What do you hope to accomplish this year? What are you looking forward to doing in 2015? Do you have plans to travel some place exciting, move to a new home/city or how about get a kitten? Will you be taking your shop in new directions? Let us know or give us a hint of your year to come!
Because the vast majority of New Yearâ€™s resolutions are not kept, I tend to treat annual goals as guidelines or opportunities to excel instead of a contract I must follow at all costs. In fact, in looking at last yearâ€™s goals, it is obvious to me that I achieved some of them, but have room for improvement in other areas.
Review of Last Yearâ€™s Goals
- Find a better balance between volunteer work and creative efforts. As much as I enjoyed volunteering for the non-profit organization where I was a state Board member for 12 years, I came to the conclusion that the organizationâ€™s needs were driving my schedule, not me. As a result, I retired from that position with lots of good memories, but retain an ongoing volunteer relationship that now takes up only a fraction of my time.
- Establish a photography schedule. I donâ€™t know that I have a set photography schedule, but items no longer languish in a box or a corner, waiting to be photographed so that they can be listed in my Etsy shops. Instead, I finish a few projects, then photograph them. I have found it to be more efficient to photograph a few items at a time versus only one.
- Have enough product on hand for craft shows. This area needs a great deal of improvement during 2015. I had a more successful fourth quarter of the year that I didnâ€™t anticipate I would have, and ran out of product in some categories.
- Learn about bag construction. This is an ongoing project. I signed up for the Bag of the Month Club both last year and this year, and honestly did not get around to finishing any of these rather complicated patterns. Instead, I am working on some simpler bag projects. There is, however, no particular deadline for completing bags, so Iâ€™m not going to worry too much about how quickly I gain knowledge or complete bags.
- Clean up the paper crafting studio and sewing room. This is another of those ongoing projects that I think all creatives face. In a recent post, I discussed the need to be more organized so that â€œcraft creepâ€ doesnâ€™t take over the entire house.
- Lose weight. I lost a little bit of weight this past year, but have a long way to go. Once more, this is an ongoing objective.
- Streamline the creative process so that it is less time-intensive. I wrote about this goal last week in Efficiency meets serendipity, where I discussed how much time and physical effort it takes to craft books. By looking for areas to cut corners without sacrificing quality, I can achieve this goal.
- Strive for more economical ways to craft items. I also wrote about this goal last week in Using paper scraps to craft floral accents. By using more frequently the materials I have on hand instead of buying new items, and by purchasing supplies either wholesale or with a discount coupon, I will achieve a greater profit on sales of hand-crafted items.
- Optimize craft storage and working space. We live in a small ranch-style home, so there is only so much square footage available for crafts and crafting. A fellow crafter, Edi Royer, recently wrote, â€œEvery time I think I have a good system down, I buy new things that need a new home and new organization.â€ The same applies to me, but the challenge is to minimize cost during that process, and to make the most of what I already have. I discussed this topic a bit in a previous post, Taming the creative beast.
- Aim for a more strategic approach to selling. In concrete terms, this means I have set aside a small budget for marketing education this year, and will be making changes to the ways I sell my handmade goods over the course of the year as a result of what I learn. During the seven years I have been selling on the Etsy platform, there have been many changes. If you donâ€™t keep up, you fall behind, and so do your sales. Ever notice how young, slender trees survive a storm better than some old-but-beautiful trees? I aim to be able to bend with the wind.
Thatâ€™s it for this year. Fewer goals, but larger ones, are on the agenda for 2015. What are some of your most important business goals this year? Or, if you donâ€™t sell, what are some of your personal ones? Feel free to share a link to a post you wrote about your goals, or to comment below.
Â© 2015 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.