I don’t know about you, but I love watching the trajectory of someone’s journey. It can be an actual journey or a metaphorical one…it doesn’t really matter, I just enjoy the progression of someone’s dream coming true. In this vein, I thought I’d share my home business journey.
I’m aware that this might wholly back fire. I mean, my dream might not even get off the ground. Thing is, even if the business is a failure, it doesn’t make the journey any less valuable. I’ve been at this a little over the month. I have made so many mistakes. But I’ve learnt so much from each one.
I love learning. With this business I have begun at ground zero. I know nothing about running a business. You know what though? I sure am going to have fun learning how to run my fledgling home business!
The Format of these Logs
I’m not sure how I want to format these posts, so they may change from month to month. I’m going to aim to write one each month. I will be including any transactions coming into the business and any going out of the business. Any mistakes or struggles which have occurred will be reflected upon and I will share what I have learnt from them. I will also endeavour to carry out a monthly stocktake, as well as sharing any plans for further development in the future.
Achievements in the Month of October 2023
Publishing my Etsy Shop
Publicising my Etsy shop was probably my biggest achievement this month. I was so nervous about doing it, but you guys made it exciting as I got my first international orders! A huge thank you to my incredibly supportive American friends, Donna, Joanne and Carah – I appreciate you all SO much!
The main problem with my Etsy shop is the fact that very few people are seeing it. Unless I link it in a blog post, I have practically no visitors. This means Etsy is not advertising it at all. I’ve watched enough videos to appreciate that Etsy, whilst being a huge market place, is also a saturated huge market place. I believe that the more listings one has, the more likely Etsy is to advertise your ware. My goal has been to add one product per week, instead of having huge ‘shop updates’. The reason for this is that I am so incredibly busy with other stuff like homeschooling or studying that I don’t really have the time or the head space to do a big launch.
I guess what I’m saying is that Etsy and my whole home business will be a slow burn rather than having any explosive statistics or earnings to share. And I’m okay with that.
This month I have been adding my sticker sheets, one sheet each week:
I am most proud of my sticker sheets because they have come out exactly how I designed them to. Both my adult children and my younger teens enjoy using them to decorate their Bible, laptop and phones, which makes me very happy.
I was waiting until I have created four more card designs before getting them printed. I now have the following four designs:
I have decided that I am going to print these from home and as such have made a very expensive purchase of an Epson Eco Printer. This will be coming through within the next couple of weeks and I have paid for someone to come and set it up for me.
So next month, I am hoping to have four more cards on offer.
This month I have published five more low content journals with Amazon’s KDP. These have been using my Cottage Garden painting – the first painting I ever did. I am really happy with these Cottage Garden Notebooks and will be adding these and my Sea-Life Notebooks to my Etsy shop over the next few weeks:
Just this last week, I have been setting up some Duck Notebooks and these will be available next month. Each notebook will be available with blank pages, lined and blank pages, lined pages, dotted pages and graphed pages.
My goal next month is to see if it is possible to make my mouse and tree design into a notebook and also to create some giraffe notebooks.
Costs During October 2023
I decided not to take out the small business loan from the government. Gary agreed to support me financially and I have been allotted an amount each month of around £150 to build my business. Between us, we have decided to give it two years to become a self-supporting business. If by the time two years is up I am not making any money, we will cut our losses.
This month I have heavily invested in this business of mine.
Epson Eco Tank: £659.00
3 Year insurance: £53.79
Printer Set Up: £59.29
3 in 1 Corner Punch: £7.99
Scoring Board: £24.99
Guillotine Paper Cutter: £130.99
Recycled Kraft Envelopes x 100: £8.55
Premium Matte Card x 100: £61.63
Total Costs in October 2023 = £1006.23
Sales During October
Profits differ depending on how and when I sell the cards. If I sell direct to the customer, my profit for each card is £2.50. If I sell through Etsy, I have to pay postage and Etsy’s fees which decreases my profit to £1 per card. If I sell to the village shop, who buy them significantly cheaper, my profit for each card is 96p. If I sell my notebook on Amazon, I make £3 profit per book.
Below, I will share my profit figure after removing Etsy/Amazon fees and postage fees.
Greeting Cards x 10 sold through Etsy at £3.95 each = £39.95
Sticker Sheets x 5 sold through Etsy at £3.95 = £19.98
Notebooks x 1 Sold through Amazon at £8.50 = £8.50
Total income for the month of October 2023 = £68.42
- Plain Vellum 98/100
- Glassine Envelopes for stickers 42/50
- Large A5 packing boxes 50/50
- Postmaster A5 card envelopes 45/50
- Medium A6 packing boxes 9/10
- A6 card envelopes 100/100
- Printed Vellum 92/100
- Wooden Stamp 1/1
- Greeting Cards in 4 designs (50 of each design)
Giraffe = 44/50; Whale = 32/50; Butterfly = 31/50; Woodland = 29/50; Duck = 32/50
- Card Catch Stickers = 163/250
- Sticker sheets in 4 designs (I let each of my girls choose 1 sheet each)
Safari = 45/50; Ocean = 42/50; Woodland = 44/50; Meadow = 45/50
In stock, I have £695.20 worth of sticker sheets and £663.60 worth of greeting cards. This is not profit, just value if I were to sell them all today.
Goals for the Month of October
Create a set of duck notebooks
- Buy five author copies of each notebook and begin selling them in my Etsy shop
Start saving up to change my website into a WooCommerce website so I can bypass Etsy Add on product a week to my Etsy shop
- Purchase 50 cards each with my turtle design, elephant design, mushroom cottage design and frog design
I did just okay with these goals. I didn’t buy the author copies, at least not five each. I bought one copy each to make sure they were perfect and they weren’t. One of the blues seems to be printing a different shade of blue than the others. So I am currently in contact with KDP to try and sort this out. I really wanted five identical books but we’re not quite there yet.
I also didn’t send off for 50 cards with my new designs on them. The reason for this was because I want to start printing my own cards from home so that they are completely home made. With this in mind, instead I bought the printer etc to print them myself. So I kind of met this goal in a roundabout way…
Goals For November
- Add one item to my Etsy shop each week
- Record my first video for my new YouTube channel
- Write a business related post every Monday
- Learn how to print out the five designs onto card from home
- I’d like to design some book marks which I plan to print from home.
I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a bit of the behind the scenes of a business. If there is anything else you’d like me to include in these posts, do let me know in the comments.