Early Year Tasks for a Craft Business, laying the foundations for the year.

My Craft Business Tasks for Early Year.

I'm sure not all craft businesses are the same, but for me, the first few months of the year are quiet in terms of sales and activity. I think it’s really important to use this time to recharge your batteries and relax a little. Other times of the year can be very stressful and full of pressure and it’s hard to keep going if you don’t take care of yourself. My treat this year was to take an overnight trip to Galway with my daughter and it did me the world of good. Not just the fresh air and quality time with my girl, but also the change of scene cleared my head and gave me a renewed energy.
Here are some of my pics from our trip J

Salthill Promendade Galway

Salthill Beach Monument Galway

Salthill Galway Beach Scene

Cliona and Izzy at Salthill Beach
Izzy at Arabica Coffee Shop

When you feel ready, though, these early months are a great opportunity to catch up on work that’s neglected during the year and to lay a plan for the future.  I'm going to go through some of the things I do that help me later on when things get busy.

First of all, this year I signed up to the Business Audit course run by Tara of Bite the Biscuit and I have to say it has been amazing so far! It’s a very different course than any business course I've done to date in that it pushes you to think and progress in your own business. Rather than just piling on loads of information that you will probably never read again, it encourages you to define and set goads for your very own business. There is a workbook provided to fill in that you will have forever to refer back to and it provides a Facebook group which has load of interaction so you can learn from other people.  I'm only in week one and I'm already brimming with ideas!
Now, normally, at this time of year some of the things I do are (and I will go into these in more detail) –

·         Website Tidy Up
·         Web Shop Tidy Up
·         Product Photography
·         Product Ideas
·         Finances
·         Stock Take
·         Event Planning

1.      Website Tidy Up:

This is basically just looking over your website. Are the photos up to date, are all the links working? Is there anything you would like to change?
Because I blog as well as running my candle business, I often look over old posts to check photos and links and to see if any content can be updated or reshared.

2.       Web Shop Tidy Up:

This is really important, similar to Website check up (perhaps they are one and the same), it’s a question of looking over products and details, check links, etc. Is there anything out of stock that needs to be reordered? Are some of the photos old and in need of renewal? I have been changing over my labelling, so recently updated some of my product pics to reflect this.

3.      Product Photos:

As I've mentioned in the previous two points, product photos need to be up to date and relevant and reflect your current stock. Perhaps you have a better camera now – it’s really worth taking new photos and keeping your look fresh. Particularly if you have an online shop with a lot of stock – it can be easy enough to forget the old listings and this doesn't look great. The light isn't brilliant at this time of year for photos but you can be lucky and get a clear day and this is a good opportunity to take a load of pictures for editing.

4.      Product Ideas:

It’s good to just let your brain run free sometimes! I find that when I'm more relaxed things pop into my head. In my business, I often think about new fragrances I might want to add, packaging I might want to change or any number of things that take a bit of time to organise. Using the quiet months to reflect and plan makes it so much easier later on when you’re feeling frazzled.

5.      Finances:
Ok, this is nobody’s favourite thing but, honestly, when it comes to tax return time, you’ll be very thankful that you put in a bit of work early in the year. I have a spreadsheet set up with all my income and outgoings in different sheets. I've also set up a template for calculating tax owed/due.
I try to put as much detail into the income sheet, e.g. fragrances, type of candle sold, where, etc. It’s actually a great way to get a quick overview of which events were good and which products sold well.  So at this time of year, I transfer all the details from my notebook (which I bring to markets) into the spreadsheet. And I put in my purchases also, including exchange rate and then I calculate the Euro cost to myself.  I don’t do it all at once but in bits and pieces. You’d actually be amazed at how much you get through if you are reasonably consistent with doing this.

6.      Stock Take:

Simple enough!  Just taking a look over what you have left at the end of the year. Are you out of your most popular product? Are you out of products that you have listed on the website? And if you’re anything like me, do you need to empty out your boxes that you just threw into the house on the last day of markets? J

7.      Event Planning:

Fairly straightforward again but it’s a good time to think about what events you really want to do in the coming year. You should have some idea of what worked and what didn't work and a lot of the best events are booked WAY before Christmas season.  So jot down ideas (even in rough format) in a calendar, or put reminders in your phone if that works better for you.  This also helps with planning stock and supply ordering.
Well, that’s pretty much it! Do you have any tips or things you like to get done early in the year? If so, feel free to comment and let me know.

Happy organising!

You might also like Things Not to do When Running a Craft Business.

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  • Unknown
    Unknown 13 January 2017 at 19:14

    You sound so on the ball, makes me feel ever so slightly unorganised. Always good to have a plan of action though, and try not to stray off it too much.

  • Jibberjabberuk
    Jibberjabberuk 13 January 2017 at 20:05

    I need to do a bit of website maintenance but I need to dedicate a couple of hours to sorting it out. Boring but essential!

  • Welsh Cakes and Wellies
    Welsh Cakes and Wellies 13 January 2017 at 21:50

    Always a good idea to re-charge your batteries. Getting away from it all give you a new lease of life even if its just for the night. Good luck with your renewed focus!

  • Chloe/Life Unexpected
    Chloe/Life Unexpected 14 January 2017 at 08:19

    Some really great tasks here. Some of them have inspired me with me blog, especially the tidy up and the refresh of old content. x

  • Linda Hobbis
    Linda Hobbis 14 January 2017 at 16:59

    January is a grim month I always think. May as well do some business housekeeping to while away the dark hours. Lovely pics.

  • Lauretta Wright
    Lauretta Wright 15 January 2017 at 00:48

    Really helpful tips and handy advice - makes me realise I have a bit of 'tidying up' to do myself...

  • Unknown
    Unknown 15 January 2017 at 14:17

    It's good to refocus, have a little discipline and get things in check. Having less hanging over your head definitely helps with motivation. Have a great 2017!

  • Unknown
    Unknown 15 January 2017 at 20:05

    Great post. I am like this as well. I like everything organised. Have a lot to sort out this month.

  • Lyndsay-Rose (Being Mum, Being Me)
    Lyndsay-Rose (Being Mum, Being Me) 10 February 2017 at 06:04

    Sounds like your very organised. Good luck.

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