Thursday, 18 October 2012

About Business and Butter

For those of you who didn't know, I work for Carat Media, one of the biggest media agencies in the UK. Working there has taught me a lot about running promotional campaigns for big clients, generally online. However, when I opened my craft shop, I immediately realised something - everything I had learned, every strategy and tactic, was never going to work for a business like mine. I simply didn't have the resources, budget or manpower.

So it was time to go out on a tangent and look at this as something different - not just a shop, but an entrepreneurial project, a microbusiness, with a different strategy, different tactics and different ways of promoting. Once I started thinking like that, not only did things become easier but a lot more enjoyable too, and the feeling of being stuck faded away. Because once you change your perspective and start to think like an entrepreneur, your mission becomes clear, it's easier to know what to do and how to do it and everything becomes generally easier and more enjoyable.

Another thing I discovered when I went down this route is that I love looking at businesses in this light. So many people are stuck in the "I started a business/opened a shop but it's not going very well and I don't know what to do" phase, that I decided to start helping some of the ones in my immediate circle, reworking their whole concept so it stopped being a headache and started being fun and exciting again. This went down well, and I started thinking of all the other small business owners that are currently trying to weed through tons of information, make sense of it and try and apply it to their business but not getting anywhere.

I want to do this in a bigger scale. That's why I've decided to run a series of blog posts on this topic, covering strategy, tactics and promotion among a lot of other things. I'll tell you more about it soon, but for now, I can promise you the series won't be scaringly technical, full of corporate speech, vague, unrealistic or difficult. In fact, it's going to be a lot of fun and I'm really excited!

Now, on a completely unrelated note...

... I churned my own butter last week. Yep. Did you guys know it was so easy? I didn't. In case you don't know how this works but are experiencing a "lets go back to living in farms" inner revolution like me, here's what you do.

You buy a pot of double cream and pour it in a measuring glass. Then you grab a blender and start airing the cream, which basically means you move the blender in up-and-down motions, getting it to go a little above the cream and down again. For a few minutes, nothing will happen and you'll start to despair. Then, three things will happen in a very fast sequence. The cream will whip, then clot (at this point the blender will get stuck in the glass and you'll have to use all the adrenaline you have left in your body to un-stick it and keep going - I almost lost my arm in there) and finally, the butter will separate from the buttermilk. Success!

Get it out of the glass and place it in a wooden chopping board - it should look something like this:

Now, you grab a wooden spatula and start patting it like crazy, which will cause the rest of the buttermilk to separate from the butter.

Do this until it looks like most of the buttermilk has come out, and there you go, you just made your own butter! Now put it in a nice jar for brownie points (I put it in two, salted and unsalted) and show it to anyone who visits, including the man from the gas company. And since I was feeling confident and fortunate, I also made some bread to go with it - so good.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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