It's all about keeping things simple. All of the processes I have for running Rainbow Designs have basically stayed the same since I began back in 2004. The website's had a few updates and tweaks over this time but generally has stayed pretty much the same in terms of receiving orders. I do remember though, when I first started, that I would be notified of new orders by a little asterix appearing next to the 'order' word - oh how exciting that was. It still makes me smile when I think how excited I was whenever I saw a little red asterix!
For the most part everything is done online but I am a bit old school with the order tracking side of things. I still write each order number and postcode down followed by the tracking number and the date it was sent. I then check the tracking online and update my book once it has any updates or been delivered. In doing this I generally find I can keep a good check on what's happening with all the orders we have processed and sent. I do update these online through the website but just find it easier to have it written down in my trusty exercise book.
Tracking of parcels is still pretty much the same except that the couriers are now all online, where as earlier on when I started I had to phone them to track parcels. This took a lot of time and waiting on hold, much easier now. The following up of deliveries unfortunately isn't any better.
Ordering stock has stayed pretty much the same with either emailing or ordering online. When I do have to drop parcels off this is also still the same as when I first started. I head down to the post office or the courier and drop them off, the only courier that regularly picks up is Fastways. The only time I would drop parcels with them is if I had a very last minute order that had to go out and the driver had already been by to collect the parcels. At times when I was dropping parcels off at the post office I would get permission to drive into the warehouse and drop them all there. I had a lot and it just made it easier and stopped me from holding up everyone inside the shop :-)
I still use a diary just never got the hang of using my phone. I need to write it down and then just flick a page to see what's coming up. Probably showing my age :-)
Many things have stayed the same over the years but many things have also changed. The gifts change, some come and go and some stay on. I've worked with other small businesses and, like the gifts, some stay some go. I changed things last year in the way orders were physically pack in the sense that I currently don't do this. This may change in the future. I'm always monitoring my business and trying to ensure it's running as best as it can. The emails are still the same, I get them all and reply to them all. Some good, some bad and some just weird.
I think 2017 is a year for a bit of change. I'm not sure how much or what sort of change yet but I definitely need to make a change or two! I'll keep you posted if and when these happened.
Thanks everyone who has supported Rainbow Designs and continues to do so - I wouldn't be still doing this if it wasn't for you.
Jacqui ~ bossy(y) lady and chocolate eater.