A business podcast just for crochet business owners where we learn how to grow your crochet business and set it up for success!
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Inside this Episode
Below is a breakdown of each section in this episode. Feel free to skip ahead to the parts that interest you most. Each section has the timestamp beside it so you know exactly when the subject starts and ends.
Welcome [0:00- 0:07]
How do you keep track of all your expenses or income for the year? [0:08- 8:07]
What to do when you are burnt out, just had surgery and can’t crochet [8:08- 16:29]
How did you transition to your personal Instagram to your business one? [16:30- 19:16]
If you were to do a craft fair, how much merch should you make a sell? [19:17- 24:06]
It’s so hard to narrow down your product selection when it is so fun to make different things. How do you slim down your product selection? [24:07- 26:49]
Do you recommend having a website for your business? [26:50-36:11]
Happy Tuesday!! Hello, hello, and welcome back to another Tuesday Talks!
How do you keep track of all your expenses or income for the year?
Very good question! My first piece of advice is- have an Etsy shop. Etsy will keep track of all of your income in one spot.
If you do not have an Etsy shop and you sell handmade things and you do not have your own website I would highly suggest opening an Etsy shop. I have a 3 part video series of Youtube showing step by step how to set up an Etsy shop ( you can find that here!) This video also has my 40 free listings in it, so you can start listing things in your shop and it will cost you zero dollars!
Having an Etsy organizes all your income because everything is in one spot. If you have an Etsy shop but you are taking orders from text messages, social media messages, and comments, and you are taking orders from all these different areas but you have an Etsy shop- my best advice is to start funneling everyone over to your Etsy shop!
If you get a text like “Hey sister, I hear that you make these cute crochet hats! Can I buy one in blue?” you will say yeah absolutely, here is a link to the blue hat in my Etsy shop, just go ahead and place your order there so I can stay organized.
If they ask to pay cash, you can say sorry I have to keep all my orders in the same spot to help me stay organized and for tax purposes. If you say for tax purposes, they don’t want to mess with that! I haven’t had any issues with this method.
I have had people say they don’t want to pay for shipping because they are local and would rather pick it up. I tell those people they can do that, just use the code “local pick up” during checkout and it will take off the shipping cost. I created a coupon code within Etsy that will take off the cost of shipping when locals use that code.
I highly recommend starting funneling everyone to your Etsy shop. Just start today! Even if you have to make a custom order, ask the customer to send you a message on Etsy so that you can create them a custom listing. You can create a custom listing from a conversation within Etsy and you won’t get charged the .20 cent listing fee UNTIL they pay for it and the listings are private which is awesome!
In the conversation area in Etsy, there will be a button that says “make a custom order” you build their order right there within the conversation, you type in exactly what it is that they are getting just like you would if it was a brand new listing. What size, color, etc. Put the total and hit submit. Then they can buy it straight from there. Etsy will send them a notification once you finished creating their custom listing.
So send them all through Etsy if you are not doing that already! If you have your own shop, send everyone through your own shop.
Other than that, for expenses, I download my monthly bank statements (digitally) save them on my computer. I use numbers (excel) and add all my expenses. Then I highlight the entire spreadsheet and go to format at the top of the screen and then select “conditional highlighting”.
Select the “text” option and type the word “hobby lobby” (or whatever store you shop at for your business) and set it to turn all those to turn green.
So any text in your spreadsheet that says that store name you typed in will be highlighted green. I am pretty sure any techy things can be written off as a business expense, like computers, headphones, etc.
Or you can go through every week/month and manually highlight all your business expenses and then total them up.
I highly suggest having a tax guy!
Other things you can do- open a new business account at your bank and only use that account for business things. Get a credit card like Discover and put all your business expenses on that. That is what I have been doing this year in 2021 is putting all my business expenses on my credit card, especially all the recurring charges. Reasons I do this is 1, you will get a little percentage back for each purchase and 2, everything is in one place.
Those are my best tips for staying organized financially.
What to do when you are burnt out, just had surgery and can’t crochet
To me, these sound like two different questions. When it comes to being burnt out, I mean everyone goes through it.
I have been going through it recently because of the move, and because people have been going outside and enjoying themselves (which is great!) social media algorithms have been weird and I haven’t been getting a lot of interaction, so it’s been hard to keep putting a lot of work into posting.
It’s springtime, almost summertime. This is the slowest time of the year for a lot of businesses. So it’s really hard not to feel burnt out right now, and when you are getting very little interaction coming back at you. So I totally understand where you are coming from.
Here are my tips:
Listen to a podcast that pumps you up, inspires you, encourages you!
Be aware of what you are putting into your body. Whether that is through the things you see, hear, or eat! Whatever you put into your body will affect you in different ways.
So if you are listening to horrible things on a regular basis that is going to seep into you as a person and it’s going to affect you emotionally and mentally.
Do not surround yourself with people who are always complaining.
If you are seeing or listening to people complain on a regular basis that will seep into you. It is like poison. Be around people, or follow people online that encourage you, uplift you, and inspire you!
Make sure you are putting good in, and you will get good out! That is how it works! If you eat good healthy food you feel good. If you eat junk food, you feel like junk. Same goes for the things you put into your ears and eyes.
Another thing- drink plenty of water, and move every day! Doesn’t matter if you go for a walk, dance, doing Zumba, whatever.
Now if you aren’t able to crochet, maybe now is a great time to pick up a different hobby! A hobby to do for fun, not for business. Maybe you can do needlepoint, or get an Addi machine and do knit beanies. Take advantage of this time, because it’s not time that you would normally have.
Give your body time to rest, especially if you just had surgery. Give your body time to rest and to heal. Enjoy this time, and this gives you an excuse to try something new 😉
How did you transition from your personal Instagram to your business one?
I was recently going through my Instagram and looking at my old posts, I got lost in looking at little baby Ava! There are a lot of pictures of Ava on there!
But if you want to start transitioning from a personal page to a business page you can change your account in your Instagram setting to a “business account”. Do your research on this, see what you prefer.
I am a business account but Jasmin Star does not have a business account.
Business accounts on Instagram get analytics and a swipe up at 10k, so I like being a business account but you are going to want to do your own research.
Another thing you want to start doing is talking directly to your ideal customer in your posts. That is going to let your audience know that things are changing. Once you do this, you will lose followers but that is OKAY!
Just last week I lost a ton of followers, and some of those were bot accounts but that was okay because if those people that left aren’t getting value from my content so there is no reason for them to follow me because they are clearly not my ideal customer.
Having your account full of followers that don’t engage with your content because you are not serving them is not good for your account.
If you were to do a craft fair, how much merch should you make a sell?
If you are trying to build a business, you want everything in your booth to serve your ideal customer. Think of the craft fair as a way to find your ideal customer and turn them into a true fan of your business and brand.
If I had a booth set up just for boho baby girl things and I sold 10 different products of boho baby girl things- when my ideal customer walks by my booth she is going to stop and say “oh dang this is where I belong!” or when a friend of my ideal customer walks by my booth they will say “OO so, and so needs that! I have to buy that for her”. They are going to know immediately who I serve through my products.
When you go to a store like Target or Walmart, you see a rack of clothes. One shirt in 5 different colors in all the different sizes, right. You don’t see one shirt in every color possible.
So I would suggest picking 10 maximum colors for your products. You don’t want to have too many choices because that will overwhelm people. So my advice would be a few color options and multiples in each color like 2 or 3 for each color. You can always make extras of your most popular colors!
If you are NOT trying to build a business and you just enjoy crocheting do whatever you want to do 😉 Whatever brings you joy I say go for it! This info is for people trying to grow their crochet businesses!
It’s so hard to narrow down your product selection when it is so fun to make different things. How do you slim down your product selection?
Yes, it is! Especially for creatives, because we like to make all of the things!
The best thing to do is write down all the things you like to make, and for each item write what person that item would serve and then write down why it would serve them.
My list would be Bitty Boho bibs, Rainbow Rattles, Mommy and Me Hats, Bitty Boho Bags.
I have the hats because my ideal customer loves to match with her daughter. So that is how I am serving her with this product, I keep them warm while letting them match! The colors that I offer are for boho-loving folks so the hats are going to match their clothes.
My bitty Boho bibs are made with 100% cotton and come in those same colors that I know my ideal customer likes. The bibs are cute so they will match her daughter’s outfits!
So those are some examples of how my products are serving my ideal customer. You want one product line that will serve one person really well.
Do you recommend having a website for your business?
I do recommend having a website if it is in your business plan to have one.
If you have no desire to have a website, I say don’t do it.
If you are in a position in your business or personal life where you have time to build and work on a website, I think it’s awesome!
I think any business can have a blog and it be successful. I think you can serve your ideal customer through a blog, and I think it’s a great tool!
If you want to build your own website and put your own e-commerce on there, I say go for it. I always suggest starting on Etsy just because it’s easier. I will always be on Etsy as a handmade seller, even if Wild Grace takes off and I build my own website and I am getting lots of sales there too I would still get sales from Etsy.
Etsy has a search platform, it has millions of users on there every single day! So our ideal customer is already hanging out over there! It’s like Google for people who like to buy handmade things.
If you see that you are directing over 50% of your traffic to your Etsy shop, that tells me you have enough of an audience to open your own shop and start paying less in fees.
For a Shopify account, it’s like $40 a month no matter how many sales you get it will always be $40 plus any transaction fees. With Etsy, you don’t pay anything until you make a sale. You will have to pay a listing fee of .20 cents once you use up your free 40 listings.
I would say you can have your own website and pay less in overall fees once you build your audience. If you are just starting out, build on Etsy then migrate to your own shop once things get going for you.
Etsy also has something called “Pattern sites” not to be confused with crochet patterns, but you can pay $15 a month where you do NOT have to pay the .20 cent listing fee or the 5% Etsy fee, you would just pay the monthly $15 and the transaction fees.
I have a pattern site and everything that I promote I link to that site because it’s cheaper for me to sell on the pattern site than my Etsy shop.
I still get a lot of sales through my Etsy shop because people go to etsy.com and search and search my business name but I also get a lot of strangers who come across my patterns while they are searching something like “crochet stocking”. This is why I will always use Etsy! You will have to stay organized because you will have to check your orders from both Etsy and the Pattern site.
If you have a website, I would highly suggest adding a blog section to that because can serve your ideal customers through a blog! You can include links, videos, and pictures! Blogs are awesome and once you start building up your audience on your blog you can start making money through ads! I make most of my money through ads on my blog!
This is my best example, I know you might be tired of hearing it- but say you sell crochet baskets. You can make a blog post titled “10 ways to decorate your home with baskets” then you take pictures of your crochet baskets doing 10 different things.
In this post you are going to link to your basket so they can buy your baskets, and if you have ads you will make money just from people reading your post. It’s really good to have money coming in from the background while you are still selling your stuff.
Blogs do take a lot of time. Especially at the beginning to build it. To upkeep it, I would post something at least once a week. If you enjoy writing a blog is for you, if you enjoy reading a blog is for you.
I don’t enjoy either of those things but I do enjoy teaching people how to crochet and teaching people how to build businesses- so that Is what my blog is for 🙂
Make sure your blog is set up to serve your ideal customer, and that will lead to more sales in your shop.
Thank you for hanging out! See you in the next Tuesday Talk!