Yeah, randomly, I stared a bakery too.
7 Years Freelance
The fact that this is the first post on this blog in around 3 years should give you some idea of how manic life has been for me recently.
Freelancing has always been very feast or famine - you've either got thousands coming in that month, or a measly few hundred. You're supposed to save to compensate for the fluctuation, but it's always harder than it sounds.
And then COVID happened. In honesty, it was a blessing for a month or so - as clients scaled back their commitments, i had time to rest that i hadn't had in years, but then of course the money dried up, and even with the pretty decent government "SEISS" support scheme, and with my partner also on furlough at 80% of her regular salary, we were starting to struggle.
Luckily a few things happened - the bounce back loans and local grants kicked in, companies suddenly had money to spend on websites again! I was up and running and i stopped claiming the SEISS payments even though i was still technically eligible - it didn't feel right to do so when that money could go to someone already struggling.
During all this, we were stuck in our homes, and after a year of working 50 hour weeks and staring at the same walls of my spare room, i was pretty burnt out.
The bakery phase...
So, i did what everyone with a job in tech does eventually - i took a hobby (in my case, baking sourdough bread, something i'd been doing long since before lockdown) - and tried to turn it into a business.
I started an Instagram, attracted local attention, gave bread out to friends, got help from some awesome local business people, and eventually got a meeting with a local cafe who not only wanted to use my products, but also had a kitchen space they weren't using during lockdown.
I scaled back my freelance work, not taking on any new work or going out hunting for leads. I got my web work down to 2.5 days a week, leaving time to develop business and recipes for the bakery.
I ran a successful crowdfunder that pulled in 4k of funding to buy ovens and a big mixer so i could make giant batches and make more money. I got the equipment, lugged them up 6 flights of stairs to the kitchen space with the endless help of my friends and family, and then, without warning, on the eve of the local market where i was planning to make enough profit to put a deposit down on my own kitchen space, I was asked to quickly vacate the space i was using.
So in 2 days, once again my friends came to my rescue with vans, help carrying 300kg+ of equipment down 6 flights of stairs, and helped me out with storing them. They're still sat in storage while i figure out what i'm going to do with them and how not to dissapoint my 100+ backers.
That was the end of that.
Ramping things back up
So i'd been at less than half capacity for a few months, i'd saved up a cash buffer, but