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byEmilie

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Reply with quote  #1 
Was reading elsewhere about this.  I had no clue what it meant in reference to my business. ...and having been in business for many years  figured I was totally out of the loop and didn't know a darn thing when it came to running my business. 

However, the term is basically are you profiting from your business and is it growing over time at a rate where one is spending less to make more profit. OK than ...got that figured out.  

When venturing out in the handmade business or (Cottage Industry as we called it) and working from our homes for many of us this compounds other factors. We don't have the added cost of paying for rental property to create our business yet we are giving up space within our homes to running a business. Time is a factor for a stay at home Mom like I was many years ago it was a plus because,  didn't pay for day care and if my children needed me, was right there. Totally liked that, also didn't have to dress up and could live in my jeans and T-shirt for the most part another cost factor compared to someone who ventures out in a 9-5.

My biggest cost factor for running my business now is Shipping ... and since one writes it off come tax time ... OK with that. The supplies I do buy are minimal.  So someone else might say I'm totally off the mark as to what this means.

What do you think it is in reference to? ...and do you treat your venture as a business or a hobby? 



 

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Lesley Fry

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Reply with quote  #2 
My business absolutely does scale. A great deal of knitting can be done while watching TV in the evening which I would do anyway. I now have enough leftover yarn of different colors of the same yarn to make multicolored items that "cost nothing" because they use "scraps". I can now buy my yarn on sale a few times a year at 20% or 25% off and buy enough to get free shipping. I buy some supplies at a 99 cent store, do all my own printing as needed, borrow odd size needles from friends instead of buying (we all loan to each other) and scour the internet for free patterns. I use a postal substation in a bike shop a mile from my house where there is rarely anyone in front of me and I add a tiny bit to the postage I charge to cover gas. Yes, I still have a guest room, but it now also a photography studio, a library, a yarn shop, and an accessory store. Is this a business or a hobby? Since I would be knitting even if I didn't sell the results, it's BOTH!
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Debbie H

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Reply with quote  #3 
I am not scaling but I have only been at this for a couple years and new businesses take time. I am also new to social media so learning all I can as I can. I was scaling until Etsy did all the changes and I had slacked off on Ebay. Now I am working on building my Artyah shops and putting my eggs in a few baskets. Once I get a good handle on Social Media I will open my own web store. If I had the money to start I would branch out to YouTube. That is my ultimate goal. This is my business although I would do my art as a hobby if I didn't have a business. In fact, I would have more time to do art if it was a hobby. LOL  Congrats on the sales!
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byEmilie

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Reply with quote  #4 
Totally agree Lesley and Debbie ...the internet has become a wonderful thing for creating a business and selling online no matter whether one is working with handmade, vintage or supplies. We learn over the years how to shop smart for our base product line and utilize our time. Key factors in any business even if on a small scale.

When I think back as to when I first started selling my products late 70's early 80's. It was renting a space at a show/market or shop ... traveling everywhere to make some $$$ to buy more supplies and than repeat. Sometimes it was grueling producing all week and than weekends to shows 7-8 months out of a year. Wouldn't have done it tho' if I didn't love it! To be one's own boss is total discipline yet very rewarding.

I have yet to figure out Social Media ... probably never will. Do have to add much, much more of my product lines here on Art Yah ... I'm working orders right now elsewhere and hope to be done with that soon than I can concentrate on producing for here. Time the most valuable commodity for any of us. Ü
 

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" Success in any endeavor does not happen by accident. Rather, it's the result of deliberate decisions, conscious effort, and immense persistence ... all directed at specific goals."

"Chase the dream ... not the competition."

https://www.artyah.com/seller/byemilie
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Lesley Fry

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Reply with quote  #5 
Emilie, time is not my most valuable commodity now that I am (supposedly) retired. It is ENERGY! Just you wait and see.....   And I too, am not a fan of social media - or of any advertising, for that matter. I wish I had a robot to do everything except the knitting, wrapping and listing.
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byEmilie

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Reply with quote  #6 
I don't think I'll ever retire Lesley ... I've collected SS for a number of years already and that only goes so far in this day and age. With that tho' ... good hour nap and I'm good for another 6-8 hours. This has been something I've done for years and years ... snooze when the mode strikes and I'm back on top and certainly don't fight it. LOL! Many people always wonder how I can get so much done. Some days I'll only sleep 3-4 hours ...other days longer. I've never believed in what they say about getting 7-8 hours sleep a night. If I'm awake I'm up doing something no matter what time of day. There's always so many things one wants to accomplish there just aren't enough hours in a day ever.
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" Success in any endeavor does not happen by accident. Rather, it's the result of deliberate decisions, conscious effort, and immense persistence ... all directed at specific goals."

"Chase the dream ... not the competition."

https://www.artyah.com/seller/byemilie
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hooknsaw

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Reply with quote  #7 
byEmilie, I found your topic very interesting.  I have been self employed for more than 30 years.  My businesses have varied (from small hobby base to large 6 figure service income) BUT I have always had a formula (scale) that I followed:
Year one the business had to break even.
Year two I invested back into the business almost 100%.
Year three I needed to show a profit (even a small one)
Years four and on had to show steady growth.
This business is small, but what I have always wanted to do and fortunately earns enough to be the supplemental income I need at this time. 

Part of the scale has been buying in bulk or on sale, materials needed to make our items, and shipping supplies to send them out.



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byEmilie

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Reply with quote  #8 
I agree Lisa, I think many artisans/crafters/ etc. are pretty savvy when it comes to working out the finer aspects of making their business work. Materials for any business are what can make or break but than labor is the biggest liability if one hires people to handle different jobs. It's to our advantage sometimes to be the one man show ...it's just all the hours that one puts in at times to cover all the different faces we are within that business. Many think it's really easy until they actually start working that business on all different levels. 
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" Success in any endeavor does not happen by accident. Rather, it's the result of deliberate decisions, conscious effort, and immense persistence ... all directed at specific goals."

"Chase the dream ... not the competition."

https://www.artyah.com/seller/byemilie
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normasbathandbody

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Reply with quote  #9 
Interesting thread..
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Michaela

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Reply with quote  #10 
I was "scaling" (feels weird saying that, lol) until the site-which-shall-not-be-named changed their way of doing things and I fell off a cliff. Right now my profits (scales?) are down from last year about 15k, which is a lot of money to be down, lol. But, weirdly enough, having gotten over the shock, I find I have had a lot of time to rethink where I want to go with this. I have a day job, and last year I would dash home and be up until 1 am making things, sleep a few hours, get up, dash to my day job, dash home, be up until 1 am... It's a wonder I didn't have a breakdown, lol. I realized one day that I no longer had any friends because I'd never answer the phone anymore. That wasn't good. So yes, I want to make extra money, and maybe one day when I retire from the day job I may even push for the high profits and sales again... but for now, I will be happy to make enough to pay the rent, and I'm cool with that  :-)
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ArtsyCrafteryStudio

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lesley Fry
My business absolutely does scale. A great deal of knitting can be done while watching TV in the evening which I would do anyway. I now have enough leftover yarn of different colors of the same yarn to make multicolored items that "cost nothing" because they use "scraps". I can now buy my yarn on sale a few times a year at 20% or 25% off and buy enough to get free shipping. I buy some supplies at a 99 cent store, do all my own printing as needed, borrow odd size needles from friends instead of buying (we all loan to each other) and scour the internet for free patterns. I use a postal substation in a bike shop a mile from my house where there is rarely anyone in front of me and I add a tiny bit to the postage I charge to cover gas. Yes, I still have a guest room, but it now also a photography studio, a library, a yarn shop, and an accessory store. Is this a business or a hobby? Since I would be knitting even if I didn't sell the results, it's BOTH!


Great reply, Lesley! Continued success to you!

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ArtsyCrafteryStudio

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by byEmilie
Was reading elsewhere about this.  I had no clue what it meant in reference to my business. ...and having been in business for many years  figured I was totally out of the loop and didn't know a darn thing when it came to running my business. 

However, the term is basically are you profiting from your business and is it growing over time at a rate where one is spending less to make more profit. OK than ...got that figured out.  

When venturing out in the handmade business or (Cottage Industry as we called it) and working from our homes for many of us this compounds other factors. We don't have the added cost of paying for rental property to create our business yet we are giving up space within our homes to running a business. Time is a factor for a stay at home Mom like I was many years ago it was a plus because,  didn't pay for day care and if my children needed me, was right there. Totally liked that, also didn't have to dress up and could live in my jeans and T-shirt for the most part another cost factor compared to someone who ventures out in a 9-5.

My biggest cost factor for running my business now is Shipping ... and since one writes it off come tax time ... OK with that. The supplies I do buy are minimal.  So someone else might say I'm totally off the mark as to what this means.

What do you think it is in reference to? ...and do you treat your venture as a business or a hobby?
 



Hi Emilie:

Because it's not about what I do but who I am, my creativity is my business and my hobby. My business does scale because of many of the things that Lesley said. Also, my business is green. I love found objects, and I regularly use recycled products and salvaged items. I have a huge stock of salvaged shipping supplies. I don't maintain a studio away from home. My workshop, office and studio is at home. I have always used whatever free online services that I can find, which is the reason that I have such a strong online presence in the first place.

I love online selling and hope to never stop.[rofl]

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hooknsaw

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Reply with quote  #13 
by Emilie, you mentioned all of the hours put in to cover all of the facets of the business.  I have always had the mindset (with work) that time is money.  Any things with a business that can save time is a plus.  I do think that the shop owners that achieve success (and that can be subjective to each seller) have the patience to give the business a chance.  I have spoken with many new business owners that are ready to quit after a very short time.  1. they did not give the business enough time to be viable and 2. The business owner had no idea how much work being self employed can be!
For us the biggest part of scaling in years 4 and on was becoming more efficient with our time.  Don taught himself to loom knit (shaving our make time by almost 75% and has also set up a really fast packing shipping area).

Lesley, I love your response!  I too would be crocheting even if I was not selling.  I used to make queen size blankets with landscape designs and animal designs.  I work free form so the projects would cover my dining table for  4 - 6 weeks until completed.  Both of our spare bedrooms are now dedicated to our business.  One is an office / overflow area and the larger room is the yarn room / shipping station.
I do charge full price for items even when I can buy yarns on sale, because there have been times I have to remake an item and cannot get the yarn on sale. 

Michaela, enjoy your new found freedom!  I walked away from my business that earned 6 figures ... things changed, I had money but no life and realized that I was tired and done!  I have the philosophy that one door may close but another will open.  Money does not buy happiness!

Sandi, your paper items are beautiful!  I have friends and family that live the 'green lifestyle' and I admire them.  I do what I can, as I can to lessen our footprint.  


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