Bumping Along

It says a lot that I haven’t had to write much about business in quite a while. I remember writing a good several months ago that, since business was developing nicely, I would no longer write about it, because I felt like I was just saying the same thing over and over again.

But perhaps now I can break that vow. The past few weeks have been… disappointing at best. I sort of hinted at it last time, when I was writing about a leafletting anecdote, but business has been poor.

Of course, poor is a relative term. In comparison to when I first started and ran this business back in my home city, it’s still a success. Back then it really was a disaster. Lucky if I got one job a week. Now one job a week would be a tragedy: largely because success requires a much higher amount of work, and also because of the far more immediate pressures I have in terms of bills to pay.

It’s hard to pin it down. And that makes it even more frustrating. At least in the past when business was poor I could make up an excuse. Back home it was because I did almost no promotional work. Here when it was quiet it was because I hadn’t done enough to establish myself.

But now? I have had hundreds of customers. Word of mouth generation is excellent. My name is out there. My site ranks well in Google. I have an advert in a shop window on a high street. I have an advert in a local newspaper. How could it all suddenly dry up?

So you start thinking more obscure. Maybe all that good weather lately has made people stop using their computers?! Maybe they’re all out gardening. Or perhaps the anti-virus program makers are winning the war at the moment…

It does make me think how sustainable this can be in the long run though. When people are increasingly moving onto platforms that are non-fixable. Smartphones can’t be fixed in any meaningful or cheap way. Laptops are designed to fail, and when they do they go pop and cost a small fortune to fix, so much so that you might as well put that towards a new one.

And then there’s the other side of the coin. The better I do my job, in terms of providing people with the tools and tuition to help themselves, the less they need me. I suppose it’s true in any service industry, though it is counteracted if the market is wide enough to bring in enough customers through wear-and-tear, entropy faults…

So – a little depressing right now. Maybe it’ll all go away, and I’ll be happy again.

But still:  I can’t do this forever. I want to do so much more…

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