It turns out the meat slicer debacle was nothing compared to the rigmarole of the last couple of weeks.
I employed and lost a delivery rider as I was gazumped by his current employer in the wage department. I’d appointed this fellow after a chance conversation. He was a known entity to me and fitted the job and person spec perfectly. I was on a high after ticking off item 4062 (Recruitment) from my To Do List* so surprisingly easily. But then came the bolt out of the blue that he’d had a counter offer from his current boss – a hefty pay rise in a new role working from home – which he’d obviously decided to accept. I can’t blame him - who wouldn’t want to sit around in their dressing gown all day – one eye on the laptop ‘working’ and the other watching True Christmas (Channel 62 if you fancy a giving it a whirl)?
Worried that I’d never be able to get through the formal recruitment process (creating a job application, person spec, job spec, advertising, sifting through applications and interviewing) and get the business launched this side of Christmas, I decided I needed to try and take the show on the road – fixed pitch site, pop up events, market stalls etc which I could do myself temporarily without the help of a delivery rider.
I rang the council and was recommended I go for the quicker and much cheaper option of applying for a Peddler’s Licence which you simply (allegedly) apply for at any police station. So I headed out on my mission feeling determined and upbeat. Two police stations, two visits to the town hall contact centre and several calls to the licensing department later (all in the same day) and I still didn’t have a license - being told something completely different by each person I spoke to. I felt like John Cleese in Clockwise. At least the hubby when asked what the wife does doesn’t have to say, ‘Erm, she’s a peddler,’- conjuring up images of a Dickensian, one toothed, street urchin peddling their shite from street to street.
I then decided to stick to plan A – try to recruit someone as quickly as possible and launch the lunch time deliveries by the end of November. It’s taken me a week from drawing up the recruitment documents to interviewing – so not a bad timescale. Fingers crossed I don’t get gazumped this time.#
Within that time though our family fridge gave up the ghost, the family car conked out, dishwasher broke down and a lovely little letter from HMRC popped through the letterbox requesting £1900 in overpaid tax credits from 2014.
It hasn’t all been bad though. I had my first food photography session with the amazingly talented Bacon on the Beech. The photos look beautiful and I’m so proud of them! When it starts to feel untenable I look at my photos and it reminds me of why I’m doing this. These are just the hurdles I have to jump over to get my dream started and it’s the same for any start-up I’m sure. Do leave a comment and let me know of your new business nightmares – it would make me feel so much better : )
So for now I’m in that limbo land period where the business loan has been depleted (I’d budgeted for fridges and meat slicers and cargo trikes and packaging but not for all the other thousands of incidentals that you don’t realise you’ll need until you’re in the thick of it – a bloody fire extinguisher for God’s sake!) and launch is still a couple of weeks away. We are the very opposite of Hood Rich (what is that - Suburban Potless?) and the credit card is making more and more of an appearance. So I’m stocking up on Giffin goods (shout out to my old A Level Economics teacher Mr Riley), batch making soups, hunkering down and trying to cling on until launch.
Thankfully though through all of this I’ve never once questioned whether it’s worth it. It unequivocally is. My days are so varied, I’m chipping away at my to do list little by little, I’m acquiring a whole new skill set and my business is taking shape. But will it get easier? I hope so -watch this space...
# Update: I’ve since hired two lovely delivery riders – Georges and Matthew who will be delivering your lunches with a smile (and if you ask Georges nicely a song).
* Don’t you find that new business To Do Lists require a branching database as each item on your list branches off into 76 sub-tasks** - meaning that you’re lucky if you complete even one of your tasks in the course of a week.
** Trying to tackle these sub-tasks invariably leads to hundreds of further sub-tasks (sub sub-tasks?) which ultimately leads to madness***.
*** Cava helps.