We all run, or dream of running, our businesses from home.
No more commuting, office hours, small talk with people we have nothing in common with.
Some dream of running their business from anywhere – though sandy beaches play havoc with your laptop’s keyboard, and it’s really hard to see the screen in bright sunlight.
For services, that’s great – you can Skype your clients, send emails, create online courses, etc. For product businesses, the reality is a bit different (if arguably easier to demonstrate a market and show customers what it is you sell).
Though we love our businesses, I don’t think many people give thought to the reality of a product based business… and as I’ve spent a good chunk of this weekend doing the Ink Drops annual stock take, I thought I’d share the photos – for a bit of reality in the Pinterest-perfect world most of us inhabit online (and feel bad about when our real lives & businesses don’t match up).
If you will excuse the phone snaps, this is the current state of my living room (I am still mid-studio-build, so everything lives in here – but even by my chaotic standards, this is a bit on the insane side):
It’s total chaos.
But it’s temporary, and it’s actually really good to see what you have on a regular basis, especially if your product is something small like stationery or jewellery. We have to stock take at year end because we’re a limited company at Ink Drops, but I’ve adopted the habit in the rest of my businesses too – even for stuff you don’t sell, like branded stationery, printer ink and that kind of thing.
This has been made much easier this year by the addition of a barcode scanner. Geeky but wonderful – we’re still using the spreadsheet, but no more searching for obscure product names & codes, or trying to remember what the supplier meant by “cute book 04”, when you have ordered at least five different notebooks and notepads from them.
It helps to stay organised, especially when you’re a modern biz owner with multiple streams of business!
Do you have chaotic stock take pictures you want to share? (Or even better, organised ones? I’d love to see what a streamlined home-based stock take looks like…)