I met my March goals for my shop. My goal was to have 50 listings up by the end of the month, and even while making 6 sales (my biggest sales month so far, since opening in December), I ended up with 52. I was fairly proud of myself, but really this whole Etsy thing is still more of a hobby than a source of income for me. So why even make a goal? Why is this goal thing so important, if I’m doing this more for fun and the occasional money it brings in?
So I’ve started reading other blogs on this topic. In my experience, Everything Etsy is a great resource for, well, everything etsy. I happened upon this article, which describes the goal setting process more than it’s importance. But I did get a few key things from it.
First, don’t set unattainable goals. I’m not going to quit either of my day jobs when my shop is still in it’s developement stage, which it is right now. I need a steady source of income while I’m working out the kinks and figuring out what works for me, and that means working at least part time. I’m lucky in that I have that option, and I plan to take advantage of it for as long as I can.
Second, meeting goals will give me a sense of accomplishment. Well, I’m not really looking for a warm and fuzzy feeling, but alright. Some day I may need that sense of accomplishment; when no one has bought anything from my shop in a week, when I’ve run out of new ideas, or just when I need a reason to keep going with it.
So, with those two things in mind, my March goal was a good one. It was attainable, and it made me feel good about my business. But what the heck should my April goal be?
In my head I’m thinking of my weight loss goals. I want to be down 25 pounds by the end of June. In my mind, that’s an attainable goal, but I hadn’t taken into account that I’ve lost my thyroid since the last time I was on weight watchers. I’ve been doing this for almost a month, and I’ve only lost 5 pounds. I’ve got three months left, which would mean I’d have to lose 6.25 pounds a month to reach my goal. That doesn’t seem horrible when you break it down like that. I need to lose 1.25 pounds this week to keep up with my goal. So there, that’s attainable, even without a thyroid I think. Will I feel accomplished once I’ve lost 25 pounds? You betcha. If we are just looking at how it will make me feel and whether or not it’s a realistic goal, the weight loss one falls into the good goal category.
Apply that to my shop. What would make me feel like my shop was growing? Well, doubling my sales from March would certainly make me feel like what I was doing was working. That only means 12 sales, so I think that’s pretty realistic. I’d have to make three sales a week. We are in week one of April and I’ve already sold something, so two more before Saturday and I’d meet my weekly goal. I’d also like to make a listing goal to make sure I stay on track with all of this, so let’s say I want to get to 75 listings. I have 56 now, on April 4th, so that’s 19 listings in 26 days. If you factor in the number of sales I’d like to make, it goes up to 30 listings. That’s a lot, and a lot of work for someone who works two day jobs, but I think I can do it. Yesterday I made another green tea tote, in addition to finishing the pair of yoga socks I was working on. I don’t want to make a whole bunch of small stuff and just say, “there, I met my goal”, but if I can conquer my irrational fear of these marble magnets, I can get to 30 new listings before the end of the month no problem.
Let’s recap. Goals are good. They make you feel accomplished, and are a necessary part of running a small business. But they need to be realistic or they’ll make me feel worse instead of better. And for me at least, they need to be broken down into managable mini-goals, or they will seem overwhelming and I’ll give up before I even have a chance to see them through.
So there we have it. I’ve set goals, they will make me feel good if I achieve them, they’re realistic, and they’re broken down. Now I just need to figure out how I’m going to accomplish my goals for April, and we’ll be all set. What are your goals for the month and how do you plan to complete them?