What’s in Store–the Busyness of Bizness

I think I know what Wile E. Coyote feels like out there in mid-air just past the edge of the precipice.

But I’m not looking down. Not yet. I’ve committed myself now. And old Wile would agree it’s not the falling that’s so bad but the landing. We’ll worry about that another day.

I have ordered shipping boxes, Clearbags and envelopes for the Photo-Notecards. I will be replenishing low or missing stock within a week. (I recently discovered that five bundles of 50 cards were relieved from my stock box that I took to a couple of events this fall).

I have set up (on hold) storefronts via Ecwid template on WordPress and via Etsy. People are knocking at the door via Ecwid at least, with 40-50 visits a day, which would represent at least a few sales if the store was open.

Alas, my arms and legs are churning in empty space, having gone beyond the limits of solid ground beneath me. Now what?

I am having to think through the actual DOING of the deed, which means, among other things, having a designated inviolate PLACE to organize and process and prepare for shipping. My six foot folding plastic display table in the ANNex is my only option. ANN is not going to like that. Disapproval is my second skin.

And maybe even a greater concern going forward: the record-keeping for taxes, inventory tracking and fulfillment will be far more elaborate than the simple cobbled Google spreadsheet that has sufficed for the past few years of direct sales for books and cards.

There is no shortage of advice, free downloads and for-sale Etsy management software (Excel spreadsheets mostly I guess).

[su_note note_color=”#bad5eb”]I have just begun to dig down into all that, and would be most grateful if anyone can speak from experience towards a method or tool a novice shop-keeper might use right out of the box. [/su_note]

So I’m just flapping my skinny arms in the air trying to stay aloft long enough to find a grip on the other side of this divide. I would really like–eventually when a system is in place–for this to be enjoyable.

I really do think the note cards will find a receptive audience beyond the hyper-local exposure they’ve gotten to date. Time will tell. Even so, it is quite possible you might see that little puff of dust at the bottom of the canyon how that tells the story ends, even while I hope and am working fervently to avoid the pitfalls that lead there!

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. I will be buying some….and I will try to spread the word to others. I don’t think you’ll land too hard. Remember, wily coyote always got up and carried on after his fall(s).