We all know January is all about setting and breaking new year’s resolutions. According to US News and World Report, 80% of people have stopped working on their resolutions by mid-February.
This isn’t about resolutions, this is about setting and working on the goals you have for your business. You do have goals, don’t you?
If not, lets start with looking back at last year. Do you know what your gross revenue was? (Amount of sales) from last year? If not, go look at your bank account and see what was deposited in there from your business. You did separate your business account from your personal bank account didn’t you? If you don’t, do that right now. Stop reading and go online today, or head to your local bank and setup another account for your business. You want to know how much you business brings in.
Now that you have that number, are you happy with it? It doesn’t matter if you made an additional $1,000 from your first show or if you are making $100,000. If you are happy with it, lets figure out how to do this again. And if you aren’t happy, what can you do to increase it so you are happier with your revenue.
Do you have the time and energy to do more shows? Yes, which ones will fit with what you sell and your price point? Make sure the cost of traveling to the new shows make sense with your goal of earning more money. If you spend more than you make going to a show, will it pay off in the future if you continue to go? Or will you make repeat customers from another location? Are there other great shows in your local area you can do? Maybe you only did one show during the summer, is there one during the holidays you could do as well?
Do you have an online presence? If not, do you have the time and energy to deal with selling online? The order processing and monitoring of sales? If you can do so, decide where you want to sell. Do you want to set up an Etsy shop, apply to Amazon Handmade, set up your own online store?
There are advantages and disadvantages to all. Kiff at the The Artist’s J.D. wrote up some of the differences in your rights between having an Etsy Store and an Amazon Handmade Store. It its worth a reading to find out some of the differences.
If you do not have the time and energy to do more shows or create more inventory to sell, the other option to increasing revenue is to increase the price point of what you sell. But before you do this, you need to do some research to see if this will lose your existing customers. If you sell on Etsy, how price sensitive are the shoppers? Will they buy from another vendor if you increase your price a $1 and item? If you are selling at an art fair, will it price you out of the market if you increase your price $10 per photo?
It is a bit of a tricky situation when pricing your products, which I am sure you went through when you initially priced them. But look at your costs and what you want to earn and make a decision if it would be in your interest to increase your price.
Or conversely, is your price point to high to create sales? Do you need to decrease it in order to increase your sales? Would reducing your per item cost of your home-made lotions by $.50 increase your overall sales and make you more net income?
Do not change your price without doing some research and look at your bottom line. Is it worth creating more sales if you are now stressed over the time to create the inventory and fill the orders?
We go back to time and energy.
You are your business. You decided to create your own business for your own personal reasons. To make additional side-income, be your own boss, to spend your time creating something you are passionate about.
You may have also started your business to be able to have time with your family. Make sure your business goals still work with your personal goals. Make sure you didn’t create a business you no longer love doing. Of course, there will always be parts of a business you don’t love, but you should overall, love what you are creating!
So, it is time to sit down with pen and paper, or hands on a key board and write out your business goals. They need to be SMART goals, meaning they are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. Here are some you may want to look at:
- Number of shows this year.
- Amount of items I want to create and inventory of each.
- What I am creating this year (new products)?
- How much do I want to earn?
- Do I want an online presence?
- If I have an online presence, do I need to revamp how it looks?
- How much time do I want to spend on my business?
Once you have the answers to these questions, it is time to sit down with your calendar and schedule out your year.
When are the shows you want to do? When do you need to apply to them? Include all of this in your calendar. Once you are accepted to a show, work backwards to figure out when you will need to create the inventory you want to sell. How much time does each item take to create, how much time do you have each week to create the inventory for the show?
If you are looking at your earnings, how much do you need to make at each show, or each day on your online store to meet your goal? How many sales will you need to make to reach that sale? How much of your time will you need to invest for each sale?
As you work through your calendar to fit in the tasks you will need to complete in order to meet your goals, you will start to see if this is realistic. Can you realistically create the inventory you need for a show a month from now? Will you have the time to keep up with your online store if you attend another craft fair? Will you still love the your business and have time for you life with the goals you are reaching for?
If not, reassess your goals to make them fit in with your overall life.
There is no reason to kill yourself making inventory and creating additional revenue, if you will not have time to enjoy your life. Because although you are your business, your business is not all there is to you.
If you would like additional resources on goal setting, there are a ton of classes you can take. Amazon also has a ton of books on goal setting. I am current reading James Clear’s Atomic Habits, but find one which speaks to what you are looking for.
All the best to you as you create your goals for this year.