I think the reason more people don’t go into business for themselves is the insomnia. It seems that after 5 or 6 hours, I wake up with squirrels in my head, going round and round and round, and I finally just get up and start the day.

I have had businesses before. I had a furniture upholstery business in Hinsdale, IL in the early 80’s. “Borton Upholstery” (my maiden name) started out as a way to make money on the side–I had learned the business in high school–and ended up supporting me and my new spouse through his masters degree.

Then I had a plant propagation nursery, which I had to sell when we moved here to our current location. Both businesses started small and grew to respectable size. When I say “small” I mean with just a few hundred dollars, which bought the upholstery equipment and some stock plants.

This business is different. It is called i-n-v-e-n-t-o-r-y. With Borton Upholstery, the client picked the fabric, I ordered it, they paid for it and I installed it. The warehouse dealt with the “i” word. In my nursery, my inventory grew on my stock plants. If I didn’t use it one year, I could use it the next–along with thousands of it’s little brothers and sisters.

So no I am playing with the big(ger) boys…I have to figure out what colors/prints will sell, order and (gasp) pay for it, then hope it sells. And if someone wants something with black on it, should I buy just a few yards, risking running out and having to buy more at a higher price, or do I buy a bolt, risking having it sit there unwanted? So my risk quotient is different in this business.

Add to that the research involved in every step: the possibility of adding support staff (independent contractor vs employees); repair, maintenance and replacement of machinery (which overlock machine will give the least trouble over the long haul); setting up an accounting system that fits my needs (which accounting software, then the learning curve to get it going); finding wholesale fabric (the best price/service); shipping (the best way to pay for postage online, research and order a postage scale…); what to do with my desktop that abruptly died yesterday (fix, replace, if so, which one…); marketing (where, how, when); you get the picture. It seems that every decision (and it seems that there are a LOT of them) involves research, risk, capital and a learning curve. Hence the squirrels. Oh, and then occasionally I get to spend a little bit of time actually MAKING sleeves  🙂

So without further ado, I will end this depressing post and go feed my squirrels. They are getting hungry…

Despite how it sounds, loving what I do…

sleevemom–I would put upholstery and nursery photos with this blog if I had access to them. They are on my desktop   :-/    I will try to add them later…


About Linda

I am a learner. A teacher. A questioner. A lover of nature and of the big picture of life. Why and how and what if are questions that I constantly ask, since I am too lazy to do things the hard way and too out-of-the-box to do them the way they have always been done! I love growing things, building things and helping people define and reach their goals.
This entry was posted in How to start a business, You're Getting Warmer. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Insomnia

  1. LaRee says:

    Considering the weight of your sleeves, you should get by with a cheap scale from walmart, that’s all I’ve ever had, even for the candles, the larger packages I weighed in pieces, it always got me a close enough weight that the post office/UPS never complained.

  2. Lin Ennis says:

    Hi Linda,

    I’ve really enjoyed reading your blog. This entry about business comparisons is so well put together, I had to pause and comment. I started in business in 1988, and haven’t had a full-time job since — or any “job” except what I’ve created for myself in over 10 years. For the most part, I do not have inventory (half a box of Let Your Mortgage Make You Rich! which I am selling one at a time on Amazon).

    And, like you, I just made the switch to Windows 7 and am learning which of my programs is NOT compatible and must be repurchased in a later version! My new computer – last June – conked in 60 days. I had a store loaner extended warranty, but the loaner they gave me, though new, was incompatible with the hard drive clone I’d made. After a few days, I went to the local Staples and bought another laptop. Good thing, because first store kept my computer 5 weeks! Yikes! I now have four external hard drives – lots of duplication – and no time to figure out what to get rid of. (Love my new Passport drive!)

    It would be fun to compare notes. So thanks for FaceBook tagging me this morning to get me over to your site.

    How about some up-to-date pictures of you and your family and operation on the page?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s