I Think I Am Overwhelmed!

Business By sweetlayers Updated 25 Jun 2010 , 12:38pm by minicuppie

sweetlayers Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:04pm
post #1 of 19

Over the past 2 months I have had a series of blunders that are making me doubt myself and my abilities. In addition, my clients are noticing! I'm not doing it on purpose, but I think I am flaking out.

1. In April, I put a lovely set of books together for a graduation party and the cake fell completely apart!
2. On two separate ocassions in May, I made two beautiful cakes that completely melted while in delivery transit and had to issue refund after refund.
3. I have inadvertently missed 3 bridal consultations because although I verbally agreed, I never submitted them to my online calender.
4. Was reprimanded by a client whose email address was mistyped and he never received his invoice to pay in advance.
5. I keep missing client calls and when I call them back 10 minutes later, they have booked another vendor.

It seems to be one debacle after another after another and I don't know what to do about it. I am usually so business oriented and I now feel that I am turning into a flake who can't concentrate on one thing without messing something else up.

I just don't know what to do or where I have gone wrong. But it seems I am having a hard time picking myself up. icon_cry.gif

Someone please help? Is this burnout?

18 replies
anasazi17 Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:14pm
post #2 of 19

Hello!

I am sorry for all of the challenges you have been having lately. It doesn't sound like burn out but more of an organization situation to me. I felt the same way a while back and realized I needed to get a serious plan to how I operated my business. From phone calls to e-mails I put a plan in place. Even down to my weekly to-do's...everything has a plan. Being organized to the smallest detail will help you feel more confident w/customers and with your cakes. It takes a lot to keep it all together...but you'll feel great once you have a plan!! HTH

sweetlayers Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:28pm
post #3 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by anasazi17

Hello!

I am sorry for all of the challenges you have been having lately. It doesn't sound like burn out but more of an organization situation to me. I felt the same way a while back and realized I needed to get a serious plan to how I operated my business. From phone calls to e-mails I put a plan in place. Even down to my weekly to-do's...everything has a plan. Being organized to the smallest detail will help you feel more confident w/customers and with your cakes. It takes a lot to keep it all together...but you'll feel great once you have a plan!! HTH




Great observation. Lately I have been feeling "out of the loop" when it comes to juggling it all. Would you mind sharing your organizational tips?

mom2spunkynbug Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:35pm
post #4 of 19

Hi Sweetlayers,

Sounds like you need a HUG!

I have to ask, are you doing this as your only full time job, or do you work somewhere else as well? Because this sounded a lot like me recently! I was working part time and also trying to run my cake business out of my home. I finally quit my night job, and then just recently stopped working at the 2nd job, so now this is my only job again. The cake before last I was SO disappointed with! It came out fine, but it was not my best work & I wanted to make it SO much better than it was. But I didn't have to issue any refunds (ouch!).

Since then (leaving both jobs) the family & I took a mini-vacation (a weekend long) and it felt SO nice! The first thing I did was go through all my emails and phone calls and get those straightened out - I missed out on a lot! So I know how you feel!

Anasazi is right - it's more about organization than burn out. (But if you are working multiple jobs, it could be burn out too!) Get a plan together. I now try to answer emails as SOON as I read them. Call people back as soon as I get their voicemail...or in your case, have your phone with you at all times! Brides are not patient!! Plan your work days...

(for example...
Mondays:
9am - 10am: Respond to emails & phone calls
10am - 11am: Plan out cakes for the week, ingredients & supplies needed
11am - 12pm: Make all buttercream.......etc, )

That is just an example of part of a daily routine/plan you could start. I found I need to do this. Treat it as a regular 9-5 job. Do you work from your home? I think it's so easy to just put work aside when you're working from home, because you are, well....at home!

Good luck to you. Hope this helps!

anasazi17 Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:44pm
post #5 of 19

Here are some of the things I did to help me to get better organized icon_smile.gif

1.) I changed my message on my phone (when I wasn't doing it full time) to say: Thank you for calling, all calls will be returned within 24 hours, if you'd like to email - list business email. This helped hold me accountable and let the customer know I would call them w/in 24 hours...they would be less likely to call the next shop on the list. It really helped.

2.) I got a HUGE calendar, hung it on the wall, attached a pen and wrote down every single order or prospect. This way it was in my face all the time. I also put them in a personal planner for when I was out an about.

3.) I made a generic order sheet that I filled out even when people were just calling to get info...I'd get name, #, date, servings requested, as well as their ideas for the cake. I filled all of these in a binder with monthly & daily tabs. This way I could also print & file corresponding emails.

4.) I tried really hard to get an email address for every customer so I could have a written record of every single order--they could verify details etc.

5.) I planned my weeks very specifically. Monday-Off; Tuesday-Sam's Club, Make all GP items for weeks cakes; Tues/Wed-Bake & Make Icing; Wed/Thurs--Torte, level, stack & begin decorating; Friday-Finish Decorating, Sat/Sun Deliver.

I hope this will help...it really helped me to "keep it all together"

Jenny

sweetlayers Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:55pm
post #6 of 19

Yes, I work a full time job plus do cakes for supplimental income. My children are 3 and 4 and I am married as well. So yes, I do have a lot to juggle, but I'm not trying to make excuses. I just need a new perspective and better plan I guess.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 4:59pm
post #7 of 19

Wow, I don't think saying that you are married and have three kids (c'mon, we all know that having a dh is like having another kid LOL!!! icon_lol.gif ) is making excuses for yourself! You are a very busy lady!! (I am married and have a 12 and 8 year old.)

Just take some time and write up a plan...I'm sure you'll feel much better after that!

Bluehue Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 5:07pm
post #8 of 19

Not wishing to sound too personnal, but have you considerd that it might be something along the lines of a health issue.
If this has only started over the last two months - could you be run down -(burnout as you call it) in which case this can lead to many women having a UTI.
Believe it or not this is one of the main causes for women to feel vague/overwhelmed/forgetfull/tired/teary etc etc etc.

We brush the feelings aside and think *get on with it* but in actual fact we don't get any better - even with a well planned out calander or plenty of sleep.

Lack of Iron can also be a cause of how you are feeling.

Please, don't just dismiss your feelings as *forgetfull/blunders* - there can very well be an underlying matter - that can easily be fixed by a visit to your GP.

Perhaps you work full time and thus you are under the pimp so to speak - but if this is happening more often than not - i would make an appointment with my GP.
Without our health we can't begin to get our lives sorted.

Again - hope you don't this too personnal subject to touch on - its just another line of thought for you to ponder over.

Do take care and i hope you are feeling much happier soon


Bluehue. icon_smile.gif

revel Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 5:14pm
post #9 of 19

bluehue i was going to suggest heaith issues as well but i was thinking it sounded like maybe sweetlayers was pregnant!

GGFan Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 5:21pm
post #10 of 19

Yeah, take some time to regroup, organize and plan out things. You will feel much better. Good Luck!!

Bluehue Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 5:24pm
post #11 of 19

Such a touchy subject (health issues) to touch on - on an open forum - but hopefully i have come across polite and not to forward or rude.

It did cross my mind also Revel - but Sweetlayers didn't mention that she could be.

Hoping this thread doesn't go pear shape bcause of my post.

Bluehue. icon_smile.gif

sweetlayers Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 6:18pm
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by revel

bluehue i was going to suggest heaith issues as well but i was thinking it sounded like maybe sweetlayers was pregnant!




I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant although I did have a weird dream about being a surrogate to a cocker spaniel last night. Hence another reason I think I'm loosing it!

Bluehue Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 6:23pm
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetlayers

Quote:
Originally Posted by revel

bluehue i was going to suggest heaith issues as well but i was thinking it sounded like maybe sweetlayers was pregnant!



I'm pretty sure I'm not pregnant although I did have a weird dream about being a surrogate to a cocker spaniel last night. Hence another I think I'm loosing it!




icon_surprised.gif - thats rather spooky icon_wink.gif -
think i would be toddling off to the doctors for a check up. thumbs_up.gif

Bluehue.

sweetlayers Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 6:23pm
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

Not wishing to sound too personnal, but have you considerd that it might be something along the lines of a health issue.
If this has only started over the last two months - could you be run down -(burnout as you call it) in which case this can lead to many women having a UTI.
Believe it or not this is one of the main causes for women to feel vague/overwhelmed/forgetfull/tired/teary etc etc etc.

We brush the feelings aside and think *get on with it* but in actual fact we don't get any better - even with a well planned out calander or plenty of sleep.

Lack of Iron can also be a cause of how you are feeling.

Please, don't just dismiss your feelings as *forgetfull/blunders* - there can very well be an underlying matter - that can easily be fixed by a visit to your GP.

Perhaps you work full time and thus you are under the pimp so to speak - but if this is happening more often than not - i would make an appointment with my GP.
Without our health we can't begin to get our lives sorted.

Again - hope you don't this too personnal subject to touch on - its just another line of thought for you to ponder over.

Do take care and i hope you are feeling much happier soon


Bluehue. icon_smile.gif




Hmmm... Interesting...

OK, I read up on the UTI info that I saw online, however, it only refers to memory loss and UTI's with elderly adults. So I am just going to be prayerful that this is not my problem. However, I thank you so much for your suggestion and the connection about health. thumbs_up.gif

Bluehue Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 6:37pm
post #15 of 19

Your welcome - and what your read re the elderly is oh so true - after nursing for many years - i did see it often in younger women also.
In the elderly it certainly causes them to be disorientated and confused/vague

It wouldn't hurt to have yourself checked - and ask for an Iron level check also

Do take care.

Bluehue.

SweetSullivans Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 8:05pm
post #16 of 19

Along the lines of it being a heath issue, you might want to have your thyroid levels checked. Sounds like you have quite a full plate with children, work & cakes. I know that several years ago I was going through a stressful time with family and work and it affected my thyroid causing Hashimotos Disease (underactive thyroid). It took quite a while to realize there was anything wrong because it came on slowly. I did have problems with memory and forgetting things. I had always had an excellent memory so it was very frustrating. It can cause foggy thinking and other symptoms. Just a suggestion.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 23 Jun 2010 , 4:17pm
post #17 of 19

Sweetlayers...you'll never guess what happened to me!

I got a call this morning at 8:30...asking about a wedding cake. I called her back at 11:00 and she said she already found a friend of a friend to do it for her! LOL! OMG icon_cry.gif

sweetlayers Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 8:25pm
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2spunkynbug

Sweetlayers...you'll never guess what happened to me!

I got a call this morning at 8:30...asking about a wedding cake. I called her back at 11:00 and she said she already found a friend of a friend to do it for her! LOL! OMG icon_cry.gif




I know exactly how you feel! This has been my life for about 2 months now!

minicuppie Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 12:38pm
post #19 of 19

Hire a PA .
Before you start moaning about the money, hear me out.
If you have someone to take over the list making and organizing, your mind will be free to concentrate on baking and designing and decorating. You will be able to churn out enough product to pay the assistant AND make a nice profit.
If you are really lucky, you may find a part time student that is interested in the business and wants to learn the art of gumpaste flowers, hehehe.

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