|Posted on 5 September, 2017 at 0:25|
A few months ago, I was ridiculously busy, growing flowers, renovating a house, dyeing and selling ribbon. And while all of those things were great to do,I realised that I couldn't do them all. Thankfully the house renovation is in its final stages so that one could go on the 'never again' list (I may write another blog about that one). However, the rest of life was moving at such a pace that time off wasn't happening, and even after dropping a lot of the inessentials there was too much to fit into one day/week/month/life.
So, something had to change.
I'm a bit of an accidental businesswoman, but I'm very happy working for myself and get great satisfaction from paying my way from money I've grown or made. In my past working life I've done many things and always ended up managing people, not generally from choice but as part of my job role. From the age of twenty one, I've managed hospital wards, volunteers, nursing homes, organised teams and projects of all descriptions. It could have been quite straightforward to just take on employees and grow the business. But then I would have been a manager again, with other people doing the 'doing' - the bit I Iike best. I already have freelance support from lovely Anna which meant there was double the work done in the time, but although she willingly helped with ribbonmaking her heart is definitiely in flowers, and I also wanted to do the growing most of all.
When I said 'I'm going to sell the ribbonmaking business' the response was always 'How are you going to do that?' Good Question!
I did a bit of online searching on 'How to sell a business' and picked up a few tips but really most of the information was about multi-national conglomorations and although I have sent ribbon to the Netherlands, Denmark and Jersey, I didn't really fit into that bracket. I'd run the ribbonmaking business as part of Mill Pond Flower Farm, always intending to set up a more separate identity but had never found the time.
I asked myself what the business consisted of and came up with a list - equipment, stock, expertise, customers, the Heirloom Silk brand and goodwill/reputation. That's what I would be selling, a three year headstart for a small business.
It's always hard to put a value on your own worth and say 'Look I did this and it's worth something!' so I hesitated and deliberated. But in a braver moment, I wrote the previous blog and posted onto Instagram asking who might be interested in running their own artisan silk ribbon business. And the response was brilliant, from customers who were so supportive, and from people interested in the business. I was concerned about scams and timewasters and there were none, people can be just marvellous sometimes, so genuine and honest.
Last Sunday, I handed the business over to Anne and Lydia, who have already set about making it bigger and better, doing the things that needed to happen - giving it a website ( www.heirloomsilkribbons.com ) its own Instagram account and much better photos. It looks fantastic and orders are flooding in.
And I've had time to write a blog about it, dig up some potatoes for tea and ponder about how it was I managed to set up a business and sell it as a going concern. A bit of a suprise, but a real achievment.