> It's not about corners. We don't cut strings. August 01 2014
In some ways, the hang tags for our new Barrel-Aged Honey were a turning point.
Now, these aren't any old piece of paper with information, mind you. They are the Cadillac of hangtags, complete with scoring, a hole punched in the corner and an elastic string that goes through the hole and — get this! — the string is tied in a little knot.
These hang tags cost an extravagant 24 cents each.
If you have a small business and are interested in such details, it's interesting to know we could have gotten the tags for half that.
But, well, there were little preference boxes on the order sheet, with questions like "Would you like these scored?" Our tags fold in half, like a little book, but we thought, "Oh no, we can do that ourselves."
Then the question, "Would you like holes punched in the corners?" Well, we have a hole puncher, don't we?
Then they asked about the strings.
"Would you like us to cut and attach the elastic strings for your hang tags? If so, how long do you want them?"
Wait a minute. Did they say "cut and attach," meaning that the hang tags would arrive in turn-key condition, ready to put on the bottles?
Did they say, "Friend, you won't have to sit up late one night, measuring strings, feeding them through holes and tying knots in them"?!
You see, we've grown a lot lately. While there was a time when we did everything ourselves, some of the best advice we've gotten is to learn to let go.
In fact, it's easy to micro-manage your small business, but it's not always best. It's important, we've been told, to find your strengths and use them. Equally important is to identify the activities someone else can do.
And let them.
> Not easy being Queen February 13 2014
My “Wizard Of Oz” theory came to mind yesterday.
We often joke that being small business owners is like dashing around in front of and behind a curtain, doing all kinds of jobs, wearing all kinds of hats.
The “wizard” of the famous movie was a ticket taker, lever puller, wizard and even, if you will, a life coach.
Between Jeff and me, our responsibilities range from keeping bees, hammering together hive equipment, harvesting honey, bottling honey, graphic design, photography, branding, accounting — and sometimes even sales!
So, imagine my delight to get a letter yesterday addressed to the “Complaint Department.”
“Well, that’s a new one,” I thought, then opened the letter, wondering what the head of the newly formed Complaint Department should wear to work each day.
It seems that a customer in Washington received one of our honey sampler crates for Christmas, but one of the jars leaked. She kindly asked for a replacement, followed with best wishes and blessings from God.
We sent her a replacement the next day, along with two beeswax lip balms (since people in Washington probably need them more than anybody) and a handwritten note.
I’m hoping that’ll be the end of the Complaint Department, but with growth come other challenges and more hats to wear.
For example, I got a call the other day from a potential buyer who condescendingly asked, “Are you in a position to authorize samples being sent to us?”
I wanted to say, “Not only am I in a position to, as in standing over boxes and tape, but I am The Queen Bee and can authorize anything I want.”
Instead, with a wink at my dog, I said, “I think we can take care of that for you.”