Rocket & Rose 2018 Statement
Are you sitting comfortably...
2017 was a bit of a tough year for Rocket & Rose. We had 2 office moves which fell on really inconvenient timings, 3 months without any internet, a massive increase in orders which resulted in huge delays on order dispatching, a massive melt down in the answering of messages and our customer service delivery, Royal Mail delays, staff changes & a major machine breakdown of one of the main printers for our products. All these factors pretty much brought my anxiety and stress levels to hit an all time high & talk of stopping the business was a regular discussion throughout most of the year.
Rocket & Rose was just supposed to be a hobby for me. So I could be a stay at home Mummy to my longed for babies. This was back in 2011 & within a year my darling husband was moving jobs so he could help me with orders and with my sanity with running a house, being a Mummy & growing a business. You lovely people seemed to love my designs and my products, and the talk of it being a Mummy Hobby is all a distant memory.
I wanted to write this statement as I know that 2017 wasn't one of our greatest years. A lot of factors were against us, the main one being me & my ability to run a fast growing business. The Fiver Friday & Mystery Bag sales went absolutely through the roof for us & it was a difficult time for me as I struggled with organising the amount of orders we had in, whilst managing your expectations in Customer Service & Delivery. My training & talent is making & designing. Organisation & Customer Service & Admin isn't my strong point at all, but I really did try my very best. When it's your business - your baby, it's really difficult to deal with people you have upset through incorrect or delayed orders, when all I've tried to do behind the scenes is to try my very best in the given situation.
We've had a few weeks off the business now. We temporarily unpublished the Facebook page & other social media sites and the email app was deleted and the laptop left closed. I needed to do this & I do hope you can understand why. Hubby & I have had some really good brainstorming sessions with the business and we are now coming into 2018, refreshed and raring to go.
Our plan for this new year is to improve our customer service with the addition of a new member of staff to solely concentrate on your messages and get you answered quicker. This will be on our emails, Facebook, Instagram, Etsy & any other way we operate. We may also be introducing a landline office phone later on in the year.
We are going to manage your expectations of us & we are going to be offered a faster turnaround on our items which will improve our service, and this is how...
* Retire certain products - we are going to be stripping back on our offering & the leggings, cubbies, handmade dresses and various other items will not be available from us anymore. We will still be offering certain bespoke & custom made items, but mainly on printed garments rather than handmade & handprinted goods.
* We are going to reduce the t-shirt colours, so we only have 5 colours available, which will hopefully help us with our stock levels and will mean we can actually hold stock of all sizes and colours so we can pick items off the shelf, print & send. The colours will be: White, Black, Grey, Baby Pink & Navy Blue.
* Have our more popular products ready printed which means that we can offer a same day or next day dispatch service. These will be highlighted on our website.
* The glitter & plain print colour choices will be stripped down, again to make things simpler which will mean we can dispatch orders quicker.
* Increase staff hours at busy times. We have a small team of 6 of us, all working short shifts (apart from hubby & I who work full time & more!). When our orders books are filling up, the staffing hours will increase to fulfill these orders, so we can still keep to a reasonable dispatch time.
* Look into why there were delivery problems with Royal Mail and see what we can do to improve these problems. Towards the end of 2017, it was a nationwide problem with delayed deliveries - our 24 hour & next day services were taking up to 10 days to be delivered, which reflects on us. We will look to see what we can do differently during busy periods which are time dependent.
These things are achievable & will improve our service and reputation of a small business in the Personalised fashion sector.
We will also be looking at a Gift Delivery Service, where we can gift wrap and send out items direct to recipients in beautiful gift boxes with personalised notes (still at the quicker turnaround!). This will be developed early this year & will hopefully be of interest to you.
We will also be giving something back with regular competitions and giveaway on our social media pages.
We won't be offering any of the ad hoc Fiver Friday or Mystery Bag deals this year, but instead we are going to be offering 2 sales of ready made & ready to ship items in March & October. We are also going to be doing our 'Buy One Get One Half Price' on selected t-shirts throughout the month of January (starting tomorrow!) which we have done every year for the past 5 years. Details to follow soon on that one!
I do hope this statement puts your minds at ease, that 2018 will be better with a more streamlined and more organised Rocket & Rose. We will be working though our emails and messages FULLY over the next week or so, and anyone that had any problems with orders, items or delivery over the Christmas period will be dealt with soon & with the care & attention you deserve, so we thank you for you patience whilst we get to you.
I would like to thank you all for making this business grow for us. We couldn't do this without your continued custom, support & understanding. We know our standards have slipped and boy, are we going to work our socks off this year to improve this!
I am having one last day off with my gorgeous little people today & I will be back tomorrow with details of the January T-Shirt Special Offer.
Thank you again & let's look forward to 2018 together!
Rocket & Rose