Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For buyers and sellers of handmade goods...

For those that that sell handmade goods, it is difficult (at least for me) to completely track all my expenses. Of course I get excited when I make a sale and record all the information, deduct fees and shipping...but what about all the supplies I purchase? Ad space? Seminars or classes? Somehow I *forget* to write down everything I buy and there are two reasons for this: 1. I get lazy and 2. I'm scared to see how much I REALLY spend.

I promised myself last year that I would keep a better record of things, and I have...... of sales. Supplies though? Not so much. After about March I just stopped recording things. Next year I promise to try harder! Is record keeping as hard for everyone else as it is for me?

And for buyers of handmade goods (that includes us sellers too!): Buy less, spend more! Try to go all handmade and make gifts more personal. Not only will you search for the 'perfect' gift for the reciepient, but you will also be supporting an independent artist rather than the children in china making plastic toys for $2/month.

As for myself, the majority of gifts I'm giving this year are handmade by independent artists (or by me) and just a couple of them are store bought. It's hard to go completely handmade (I want to meet the person who builds TVs from scratch AND keeps them at a reasonable cost!) but I definitely did try my hardest!


This post was inspired by The Long Thread

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Organization and Time Management

Running a small business is hard, running more than one is even harder! No matter if you run one or five, it still takes organization and time management to get it all done (especially if you work a 9-5 too!) I wanted to give a few tips that I use (though by no means am I a guru of organization and time management!)




I am student teaching (I graduate in December, yay!), I have a weekend job and my tiny etsy shops so organization and time management are key for efficiency.





Organization:
  • Get a medium size accordion filing system (kind of like a coupon organizer) and keep all your income and expense receipts in there. This will be especially helpful during tax time!

  • Have your supplies/stock and work station in one place so you know what you have and what you are running low on.

  • Keep your finished products/stock away from your supplies so you know what is completed. You will also know what you have, what you're selling and what you need more of.

  • If you are shipping or have listing fees, etc. keep a spreadsheet of all your costs. For example, I made myself a spreadsheet that automatically calculates cost of my item - fees + shipping paid for - actual shipping cost = net profit.

  • Write dates on everything so you can track sales and watch trends!

  • Write lists! Lists keep me sane...every time I think of something to do/buy/call etc, I write it on my list and cross it off when I complete it!


Time Management

  • Again, Lists!!!! Keeping a list, not only allows you to be more organized, but saves time because you're not constantly trying to remember what you had to do/buy/call!

  • Set aside specific time, keep a planner if you have to, to get specific things done. You may be able to say something general like "Tuesday I will take photos" or something a little more specific like "Tuesday, between 12-2, I will take photos." This will give you a schedule to keep and know that you need to stop doing something and start taking your photos!
  • Set goals! Set goals to have XX amount of items made by the end of the week or if you can, do a daily amount. Set goals to have photos, items made and XX products listed daily. Treat yourself when you accomplish a goal!



Do you have any time management or organizational tips to share?



Meghan

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Metricly

I found a great website for all you online shop owners. It is called Metricly and it is an aggregated dashboard and analytics platform. It helps businesses of all sizes track their metrics in one place.

They connect your data from a variety of platforms including Google Analytics, Salesforce, Twitter, Facebook, Mailchimp, Zendesk and more. They can even get live analytics from your own MySQL databases or custom internal data. Setup is fast and easy. Once you connect your shop(s), their powerful analytical tools make it easy to dive into your data and find insights that will help your business be even more successful.


I connected my 3 shops from etsy and the graphs were wonderful! You could choose what type of data you want to see and the trends based on the dates you choose. If you've been wondering who buys from you or how many sales you get per month, this does it for you. The best thing? It's FREE!!!


Friday, August 27, 2010

Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Meghan and you might see me blogging on here. I have have recently joined the team and will be helping out with the blog (obviously!), twitter, forum and facebook. Here is a quick list of our spaces for you to come chat with us!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/2crazychics#!/pages/2-Crazy-Chics/234822290873?ref=ts
Twitter: http://twitter.com/2crazychics
Forum: http://www.2crazychics.proboards.com

You can reach me personally at:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/nitelily-designs/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/nitelily3
Shop 1: http://nitelily3.etsy.com
Shop 2: http://nitelilyglamour.etsy.com
Shop 3: http://nitelilykids.etsy.com

As you can see, I'm a business owner myself so if you want to see any specific topics to be talked about or any questions answered, just post here!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt

Are you up for a chance to win prizes totaling over $270.00?  Do you want to have some fun doing it?  Then come join our 2nd annual Scavenger Egg Hunt at the Out Of The Box Sampler.  We are holding it this year with our OOTBS Etsy Team members.  It will be much easier then last years event.  It will be held in our Etsy shoppes, but you do not have to be a member of Etsy to play in the egg hunt.   
 
Here's how to play:
You must begin at the OOTBS Etsy team shoppe.  You'll find it HERE We will be hiding our team scavenger hunt egg picture among the listings in our shoppes. Check the listing in the team shoppe for the egg picture and the name of the first shoppe in the hunt.

At each shoppe, you'll look for the same team egg picture. Once you find it, the description in that listing will tell you the name of the next team shoppe in the hunt. Along the way, there will also be keywords listed at some of the shoppes.
You must keep track of each shoppes name in the order of the hunt and also any keywords in order also.
When you get to the final shoppe in the hunt, you'll be given the directions on where to email your shoppe and keyword list. If you have all the shoppes and keywords in the correct order, you will entered into the drawing for the prizes.

The first person to email me all the correct answers will win the grand prize basket valued at $60.00!

Everyone else with the correct answers will have their names put into a drawing to win 2 other baskets and various individual prizes.

So let's go egg hunting!
*( hunt begins March 24th and runs thru March 31st at midnight (est) All entries must be mailed to me by midnight, March 31st to be entered)
**Please do not share your information with anyone else. If we find that you have shared information or answers, your name will not be added into the drawing.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weird, wonderful and strange

I was taking a look around Etsy, trying to find a birthday card for my son.  Sounds easy, right?  No.  His birthday lands on a really cool day of the year, St. Patrick's Day, and they have neat stuff for that day.  Now, last year when I went looking, I found a couple things, but I lost the links when my computer died.  So, in frustration, I just went to another place and typed in "St. Patrick's Day, Birthday Cards" and I found this.  It's not a card, but, this is wow, neat, weird, strange!  Look!!!


They look so innocent, don't they??  All cute and green.  Just waiting for the next person to come along and-
BAM!!!!   They explode!!!!















Each frog is HANDMADE glycerin soap (that we purchase from a local soap maker) that has been scented with peppermint. The GUTS of the frog are made of our secret bath bomb recipe including sea salt, citric acid, bicarbonate of soda a yummy cherry scent and more.

You can use these soaps as you would any normal soap, but when the warm water hits the center...

WOW!!! The GUTS foam up and bubble out of the frog and turn red...and smell great! EWWWWWW....COOOOL!!!!!

(O.k., really they do not per say "explode", that probably would be illegal. Our frogs are like a bath bomb or bath fizzy.)

Oh, did we mention that these soaps are good for your skin too?

(description from Howard's Home. Thank you!)

Oh, I never did find a card today! Better luck tomorrow.

written by Peggi Dial