4 Ways to Stay in Love with your Business ~ Taking Stock

{image by Dominique Falla}

This is a guest post by Megan Eckman of Studio MME. She’s writing about how to stay in love with your business this month on Epheriell Designs. You can read post 1 here, post 2 here, and post 3 here.

Perhaps I’m silly but I love planning new lines and products for my business. It’s what gets me super excited each day and has me waking up in the middle of the night with new ideas.

Coming up with new ideas is a great way to stay in love with your business but at the end of the year, it’s equally important to take stock of a few things.

 

  • Now’s the time to figure out which consignment or wholesale shops you’ll ditch. If they aren’t making the profit they should be, or if the store owners are a pain to work with, there’s no reason to continue your partnership. Cutting out some shops opens up your opportunities for better ones to pick you up.
  • Crunch the numbers on your products. I mean really crunch them because I’m betting big money your profit isn’t really that much. Figure out exactly how much money in supplies it takes for each piece. Then add in how much time in hourly wages it takes to construct that piece. Yes, you should be paying yourself at least $20 an hour, darling. Compare that to your wholesale price. Are you making the profit you need to make? January 1st is the perfect time to raise your prices because shop owners will be restocking and thus you’ll kill two birds with one stone.
  • Look over your sales spreadsheets and see which products just haven’t been selling well. It may be time to retire them. There’s nothing wrong with moving away from a product line that isn’t serving you. If no one has been buying it, who’s really going to miss it? Let it go out with a bang and have a sale!
  • After you survive the holiday shows, decide which ones will be repeats next year and which ones you’ll stay far, far away from. To properly evaluate the success of a show, you’ll want to take into account both the pure profit you earned AND how you FELT during the show. Did you have a genuine smile on your face all day or did it feel like you were pulling teeth to make every single sale? Examining the target market of each show and how it relates to the target market of your business will give you a great peek into which ones could be a success next year with a few changes to your set-up and which ones just don’t fit you at all.
  • This one is the hardest to hear but you also want to take stock of the people and groups you hang out with. When I started my business and Etsy shop, I immediately joined my local Etsy team. It was a wonderful support system for me. But as I moved off of Etsy and grew into my own website, those same ladies who were amazing months before now depressed me. They were safe and secure staying where they were. No one wanted to rise up and grow. It was painful but I made the decision to leave the group and instead reach out to other local artists who had outgrown Etsy. The change was incredible and I felt so much more drive to keep pushing. It’s so important to hang out with people who will push you, not keep you pushed down.

Taking stock of these 5 big things now means that when you pull out your shiny new calendar, you get to focus on filling up all that empty space with new products, shops, friends, and prices! Isn’t that exciting? Hopefully it’s exciting enough to get you to sit down with a pad of paper, a calculator, and a level, honest head.

What else are you planning to take stock of this holiday season to stay in love with your business? I’d love to know!

*****

 

Megan Eckman is the community coordinator forCreateHype.com, a site that helps female entrepreneurs learn how to market their creative business.

She’s also the illustrator behind Studio MME on a mission to rekindle wonder and ignite imaginations around the world.

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