So, I was going to argue that the early January/post-holiday return-to-routine in combination with the bitter cold has made sales at PJP Buttonwood slower than ever this week. But after reviewing our sales data, we were actually busier this week than a good portion of weeks during last summer...it is just that after finally adjusting to the frantic pace of holiday baking, anything less feels somehow not ok. True to our personalities, Jeanne and I are facing the more relaxed days in completely different ways. Jeanne is creating new pie flavors...she worked on a Chocolate Cherry pie this week that was RIDICULOUS. She and Sunae also worked on pie pops, which were, of course, adorable. And when Jeanne didn't need to be up at 2 am to face a heinous baking schedule, she just got up and went on a Pinterest binge. She then tried to talk to me about tart boxes and Valentine ribbon before I had even finished my coffee this morning. I basically just started to not listen when she brought up going to JoAnn's because while I can handle a lot of things early in the morning, a conversation about fabric bolts and hot glue guns is not one.
While Jeanne zens out and creates, I stew about sales and traffic patterns and looking at the Square data that shows you how busy you are by the hour compared to one week ago and one month ago at the same time. I also find myself analyzing the traffic in other stores, as if the number of people in line at Hy-vee tells me something about the number of people out and about in town.
The only point that I have is that owning a business is hard in 98,000 different ways and 98% of those are in ways I never anticipated. And you might be rolling your eyes right now and giving a snort of derision while you think "duh, everyone knows that..." But I didn't. At least not that it would matter if people have discretionary spending income after the holidays. Not that if it is 13 degrees below zero, people tend to stay home instead of shop. Not that when you look at a full year ahead of you, data for each day in the first week of the year seems overwhelmingly important, even though by July it won't seem terribly so vital to the success of the year.
Without question, there are benefits to not being frantically busy every day...such as not being exhausted, less crying, more creativity, more time to chat with our customers, and the opportunity to take a moment and truly enjoy what we do.
And Jeanne has time to research the availability of heart-shaped candy boxes manufactured overseas that can be here in time for Valentine's week. So there is that...