“Any bank manager will tell you that at least 80% of all business failures are caused by inadequate record keeping”, my Mum is reading aloud from a book about working for yourself.
“Unfortunately this fault is by no means uncommon in small businesses because the entrepreneurial person who tends to set up on their own is often temperamentally different…” (She is looking over her glasses at me now, and shaking the book in my direction, which means she is making a point), “From the patient administrative type who enjoys paperwork and charting information in the form of business records.”
Annoyingly, and as is so often the case, she’s not wrong. I love making cakes, and decorating them, and eating them, and covering biscuits in chocolate, and testing new recipes, and anything else that means I’m not sat in front of a computer sorting through endless spreadsheets. Despite years of experience working in an office sorting through other business' finances and bringing them into order; faced with doing that for my own finances and suddenly I can think of about 46 different things that need to be done instead, including cleaning the bathroom.
Even working out how much to charge gives me a headache. Honestly, this whole business started with me exchanging cakes for wine – a deal which, were it not for my Mother and Gareth may still continue to this day; I mean I think it’s win, win!
Sadly, such is the way, and I must charge cash, prepare invoices, keep track of my expenses, and hold onto all receipts; such activities do not come naturally, so it has been known for me to be found rooting through the bins outside Sainsbury’s trying to retrieve a receipt I just casually discarded.
All of the above is by way of an explanation as to why this blog post comes four weeks after the last; I could no longer put off the inevitable and had to attend to my administrative chaos. Something had to give, and as I still needed to make cakes, it was the blogging that failed to make the cut. Still, I haven’t heard any of my ardent followers (all both of them) complain, so I’m pretty sure my online absence made little impact.
The good news is that, at least for the next week or so, I am fairly financially organised; hopefully I should be putting a more comprehensive price list onto these pages very soon – and no, I no longer accept a bold Rioja as payment for a batch of Millionaire’s Shortbread (although if you’d like to throw one into the deal I won’t raise any objections!)
It won’t last long; Knaresborough Christmas Market is next week, so my attention will be diverted. This means, of course, that all financial organisation will immediately start unravelling as soon as my back is turned, and I will once again be retrieving receipts from bins, and tracking expenses on post-its, and handing over the whole sorry lot in a plastic carrier bag to my Mum who will look over her glasses at me and say, “I told you so”.