Planning for a New Year

Ya’ll you can’t start a new year blindly! You need to have a plan. I’m not just talking about goal setting, like we did January 2018 or January 2016. Yes that’s great but I mean also planning out your time and your attention. Here are things I do at the beginning of a new year.

Always remember what problem you solve for your customers. Ask yourself. What problem does my customer have that I can help them solve? If you sell wreaths, it will be helping make their home decorating easier for the holidays. If it’s candles, it will be to help them change their mood (relax, unwind, wake up, etc.). Always be asking what can you do to solve a problem for your customer.

Go back and review the previous year. I’m writing this in Dec. 2018 so I’m looking back at 2018.  Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where did my sales come from? Was it Etsy, Facebook, Craft Shows (if shows, which one was better), Word of Mouth, locals, etc.
  • Which months were better performing months and why?  Was the month, holiday? Was it a better fair because it didn’t have a lot of MLM’s?
  • Which product sold best? Was it color, quantity, smaller, larger, price, etc.

Also, if you run membership groups, look back at the previous year and analyze what worked and what didn’t. Come up with a calendar for content in your groups. You should also survey your members and ask some of these questions:

  • What did they like best?
  • What did they like least?
  • How often do they want to hear from you?
  • Do they have a problem getting their materials?
  • What are their struggles?
  • What are they looking forward to learning from you?
  • Why are they there?
  • Are any days better than others for lives or training?
  • You could also ask budget if selling kits, their location if doing events, etc.

After analyzing your sales and what seemed to work, then you ask yourself why did it work? Did you work harder? Was it a seasonal thing? Was it a new product line?  Once you know this, you can 10x it! Do more of it and see if you can do more of it throughout the year.  For example, if I made a blue wreath that sold out every time I listed it, I would try to do more of them but incorporate blue into other wreaths throughout the year. Or if I learned that smaller items great for gift giving worked well for Christmas sells, I would incorporate gifts for other occasions such as graduation, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s day, wedding, etc.

Use a calendar! I’m not lying this is a time SAVER. It does take time to make one but make a calendar now for the year on when to start creating your items. We are in the retail business, so we make our items 2 months ahead of time. I’ll give you an example for selling holiday decor but it should also fit into other creative businesses.

January – Mardi Gras, Spring, Easter, Valentine’s Day
February – Spring, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day
March – Mother’s Day, Graduations, Spring,
April –  Weddings, Summer, Patriotic, Graduation, Memorial Day
May – Weddings, Summer, 4th of July, Father’s Day
June – Back to School, Fall
July – Christmas, Fall, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Fall Weddings, College Sports
August – Christmas, Fall, Thanksgiving, Halloween, College Sports
September – Christmas, Halloween
October- Christmas, New Years, Holiday Gifts
November – Gift Giving, Finish Christmas, Winter Months, Mardi Gras, New Year’s
December – Mardi Gras, Valentine’s

Here’s a blank calendar I created for you to print off. As you can see here in my example, use it to plan out when you will create content or products as well as when you have appointments, travel or family activities.

Items I add on my yearly calendar: travel dates, my product launches, seasonal dates, topics to cover, family activities, affiliate products I’ll promote, live events, facebook live schedule, big sales, etc.

I’m also including this craft calendar printout for you to hang in your workshop.

Note: If you don’t have a year’s worth of sales to analyze for the new year, do research. Research other Etsy shops and take note of what they sell each month. Also ask the members of the group to help you brainstorm. They will gladly tell you what worked for their shop vs. where not to waste your time.

And don’t forget to inventory your items now. In fact, I do this once a quarter. I quickly inventory what I have and make note of that in an inventory notebook or google sheets spreadsheet. This way when you go out to shop, you know when to say no to new purchases.

1 Comment

  1. ladyowl49 on December 24, 2018 at 12:03 am


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