Accounting 101: 4 Things You Probably Aren’t Deducting (But Totally Should Be)

Accounting 101: 4 Things You Probably Aren't Deducting (But Totally Should Be)

You’re a small business owner, and sometimes as a creative you find it difficult to manage some of the more “business” aspects of your business.

You think you’ve finally got a system down with some of these tedious tasks, ahem, like taxes, and then you hear about just one more thing you should be doing.

Does the “should-do” list ever end?

How can you honestly remember to keep track of everything?

Well it’s time you sat down to really focus on taxes because it’s extremely important to keep your business legitimate.

So it’s time to dive right in about to talk about taxes, so now is a good time to go grab another cup of coffee.

Ready?

[Read more…]

2016 Annual Income Report For My Handmade Business

2016 Annual Income Report For My Handmade Business

Have you ever been curious about how much other people make from their jobs?

I know I have, and the first place I look at is GlassDoor.com where employees of specific companies share reviews for the businesses they work for.

But more interestingly, they also share their annual income.

This is great data for job seekers and college students picking a major.

Unfortunately, this kind of data for handmade businesses is not readily available for public viewing.

This is one of the few reasons why I do an annual income report for my handmade business every year.

Here’s 2014’s income report, and here’s 2015’s.

One, to educate other creatives who are interested in taking their business to a more serious level.

Two, I believe in transparency and that you should follow a mentor or teacher that not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

Three, because this is a good excuse for me to do a year review and analyze what went wrong or right so I can make plans for the new year.

Are you ready to take a peek behind my business?

Here’s a snapshot view of how the year went:

[Read more…]

Why Your Competitors Are Your Secret Weapon To Success

Why Your Competitors Are Your Secret Weapon To Success

“Your enemy can be your best teacher”- Dali Lama

It’s natural that as an artist or maker, every single item you create has a little bit of you in it.

It was your creative vision that made it, and your nimble hands that painted the brush strokes, cut that pattern with a scalpel or turned that stone into a pendant.

It was your time you sacrificed away from your friends or family, or mostly in my case Netflix and gym visits, to make that beautiful piece of art.

So when we think about successful people in our niches, we can get a bit….well…..defensive and our self confidence takes a nosedive.

We start to do what we do best, beat ourselves up!

In my Facebook group recently I asked my creative friends what thoughts spring to mind when thinking about their online competition.  

The people who are making a full time income from their creative talents and are further along the journey than them.

Here is what they said.

“Looking at online shops that are doing better than me makes me feel totally and utterly worthless

“I’m not sure who my competition is, there are so many of us doing the same thing which feels pretty much like rubbish if I’m honest.”

“When I think about my competitors, especially those at the top of the tree, I just think ‘Gosh, they are untouchable’ and then I wonder how the hell they got there and I’m still here.”

[Read more…]

5 Things You Need To Know About Etsy Teams

5 Things You Need To Know About Etsy Teams

If you’re a handmade business owner with a shop on Etsy, you could be worried that your shop is stuck in a rut.

You’ve read blog posts, articles on Pinterest, but your sales are not coming in.

How do you find the support need??

You’ve started an Etsy shop.

You’ve perfected your SEO.

Now you’re at a dead end.

You have nothing to do and nowhere to go, except sit and wait for those sales to come rolling in.

But more often than not, they don’t come quite as fast as we’d like.

And then, one of those days when you have nothing to do, you stumble upon the magical little button that leads you into the great big world of “teams”.

So it was with me, and I’m taking the liberty to assume that I’m not alone.

It’s enchanting.

A whole group of crafters and collectors gathered to share, discuss, critique and help one another’s shops.

While I readily admit there are benefits to teams, I just as quickly warn against the disadvantages and pitfalls.

I want you to enjoy your Etsy shop.

I want you to have that special light in your eyes when you tell everyone you know about your products.

I want it to be an endearing experience you’ll carry on for years and never once forget.

To assure that outcome, I hope you’ll keep reading.

We’re going to travel through the basics of teams, how they can help your shop, as well as a few words of warnings.

[Read more…]

7 Tips for Running a Home-Based Business with Little Ones at Home

7 Tips for Running a Home-Based Business with Little Ones at Home

I can see you now: you’re a mama who loves both her family and her work.

The twist is that you own your own business, work from home, and have little ones at home with you.

You feel torn in two, needing to work on your business but also needing and wanting to care for the family you love.

I see you because I’ve been you.

Hi! My name is Revka (long E), and I’m the proud mother of 5 darlings, currently ages 13, 12, 11, 8, and 5.

I’ve had my own business since I was 16 years old.

Being home with my children while running my own business was my childhood dream.

I just had no idea how hard the reality of that dream would be at times.

The worst period for me was when I had a newborn baby, was homeschooling my three girls (ages 6, 5, and 4), and was running my [now former] web design business.

I cannot tell you how many times I felt like an absolute failure as a wife, mother, and business owner.

It seemed I was pulled in all directions and couldn’t make anyone happy.

If I focused on my work, my family lacked the attention they needed.

Meals were late and nap times were inconsistent, causing my poor kids to become cranky from hunger and tiredness.

Instead of playing with my children, I kept telling them to be patient “just a little bit longer,” causing them to become frustrated and often leading to arguments and tears.

If I focused on my family, my clients lacked the attention they needed, resulting in slow communication on my end, missed deadlines, and sloppy work.

Finally, I’d had it.

I loathed myself for being unable to juggle my responsibilities and knew there had to be a better way.

I tried all kinds of ideas and changes, trying to find a way to balance owning a business with loving and caring for my family.

Some ideas worked well.

Others completely bombed.

(My husband thought I loved the computer more than him when I worked early and late instead of during the day. I don’t recommend anything that makes your spouse feel like someone or something is more important than him.)

Here are the 7 changes that netted me the best results.

[Read more…]