- Do you have emails that need to be returned? An unreturned email may be a potential customer or a wholesale enquiry. Emails really should be responded to within 24hours and if you are on holiday/craft show/sick set an out-of-office response.
- Are you paying your bills on time? In my opinion this is almost more important ro replying to an email because a cut-off from a supplier, whether they be inventory supplies, electricity, telephone or internet, is something a business cannot function without.
- Do you need to collect payment from vendors? If you have any wholesale or consignment accounts, do the vendors owe you money? Does anyone else owe you money for that matter? You need to be paid on time to keep your cash flowing.
- Are your accounts reconciled on a monthly basis? I am very guilty of this one: FAIL! Not because I don't have the understanding or the information but because I haven't quite developed a system I am happy with. When I have, I will sit down on the last day of the month and reconcile.......with a bar of chocolate at my side.
- Are you making enough money? Now you're not going to outrun Alan Sugar or Donald Trump for their bank balances but you do need to know if you are making enough. Are you charging enough/fairly for your time and supplies? Perhaps give your competitors the once over to benchmark. I wouldn't recommend making frequent price alterations but the beginning of the year is a good opportunity.
- How clean is your workspace? This is really important because there is nothing worse than suddenly feeling inspired to create but having to tidy up first. Find a storage system that works and use it. It will also keep you more aware of when supplies are running low.
- Have you spent a satisfactory amount of time on marketing? Have you increased your Twitter followers? Facebook fans? Blog followers? Do you look at your Google Analytics to see what is working? Only you can know what works and if you have done enough to feel happy.
- Is there anyone you need to network with? Has a new shop opened up in your area you could wholesale with? Stop by and say hello.
That is a lot of questions to think about! But you may find you can make a few changes and actually increase the time you have to create or spend with family.
Coming next time on April 30th: Getting a creative block.