Sunday, December 21, 2014

Time to look back ... And to the future!

So ... 2014 is just about to hit the history books. Another year gone by. For a business, this is the perfect time to take a look at what has been accomplished; where we have fallen short; and how we can improve in the coming year.

It really is important to establish goals. But we can't do that without understanding where we stand right now. This is a good time to really look at our businesses and possibly set a new direction, steering us toward a more productive and profitable business year.

We all have different circumstances. Some of us are just beginning; some have been doing this for a while. Some just want to satisfy a need to create; some of us need income. Whatever your situation is, this is a great opportunity to make things better and stronger.

Did you sell more this year? Less than last year? Has your average "ticket" gone up or down? Are you getting more custom orders or "special requests"?

Who is your customer? Do you target that group, or do they just "find" you?

Where can you curb expenses? Or is it time to spend more and invest in your business?

Lots of questions. No firm replies, because we are all different, and only you can answer.

A pad, a pen, your checkbook register and last year's sales / expenses holds the key. Honestly look at everything and see where your strong points are; make those stronger.

The weak points can be worked on if you feel you must. Sometimes it really is better to make radical changes; let the weak stuff go and just keep what works, making that stronger than ever. This is probably the best way. I can think of a couple of current JET members who have done exactly that, and it seems to me that they're stronger because of it.

Terry and I are planning big changes; we are going to target a new segment of the market.

Our ETSY shop may not change, but ... then again, it may. We shall see. One thing is for sure - we have given everything a really hard look, and we know we need to evolve. Its impossible to go over here and now. But I can say this ... it WILL be different.

Just a thought. New year; a new way of doing things. Businesses must grow. The only alternatives are to stagnate or recede. That will not happen to us; we will radically change the way we do things before anything negative occurs.

This is not anything new or surprising. Etsy has done this themselves. To make the site more profitable they have changed many things beginning with redefining "handmade" to suit their purposes. What ETSY has done makes it important to be willing to change and "roll with the punches". Consider doing things that will make your shop stronger in light of their changes. Target a new customer. Create new things that are unique. Cater to the custom made / personalized jewelry shopper. Do anything you need to that will bring new customers into your shop. Etsy is still a great venue; use it to YOUR advantage!


Cher said...

Great article Bob, and lots to think about. I know since I've learned to adapt to certain changes, it's made a difference in my shop. I've looked back to compare previous years, and I'm very pleased with the results, so it's onward and upward! I wish all our JETs the same for the coming year :)

jemsbyjb said...

Some great "fuel for thought". Definitely going to spend some time planning for a prosperous 2015.

SendingLoveGallery said...

great post with lots of good advice, thank you!

Jean Sandell said...

Great post, Bob!

Erika Price said...

Very thought provoking article, Bob. I made a number of changes in my shop to adapt to the Etsy changes, and ended up having my best year ever for sales!

WanderingJewel said...

Great post Bob, I was thinking about doing a post mortem of the holiday season this year.

Nancy Russell said...

Well said, Bob. Great points to ponder and give some serious consideration to as we make resolutions for the new year. A good time to evaluate where our shops have gone this past year and be brutally honest with ourselves.

MadeByTammy said...

Fantastic post, Bob! Well said and so true. Can't wait to see what changes you make in the new year.