Thursday, 11 September 2014

the call for urgent services on stingy budgets...

I am just thinking out loud.. This isn't to offend anyone.
But, why does everyone on every forum post the need for event planning, gifts, party favors and other things for birthdays.. Baby showers and bridal showers.. As well as anniversaries URGENTLY. I mean.. Don't these things get marked on the calendar ahead of time? Why the 11th hour?
And further.. Why must it be on a budget or inexpensive if it is urgently required. Someone's going to go into overdrive to get stuff sorted for you.. Is going to double time the efforts because someone else was lazy... And further it's probably a bespoke service!
Why do we hold back on paying where the money is due? To be wholely honest, I stopped bargaining with shop keepers and street vendors about 3 years ago. Unless I feel like the person is evidently taking me for a ride, I pay my bill as requested.
I love that our craft and design market has saturated and grown... But it's unfortunate that the psyche of consumers hasn't. Those who know the value of your work deserve to own it.. I didn't mention price.. I used the word value. And I didn't use the word afford, I used the word own... Both for a reason.

To My Bright Star

I do and will always love you.
For you are my brightest star,
My light to flutter filled days.
My greatest blessing,
For you transform my world in a thousand different ways.


Friday, 5 September 2014

socia media.. easypaisa.. and other things

Often home run businesses.. Especially those that grow as a hobby are targeted to speculation and consumer rights.. One bad review.. Weighs often more than 10 good ones. And sometimes you have to go beyond the left and right to move forward.

Some of us who work from home do so out of passion. We brought our work to where it is.. With time.. Tireless efforts and immense thought processes. Some of us didn't borrow ideas from the community.. Our proceedings.. Our structure.. It evolved as time passed.

I write here now with an insight... to be able to share why parts of my structure at Firefly are the way they are.

Why I won't offer cash on delivery.
Cash on delivery is more expensive than courier services, firstly. Second, some companies have a billing cycle, in which payments are released in waiting periods. For a business like mine, dealing with smaller items and gifts... We run on revolving amounts. We clear our bills and make our purchases as and when needed. And we rely on payments to run. It's a proceeding. We don't process requests til payments are received. Given the volumes of queries and customers, it would be quite difficult to accommodate several hundred unpaid orders a month.

I also do not believe everyone is as honest about work as I may be.. And am not really ready to deal with customers who decline their orders... I am not going to foot the return bill and I will not have orders processed be returned just because. It's just a perspective. A lot of my fellow colleagues and crafters offer these facilities. They're convenient.. They're hassle free. I however look at things from another perspective and can't quite deal with this considering all the stuff currently on my plate.

Why can't I take easyPaisa?
Imagine. You like an item online.. You pay for it via easyPaisa.. Simple. You wait. Now there are 50 others like you, who pay via easyPaisa. Each at separate times. Each with separate requirements. In my average day.. I hardly have time to sit down and eat properly and pray.. Let alone step out and collect easyPaisa round the clock. If I attend to this all the time.. I'd be taking away from whatever little I have to design..plan..correspond or craft.

I do consider it on orders of minimum 4500/- simply because I'm okay stepping out to acquire an amount for an order that's appropriate in value. For every 200 and 400 rupee request it just doesn't work for me.. At Firefly at least. I understand customers feel the same way about going to the bank... But anywhere on the world abroad.. You pay for your items first. Then they deliver in 6 to 8 weeks!

Why I avoid artwork and images that don't belong to me.
Tomorrow, I do not in any way want to be held accountable for infringing on someone else's intellectual property or artwork. It's just not mine.. To use.. To sell.. To become popular for. I've always held Firefly close to me. It roots from my journal. I would want it to project my ideas.. My creativity. I had folks request TFIOS inspired pieces. I sat to work and developed a few designs. My take on it. I didn't want to use the blue and black clouds or chalkboard. I gave my galactic scrapbook touch... MY approach to it.

Why some things sell and others don't.

Why I have to put rules in place.
There are too many people I've come to know through my work.. And I've learned that even friends will withdraw from a commitment. Whether an order.. Or a stall booking. It doesn't bother me that who's going to buy it now. It matters to me that someone else could have availed my time.. My design process.. Or availed my platform.. To market their work.. Prepare themselves in accordance with time frames and found success. I can't bend the rules. I do it for one person.. I'm expected to for everyone.

My social media presence.
Going back to the number of people I know and the 'spotlight'... I prefer keeping some parts of my life exclusive to me. Maybe on me time. I systematically go through my mails.. I have particular paperwork I need present when doing so. If I haven't responded I may not have access to my data to avoid missing someone's request or booking.

I don't prefer using the FB profile for business transactions. It's great to share learning.. To connect and network.. But I like my work convos and discussions on my work platform. Keeps me from forgetting requests or orders.

Just because I liked a status.. Or shared a post off my cell phone.. Does not mean I'm available for a deep end discussion on why watering plants is integral.. Or how I need to reply to a work query because I'm online. I work round the clock. I work a lot. And there are times when I'm honestly in the middle of a mindset and cannot switch gears. Maybe I'm contemplating times with my grandmother at a point... And I don't want to respond post 1 am. You wait. You sort of have to become firm because not everyone will always be on the same wave length as you.

Work delays and circumstances.
Some of my work is outsourced.. And there are times I schedule something.. And life has other plans. Technical glitches... Horrid weather.. Or God forbid.. Civil unrest. You just roll with the times. Go with the flow!

I don't see how you're running a business or a show when you can't reply to someone.
I'm just going to smile at this one :) I don't feel the need to justify anything here. Must have done something right to be where I am. Alhamdulillah. I'll just say that some people feel really at ease or inspired meeting with me. And some just completely put off. I respect both. I just can't accommodate everyone or chase after things all the time. I get tired. I feel human. And that's a normal thing?

I'm still learning everyday. I'm growing... Each of us should. :)

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