Monday, October 26, 2009

Transitions & Tech Speak

Well, ever since I decided to stop doing dressmaking/alterations, I have received a call or email almost every day asking me to do all kinds of various projects!! I have also had an unexpectedly good time saying, "no" for once! Apparently the word is out now because the requests have died down. I really feel a burden has been lifted and I'm looking forward to my new phase of business.

To prepare, I've been thinking of all the things I want or should get in order. I (finally) bought a new computer that should last me several years. The last one we had was on it's last leg. In fact, since we moved all the files over, my husband's been deleting things from the old one and defraging, but it still acts as though it has molasses for guts. I really want my pictures to be better, so I thought about getting a new camera. A friend of mine recommended this refurbished Nikon D40

I'm completely in love with it, but will have to save up as the computer wiped out my funding. :)

Then, as I was looking through the Storque's articles on pricing and trying to find a better, more organized way to do my business finances, I got an email from Etsy in my inbox chalked full of small business helps. One of them is called Outright, and it is a free online way to track your business expenses and income in a Schedule-C friendly format. Not only that, but you can view charts and graphs tracking your profit, expenses by category, and more! It's very basic, but pretty nifty and just a neat, clean way to organize your finances. I would still need a spreadsheet to track sales tax and my budget categories, but if when tax time comes I have all the right info in the right place with outright, it will be great. I'll have to let you know come tax season. :)

I also posted a while back about how I had gotten my website up and going again. I mentioned I had been reworking the websites at my job (here & here) and had learned a new way to do them using wordpress.org. Well, in an effort to keep my overhead as low as possible, I've set up a regular blog on wordpress.com to see if that can be a solution to combining my blog and my website using domain forwarding and free blog hosting. Wordpress blogs allow you to have a static front page, and about me page, and then a separate blog page, however, it does not let you post your Etsy mini or other javascript. I think it might make a good compromise for now, until I get some regular sales going to justify paying for web hosting. I won't reveal that now, since it is no where near ready, but just know that I will be switching to wordpress in the next few months...

As far as current sewing projects, I finished my son's Halloween costume and showed it to him with pride. He responded, in kind, by running away and saying "no." Not in a forceful way, but just mater-of-fact-like. I chased him and tried to put the hood on and he proceeded with screams. LOL. I'm trying to think of ways to get him to like it and if I can get him to put it on, I'll post pictures. It really turned out cute!

I am also still trying to finish up Kim's skirt (the one she asked me to make from part of the dress that didn't work out). Since I know what she really wants is knit, and lining and Georgette are not knit, I went ahead and bought her some new fabrics. I figure I'll just use the satin, lining and Georgette for a little girls party dress some time in the future. She also wants me to create a top for one of her other store-bought dresses, but I'm not sure I'll take on that project.

All that to say, I'm kind of excited to have given myself the holidays off - no craft fairs or high Etsy sales expected for lack of inventory, no more weddings and alterations - just finish a few projects and then to sew through my fabric inventory in search of some inspiration and fun. If you have an Etsy (or otherwise online store), what are some can't-live-withouts for you??

2 comments:

Paul @ Outright said...

Thanks for checking us out! Rest assured, we're just getting started and you'll be blown away by what we'll be doing come tax time.

We're building Outright.com for self employed professionals like yourself, online merchants; please, let us know what more we can do to make it perfect for you!

NICO Designs said...

I have wondered how you managed doing the alterations/making dresses and the shop. And it sounds as if you are heading in a new direction!

Thanks for the link to outright--I will have to check it out.

And best of luck with your inspiration.