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Setting goals

Every business needs to set goals and objectives. Otherwise, how would you know how successful (or hopefully not how unsuccessful) you are or know what direction to take your business? How will you divide your time amongst all your business activities you need to accomplish?

This should have been one of the first things I did when I set up my business. My day job stresses the importance of this and I’m not sure why I didn’t think to transfer my acquired skills into this business. Maybe I was trying to separate my two worlds, maybe I was rebelling against what I do all day every day. Either way, I was being stubborn and I have been hurting myself and my business.

But that changes today. Today is a new day and I am setting goals for myself as well as my business. I need to set some personal and professional goals so that I can start being accountable for things in my life. Too often I say, whatever happens, happens. Most successful people wouldn’t agree with that. You need to be active in what you do, not passive. So, how do you start?

Lets start with business goals. My plan is to update my Etsy shop with at least one new item at least once a week. I know that this goal is going to be tough to accomplish some weeks. I know that one listing a week doesn’t sound like much. After all, it’s just taking a couple of pictures, right? Wrong. There’s the title, tags, description, editing pictures and pricing. A lot goes into listing an item. It’s the most time consuming part of selling on Etsy and one that I don’t like doing. I know that I need to become more consistent with the amount I have listed and the frequency in with which I list things. I know this is one of my weak points. Which is why I am making it my number one goal. I am sure that there will be weeks when I fail at this goal. But, the important part is not to focus on the failures. Focus on moving forward and meeting next weeks goal. Post two that next week so that you didn’t fail, you altered your goal. 

My next goal is to diversify my shop. Right now, it features all cards and one set of gift card holders. I have lots of canvas in my house right now that I can turn into wall art for a nursery or a child’s room. But, for some reason, I am hesitant. I don’t know if its a fear that no one will like them or that I will make the wrong style or use the wrong color. I need to get over my fear. (On a side note, my next blog post may be about fear. I think it’s an important topic and I feel like it affects me a lot. Anyone else??) 

My third goal is to work on my shop’s appearance. I was recently critiqued and there are a lot of things I know I need to work on, especially my avatar and banner. Right now my avatar is a picture of one of the centerpieces that I created for my sister’s w bridal shower. When I originally opened my shop, I thought I would sell cards, party favors and scrapbooks. I thought showing one of my party favor pieces would make a good avatar because it showcases my work. However, almost a year later, I haven’t listed one party favor piece! In that case, my avatar doesn’t make sense. And then, neither does my banner. I wasn’t sure what to have as my banner and my goddaughter, who I adore and is like a mini me with her love of scrapbooking, made a picture of me with an app on her iPod. (She’s 6 btw!) It was cute and I thought I would use that. Apparently a BIG mistake! So, now it’s back to the drawing board to come up with a cohesive image for my avatar, banner and all other promotional paraphernalia.

Which would make my fourth goal getting new business cards and a new banner. Right now my business cards are purple and white and my banner is a zebra background with light and dark purple letters that spell out Scrapsecrets. However, we found at my last show that the banner was not really able to be hung on two 4 ft tables without reading Crapsecrets. LOL. Definitely not the image I want portrayed for my business! 

Another goal for me is to make sure that I am participating on the Etsy discussion boards. I participate the most on the team where I am a leader, but there are so many other groups that I belong to and should participate in as well. And if I don’t participate, then I should leave the group. I will work on paring down my list of teams I belong to because it can be a time suck to belong to too many teams. The discussion boards are a great resource, especially for someone who is still relatively new to the business, but it can also waste a lot of time. 

My sixth goal is for this blog. I am going to challenge myself to update it once a week, whether it is just a quick update with some new pictures of work or a long post (like this one!) sharing knowledge, goals,how I am doing, etc. I think that I need to work on my Internet presence and that includes this blog. So, look for one new post from me a week. And yes, you can keep me honest and if I fail to meet my goal, call me out on it!! 

Finally, my last goal relates to craft shows. I want to apply to several throughout the year. I am planning on doing both weekend shows at Cold Springs in Cape May, the FAF in Woodbury and the Craft show at my local high school. I hope I can find a few more that are accepting new applicants and are worth it. I know once it gets closer to the show times, I will have a lot more goals with respect to making items, pricing, listing, organizing, etc. But for right noe, I think these are some good goals to work towards! 

I hope this helps inspire you to set some new goals for yourself. I have set quite a few and now I am going to come up with a plan on how to divide my time so that I can accomplish these goals. Right now it will be easier for me since I can’t drive, can’t work and the only place I really go is to the doctors, back to my house for a couple hours a day and starting next week, physical therapy. The true test will be when I go back to work. Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to leave a comment and become a follower!

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Information overload!

I’m feeling a little defeated right now. One of the Etsy teams I am on did a (voluntary) critique and I signed up for it. Problem is, when I signed up I figured I’d have all this time to make and add things to my shop. However, I didn’t. I also didn’t work on a new avatar or a new shop banner. The avatar is a picture of a center piece that I made for my sister’s bridal shower and the banner is a picture that my niece made on some program on her iPod (which is supposed to be me). 

Well, I got ripped for having those two in my shop. Almost everyone hated them. Yes, I know I needed to change it. And yes, I thought I would have had something to replace this images by now. But, I didn’t and now I am feeling overwhelmed. Also, even when you know something is wrong, sometimes it hurts to see it. I wanted to defend all comments, but deep down I know they were all right and just trying to help me. I need to remember that! 

It wasn’t all bad. My work itself got great compliments, as did my shop policies and the fact I offer free shipping. It made me feel good that people said that they liked my work. But why is it that you can get a million great compliments, and only focus on the negative? Or is it just me? I know I asked for it and it really is helpful. It’s all things I need to hear and it will help me in the long run. 

So for now, I will make a list of all of the comments and suggestions and work on one at a time. If I break it down, maybe that will help me from being so overwhelmed. It’s always good to have others look at your shop and give honest feedback, whether it hurts to hear it or not. These other people sell on Etsy and have an idea of what customers are looking for when they shop. They also don’t know me so they can be honest without doing that polite “it looks great!” feedback you often get from friends and family. (Unless you have a sister like mine – she’s brutally honest with me – more so than most of these other shop howlers probably were. Haha). 

I feel a little better now that I have a plan. Not so overwhelmed!