Running your own studio sounds like the perfect dream. And it is for me. But it is not as easy as many think.
I am reminded on a regular basis by many people of how lucky I am to be able to work when it suits me.
Many say things like ” oh your so lucky to be able to get up when you like” ” you can take a day off when every it suits you” and my favourite one is ” if you don’t feel like opening your studio any day you are are lucky because you don’t have to” The reality is I do have to. To make enough money to pay the bills I have to work all the time. There is no switching off at all as many independent business owners will tell you.
Why I am Writing about this you think?
Because I have met a number of people who want me to tell them its okay to leave their nice safe jobs and careers to start up their business. I cannot tell anyone to do it but I can tell you how it is of me.
I get up at 6 am most mornings to make sure that I have everything ready for the day. On workshop days I bake fresh cakes for my lovely customers. I then come into the studio and finish setting it up for the day. A workshop day starts at 10 am and ends at 4 pm. However, there are times when it over runs and times when customers stay for a chat. Once everyone has left the premises I then clear up and reset the studio for the following day.
On days where there are no workshops I spend my day making items to sell, or during school term times prepare items for the children to make. Or I may be attending a fair and that again means a long day and lots of preparation and packing and unpacking of items at the end of the day.
I do all my own ordering, spend time finding the best bargains but not the cheapest items as I want to use good quality fabrics and threads.
Accounts have to be kept to send to the accountant, Plans have to be made for the coming weeks and for the year. These are completed in the evenings. And on the evenings like Mondays when I am teaching I do it afterwards. There is also the website to keep up to date, social media to plan and schedule and the booking system to be kept up to date. Again by me as an assistant is out of the question.
My day usually ends with me bathed and in bed by 10 pm but working on the planning or looking up what to teach for the weeks workshops. I usually fall asleep whilst doing this.
There are the occasional days that I do take off, or shall we say take out of the studio where I attend network meetings for women in business where we have to set targets for the month and be accountable. This makes me do the things that I always leave to the last minute. One such group has a great lady running it who will make me break the jobs I do not like down into small chunks so that it is easier to do them.
What about family time I hear you ask? I am a workaholic and always have been but I do plan a away day a month for my lovely man, son and me. I also take a a week of in August for a family get together. And of course Bank Holidays are off to spend with family. I take the occasional evening off to have dinner with friends too. So its not all work.
This lifestyle does not suit everyone but I enjoy it. And this is the reason why I cannot tell anyone to take the plunge but can tell you my working life is the same for most business owners big and small.
Many of you ready this already know most of the above and know that I have a number of animals to care for too. but do you also know that I host Airbnb experiences in the studio? or that my home is registered on Airbnb too? that mean a lot of breakfasts to cook and a huge amount of linen to launder. And yes I do iron it too.
So my advice to anyone wanting to take the plunge is plan it, cost it, and be prepared to work all the hours you can.
Thank you for reading this little bit of news.