When I began to think about starting my own business, about 6 years ago now, I used to attend a lot of networking events run by Scottish Enterprise and the like.
One of the co-ordinators was a lovely woman who had once worked for Scottish Enterprise and had then left, wangling herself a freelance consultancy job for Scottish enterprise, working her own hours, being her own boss and earning a lot more money. She gave me a lot of very good advice the most important piece of which was to resist becoming a busy fool.
As I rush about painting mood boards for weddings and sewing up glazed cotton hearts I'm not sure that I have followed that advice.
I am also a great fan of Michael Gerber and his book The E-myth Revisited which looks at the way in which skilled workers - gardeners, shopkeepers, knitters, florists - begin their own businesses and keep on doing the type of skilled craft that they feel comfortable with - become busier and busier until it isn't sustainable and they become exhausted. They become busy fools.
Working in a craft based field, it is very difficult to avoid the trap. Initially I was so worried that no-one would buy anything that I pitched prices low - then when people did buy I felt that I had set a price level and couldn't raise it much. It has taken 5 years to get prices - both flowers and crafts - up to a sensible level. My worst habit is forgetting all the extras that go into making things - not the ribbons and so on, but the time spent buying materials, the petrol for delivery, the stall costs, the sandwiches and so on.
How does everyone else solve this? There are obviously a number of crafters who are even more foolish than I am if the e-bay prices are to be believed (* I put this bit in for Lisa whose doorstops are 100% nicer than the copies on ebay) and then there are those Chinese imports.
This year I am hoping to be just as busy but a little less foolish.