Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The entrepreneur's Christmas Break

December 31st is the end of the year for HandFast Design

Housecleaning is in order. Things that were lost are found and sometimes things I have forgotten about or didn't even know I have show up. This is called inventory. Inventory rates up there with cleaning the oven on my list of things to do. I am leaving home to go to California on Saturday so I have promised myself to get it done before I leave.

Sales tax is another area that needs to be done. I have sales tax licenses in 10 states and making sure I follow the diverse set of rules for each of them is a pain. But I want to go back and I want to not pay penalties so I do it.

Placing the order for Tucson is another calculated risk. I do not know what my customers will want this spring. Every piece I count in inventory has a sales history and then there is my gut instinct - the combination is fallible but gradually better. Metal prices are a wild card in the mix. Two years ago I sold silver at $28 per ounce costs at the show and by the time some orders were delivered silver had risen to $45 - it wasn't my best year.

Advertising needs to be designed and ordered. My budget has grown smaller over the years for traditional print advertising. Using Facebook, email newsletters, email and word of mouth seems to be getting bigger in my life. Banners for indoor and outdoor shows are designed and business cards are coordinated.

Filling out applications for next years shows - choosing which ones to do and which ones to eliminate. Checking airfares, frequent flier miles, hotel rates on websites so that I travel affordably and sleep comfortably.

Buying Christmas presents - mostly on line allows me to take a break and processing orders gets me out of the house to the post office.

Making sure the new products that I have created are perfect before I send them off to be created takes some time.

Calling customers when they need help and have questions is very important. I try to schedule a nap and occasional movie or tv program in there some times. And Pooh reminds me it is time to play by standing in front of me with his ball. While I am doing this I cook, clean, dust, paint, weed and keep myself from being bored.

This is my winter break -