It's been a while since I've done a Ollie Marie Boutique update so I though I'd fill you in on what's going on around here. I now have 3 employees which is great for taking a lot of the stress off of my shoulders, but has also come with struggles of it's own. First of all was finding and working out a schedule that worked for them and for me. We all have kids and other responsibilities so making it all fit was a bit of a puzzle. Second struggle was the dreaded budget - how much do you pay them? Do you pay hourly or salary?
When I worked for a big company and managed a team of people it was a bit easier because the 'rules' and guidelines were set by the company. Now the company is mine and I am the one setting the expectations, which I think I was a bit lax on at first. I kinda assumed we were all on the same page, but after a few tough conversations I realized we were not. For example, I thought it was assumed that I did not pay for vacations, everyone is a contract employee, but until I spoke that statement some didn't understand that. After that I realized that I need to be a bit clearer on where I stood on certain aspects.
We have finally gotten all of our inventory and finances organized, SK has done an amazing job of making sure everything we do is run through Shopify. We've gotten a really good system of checking in inventory, checking invoices against the Amex, and spotting an discrepancies. That was our goal after Christmas and I'm very happy with our progress in that area. We've reached a point that we now have to do our sales taxes monthly and hopefully change over to doing our business taxes quarterly. Taxes are what really stress me, I haven't paid mine yet from last year so I'm still unsure exactly how much I'm going to have to pay, so I've just been putting away hopefully more than I need.
Growing. Growing is hard, slow, and takes time. You don't know what's going to work until you try it, Facebook is just terrible as far as advertising, my own Mother rarely, if ever, sees my posts on there. Instagram is changing their feed to an algorithm just like FB which has business owners very concerned. Facebook Live is rolling out to everyone which is great news, I do love Periscope a lot though! Periscope has really made me feel more connected to my audience. I went to market last week and realized that I call you guys 'my girls' ahhahahha. I told one vendor 'oh no, my girls don't like tie dye' LOL.
June will be our one year anniversary so we will be better able to compare to the year before and set goals and tighter budgets, right now we are still doing a lot of guesstimating. I am finally throwing a in house party for all my local friends to come and shop at the end of April, I don't have any plans right now to open a store front, but if the Sip and Shop goes well it might be something I do every once in a while.
I had someone ask me how I learned how to do everything you need to do to run your own business, literally trial and error. I've made mistakes for sure, in the beginning it was all I could do to work full time, pack orders, open inventory, and all the other things in my life so of course pesky things like tracking every little detail went out the window. I learned how important a reliable shipping system was quickly, but through all of my mistakes the one thing I've strived for is good customer service. I truly want everyone to be happy with their purchase and while I can't stop mistakes from happening I do think being compassionate and willing to help goes a long way.