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I’m thrilled to kick off our first monthly challenges with one of the most vital things you should do in any business … and that is to do an annual business review and set your goals for the coming year.
I’m not talking about set it and forget it, like most New Year’s resolutions.
What I’m talking about defining actionable goals that you review and assess month after month and which underpin EVERYTHING you do.
If you pop over to the spanking new Facebook group, Bloom on Etsy Support Group, then you will find like-minded people who will help, support and offer accountability to help keep you on track. There I will share prompts and discussions on each month’s actions.
As this month is hopefully the busiest time of the year for most of us, I’m only going to send out 2 emails about this month’s challenges and this is the first one, just in case you hadn’t realised?
This will hopefully give you time to focus on both getting your orders out and really think about how you want your business to grow next year.
Now let’s get going…..
Before you can start setting goals for the coming year you’ve got to know exactly what your business achieved over the last year, where you excelled and where you didn’t.
So the goal for this week is to do a full business review of what you have done. Looking at what you and your business has achieved over the last year to get a clear picture of your current position.
If you have only been up and running for a short while, don’t worry it’s never too early to review where you are!
Action 1: Identify what is working and what isn’t.
During the course of the last year, I’m sure you have achieved a lot! You probably got some surprises, some hard-earned results and some plain old disasters.
Think back and jot down your highs and your lows, what worked and what you struggled with. Then for each item think about how you can do more of the positives and less of the negatives.
Next, think about what you spent your money on that increased your revenue and what did you spend that didn’t give the expected results. Again think about how you can improve on the positives and reduce the negatives.
Action 2: Review your revenue, expense and profit numbers.
Now is the time to take stock of your numbers.
Hopefully, you have everything in a finance tool or spreadsheet, if not why not? Surely you can’t possibly keep track of everything on paper, especially if you have ambitions to grow.
Plug: The Etsy Profit Plan is an all in one spreadsheet tool that takes all your Etsy figures, and all other incomes and expenses and works out your profits. Never again will you get confused between revenue and profits!
The numbers you need to find out for the last 12 months are your:
- sales per quarter.
- number of orders per quarter
- expenses per quarter
For completeness, and as we still haven’t finished off this year, make sure you get the figures for at least the last quarter of the previous year, so you have something to compare to.
Action 3: Review your audience
After reviewing your money numbers let’s look at your traffic numbers.
The numbers you need to find out for the last 12 months are:
- Your quarterly visits to your shop/website
- The number of mailing list subscribers
- The number of social media followers
- Calculate how much each of these figures increased over the course of the year
- What are your best and worst traffic sources?
Given that these numbers generated your revenue over the last 12 months can you see what is working and what isn’t?
Plug: The Etsy Statistics tracker will help you keep track of all of these figures over the course of a year so that you always have easy access to these numbers.
Action 4: Review your products.
Okay, we are nearly at the end!
Take a look at the products you sold over the last 12 months and think about the following:
- What were your top-selling products and how much profit is in each product?
- What were your worst-performing products? is there anything you can do to improve them and would it be a good use of your time to try?
- What % of your sales comes from your top sellers?
- What % of sales comes from your most profitable products?
Now you are armed with your sales figures, are they what you expected?
Are you putting your efforts into the products that are creating the most revenue and profits?
Can you make more of this type of product? Is there anything you can do to improve your underperforming products and is it a good use of your time?
Action 5: Review your income streams.
Finally, we are at the last step!
Take a look at how diverse your income streams are. Do you just have one main source of income or do you have a range of market places that sell your products?
When you look at your revenue streams do they all perform well? If not, is there anything you can do to improve them and is it worth your time?
What would happen if you lost your main revenue stream? If it would be a disaster start thinking about what you could do to diversify so that you aren’t so reliant on one source.
Phew !! That is it. You have completed your business review.
You have all of the figures and information you need to start thinking about where you want to go next.
Next week we will take this a step further and work out what your business goals are going to be over the coming 12 months.
Until next week, keep going and really try and understand your business.
Only you can make YOUR business the business that YOU want it to be, which means taking the time to work on your business rather than just working in your business.
Final plug: Our business planners have sections to record all of your Review answers and much more, to help you take control of your business and make your business bloom and grow.