Preparing for the New Year

Now that the holiday rush is over and you have done a bit of relaxing, it is time to get ready for the New Year! If you are anything like me, which I think you may be, there might be a little feeling of “ what now?”
Well, there is plenty do in this “what now” period of time.

When having your own business, work is never done. There is always something to do!
Sometimes, you just may find that you have a little more time to do it.
Well, now that you do, use it productively.

I have made a list of “ things to do” and listed it here. The list is not to overwhelm you, but to provide guidance for entering the New Year. I’m sure I have skipped many things (feel free to add) , but if you start with one step a day, I promise you will feel that you have accomplished a great deal by the end of January.

1. Fill any orders.

2. Sit back and look at you last year. Determine successes and failures.

3. Determine your bests and worst: products, shows, events, etc.

4. If you haven’t already, mark events on calendar and buy a new calendar. I find it helpful to write down how much was made at each show on the calendar to get any easy visual of my sales during the year. Would also be helpful to indicate when your sales were made on Etsy. Which were your stongest months?

5. If you sell to stores, check to see if you have received all your payments.

6. Go through receipts and total and determine where you spent your money.

7. If you haven’t done it already, check charge receipts and determine taxes due.

8. Clean up workspace. Throw out any old supplies (dried out paints, markers, etc.)

9. Take inventory of you supplies so you prevent yourself from buying things that you already own. Those things that you don't use and are still useable, possibly offer up to another Etsy person. Make a list of the supplies you need and order so you have them when you need them.

10. Now is the time to work on those things you may not feel you had time for when you were in the busy season. This could be working on a new business card, developing a postcard, a printed catalog or a flyer describing a product or service you may offer.

11. Analyze website and Etsy site. What worked and what did not. May want to change out products that have not been selling. Also, a perfect time to line up new items to add to Etsy site. Resize photos and group according to category. Descriptions can also be prepared for items to be posted.

12. Were you happy with your display? If not, take the time to think about what you would like to change. What design ideas have you seen others use that you think would work well with your product? May want to test displaying on another color.

13. Clean up your computer. Organize photos and files.

14. Make a list of shows that you absolutely want to do this year. See if the applications are available yet and when they must be submitted. Mark on your calendar.

15. Now would be a good time to photograph any new work.

16. If you have thought about selling to stores, now is a good time to think seriously about it. Start to look for where and if you afford to go wholesale. And if so, which products? Make a plan.

17. See if there is anything to piecework to prepare to make things easier when it is time to produce.

18. And lastly, when you think you are complete work on building up your inventory.

Hope this check list helps!
Have a happy, healthy and productive New Year.