on.

Taking a step back from the “list an ad here vs list an ad there”, have you considered consulting with a small biz advisor in your area? There are a lot of different programs offered for small business owners, for exactly this type of question. SBA offers a lot of workshops and classes through various community colleges. You may have a chapter of SCORE nearby (Service Corps of Retired Executives, www.score.org), which are retired yet successful business owners who want to mentor new biz owners like us. I just went to look up that website, and it looks like they’ve got online classes now too.

Even talking to other shop owners or crafters like yourself, but making different products, will give you some insights into what works and what doesn’t in your area. They’ve already gone and tried a lot of the things you’re thinking about.

For me, we’ve consulted off and on with other small farm owners, we have mentors who have successful small farms, and we’re on email lists like this one, but for various farm categories. Joining up with like-minded folks trying to do the same thing, but in different communities, gives you access to a huge volume of information without directly competing with them on sales. It can create a lot of camaraderie. I know I’ve learned a lot about how to market and sell farm products that way. We just need more $$$ coming in first so we can go DO some of those marketing ideas.

Hang in there. You’re feeling growing pains right now and that stinks. For that matter, so are we. But an hour spent with someone who’s been-there-done-that can save you days (weeks, months, years) of effort trying to blaze that trail for yourself. Hopefully you can find someone who can help you sort out options, choose the ones you’re going to go for, and make the most of it. Onward and upward!