Crafty Business

Crafty Business: Making Progress

Crafty
Business:
All the ins and outs of running a small, creative one woman business.

In the last Crafty Business post, I talked to Kristy Hall about making progress and how feeling like you’ve done “enough” can be elusive. I mentioned my progress report sheet and linked to the pdf. Today I’m going to tell you a bit more about it and why I’ve found it to be immensely useful.

For the last 4 years of Craft Leftovers, I have had ambiguous feelings of success and failure. In general it was, “Hey, I paid my bills and have a little left over” or “Hey my ad revenue is up. I must have more readers coming by the blog.”

After the mural, I was pretty sad about how much I had shoved Craft Leftovers to the side. I knew it would take months to get back up again. I didn’t want to feel like I was failing each and every month. I wasn’t at the same level of sales and readership. I decided that I needed an easy way to track my stats, deadlines, and goals. It’s the stats that really matter to me.

Here’s what I came up with.
monthlyreport
Download the pdf file here and make it your own.

Monthly deadlines and goal setting

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I’ve decided that instead of doing it weekly, I would go with monthly. It’s so easy to lose site of major deadlines, re-occuring deadlines, and goals in the craziness of day to day life.

So at the beginning of each month, I dig through my calendar and mark out all the major deadlines. Then I make sure to note all the repeating deadlines and goals. I plug in last month’s stats, then my goals for this month. I fill out the actual stats from last month in the previous month’s sheet and make notes about the month. This past month, made a lot of progress and met most of my goals, but I didn’t send out the monthly e-newsletter and I finished Craft Leftovers Monthly later than I wanted. I also only added 3 new things to the shop versus 4.

Set achievable goals

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The focus is always on progress vs. leaps and bounds. Like I said, I knew it was going to take more than a month to get back to where I was last November. So, I try to add $50 in sales each month, 15 facebook fans and twitter followers, 20 RSS subscribers, and 200 unique visitors and 400 visits. If I crush the goals, all the better.

I actually look forward to the first of the month and am excited to crunch the numbers and see how I’ve done. This past month I met every goal for my stats, added new products to the shop (a new item every week, I got three out of 4 weeks), and met most of my recurring goals–which is up from, umm, none.

More than sales

As a blogger, there is a lot more than just sales and ad revenue to track. Here are the main things I look at each month to measure success.

  • Income
  • Expenses
  • Facebook Fans
  • Twitter Followers
  • RRS Subscribers
  • Unique Visitors
  • Visits

What are the important stats for your crafty business? How do you define success?

Happy crafting!
Kristin