She Sells Sex Toys by the Lakeshore

Posted on October 29, 2010

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Life really is better when it’s busy. 

I’m feeling really great these days, largely based on the fact that I’m starting to see actual results from all of the work I’ve been putting into my projects.  Wow, reading that sentence back it sounds excrutiatingly boring.  But life right now is far from boring.

Ohhh Canada is doing better than I imagined it would be doing so early in the game.  It’s only been around for a few months, and yet I’ve been selling out of my best sellers (We-Vibe and Afterglow Candle) on a regular basis.  And I haven’t even hit the Xmas rush yet.  Score.  Plus I get to do something I love…  talk about positive, healthy sexuality and the expressions thereof.  Often with a glass of wine in my hand.  What could be better?

For those of you in Toronto, I’m also having a launch party for Ohhh, which in part, is also a fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Canada and Ovarian Cancer Canada; hey I’m selling products that have to do with those parts of the body, so those charities seem to make the most sense.  If you come to the event, you’ll get to check out demos of all of the products and do some Xmas shopping at friends/VIP pricing.  Plus there will be a licenced bar and a DJ.  It’s going to feel more like a fashion launch than anything else.  Anyway – check here for details or email me at katrina@ohhhcanada.ca to RSVP.  Friday, December 3rd, 7-10pm in downtown Toronto.

And here, as my little gift to you, are a few lessons I’ve learned very recently about starting a small business.  Maybe they’ll be useful to you.  Maybe you’ll laugh at me.  Maybe both.

1) It’s both easier and harder than you think it’s going to be.  Don’t let anyone discourage you from trying.  Be cautiously optimistic. 

2) Tell everyone about your business, but don’t be pushy.  Go ahead, tell the Starbucks barista.  But when she looks at you like she doesn’t care, assume she doesn’t care and stop talking.

3) Throw your business plan out the window.  Until you know what the Hell you’re doing, you should be able to articulate your plan in one sentence.  Not ten pages.  Not even three pages.  This is saving me right now and helping me to adapt to what my customers want.   This is my business plan (although I’ve made it slightly more vague that it actually is by taking out the numbers) – “Drive traffic to Ohhh’s website and generate brand awareness by exhibiting at tradeshows and other guerilla marketing tactics, and break even overall by the end of February.”

4) Hire help.  If you work a full-time job (like I do) or are involved in a thousand other projects (like I am), you aren’t going to have time to do everything yourself.  Yes, this means you have to pay people to do stuff you could do.  But if you’re starting to run out of clean underwear and you don’t know when your next opportunity to do laundry will be, then you need to think about what things you’re comfortable letting go of.  Unless you’re comfortable wearing dirty underwear.  In which case I am no longer your friend and/or not interested in making your acquaintance.

5) Take every piece of advice you’re given and assume that only minute parts of it will apply to you and to your business.  Including this blog post.  Everyone is different.  Everyone faces different challenges.  Don’t be surprised when you’re surprised.

6) Don’t put in any money you’re not willing to lose.  It’s like gambling, and you should treat it as such.  You might fail.  Make it okay that you might fail.

Oh yes, and as for the title of this post – I’ve been doing a lot of retail shows to help promote my brand (like this one).  All of these shows have been in the GTA – hence, the Lakeshore (for those of you who don’t live in Toronto, Lakeshore is a major road that runs West into suburbia).  Speaking of which, I will be here and here in the month of November.  If you’re going to be there, too, then come and say hi.  🙂

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