The idea of running a craft or wood flower business seems like a dream. And it is in so many ways! You are your own boss, you can follow your passion, and there is no red tape to getting things done your way. Alongside the rewards of being an entrepreneur are definite challenges though.
Below, we list 10 of the most cringe-worthy and uncomfortable things you may run into (in no particular order).
Must be fun getting to play with flowers all day
- Yes, we create products with flowers. No, it is not play. And working with the flowers is only a fraction of what is done on a daily basis when running your own business!
Separating business hiccups or complaints from your personal self worth
- This one is tough. When you are putting so much of your time and energy into your business, it can be difficult to not get emotionally attached to a bad review, a product being damaged during shipping or so many other things. Take a beat and ask yourself if the complaint is about you personally or something business related. If the latter, do your best to keep emotion out of your response.
Where's my package?
- Shipping has been a doozy for quite some time. Packages are delayed, especially around the holidays. Provide the tracking information as soon as the item ships and keep communication open with your client. If they ask where their package is, track it and send them a screenshot of what the postal carrier site is showing you.
Another business copying things you do in your business
- We've all heard the phrase, "imitation is a form of flattery" but at the same time, plagiarism will get you a failing grade. Inspiration can come from all places but there is a very fine line between being inspired by something and copying it directly. If you think your items or promotions or any other form of your business are being copied, do some research to ensure you were the first and then calmly reach out to the business owner (in a message or in an email) to see what kind of resolution you both can come to.
Turning down or firing a client
- "No" is a complete sentence. You do not have to accept every order or have a booth at every craft show. And if you are working with a client who you just can't seem to satisfy with your work, it is okay to say "I am not sure I am the right florist to bring your vision to life." It is an icky conversation but the mental strain of trying to please someone or create something that doesn't seem to be working for either of you can be worse.
Supply chain issues
- This year has been hard. The pandemic set in motion a supply deficit that we are going to be dealing with for the foreseeable future. Many things have been hard to find but this is an opportunity to pivot and make some changes. Your favorite centerpiece boxes aren't available in a big box craft store? Try to find a local woodworker who is able to work with you. Instead of focusing on what is unavailable, let your mind wander to possible solutions or substitutions.
Someone commenting on your business social media pages to tag another maker
- So frustrating. First time offense, I usually just hide the comment and write down the name of the person who commented. Second time, delete and block.
Another maker publicly asking where you got your materials or asking how to make your best selling pieces
- If educating makers is not a part of your business plan, neither of these things are appropriate to be asked in the comments on your social media pages. Message the maker privately to either provide the resources requested or to let them know you are unable to do so. Stay polite though! You never know when your business might pivot to include teaching other makers.
Conversations with your partner (not business partner) as your business starts to take over more and more space in your home
- Sola wood flower businesses require a lot of product. Flowers, greenery/fillers, paint, containers, shipping boxes, finished pieces...the list goes on and on. My husband likes to say that my crafting process is a liquid. It fills whatever space I am in (which may have meant an entire house at one point but I'm working on it!). Just be sure to have open communication with your partner about the space your products will need.
Going into business to not work a 9-5 job and instead working 24/7
- It's important to set boundaries but it is also hard to turn off your brain. When you own your business, ideas and inspiration can come at any time. Enjoy the ride!
How many of these situations have you faced? What are some other uncomfortable scenarios we didn't mention here? Let us know in the comments while I go get the popcorn ready!