Saturday, October 25

Surviving your business during bad times…

Again we seem to be back on the topic of a budget. It seems that a budget is a sure way to guarantee seeing some growth in revenue and income while running a business. I for one know that a budget is what I needed to see the growth of my company.

Like many of you this all started as a hobby and not too much thought went into turning my craft into a business. One reason for that was because of money! Money to start and build a business, material, production and advertising costs. After a yearlong intensive research into my industry, I found I was not the only person who thought this way, so I decided to give it a try. I use to just go shopping with no aim or direction and craft card after card. I started with a paid site, which got no traffic or sales but found a way to make holes in my pocket. Then I found, which is a great place to sell hand made goods. My sales/revenue were low and my expenses were high. I joined many social networks in an attempt to go the word out about my business and even did the online marketing thing. I will testify that a network is where you need to be to spread the word of your business, but online marketing? Well that needs to be researched and done correctly to see the right results for the money you put in. I also did a bunch of free classified ads as well, but I warn you of the pranksters and scammers out there.

Now 2 years old, with 1 of those years actually selling my cards, I have made great strides in running a successful small business, but today with the economy the way it is I wonder how much longer I can do it. I do crafts shows/fairs and even there you can feel the pinch of this failing economy. That’s when I realized I needed to buckle down and create a budget for the future of my business. I was so used to just going shopping, like a kid in a candy store, I bought whatever was glittered like gold…crafting card after card but if I were to continue conducting business I would need to know what was going. What does it cost to make one card and to ship it? This show cost this, that and third…if I make no money what did I accomplish? Will it lead to future revenue/income?

I suggest recognizing what your financial needs are when it comes to crafting. Don’t buy extra if its not needed. Maybe sketch a new design before you make it, this way you know what you need or want before you walk out the store with the entire stockroom. When you do your next show/event be sure to know what you can do if sales are low and nowhere to be found, to guarantee future sales.

Remember this is your Home-based Small Business, and like a regular job it’s to make money for yourself, home and future. Until the economy picks up, be sure to save what you can don’t spend what you don’t need to spend. Tomorrow your business will thank you for it…

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