With the new year comes cleaning out of the old and focusing on new goals and how to achieve them. If you already have a handmade business, it is still a good idea to take a fresh start and realign with your business plan and what you would like to set out to do for the year.

Even if you are just stepping your toe into the fantastic world of handmade for the very first time, it is great to think ahead so that you can flourish with your creativity and ideas. The business side is always hard for everyone, thats why you should set some of your focus to it:

  • Business goals and strategy for achieving them: What is the mission of your business? Will it be eco-friendly or will it donate a portion of proceeds to charity? Whatever your goals are, spell them out here. Be as clear as possible.
  • Market Analysis: Who are you selling your products to? Why should a customer choose your product over a competitors? Are there regulatory restrictions in your industry? If you’re selling bath products, what laws do you need to adhere to for your state/country?
  • Marketing Strategy: How are your target customers going to find out about your wonderful products? Will you buy advertisements on blogs or other websites? Will you use social media such as Twitter or Facebook? What is the minimum number of followers/fans that you want to have? How will you track prospective sales? Once you collect prospective customers, how will you continue to interact with them? Will you have an advertising budget or use completely free techniques?
  • Products: Will you have one line of products or multiple lines? What is your value proposition–why should your customers buy your product? Do they need it? Do any of your products require patents or trademarks? Who are your suppliers? If your supplier goes out of business, is there a comparable supplier? What is the cost of your product and what is the correct price to sell it/them at?
  • Financials: Include both past and future data (Profit & Loss Statements, Balance sheets, and Cash Flow Statements). If this is too intense, try to plan out how much profit (the money you earn from selling your products minus the cost of your products) you want to make each year. What do you need to do to achieve this?

With these foundations in mind, you will have more clarity and focus on your amazing ideas and products. It will be easier to work towards your goals if you know what they are.

We can’t wait to see you at Chautauqua in April!!

XOXO The Flygals

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