Behind the scenes of a small business is a lot of frustration...
This last year has seen a (very welcome) uptick in online orders. Thank you!
Pre-Corona (BC, if you will), I probably had about 10-15 orders a week placed online. Now, DC (you can guess that one, yeah? lol), I'm probably operating at about 99% of orders all being direct to nobookswereharmed.co.uk and I rarely post less than 5 orders a day, with the run up to Valentines & Mothers Day seeing previous unprecedented numbers of 30+ a day.
I'm delighted that the local filling station installed a Post Office counter last year. Mosstodloch is a tiny village in the north east of Scotland, and for a new owner to come along and invest in a business in the village is just wonderful ♥ I'd always just paid my postage over the counter, but a few weeks ago I totted up the savings I'd be making from opening a business account with the Royal Mail, and the answer was eye watering...conservatively £1000 a year, but realistically, a lot more. That's a saving I just can't afford to ignore, especially with postage prices rising faster than previous years.
So back in February, I started the process of setting up an Online Business Account with the Royal Mail. I ordered me a snazzy wee label printer, and eagerly awaited authorisation to start. In the meantime, excitement got the better of me - I wanted to use my new toy! So I paid a few parcels online. 3/4 days in a row went by, no problem. Then yesterday, the post master became really concerned that the parcels were underpaid by 20p each. They weren't underpaid, 20p is the saving made by buying online (which doesn't seem much, and is why I didn't do it all these years...until I actually totted it up). Anyhoo. Last night, confused post master proceeded to add a 20p stamp to each parcel, charging me for it, as he was so worried they wouldn't arrive. So that completely and utterly defeated the idea of paying online. Anyway...
...after a few false starts, my OBA was fully ready to go this morning! Yay!
I synced it all up with the back end of my website, and excitedly processed one (real) test order. Very long story short, the Post Office didn't know what to do with it. Much longer story and 3 visits later, I have a proof of posting and said parcel seems to be 'in the system'. Except it's not. Because there is NOTHING showing on my end of the account to say it's sent. It still shows as being 'manifested', which conjures up all kinds of fantastical images in my mind, and that hasn't changed in the hours since it was sent off.
Mr No Books does most of my post for me. This started sometime during first lockdown. He's worked right through all this, so it made sense that he was out anyway, so could go to the PO, rather than me going out just for that. Made sense at the time, but it's just kinda stuck like that now. He finishes his own work, comes home, grabs my post bags, and nips round to the ever so nice PO.
So. Not trusting that test one is ever going to reach the customer, I then re-labelled all of the other parcels by hand, and he went round AGAIN and posted them the old fashioned way haha
I did choose a regular customer to play guinea pig. I haven't told them. I'm still trying to have faith that this system works, even it it looks completely f*cked up at my end. Will be checking the tracking details numberous times a day from here on...
Is any of this a big deal? Nah, not really. But by f*ck it takes up way too much brain space, when it's at capacity anyway.
So, that's today's bloggin' from ma noggin'. I'm still not sure what I'll be doing with this blog. At the minute it's semi hidden away in my footer menu. I'll probably not actually mention it until there's a few posts for you to read.
But if you do spy it, dare you to post a photo of aaaaaa...capital B! on my Facebook page ;-)
In the meantime, it's just a wee day-to-day diary ;-)