I want to help you build a sustainable, profitable handmade business that makes you consistent income and sales. I only ever teach or recommend marketing, social media, pricing, production and branding tips that I’ve personally used successfully in my own 7-figure handmade businesses.
I'm Mei, from Los Angeles!
starting a business
get more traffic
running a business
make more sales
growing a business
mindset & productivity
pricing & money
selling on etsy
selling on amazon
If you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed with your handmade business, because maybe it isn’t going anywhere.
You’re spending so much time working on it but why aren’t you flooded with sales yet?
I get that feeling when you think your business is struggling. But that’s why you have to read this post because things may not be what they seem.
I’m going to say something that might blow your mind.
How you feel about your business and your sales numbers aren’t always correlated.
Take for example an influencer on Instagram. She takes really cool pictures, gets loads of comments and hearts on her posts, a huge following. She’s excited and feeling great about her business.
And then I say, “Hey, can I see your sales numbers?”
Uh oh, even with 2.6 million followers and tens of thousands of likes and hundreds of comments on each post, you couldn’t even sell 36 t-shirts?
Yup, that’s what happened with a real life influencer Arii a few years ago.
So you can see how it’s easy to lets certain metrics make you feel good about things, but not all metrics are an indicator of the actual health of your business.
Vanity metrics don’t really affect your actual sales and profit.
Yet we can be so hooked on those metrics like follower size and engagement numbers.
On the other hand, there’s me and my Instagram account for Tiny Hands Jewelry which got shut down last year right before the holiday season.
For no good reason.
I keep reaching out to Instagram to appeal but it doesn’t go anywhere and I start to feel really crappy.
Like, what’s even the point, anymore.
So I missed out on a great Black Friday Cyber Monday season because I was feeling so out of it, that I didn’t do my usual prep and strategy.
Sales just fell flat.
And by the end of the year, I felt really crummy. Especially since I was mourning the loss of my Instagram account, I mean, I only spent almost a decade growing that account to about 50,000 followers.
But guess what?
I like to review my numbers at the end of every year and discovered I actually had a great year!
I still made about $180,000 in sales. My conversion rates were up, I didn’t need Instagram to make sales even though I might have thought it was important for my business.
You see, the moral of the story is, feelings lie. Numbers don’t.
So I want to take some time to help YOU crunch some of your own numbers so you can finally get clarity on how your business is doing.
Intuition is great, but the numbers will tell you the truth of what’s really happening.
The only way to tell how your business is doing is to sit down and look at your numbers.
While I’m not going to go through the accounting details because everyone’s using different software and accounting techniques, I’ll give you a few questions you should think about when you review your business.
First question is, what was your last 365 days of revenue? That’s money coming in.
What about your expenses? You can take your revenue and deduct your expenses to find out your profit.
Your profit is the money you’re left with.
And are you charging enough to make enough profit?
If you feel like you’ve been working really hard and you’re barely making any profit, it’s a sign you’re not charging enough.
Second question, what was your biggest expense category and is this justified?
Are there places where the expenses seem too high? Have you reached a level where you can change up your supply line, for example, ordering in bulk or shifting your packaging options?
Doing an audit on your expenses can really show you how to optimize your spending so you’re not wasting money in things that don’t actually move your business forward.
Next, what recurring expenses do you have or what services are you signed up for? Are you fully satisfied with the service you’re getting?
For example, maybe you’re paying a monthly fee to access a craft class membership site but you haven’t logged in in months.
Are you making the most of your subscriptions, or could you downsize your subscriptions or maybe even cancel them all together?
I was paying $500 every month for a paid Facebook ads software that was great when I started using it, but in the last year, it stopped being useful.
Why was I still keeping it around? No good reason, so I cancelled it. And now that $500 can go towards something more useful for my business, or it can go straight back into my pocket!
Now I also want you to look at what was your biggest traffic referrer?
Where are you getting most of your traffic from? Social media? Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest?
Or maybe it’s from Google or from that one blog feature you had a while back. And did that form of traffic actually convert into sales? What was the sales conversion rate for each of those traffic sources?
For me and most business owners I know, Pinterest has one of the lowest sales conversion rates.
Once I found that out, I stopped spending so much time on my Pinterest account.
On the flipside, is there a way to replicate the positive results you’ve achieved with your top referral? Let’s do more of what works!
Next, where are you spending the most time in your business?
If you’re not sure, this is where it can be useful to start tracking your time based on what activity you’re doing over the next couple of weeks.
It’ll be incredibly eye opening and I recommend you do this even though you have a hunch where you spend your time on, because as we mentioned earlier, our hunch is usually off.
How this is useful to know is it could tell you if there’s a step in your production process that’s keeping you from growing.
You want to know about bottlenecks in your business so you can bust through them and keep moving forward.
Are there apps, plugins, processes that can help, or maybe you need to hire some freelance help? I know hiring help can sound scary, but if you outsource the right things, it could save you a lot of valuable time and money.
You might also want to compare all your numbers to the previous years if you’ve been in business for a while.
Have you been growing or stagnating?
Remember, it’s easy to feel like you’re not getting anywhere, but that’s because you’re used to the new normal of making however many sales you’re making now.
But if we stop to think about how many sales we made last year, it’ll help us see just how far we’ve come.
These are just a few questions to get you started!
The more you can get comfortable with your numbers, the more power and control you have over your business.
It’ll give you a direction to move towards rather than flailing around, not sure what to do.
So were there any numbers that really surprised you?
Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear!
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This workshop is for anyone who makes and sells a handmade or physical product, including jewelry designers, artists, paper designers, bath & body product makers and more!
The #1 mistake people make with Etsy & social media that causes shops to FLOP
The secret to making it with your handmade shop so it's no longer just a hobby
How to make sales in your handmade shop with ease so you can finally get to 6-figures
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A Sale A Day
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Good advice, I’ll make a mental note to steer out of the pitfalls you mention. This article has been really helpful.
Unfortunately! Thank you for inventing a new look. I really appreciate this girl’s style, but I’m afraid there’s no longer a chance.
Your post is helpful. I appreciate that.
This post is really so much helpful for anyone.
Thank you so much for sharing such a helpful post.
Hi Mei, thanks for your great tips! I am very new to social media marketing, design, apps, and plugins, and it feels great to learn something new :)
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