Saturday, 28 September 2013

Why do I need a plan....

So why a 5 year plan? Why not a 1 year or 10 year plan?  The company I work for has a 5 year plan and having worked in retail/marketing for the past 11 years this concept is not new to me.  When one of the case studies at the Folksy Summer School mentioned she had one, it was the first thing on my to do list.  Whatever business you have you need a plan and having small, achievable goals is a good way to check in and make sure you are on target to reaching the ultimate goal. 

The goal is personal to you and ultimately is what success means to you.  Success to me is:
  • Being able to make enough money from my passion that I no longer need to supplement my income by working for someone else. 
  • Have regular customers
  • Being an expert in my field
On the internet you can find many a template for a business plan,  I've come up with my own headings to consider:

Income ~ Am I able to earn enough from fizzi~jayne straight away? The reality of course is sadly no, but can I afford to go part time, or how long do I need to stay full time for?  These are all things I need to consider and plan. First thing I need to work out is how much income I need to pay the bills.  Thankfully I have a supportive husband so I can afford to earn a lower income than what I am used to. 

Sales Forecasts  ~ By knowing how much I can sell will help me know what income I will have from fizzi~jayne and how much I need to earn from another job.  Any forecasting I have done at work is days spent looking at trends and past sales, unfortunately I don't have a lot to go on as I have only been "trading" for a year and that is when I can fit it around work. What is the possibility if I were doing it full~time?  Ok, so a different approach required, how much revenue and profit would I like to earn in 5 years time?   Is it achievable (a bit of tweaking), reduce further, there we go, something more realistic. This feels a little finger in the air for my liking but its the best I can do right now. 

Product ~ What am I going to sell to hit those sales numbers? What is my niche?  I am known for my cards but I have so many ideas and projects I want to try out.

Workshops ~ One thing I have been thinking about is other ways to earn crafty cash and to share my passion and knowledge.  Hosting workshops is something I would like to do, but when is the right time to do this?

Customer ~ Who am I going to target?  At the moment I sell to anyone who will buy but by knowing your customer, marketing costs are low and customer loyalty is high.  By knowing my customer I will know how much to sell my products for, where to sell them and how to advertise.

Marketing ~ Once I know who my customer is, how am I going to target them?

Place ~ Where am I going to sell? Currently,  I have 2 online shops on Folksy and Etsy and I have craft fairs booked.  Long term do I want to sell to retailers, have my own website?

Where will I work? ~ currently I work from my spare room (aka my craft den) but it would be nice to have a place of work to go to with other like~minded people in a studio.

So I haven't got much of a plan just lots of thoughts and questions to answer. Ahh! too much to think about and how am I going to achieve it whilst I work full time and without burning out??!  The positive me says "Where there is a will there is a way" and "short term pain for long term gain".  Coincidentally at the end of the 5 years it will be my 40th Birthday, eek!!  Time for a G&T....

Saturday, 21 September 2013

The turning point....

So this is my first post....and I'm looking at a blank screen thinking where do I begin, I guess I'll start at the beginning.  I don't want to repeat the "About Me" section so to summarise.... Art student enters real world and has a career in an office looking at spreadsheets, (yawn), so makes cards for family and friends to stay arty and be creative, fast forward to 16th September 2012 and fizzi~jayne makes.... is born. 
I started to get regular customers, receive good feedback so I  started to wonder if I could do this full time.  I then doubted myself and dismissed it as a silly idea, I was brought up to  believe the way to make a living is to work for a company where it is a guaranteed wage coming in with a pension plan. The turning point for me to think "you know what, I can do this!" was at the Folksy Summer School held in an idyllic location of Ecclesall Woods in Sheffield back in August.  It was a jam packed weekend full of inspirational speakers and I came away buzzing. 

There were some amazing speakers.... Patricia van den Akker of The Design Trust, a seriously passionate and inspirational speaker.  I was so pleased I made time for the workshop on product photography class with Lyndsey James. It was great to hear Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation speak, I read one of her book, Your Talent into a Business,  which I recommend. Since hearing Polly Dugdale of Handmade Horizons speak I am now attending their online course on Christmas ecommerce. 

My new notebook especially for going back to school

Handmade Pom Poms lead us to the classroom

I came away from the weekend full of drive and ambition and the realisation I need a plan.  

It was Tilly Walnes of Tilly and the Buttons (and The Great British Sewing Bee fame) who was speaking at the Folksy School that inspired me to start this blog.  I want to write about my journey, my highs and lows to hopefully inspire and support others wanting to start their own creative business and share my love and passion of craft.

I hope you will join me on this crafty ride....