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  • FIRST POST
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 25th Jul 16, 7:16 PM
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    Bobarella
    Budget Wars - A New Hope (with apologies to George Lucas)
    • #1
    • 25th Jul 16, 7:16 PM
    Budget Wars - A New Hope (with apologies to George Lucas) 25th Jul 16 at 7:16 PM
    A New Hope is a very fitting title for my first ever DFW diary. For the first time in around 18 months I really have hope. I am one of those people who has always seen September as the start of the year. Because of back to school I suppose. And this year is the first September I can honestly say I am 100% looking forward to in years.

    My situation is complicated but to simplify, I took the enormous step to not only become self employed but to sell my family home to finance my new business in 2011. I turned my back on a very well paid career to go out on my own.
    In that period I have had many challenges. Gone to hell and back owing wages and HMRC. Dont worry the wages were paid back long ago as quickly as I could. And I repaid HMRC.
    The stress of being responsible for other peoples lives is intense if you've never been there. At my lowest point I deactivated my voicemail to avoid the energy company being able to contact me.

    At one point I owed around £40,000 all business related. Primarily on a loan, but some CC.

    Time and again I bashed my head against my mental bars and wondered if I could physically carry on. But I did. Through hell and high waters. Quite literally in fact....

    This last year has not been easy. I worked as the sole employee of my business during my entire pregnancy with DD and went into labour whilst still at work. When my baby was 4 months old I got seriously ill and spent a week in hospital. My lovely FIL was diognosed with the big C 2 months ago. And life has wobbled along precariously as always.

    The reason for my new hope is I finally made a big decision. To stop the business I am running & build another. It wont be easy but it will get me out of the hole I am in & allow me to take on paid employment around the new business. I have 4 days left of my old situation and then good night vienna!

    I love MSE. It and the people of it have been such a comfort. And now I am hoping to use this diary as a place for me to record my baby steps towards a life less stressful, adrenaline filled & chaotic.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bobarella; 25-07-2016 at 7:34 PM.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
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Page 77
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 14th Apr 17, 9:51 PM
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    kirtsypoos
    Fantastic news that your rates have been reduced. £62.50 a month is a nice reduction but hopefully it will be even less to pay
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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 14th Apr 17, 10:31 PM
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    Bobarella
    Fantastic news that your rates have been reduced. £62.50 a month is a nice reduction but hopefully it will be even less to pay
    Originally posted by kirtsypoos
    Thanks Kirsty
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 14th Apr 17, 10:32 PM
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    Bobarella
    Wow Bob - your life is such a rollercoaster. I know I've said it before but there's no way that I could cope with that level of ups and downs. You are my hero.
    Congratulations on all of the extra interest and bookings, I'm thrilled that your hard work is paying off. And congratulations (I think) on the rent/rates reduction. I'm ashamed to say it but it mostly goes over my head.
    Long may the good stuff continue.
    Originally posted by crazy_cat_lady
    Thanks so much Cat.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
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    • hugglemonster
    • By hugglemonster 17th Apr 17, 11:44 AM
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    hugglemonster
    Bob, I'm so glad that the rates have been reduced and bookings are sorting themselves out. Sorry that things have been so stressful for you when you are obviously a hard worker.

    Hope you're having a lovely weekend with your family xx
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    • f0xh0les
    • By f0xh0les 18th Apr 17, 8:51 PM
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    f0xh0les
    Just caught up on the rollercoaster ride that is Bob's World.

    You make me tired just reading it!.. or maybe because we got woken up on the boat at 5 this morning and I have not had a nap yet...that might be it........... yawning as I type.
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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 19th Apr 17, 9:59 AM
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    Bobarella
    Bob, I'm so glad that the rates have been reduced and bookings are sorting themselves out. Sorry that things have been so stressful for you when you are obviously a hard worker.

    Hope you're having a lovely weekend with your family xx
    Originally posted by hugglemonster
    Thanks Huggle.

    Just caught up on the rollercoaster ride that is Bob's World.

    You make me tired just reading it!.. or maybe because we got woken up on the boat at 5 this morning and I have not had a nap yet...that might be it........... yawning as I type.
    Originally posted by f0xh0les
    Oh no 5am
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Apr 17, 8:44 AM
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    Bobarella
    Morning All

    Time is flying by this week. I just want to stop it!

    Wealth

    * Not good at all! It really is contrary. I have the most enquiries I've had ever coming in. It feels like momentum is there in spades. And yet my coffers are empty, on our side and the business.

    * Why? I am waiting on a client who booked just before the Easter break to pay up. It's annoying to have to chase but it will be a week tommorow. My TCS and C's cover that in theory....Next week is the busiest in terms of lots of different bookings, since we started. But with that comes collecting in lots of little bits from people afterwards.

    * I have had four enquiries from the big platform I'm in now. Two I had to decline immediately due to timings or length of the enquiry. Two are ongoing, I'm doing viewings between now and Monday. These are in theory big money. But I feel very dubious. I can't see how to balance a long stay booking with my overall fledgling business. I think longer than 1 month is too long. Will be discussing that at the views.

    * Thought I'd found another decent chunk of work last week but they couldn't organise it within the group they were booking for.

    * The Easter break has hit me hard. I didn't land a single booking in that time. People start to wind down for days before hand and take days after to get back to business again. I used to find this in my last business. Any change in the routine and it hits tiny businesses so hard. I received 4 enquiries on Tuesday. But none of them has booked yet.

    * In terms of enquiries and bookings I'm already info July. Which makes me feel the year is running away with me. It sounds great but it's just the odd day here and there. As usual what I am finding is the weekends go miles ahead. But I have acres of week day time available.

    * This month I got lucky managing to land enough big chunks to pay the rent but I am currently behind on my rates and energy bill. I have enough coming in to cover one, but not the other. At the moment. It could all change again. Really all I need is for a few of these enquiries to firm up and I'd be a lot less worried. It is probably just a long quiet patch. But with the next bank holiday on the horizon the affect on business already stated it's worrying.

    * Have been chasing all leads as usual. Have a view today, one tommorow, two Saturday, plus an event on. It's been amazing that I've juggled it all with the kids being home so much. But OH has been off quite a bit so that's been a help.

    Health

    * Sleep has been an issue for all of us this holiday. My son often wakes at 5.30 and then he wakes us up. Daughter has started napping anytime between 3pm and later! Yesterday she went to sleep at 3 and was still asleep at 7! Of course she was then awake all evening till our bedtime. I'm not surprised after that nap. The last few nights my stress has triggered insomnia and I've been awake till 2 and gone, it's not nice the thoughts you have at that time. Not useful.

    * Think in daughters case it's one of those times where they just go through a huge development curve. She suddenly started speaking at the start of this month, so just under 18 months. Now she is saying all sorts. Can name most of her body parts, and has hilariously​ started shouting ' no! Bad!' at us at random points. So far I am the one who is the most bad
    I just don't think she can shut down to nap during the day.
    So everyone is tired.

    Organisation

    * OH finished the lawn yesterday so we now have a nice garden (if you ignore the borders, the shed roof and hole in the fence) now it's my turn to try and find time to sort the weeds in the front and back borders.

    * I need to make a doctor's appointment for next week, just check up stuff. I'm also being hounded to go in by the dentist. But I have issues with that too. I know I need work done. OH has Denplan but I'm worried it won't be covered. So I've been putting it off for 6 months.

    * The cat is very overdue for his check up. But seems fine.

    Lots of guilty must dos building up there

    Right on that note better get going. First stop, the kettle.

    Bob
    Last edited by Bobarella; 20-04-2017 at 8:49 AM.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 20th Apr 17, 8:51 AM
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    crazy_cat_lady
    Right Bob - stop with the guilt. Nobody does guilt better than me so I'm an expert in it. I completely understand the stress related insomnia and how much more bleak life looks when you're tired. You need to look at the positives where you can and focus on all the good stuff that you're doing. I can't imagine how difficult running your own business is, but you are an amazing woman doing a great job. And how cute is your dd - all chatty and growing up so fast
    Is the cat ok? If so, forget the check up for a while.
    Also, I say forget the garden. It will only need weeding again in a week or two (this is why I hate it so much).
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    • chanie
    • By chanie 20th Apr 17, 10:37 AM
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    chanie
    Aaarrgghhh, I just typed a long post which my my tablet 'lost' before I posted.

    A few observation:
    closing the deal you seem to be getting the bookings, but are struggling with closing. I'd recommend trying to turn the viewings into bookings by offering an inventive e.g. a discount if you pay a deposit on viewing. Whilst viewing, you have a captive audience and you need to get them whilst there. Otherwise, they'll go away and someone else will close the deal.
    business strategy maybe you should focus on the longer term bookings as it will be guaranteed income, plus less work for you. Or maybe you should book out the venue in slots e.g. a day slot and an evening slot. If someone wants to block book your venue but aren't using it in the evening or at weekends, you should be able to use it for other events. You could state in your T & Cs something like ' whilst we endeavour to be flexible, in order to accommodate all of our clients and keep our prices competitive, the venue operates timed slots. We are a small local business and we hope you understand'.
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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Apr 17, 10:59 AM
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    Bobarella
    Right Bob - stop with the guilt. Nobody does guilt better than me so I'm an expert in it. I completely understand the stress related insomnia and how much more bleak life looks when you're tired. You need to look at the positives where you can and focus on all the good stuff that you're doing. I can't imagine how difficult running your own business is, but you are an amazing woman doing a great job. And how cute is your dd - all chatty and growing up so fast
    Is the cat ok? If so, forget the check up for a while.
    Also, I say forget the garden. It will only need weeding again in a week or two (this is why I hate it so much).
    Originally posted by crazy_cat_lady
    Ha ha Cat, thanks for the pep talk. Im not mega guilty more just that feeling of having things dragging at the back of your mind. The cats fine. He is 11 and very content to bimble along. He does need his jabs though for insurance if nothing else.

    I know you suffer a lot with sleep. I haven't for ages but just seem to have hit a bad patch. At least my inner critic voice is that of a scowling 18month old 'No! Bad!'
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Apr 17, 11:22 AM
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    Bobarella
    Aaarrgghhh, I just typed a long post which my my tablet 'lost' before I posted.

    A few observation:
    closing the deal you seem to be getting the bookings, but are struggling with closing. I'd recommend trying to turn the viewings into bookings by offering an inventive e.g. a discount if you pay a deposit on viewing. Whilst viewing, you have a captive audience and you need to get them whilst there. Otherwise, they'll go away and someone else will close the deal.
    business strategy maybe you should focus on the longer term bookings as it will be guaranteed income, plus less work for you. Or maybe you should book out the venue in slots e.g. a day slot and an evening slot. If someone wants to block book your venue but aren't using it in the evening or at weekends, you should be able to use it for other events. You could state in your T & Cs something like ' whilst we endeavour to be flexible, in order to accommodate all of our clients and keep our prices competitive, the venue operates timed slots. We are a small local business and we hope you understand'.
    Originally posted by chanie
    Chanie how annoying to loose your post! What you have written is very interesting. Thank you for taking time to really consider my business issues. I do feel a bit guilty actually for how much time I am taking up from others here. This isn't supposed to be a business forum and I feel like I should be writing about more domestic stuff if that makes sense?

    On your first point. I do struggle to close a deal it's true. But there can be a range of reasons why someone might decide not to progress. So far I have encountered:

    - location not right
    - size not right
    - event ends up being postponed, sometime they come back...
    - licensing of the venue not right
    - The person has come in on a speculative look and the fit isn't right. I had this recently​ where I'd approached a great street food brand who do pop ups in pubs and markets, but couldn't see their food working in my venues environment.

    When I get the right people through the door I am quite good at getting the booking. I can see why I should pounce on them a bit more at that stage to get the money, but I like to give people chance to think about actually wanting to book. I don't know if I'd feel uncomfortable going for a pressure buy now approach?

    On longer term bookings. I have to be careful that my activities don't take me into a sub letting territory. Anything too long and my landlord could say, you aren't running a business but subletting your space.

    I currently do rent out by half day/day.

    It's the eternal question of, if you need to hire space to do your job on a regular basis, you are probably going to rent your own space long-term. So who is the customer? The occasional user. And what do they want to do? I spend hours looking for different users.

    Some that aren't viable

    - kids classes. I'd need to be running several back to back and generally it's one provider wanting space for one hour and wanting to pay around £15. It's just not worth my while

    This being London there are so many people who hold classes of a higher value nature. Tutors. Cookery schools. But often they want more central space as we are not near to transport in a central London way....(2 bus routes in a 5 mins stagger radius is not enough for some people)

    I've been focusing on the path I know myself, and have been getting a lot of leads but it's just not enough yet.

    What I need is critical mass and it seems thin on the ground. You meet one amazing person and they have such vision but mainly customers are doing several roles I find, on the business side anyway, so their own time is finite and that can change things last minute too.

    Waffling on so i will stop
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
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    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 20th Apr 17, 2:25 PM
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    mummytogirls
    Lots of do's for you to get your teeth into Bob! Is DS back at school now, if not id start afresh next week!

    Haha to you being the most bad, aren't we always!!! xx
    Mummytogirls x

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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Apr 17, 5:14 PM
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    Bobarella
    Lots of do's for you to get your teeth into Bob! Is DS back at school now, if not id start afresh next week!

    Haha to you being the most bad, aren't we always!!! xx
    Originally posted by mummytogirls
    Not a bad thought
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Apr 17, 5:19 PM
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    Bobarella
    Had quite a funny one from DS today actually. He was swearing blind that the shop we go into on the way home (if we do a top up shop) is a T*sco. I explained about three times it's a S0insburys. And he can read really well etc so I was completely baffled at his insistence. Anyway, we worked through it and here's the 8 year old logic. He never gets to go into a big T*sco as there are none near us, but we do use the Metro version. And our main shop is done in a giant Sainz. So apparently he thought that small supermarkets are called T*scos and big ones are S*insburys. This from a kid who has been born and raised in urban south London. Ha ha
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 20th Apr 17, 5:54 PM
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    117pauline
    Another reader who had to smile at "No, Bad!" daughter comments.

    Do you take testimonials? I just wondered as they are often a way of looking at your business differently. Find out what they value and it probably will have something to do with your hardworking and accommodating nature. You sound a delight to meet.
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Apr 17, 6:13 PM
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    • 68,969 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Another reader who had to smile at "No, Bad!" daughter comments.

    Do you take testimonials? I just wondered as they are often a way of looking at your business differently. Find out what they value and it probably will have something to do with your hardworking and accommodating nature. You sound a delight to meet.
    Originally posted by 117pauline
    Thanks Pauline, she is a funny one

    I do yes, I have about 20 on the Facebook page. Overall rating 4.9. I do try and get people to give honest feedback as it encourages others to book as you say.

    Thank you

    Bob
    Last edited by Bobarella; 20-04-2017 at 6:22 PM.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 21st Apr 17, 10:32 AM
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    Bobarella
    Morning All

    Have a banana bread cooking to use up three elderly specimens, which smells gorgeous! None of my lot like or will eat banana bread, although they like fresh bananas. So I tend to make and freeze the bread and have it there for when the inevitable bake sale invitations land in the book bag.

    Wealth

    * I did receive one deposit yesterday. I used it to settle my window cleaners bill.

    * Have sent chaser messages to a couple of people that have owed me for around a week.

    * Firmed up a new viewing for tommorow. Now have a very interesting calendar....3 scattered about by very unhelpful breaks plus a late night. But I have Sunday off.

    * Have done a quick check for leftovers. Barely anything for using up. I've made a few soups recently and always lob the leftover spaghetti into them. Might squeeze out pasta and bolognaise tonight for one portion.

    * Had a quick scan of the local forum for any work. Nothing today.

    * A cold lead I'd tried came back to me confirming no interest

    * Checked social for any leads.

    Health

    * A better night was had! So feel much more refreshed today.

    Organisation

    * Business insurance renewal came through yesterday. Looks like it's gone up a few £ but not much. Need to get that sorted. Still covered till 10th May.

    * Hassle for my correct rates bill again...

    Have a good Friday!

    Bob
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • f0xh0les
    • By f0xh0les 21st Apr 17, 2:47 PM
    • 841 Posts
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    f0xh0les

    Daughter has started napping anytime between 3pm and later! Yesterday she went to sleep at 3 and was still asleep at 7! Of course she was then awake all evening till our bedtime.
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    Oooh, time for longer toddler walks!


    The last few nights my stress has triggered insomnia and I've been awake till 2 and gone, it's not nice the thoughts you have at that time. Not useful.
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    I tell myself there is no point worrying outside of banking hours. Somehow it works for me.
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    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 21st Apr 17, 5:14 PM
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    • 68,969 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Oooh, time for longer toddler walks!

    I tell myself there is no point worrying outside of banking hours. Somehow it works for me.
    Originally posted by f0xh0les
    We do SO much during the day. Today she has been to two parks for plays, been taken for long walks in the buggy for fresh air, and been on the trampoline. And no nap..... Both of my children seem to be high energy kids. I met someone in the park today who was moaning that their 4 month old had only just started sleeping through. I just smiled and thought wow, my daughter never sleeps through now!

    I like your strategy on worrying
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 21st Apr 17, 5:19 PM
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    Bobarella
    Well I think my good karma quota is done for the day. I found a book bag and a coat in a park, and managed to track down the owner from a bit of googling (of the nursery) and later found someone's wallet, and handed that in at a safe location.

    Quite pooped, lots of walking and cycling today. Roast pork in the oven for dinner. Gutted they are releasing Better Call Saul one episode at a time...Now a week to wait. Back to Mad Men tonight then
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
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