Business Monday: Don't Overschedule Yourself

Not overscheduling yourself is the most important thing that a home-based business owner can do, and is also the most difficult. It's too tempting to take every job that comes along, but that's a good way to ruin yourself.

Last weekend was the weekend that I had been dreading for months. I had waaaaay overscheduled myself in terms of how many cakes I had to do, and it was spread over the entire weekend, so I wasn't going to get a break for the full week of prep and delivery. Plus, it was my birthday, and it was a heck of a way to spend it.

So now that I'm suffering from sore back , sore feet and a headache, I thought it would be a good time to write about this.

This time of year is when I start hating my job, because it's getting toward the end of the wedding season. I reevaluate my desire to even do cakes at all, and I start scheduling appointments with my physical therapist.

In January, though, it's a different story. That's the time of year that things have been quiet for a while, so people start to think that they're doing something to repel customers. They start to think that they need to book all the business they can, because it's been so dead. So they do take everything that comes along, then at the end of October, when they're feeling the results of that, they hate cakes again.

In order to put a stop to this, you need to learn to say "no." No, I'm booked, I can't do that. No, I can't fit any more cakes into my schedule for that day. No, I'm not available that week.

"No" seems to be the most difficult word to utter, so practice it in front of a mirror or anywhere you need to. Send yourself emails where you practice writing out polite replies to people asking for cakes. Practice with a friend where they REALLY whine and moan about how they HAVE to have you make the cake for them even though you already have ten cakes scheduled and a family reunion the same weekend.

Remember that the business will be there if your product is good, so don't shake with fear when you hit the "send" button to tell someone that you can't do the cake they need.

Just remember that if you do that extra cake on top of the other ones you have, you might be using the profits from it to pay the physical therapist, so what's the point?

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA