Part 14. Float, pivot, scale
What does it mean to float, pivot or scale?
To float means your boat is in the water. You're enjoying the journey, you're prepared, and you're living within your means. This is the float stage of being a paper florist, and I was in it for several years. I was making a small profit and enjoying being part of a creative community.
To pivot means to change course. After making direct sales with my online website (I had a form soliciting commissions), I decided to apply my expertise in teaching to the field. It was a risk, so I started very slowly and with zero budget. Teaching online became my primary market. I still take commissions, and I also have work in a gallery. These are secondary markets, not my primary source of income.
To scale means to grow. When my online school began to grow, I took on paying for more services and casual labor. I wanted to create better learning outcomes with universal design. I spent more on expenses, and experienced greater net profit. The last two years have been about scaling. I chose to scale because for the first time, I had the time to analyze how making these changes would increase my community's growth. If other people were to learn from me in a big way, I had to make a big change. I pay for captions, design, translations, and editing. And as you know, I hate to risk my money, so when I scaled, I also cut expenses. I stopped paying for Squarespace and Facebook ads and focused on Teachable and Instagram. Austerity and prosperity are intricately linked.
Whichever stage you are in, let your own personal desires dictate how you move forward. For me that means no debts, and quality time with my family. I am fortunate in that I have made a profit and my expenses are very specific. I am not the primary breadwinner in our family.
Don't try to keep up with a peer on social media. First of all, that's ignoring your own unique talents and dynamic of creating and offering products and services. Second of all, it's exhausting.
Float in the pond you feel comfy in! Pivoting and scaling often require investment. My personal choice is to pivot and scale without debt. For me it has been a slow process, but the ponds are slowly getting larger.
In 2016, my profit reflected my experience. My net profit, solely from paper-flower based business, was $1,200 US dollars.
In 2019, my profit reflected my experience. My net profit, solely from paper flower-based business, was $16,000 US dollars.
Due to my financial prudence, I have no debt associated with my business.
It's okay to grow slow.
Thank you for reading my revised guide! This concludes the second edition.
Amity Katharine Libby, April 30th 2020
The following sections include reviewing the guide to give me feedback, connecting with me so I can give you feedback, and printing the tips to have in your work area at home.