Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lessons Learned from Summer 2011

I need to make a mental note to look back at this post, come April/May of 2012.  I know that summer is not yet over.  School starts up here 6 weeks from today.  We have been on summer break for 10 weeks now.  So I think I've experienced enough to reflect on some lessons learned in business, life, and summers as a work at home Mom.
  1. Business is not fractionally slower, it is DEAD.  I had mistakenly thought, that summer sales would be 33%, maybe 50% less than my sales tend so far for 2011.  This was NOT the case.  I found it is not a % less.  There seems to be a glass ceiling.  For instance, let's say my average sales in 2010 were $500/mo, and in summer went to $330. My business instincts were preparing for, if average sales were $1500/mo, that they would become $1000/mo.  When in reality....they were still $330 (numbers not exact, just explaining a point). So next year, instead of completely stressing out about it, and instead of having multiple failure sales and promos, just ride the wave...accept it will be slow and just "Let it Be".
  2. See above.....so instead, the kids are home, let's have FUN!  At the beginning of summer, I had been freaking out hoping I could get the kids into camps, so I could work and keep the momentum going with the business. I pushed camp. Although my son enjoyed Lego Camp ($205), and my daughter loved Horse Camp ($245), they were both stressful.  The driving back and forth, the jealousy's, the MONEY.  Worse yet was me trying to pay for a Mon, Wed, Fri morning daycamp (Mom's day out type thing).  Sounded good, but at $90/week for just 9hrs, and no sales coming in, it was STRESSFUL.  It ended up costing me more than $90/wk, since the registration was $170 (all numbers are for both kids together, so $45/wk and $85/ea registration).  This daycamp lasted 3 weeks before I realized we couldn't afford it, and the kids were not enjoying it.  So in total we spent $890 to camp-ify summer.  And it could've been spent better. How???
  3. DO Buy all the memberships you can get your hands on! We bought a membership to the waterpark at Little Creek.  It was $125 for the 3 of us, but would've been $15 a visit to go.  The kids love it there, and it is a fairly relaxing 2hrs whenever we go. We got a membership to the Virginia Aquarium for $150...this one is great for days we need to stay indoors BUT get out of the house. We haven't gotten the chance to buy a membership for the Virginia Zoo yet, but it is $75 for military families.  Also movies on base at Little Creek are $2/person. So with the $890 spent on camps for a total of 5 weeks, we could have gotten A waterpark, aquarium, zoo, and over 5 trips to the movies for just $500 (not to mention the beach is FREE)!!! We can also enjoy our YMCA membership during summer, kids using the interactive zone while I work out and just a swim in their pool...at $88/mo it is a bit...but even adding that in to the $500, we still come out cheaper than the camps.  Plus YMCA offers a free parents night out for members. And since we don't need to worry about business too much (see #1) then we could just sit back and enjoy. The kids will only be kids once!
At the Virginia Aquarium

YMCA Mt. Trashmore

Little Creek Water Park

Beach on Dam Neck military base

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