I think my "left-brain" exists only to add the required weight to my head! Its pretty useless otherwise :(
Less than a year ago, I decided I wanted to make a pair of earrings for my friend. I had no idea how to do it, what materials and tools I would need. Blank.
The right-brain took over, and here I am today, having already sold a lot more pieces of jewelry than I ever thought I would even make! This tells me it is time to register my shop as a business. Get there on etsy, make it easier for my customers to buy (instead of emailing back and forth and all), easier for myself to keep track of things, and well, take this to the next level. Besides, the IRS scares the daylights out of me! I do donate all my profits to charity, yet, I think I need to let the IRS know where the donated funds are coming from.
I had been reading all those "Quit Your Day-Job" articles on etsy which gave me starting point, some basic information about what I need to do to start the shop. Don't want to quit my day-job since I won't be able to donate as much as I do now, but those articles really helped in figuring out what I need to do. Then I checked out books from the library, went over the SBA website and scoured the internet for resources. Everything pointed at one thing: You need a business plan!
I have seen one. Vaguely remember hiring a corporate lawyer to draw up a business plan for me once for a partnership I had in the motel business. I think I didn't finish reading the first page. So you can imagine how excited I am that I need to make one. Myself. Left-brain, wake up. I need help. I dug up the aforementioned business plan. I could not read past the first paragraph this time around.
I downloaded a template from the SBA website, I beat myself into reading that completely and understanding what was needed. When I was done reading, I tried to start filling in the template. Useless, dumb, left-brain!
All I could fill out in that template was my name and address.
Since my left brain was not co-operating, and the right one was not interested, I found something else to do. I took a quiz. The results of which are these:
I understand the need for a plan. It would be foolish to bypass that and move forward with anything. Will be difficult too, without the "roadmap" that the b-plan is supposed to be. So I checked out yet another book from the library:
I started reading it yesterday while I was visiting my hairdresser to touch-up my roots. The book gives me some hope. It said my plan does not need to look like a very serious, legal document. It needs to inspire me, and keep me focused and on track and all that. The first exercise said I need to go into a quiet room, create a nice ambience, shut my eyes, breathe in and out...wait! I want a business plan! Not meditation! I brushed off that thought and continued to read. What I read kind of made me feel better...helped me figure out what sort of business I want, why I want it like that, where I wanted it to be in a year, all while I was supposed to be lying down with my eyes shut. I can do that :-)
Well, I have not completely figured out the plan yet. There was no quiet place at the hair-dressers where I could go lie down, you see. But I am not as intimidated either. After my hair appointment, I went to Marshalls and bought me a nice Vera Bradley dry-erase board. To start my business plan.
Left brain, I hope the vibrant colors on that Vera Bradley dry-erase board wake you up and you contribute at least a little bit to my b-plan!
Would love to hear from those of you who are already on etsy, or have their own store about how they got started.