Tuesday, August 14, 2018

It's Time To Set A Few Boundaries...

When Bodacious Biscuit Love was in full swing, we learned first hand that no matter the amount of good you're trying to do for others, people will stoop to low levels. During this time, we made homemade dog treats and sold them to the public. We had a few displays in various locations as well. The money we made from the dog treats were used to purchase ingredients, supplies, and cover shipping costs so we could provide our homemade dog treats and much-needed items to our local animal shelters. We also provided raffle baskets for shelter and rescue organizations and hosted a few fundraisers.

During that span of time, we had people steal bags of biscuits from our display. They'd flat out steal them or pay for 1 bag and take 2 or 3. We also had people who ordered biscuits but never followed through with payment. Or, I'd have to send numerous reminders for payment. By the time we received payment, it was several weeks to over a month since we had shipped their homemade dog treats.

At the time, we sort of had an honor system. If someone ordered our homemade dog treats, we'd bake fresh to order and ship within the next day or so.

But, as the saying goes, "You live, you learn."

As time went on we made some changes. We took some of our displays down. We limited the amount of bags we stocked our remaining displays with. And, if someone ordered biscuits and needed them shipped, if we didn't know them personally, we required payment first.

Despite the changes made, we still had issues. Sadly, some of the people we did know personally took weeks to finally send payment. Or, they failed to send it at all.

Towards the end of last year, we made the decision to shift focus and hone in on the pet blogging and DIY Dog Mom Projects. We're still doing great stuff for pet parents and donating items to our local animal shelters, but we're no longer making homemade dog treats for the public.

For a little over a year, we've been making DIY Dog Mom Projects and offering some of our pieces to the public.

At first, I didn't think I would have to address some of the same issues we had with Bodacious Biscuit Love. We learned during those 4+ years.

All in all, we haven't had many problems, but over the past few months, there is one big issue that I need to face head-on.

Setting boundaries and separating friendship from professional.

To better understand that, let me give you an example.

We have a couple of friends who order custom pieces and other Bodacious DIY Dog Mom Projects. They're wonderful people. We absolutely adore them.

They don't live too far away so they've always opted to pick up their pieces at our home.

That's one option we provide when we offer pieces to the public.

Time and time again, when they let us know what time they'll be here to pick up their pieces, they're always late. Very. Very. Late. A couple of months ago, they were almost 2 hours late.

I understand that life happens. Stuff comes up. I get that. But, when it happens every single time, it pings my nerves.

Lisa and I are busy. When someone says they're going to be here at a certain time, we stop what we're doing so we can be available to greet them at the door when they pick up their pieces.

If we're sitting around waiting and waiting and waiting, that doesn't make us happy. We don't have that amount of time to sit and wait for someone to show up. Especially when they're over an hour late.

Another example is waiting for people to pay. More often than not, we ship pieces before payment is made when we personally know someone. Most of the time, they'll drop payment in my PayPal or we'll get a check a day or 2 after.

But sometimes, that doesn't happen.

A week goes by and I end up having to send a reminder. Then, a week later, another reminder. Finally, after a few weeks, payment is received.

It's frustrating all the way around, however, I have no one to blame except myself. I have failed to put my foot down and set boundaries.

This week, that ends. I'm done.

I will no longer be creating custom orders and shipping pieces unless they're paid for.

And, we will no longer be waiting around for over an hour for people to show up. Our time is just as valuable as yours. If you're supposed to be here at 2:30, we'll wait until 2:45. That's it.

Yeah, that sounds harsh, but think of it this way...

For those who work, when it's payday, you expect to be paid. If you had to wait 2-3 weeks for your check, you'd be pissed.

Or, if you were stranded on the highway with a flat tire in the dead of winter and the tow guy said he'd be there in 10 minutes but didn't show up until an hour and a half later, you'd be pissed.

Another view from where I'm coming from is this...

When you go into a retail store, you have to pay for the merchandise you want before you leave the store.

That also includes when you shop online. You have to pay for the items you want. They're not going to ship the items in your cart unless you pay.

I have to set these boundaries regardless of the relationship I have with the person who places a custom order or grabs a few pieces we've created.

Enough said.

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