Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In My Studio: Taking Stock

Wow its January again and time for me to take stock of my business So Handmade. Take stock literally by looking at my inventory of products and materials and also take stock figuratively- analyzing the years highs, lows and planning for 2014.

Here are some useful tips to take stock of your own business to make it more profitable, less stressful and more streamline for the new year.

1) Analyze your sales figures for 2013, look at:
  • What marketplace was most profitable (Etsy, shops, craft fairs)
  • What products sold well and what products didn't sell
  • Which products were most profitable (bearing in mind materials and labor)
  • Did you meet your sales goals?
  • What is the competition like for similar products to yours? Are the prices and quality comparable or do you need to re-think your line.
2) Look at your Etsy feedback and think about any comments you got from customers at craft fairs:
  • Is there anything you can improve?
  • Were there any custom requests for products/ sizes that you don't carry? Is it possible for you make these often requested products.
Pantones 2014 Color of the Year- Radiant Orchid

3) Look at the trends for 2014. Which colors and images will be in? What new technology will be trending? For example any new gadgets like iphones/ tablets etc which you can make accessories for.

4) Plan your product line for 2014 bearing in mind all of the points above.
5) What are your business and sales goals for 2014? What is your sales strategy? Will you continue selling in the same marketplaces or investigate other opportunities.

6) Make sure to mark your calendar with any holiday specific products you want to make to ensure that you get them made well before the holiday. Look at one of my previous blogs In My Studio: Keeping up with the Calendar for all the 2014 holiday dates.

7) After planning your product line look at what materials you will need, inventorise your store cupboard and start looking for deals for any materials you will need, remember buy bulk where possible to save costs.
8) Get organized, tidy your studio ready for the year ahead (for help look at my previous blog: In My Studio: Getting Organized).

9) Get all your documents together for your 2013 tax returns, do them while last year is still fresh in your mind and not later in the year when you have already 'moved on'.

10) Plan which craft fairs you will do and mark on your calendar when applications are due.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay 
Good luck and Good Making!
Sarah Omura - So Handmade

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