It’s the end of January, so I said I would write another blog post today focusing on how this month has been from a small business perspective.
January is not an easy month for online retailers (I say that like I’ve been a retailer for years rather than months), but seriously, after the flurry of Christmas orders and the busyness of the run up to the big day, January can be a bit barren. So to counteract that, I wanted to write a blog post about the things I am grateful for this January.
Firstly, I did my first Donation Day on 6th January. This was a huge milestone for me and my Wrapped in Kindness journey. I will be doing Donation Day once a quarter, to pay over the donation amount for the previous quarters sales. So when I did the first one this month, I genuinely felt so much pride donating the relevant amounts to each of the 11 charity partners (https://wrappedinkindness.ie/charity-partners/). As this was only my first Donation Day, the amounts were not huge, but they were something. It was a start. It allowed me to really see how Wrapped in Kindness and it’s amazing customers, can truly make a difference to these charity partners. It showed me the potential to reach a level of giving back that has rarely been done by a small business in Ireland, especially at the start, when costs are high and volumes are low.
The second thing I am really grateful for this January is starting to wrap my head around the whole world of search engine optimisation (SEO). I had a really good one-to-one phone call with a mentor from the Waterford LEO www.localenterprise.ie/waterford and he really helped to de-mystify the whole process of SEO and show me the path forward to be able to work on this myself in the background. I still have a very long way to go in order to actually implement what I’ve learned, but I really feel like it’s do-able now, which I didn’t 2 weeks ago. For any other Irish small business owners, I would urge you to have a look at the training offered by your Local Enterprise Office and speak to them about what resources are available to help you and your small business.
Thirdly, I am grateful for the major shout out I got from a lovely lady called Katrina on her Instagram account @vintageirishkat – she has 43k followers and it really gave Wrapped in Kindness some great exposure and led to a big boost in our Instagram followers. She is a great supporter of Irish small business. It really makes a difference to small businesses when people like, comment and share on social media and it costs nothing.
Fourthly, I have been doing some work with a lovely visibility coach called Kate O’Dwyer. I am working on getting more comfortable with my own voice and being seen. It is slow and sometimes frustrating work but I feel I had a couple of small breakthroughs in the month, thanks to Kate’s guidance, and the way she creates a safe environment of gentle encouragement.
And lastly, such a simple thing, but I am so grateful for all the beautiful sunrises I managed to see in January.
I am not an early bird. I could or would never get up early enough to see a Summer sunrise but in January, I see them nearly every morning and I genuinely appreciate that. I focus on this rather than the dark evenings that people like to complain about so much at this time of the year.
So that’s it – my January gratitude round up done. There is always something positive to appreciate in being a small business owner, even if it’s not the obvious one of “new sales volumes”. I find that being able to notice and appreciate all the small wins, keeps me motivated to continue to take daily actions towards realising my vision for Wrapped in Kindness.