I am happy to announce that I have just secured myself part-time employment in order to assist in sustaining my business until it is able to sustain itself :).
I have moved into my apartment for close to four weeks now, and it has been a dream, as I had envisioned it, but it doesn't feel like reality. It doesn't feel like it is real because I feel like I am on borrowed time and money, and rent coming due very much reminds me of why.
I have been wrought with doubt and insecurities this past month in regards to my fledgling business. Sales have pretty much stalled, and I am kept awoken at night questioning myself why. And the terrible reflections on whether it was the right thing to do to terminate my full-time employment, and moving into a place of my own that I am not able to afford at this time.
For the past few weeks, I did not get out of bed, and I tried to sleep the days away, because I did not want to deal with reality and my presumed failure as an entrepreneur. There were many times during conversations with myself, where I told myself I was too zealot to have done the things I have done in regards to bringing my business to life.
It has been very frustrating to know that sales have been stagnant, and I do not know why. I had envisioned my business, initially, to be an online operation, with grand ideas of growth and expansion, but as I am reminded, that is not the case. It doesn't help matters that my primary logistics entity, United States Postal Service, have lost many of my orders, and other orders arriving at my customers' doors damaged - I am not here to slander or disparage USPS, I am just merely stating the facts and my experience. And there is really no recourse with them, because if and when you attempt to get into contact with customer service, you will have the most incredible task of trying to speak to a live representative. And when you do, you come back full-circle, left with your problems for you to deal with, because, apparently, its not USPS's fault.
So moving on, I had to rethink my business plan and figure out ways to make it profitable. And I realized that concentrating on making it an online business was not the right first step. The problem with shipping my kimchi out within the United States is simple, the shipping price alone. For example, my 16oz jar of kimchi retails @ $8.00, but shipping it out costs $7.00, which brings the total to $15.00 when you could have bought the jar locally for only $8.00 - plus the fact that USPS loses my shipments and destroys my jars in transit. The reason why I concentrated my efforts to online operations was because I believed, at the time, that I would be able to reach a wider market, as opposed to marketing it locally.
Then, I have come to the realization that I need to participate in the local farmers markets in my area in order to bring my business to life. It makes more sense for someone to purchase a jar or two, and not have to pay for shipping. That, I believe, is a much more attractive proposition. But the problem I am encountering now is, all the permits required and applications and registrations. I will have to tackle that beast sooner than later, but I believe I can bring awareness to John's Kimchi that way. And eventually, customers who appreciates my kimchi could very well circle back to my website, and order from there and just pick it up locally :). That is my plan.
All the while, I have been bleeding money, and it is a very unpleasant feeling. I had hoped that my business would hit the ground running, but, instead, it hit the ground, suffered some injuries, and wobbled in circles. I could not keep bleeding money, and sustain myself and my business, and I was worried I was going to be homeless soon. Such a terrible prospect, considering I just moved into my own place and it has been what I have worked so hard on and so hard for, for the past two and a half years.
Initially, I did not want to get a part-time job, but that was the contingency plan when I made the decision to terminate my full-time employment, but I very much loved that idea of being my own boss that I cringed at the fact of having go work for someone else again. But, reality knocks on my door, and I realized I have to work a part-time job until I become profitable. At the very least, I will be able to almost cover my new rent increase with my new job.
The job itself is very ideal. I was not sure what kind of part-time employment I wanted, and I was thinking of trying to find a serving position, but I dreaded that prospect - in my earlier adult years, I was a server, and I did not enjoy it very much. But then, a friend of mine here in Seattle asked me if I was still looking for part-time employment, and I responded yes. So he arranged the terms with his new business partner, and I will be working as a delivery person Monday-Friday, from round 9:30am-12:30pm, which works out great. I still have the rest of the day to work on my business and whatever else life calls. I am very happy to have secured this employment, because it is very good pay for a part-time position.
Well, this post has dragged on long enough, so until next time.
Thank you for participating!
-The Kimchi Whisperer-