Oh dear! I have more gushing to do!
I didn’t write a blog at the end of the year that reflected on how the year had gone and neither did I write a blog at the beginning of this year sharing my plans and predictions, so give me this one!
It is by honest coincidence that I am writing this post pretty much exactly a year into the beginning of my ‘business adventure’!
At the end of December 2013 I was quite happy settling into a new full time permanent job in a lovely organisation. But then I was offered a part time job at a university for 6 months. It paid well. Not as well as the full time job but considering it was only 2 days a week, it was a good wage! I had the idea in my head for a while about opening up a sex toy shop similar to the one I had worked at previously – even being a franchisee of theirs. I decided that I was now in the perfect time and place for me to actually do this. My final day at my full time job was on January the 16th and I then spent February – August doing lots of reading and attending lots of Business Wales/Business in Focus ‘how to start a business’ classes – free, provided by the government. The rest of this story can be found on my first blog I posted back in August.
We launched my website on September the 12th and the last five months since then have been harder than I ever thought they would be. I’ve never seen myself as an entrepeneur. I am not out to make loads of money. I don’t come from a family that has owned their own businesses either. Because of this, I have learned a helluva lot of new things over the last year and even more so in the last five months. The reason I started this company up is because I have passion, drive, and the right experience and temperament to do this job, and want to leave a legacy on this planet. Everything else one needs to do whilst running a business is what I am learning at the moment.
What I do know, though, is that the service I provide is unique, backed by experience, available to a lot of people who haven’t had this opportunity before and is really special. Those that have booked me in for soirees and consultations have had great experiences and the results are everything I hoped for. This business is such a new concept though – taking sex toys seriously isn’t something a lot of people are familiar with. I am therefore really thankful to those that have given me the chance to promote myself, like City Life mag for doing a 2 page editorial on me, my I am Woman business club for letting me bring my stock to the meetings to sell. The more I do this, the more comfortable the business club members are getting with the concept, which is great to see. My other club, Damsels in Success, welcomed me with open arms. Ignite Cardiff also allowed me a 5 minute slot to talk about masturbation. Pinkfire events allowed me to sell at their Glitzy Christmas markets. These platforms are helping me get the word out that a business like this does exist and they enhance a woman’s sex life no matter what their status is.
Although I am only halfway through my first year, I have already started wondering whether That’s The Spot will be succesful and whether my concept was too ‘microniche’ (from my reading of many business books, mags and attending many different talks, in order to succeed nowadays, you need to do better than be in a niche, you need to be in a microniche) or whether Cardiff was ready for it, but then something lovely happened yesterday!
I subscribe to the Erotic Trade Only magazine which is the industry mag for those in the ‘pleasure’ industry and I found myself on their ‘Webwatch’ section this month (they choose one website each month) and they wrote the following about me:
“The great thing about the internet is the whole world is potentially your customer. Unfortunately it’s also your competitor’s customer too, and bucketloads of cash has ben squandered over the last decade by companies entering the market with the bold intention of being ‘bigger than Lovehoney’. The ETO office takes calls every month from prospective start-ups and our advice is always the same – if you can’t do anything better than or different to the existing players then your time and money could be put to better use in an alternative industry.
Way back in 2003 we published a piece suggesting one way internet stores could differentiate themselves from their competition was not to think global but to think local with their marketing efforts and this month we were delighted to come across www.thatsthespot.co.uk, a Cardiff-based business set up by a former Sh! Duty Manager that offers a sex toy consulting service in South Wales.
In a nutshell, customers get in touch ans explain their needs and the site owner visits the client’s premises with a selection of goods and runs through their functions. It’s like the middle ground between a detailed in-store demonstration and a party plan evening, but with out the distractions of the former and the saucy games and gossip of the latter. There is a small charge for the service, so customers won’t feel obliged to make a purchase – and even if they don’t, the business has at least recouped its costs.
That’s The Spot offers the same service to groups under the banner of Sex Toy Soirees, and also sells goods online in the traditional way.
The site itself is easy on the eye and a joy to use – it certainly hits our spot.”
Not only has this reinforced what I have been working on for the last few months, but they barely bothered talking about my actual website because they were so impressed by the concept! With this write-up coming from these people, it has confirmed that despite the slow start, I do have a good idea and in a couple of years people will be paying good money to receive the advice I am giving nowadays for either free or next to nothing! The reason I write this is because I want those to have been considering soirees and consultations to bite the bullet and do it! Read through the testimonials on my website if you need more convincing. Yesterday I uttered the words ‘If I did a soiree for every time somebody said they wanted a soiree from That’s The Spot, my business would be in a different place’! I know that it will get to a point where I will charge for the soirees rather than offer the hostess 20% off so now is the time to book me in! And as for consultations, it is only £10 or £20 for an hour in my company, this price will rise!
Email me – firstname.lastname@example.org and we can get a date in the diary – there is only one of me and there are only so many weekends in the year, so take a deep breath and email me and you will not regret it!
I look forward to hearing from you all.
Oh, you know that I mentioned that microniche thing? Remember that on Sunday (Feb 8th) I am hosting a Lesbian Valentines Market at Wow Bar in Cardiff from 12-6! I will be there with 4 other stallholders selling goods in a space where women with female partners feel comfortable shopping with no judgement. There will also be a free prize draw! Pop your head in and say hi!