Friday, March 27, 2015

How to Deal with Getting Behind as an Online Seller

Recently I had a really bad knock-down drag-out reaction. Silly me, I thought I could go to a grocery store. Nope. I barely made it out of there, despite wearing my standard mask and gloves.
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It was a week for which I had high hopes. I had reclaimed food candles to make! Special order custom paper flowers! Personal vintage shopping! Vintage Lover's Club boxes to buy for, wrap, and ship! A sale at @uniquelyleanna on Instagram! I had the week's meals planned out, my to do lists for every day ready for action, and I was feeling positive about things.
Then I went to get groceries. Stupid, I tell ya!
Well, there went my week. So what's a small business owner to do when her other half has returned to working outside the house?
Here's my secret:
I was honest.
Shocker, right? The business world is dog-eat-dog and all about perception. Look big so you can compete with the big dogs.... Right?
Well, that may be the path for some, but not for my honey and I. We believe in honesty and doing the right thing even when it hurts us to do so. Every time we have taken a hit to keep a customer happy we have been blessed in return like crazy. But that's not why we operate like that- we just believe in the truth and doing what's right, no matter what.
Since most orders were from Instagram, I posted there. I had 40 outstanding orders there at the time, and I felt wretched, so there was no way I would be able to DM every single person. I felt badly about that as every single order means the world to us- but it just wasn't feasible.
Most people who had purchased something saw it and commented something nice, because, let's face it, the vintage community on Instagram is just plain amazeballs.
I barely made it out of bed all week, but I did do a sale on Friday of stuff I had on etsy forever- all I did was screenshot and copy and paste, easy peasy from the comfort of my bed!
Anywho, I did manage to get Amazon orders out as Amazon will put me in time out if I don't, but etsy peeps are generally pretty laid back and understood as well.
In apology I offered a cupcake tart to some who had already been waiting for things, and all late packages are arriving with a discount coupon. I could sit and write apology notes, but my time would be better spent getting those packages out the door!
Generally speaking, I know I am way more upset about this than any customer. If anyone is upset they haven't given any inclination that they are, but I of course am ticked off, disappointed, and feel incredibly guilty. It's me, I am my toughest critic. I am, however, working really hard to not be so stinking hard on myself. I'm a work in progress!
As of today I'm down to 13 packages- woo hoo- including 3 custom orders that should be finished over the weekend. Considering the backlog I had and the fact that I just had a sale, adding more packages, I'm pretty pleased with my speed of getting it all done when I'm not busy being hard on myself about it. I know when I'm caught up I'll move on to feeling bad about the fact that I've barely cooked or cleaned in two weeks.
In summary, if you have a delay: be honest, do something to make it up if you can, and don't be like me- try not to beat yourself up. Life happens to us all, just 'fess up when it does, and if someone is a jerkbutt about it, ask them if they had a rough day. The answer just may have nothing to do with you. ;)

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