This week, we will talk about DIY Business or Do It Yourself Business. David started our business in September of 2010 in our living room. There were seeds all over the house, in almost every room. A few years later, there were people in almost every room and by November of 2015, we moved out into our first office space with a store front at Tezel and Mainland in San Antonio.
Good morning! I have a lot of orders to fill this morning before we have to go to an important business meeting. David and I will be driving to another town to discuss some online things that could change our business for the better. Since we are a DIY business, we do like to check and see how we can do things better.
We had a 3.5 hour business meeting with some people who I think will be able to help our business out a lot. More on this later.
We got back and I had more website changes to do. The farm manager added water to the pond because the amount of water has gone down due to evaporation. You would think that the water level would have come up with all of the rain we have had.
I ordered new business cards and more checks for our DIY business today. We go through both like they are water. Every time I turn around, I am writing someone a check. Every order, every collection, every purchase in the store gets a business card.
We are happy to have Linda back today. She was out for over a week as her father had a stroke. He is doing much better. Also, a new outdoor young man started with us today. Welcome, Dawson.
It is overcast again but no rain yet. It is payday but I have not received payroll yet. The electricians are here yet again, digging a trench in the back to add some more electricity to the back forty...
Early this morning, this tiny dog, a pug, showed up at the top end of the property. David saw it out there and since then, it has been all over the property. I guess it heard we take strays. It is so cute but we just can't take anymore. It has a collar so why doesn't it just go home?
The folks we met with this morning are coming by to pick up a sizeable check as we decided it would be smart to do business with them. For close to 12 years now, we have built our own DIY Business website, David's Garden Seeds® through a company called SBI, Site Build It, and now it is called Solo Build It. The problem is that it does not have a store or e-commerce platform, just an informational platform. The result is that our webstore looks clunky and per the latest Paypal report, over 500 customers have abandoned their Paypal cart on our site in the last 30 days. That is a lot of lost revenue.
So this company is going to build us a brand new website, complete with real store so it won't look clunky anymore. We are excited for a brand new adventure since we have gone as far as we can with SBI.
We are a hands on business. David and I delegate but we still have our hands in and around everything to make sure things are done right. Each afternoon, I go out and collect the eggs and feed and water everyone. The hose water, which is well water, is clear now that it goes through the filters. The orange iron water seems to be gone. That is amazing.
When you start your DIY business, know that you will not work on it for a few hours a day or week. Know that if you want to get your DIY business going and growing, you will need to work a lot of hours on it. At first, it may take up all of your free time. Once it starts making good money and you quit your day job, you will still work more than 40 hours a week or your DIY business will not succeed. Plan on working at least 60 hours most weeks on your DIY business or you will never be a success.
Good Tuesday morning. We hoped the stray pug from yesterday would go home. I don't think he has a home. She was still here this morning. Now two of our team members are wanting to take her. Honestly, she is adorable and I would love to have her, but now we have four dogs and a cat and they are indoors. Molly, the stray from a few weeks ago, is still tearing things up so I am done with dogs.
Work is going on in the commercial kitchen with eggs this morning. Out back, there is harvesting, planting, and putting in our sprinkler system.
The repair guy who was here three weeks ago is coming this afternoon to finish fixing our microwave in the house. That will be nice.
The microwave guy put the new cardboard-like piece into place. See the old one that caught on fire when we tried to make a bag of popcorn. Three weeks ago he replaced the problem piece inside of the microwave that caused this. Below that is the new piece in the microwave. You can see where the old piece caused a burn mark in the microwave.
Three of our team members wanted to take the pug home today. One of them did so she has found a good home. She is so cute.
David announced in the meeting this afternoon that we have hired a company to build us a new e-commerce site using Shopify. They will just copy and paste our site into Shopify and then show me how to change it as the need arises. I have tried Shopify in the past but I couldn't do anything with it. I thought it was just for the store but they say it is for all of the pages.
SBI is what we have used to build our sites. It is great for informational sites with photos, but that is all. When we try to make a store, we are limited by what SBI can do. It has worked but per our Paypal report, people abandon their carts and never go back. This resulted in us losing thousands of dollars. When they go back to the site to try to find their carts, they cannot unless they add something else to it. So we are through with SBI for David's Garden Seeds®, but I will still use it for this website.
Are you thinking of starting a DIY business? David started ours with the help of Amazon almost 12 years ago. First, he learned how to sell on Amazon by selling a lot of my books and DVDs. Then he decided he would start a seed business. David loves to garden and has for many years so this was a natural fit for him. If you are thinking of starting a DIY business, it should be something that you love to do so it will not get boring. You should wake up in the morning, happy to work on something fun that you enjoy. You should not dread your work like I did for many years out in the real world. For more than five years now, I have been doing David's Garden Seeds® full time and I love it.
Truly, it should be a joy for you to get up and get busy tackling whatever needs to be done. Think about what you enjoy doing the most and then figure out a way to make money with it. That is how to enjoy life. Don't be like me, needing a job so taking whatever I could get to support my family and then spending years doing the same thing and hating it.
Good Wednesday morning! I think it will be another hot and humid day. I anxiously await the new site. I contacted SBI about releasing the domain name I own for the new site. They are making me give them receipts of purchase and the card number used plus an order number.
What if I did not keep them? They say it is for my security but we really know it is because they do not want to lose a customer. Fortunately, I think I have everything. I had no idea it would be so difficult to get something I purchased to be released so we could use it for our company's good. Think about that before you go with a Canadian company to build a website.
Because we have our own business, a DIY business, we built our own website. We started it over eleven years ago and we update it every day. Now all of that will be put into our more user friendly e-commerce site that won't look so clunky.
Late this afternoon, I went to feed the fish and found the beautiful silver koi fish floating. I was so sad. Matthew said they were all sort of fighting with each other early this morning. I have not seen them fight. The fish cost $39.99 a piece so this is horrible.
Today is our company birthday luncheon at Salt Grass so don't plan to visit the farm today between 10:30am to 2:30pm as we will be closed. If you are new, we do this once a month. During corona, we visited some nearby places out here but they were not any good. Then we had some meals catered in but no one ate together.
This morning, I heard crunching in the den where the dogs were. I looked in but did not take a photo of the moment. Molly was stretched out on the floor holding the two den remotes, one to the TV and the other to the DVD player, eating them. She ruined them both so we have to watch TV in the living room tonight.
We had a good time at Salt Grass Cinema Ridge in San Antonio. The food was good and we celebrated Caleb, our only May birthday! So all of the attention was on him!
We got back to the farm around 2pm. It was a hot and humid day. Then at 5pm, I had to go out and take care of all of the birds and collect eggs.
Today was a very busy day. There was a lot of activity all over the farm as various workers did things outside the norm. We had quite a few visitors and Nacho was here to put skirting up on our newest buildings. He did not have time to finish working on the fence by the pond.
We noticed this morning that someone crashed into the skirting on the commercial kitchen and broke it. The hole lined up perfectly with someone's license plate so we didn't need Sherlock Holmes to tell us who done it. He said he did not know he did it.
Bethany, who used to work for us, had the day off and came to visit us. She brought her mom, Carolyn (who has never been here), and I gave them a tour of the place. We had a good visit except for the thick humidity. Carolyn brought me an adorable wreath. I didn't know she was crafty. No wonder we are friends! I sent her home with 30 chicken eggs and a jar of strawberry topping which I hope they enjoy.
Later in the afternoon, two gentlemen came in to the store. One asked if I was Juanita. He is from the Dallas area and was visiting his son near New Braunfels so they came to visit. He has bought from us online before. David came in so he got to meet them. We love when our readers/followers come to visit. We really appreciate those who come out. They were looking for fall seeds. It is definitely not too early to think about your fall garden. Always get your seeds a few months or more in advance while the supply is good. Keep them in a cool, dry place and they will be fine. Seeds do not expire.
Jerry told us that gophers are taking our plants down in the back forty. They took whole tomato plants and the Mammoth Grey Stripe Giant Sunflowers. They pull them down into their tunnels and have a feast. I finally got to see my first gopher today and it is not much bigger than a big rat. It looks like a nasty fat rat. Those things are constantly digging and tunneling near the surface so you almost trip all over the property.
Someone was supposed to put the very large sign up on the roof this week but he failed to call or show. At first, we were going to have Nacho do it but he was busy so we hired someone else to do it. The sign is still sitting there, for three weeks now, not doing us any good. Yesterday, three people asked us if they could work here. We are overstaffed as it is. We lost one of our employees this week as he moved to another city. Another one is in Florida for a week since a relative passed away. Several others were also gone at least part of the day.
Good morning! While it was still dark, it was pouring outside. I knew that meant no customers would show up so we decided to close the store for the entire weekend including today. I got up, made some coffee and eggs, and then got ready to go shopping at Walmart. David and I left early and got there shortly after 8am. It was great with so few people and no masks required. Today was the most fun I have had in Walmart in way over a year now.
David bought some holiday food since Monday is Memorial Day. I found some summer clothes. Our son was here the whole time, watching everything for us, in case the sign guy came or in case we had a customer or Amazon delivery. We got back at 10am and I went in the house and put away the groceries and things and cleaned out my refrigerator. Then I made spaghetti for lunch. It was so good.
I want to go in the pool but it is overcast and a bit cool. I may go in anyway in a bit. I am doing laundry and I need to finish up the kitchen. The water is 78° and chilly with breezes and overcast sky.
When you have a DIY Business, sometimes, you have to close for a day or two to get back some semblance of sanity. Honestly, working constantly is just too much. Yes, it is necessary to work a lot but when you sit in the store six days a week and very few customers are coming, you need a break. For three Saturdays in a row, there haven't been customers so I don't think there will be many until all of this corona fear is gone. Once that is gone and people don't want to wear masks, I believe they will come out and have a fun time with their family on our farm.
So this evening, at 8:20pm, the guy who was supposed to install our large roof sign for our DIY business, decided to show up to put the sign up. Keep in mind that he had just a few moments of daylight left, certainly not enough to put boards up on the roof and then put up two giant halves of our sign. So David told him we would not pay him until we saw that it was done right in the daylight. He said he would come back at 11am on Sunday. He left. We went back to watching Svengoolie.
The back story: We ordered $5500 worth of signs from a sign company. Installation was going to be another $1000. So we had someone else install all of the signs except for this huge one that is two halves that will go on the roof over the deck between the farm store and the commercial kitchen. Our guy doesn't have equipment to raise large signs up high in the air to install on a roof so the sign man asked one of his guys to come out here and install it.
This was supposed to happen on Wednesday, May 26. No call, no show. Then we were told it would be Thursday. No call, no show. Then we were told it would be Friday. No call, no show. Someone was here all day Saturday because he was definitely coming and he did, but at 8:20pm when it was getting dark.
We woke up and it was raining. It poured quite a bit again. There are pools of standing water in the driveway and parking lot here. We were going to go to church but David said we had to stay here and wait for the no call, no show sign guy to come. Can you guess what happened?
Then we stayed home from church just so the above mentioned guy could hang our DIY business sign at 11am. He never bothered to come or call. So we have this sign that cost over $1000 just sitting around now for four weeks that no one will hang for us. It is so hard to find good workers who will show up when they say and do good work with a good attitude. So our expensive DIY business sign just sits there collecting dust.
Meanwhile, David had ordered a cooked brisket from his friend, Bart. It was delivered after church and it was huge and smelled so good. It was delicious.
I did computer updates all afternoon, deleting seeds that we will no longer carry so our website building team can start transferring all of our buy pages on the new website!
The temperature of the water stayed at 78° so no pool again as it was chilly.
This afternoon, after 4pm, I went over to the farm store to feed this fish. As I approached the store, I saw the door was wide open. It should have been locked as we are never open on Sunday.
Inside, there was a pack of zinnia seeds and a pack of garlic on the counter next to the cash register. Someone went shopping and no one came to let them pay...My guess is the door was not latched and the strong wind from all day long blew it open. The "closed" sign and the lights off were not enough of a hint that we are not open on Sundays. It doesn't look like anything was stolen.
I fed the fish and pulled the door really tight. I loved being home today, not having to be anywhere or have anyone come to the house. Of course, it would have been nice had the sign guy come like he said.
Amazon has lost two more packages that should have been delivered on Friday by way of an Amazon driver. Interestingly, an Amazon driver delivered a package to me on Friday but he did not have the other two. At 10:15pm on Friday, my Amazon account showed that something happened with the attempted delivery and they would try again. They did not try on Saturday or on Sunday as I still don't have my packages. I never had this kind of problem when we lived in San Antonio but out here, they lose my packages a lot. Why not just put them in the mail so I can get them. The mailman comes here six days a week without fail.
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Peppers and peas
And lots of yummy greens
You can't go wrong
With Squash This Long
At David's Garden Seeds
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