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Friday, 27 January 2012

Business life in January

Wow - January nearly completed- where has the time gone!

Latest update on website shop is not good. Sales still very low and thank goodness for ebay is all I can say. Also I changed the template to dress the shop up a bit and LOST every single internal link. I think this will effect the google views as broken links are frowned upon by the robots. Ah well, I'm slowly wading through to put them all back again. Views are only down slightly so far but sales are pretty poor. About 1 a month on average.

As a punishment to myself, I'm spending lots of time trying to PR my site. I'm putting mini sites on any freebie I find (they usually let you put between 10-30 items on for free). I then add a link to my main website. Trouble with this is one must remember to go and delete all items on other sites that have sold elsewhere - so now I tell my spreadsheet where everything is advertised. My spreadsheet is my Bible. Yes, of course this is hard work and takes from around 9 in the morning until around 9 at night to get through but I'm hoping it might help an incy bit. In between I'm wrapping the items I do manage to sell and dashing off to the post office.

So If you fancy giving all this a go I have now joined the following:-
1 UK ebay
2 Main website Cathys Curios
3 Free Web Store
4 Groovy Cart
5 BT Tradespace
6 Free Ads
7 Face book Business Page
8 Twitter
9 Ruby Plaza (in process)
10 I'm trying this new Pinit
11 My blog
12 updating Exchange Links continually 
13 Free Directories whenever I come across them.

Plus I'm sure I'll find many more. All of this makes it fuller than full time but I enjoy it so that's what matters.

Think I must be due to add a bit something educational to this blog so I will try to return very soon with a bit of pottery history.

To finish off with I'm going to a huge Antiques Fair in Manchester at the weekend (700 stalls) and the good thing is - I get in free if I show my business card. I hope to come away with lots of goodies to make my fortune.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The Challenge Continues in the New Year

Christmas out of the way, New Year done and dusted and holiday season finished. So, ready to continue the challenge of business growth.

First of all I have to report that December was my best month so far in this tax year. Strangely enough one of my busiest weeks was Xmas to New Year whereby I sold something every day. This surprised me as I don't do Sales or Offers, I just plod on as normal. Anyway, I'm not complaining other than I had to wrap lots during holiday season.

We're now into January and thinking about our Tax Returns. I do it every year, leave it till the last minute. Good job I have a nice Accountant who does it online for me.  This can be a costly affair so worth shopping around and getting a few quotes. I've been with the same Accountant for years. Anyway we won't talk about year ends yet as that, for a business person in UK, is March. January is just the month we all panic to get our figures in.

I'm excited about 2012 because I plan to go further afield for my stock. Normally I try to stay local but now we're going further and staying overnight, so it's like a mini shopping holiday - well shopping for stock is just as exciting to me as some women like to shop for clothes. Honestly I love it. Ok I'm still selling the cheaper end of the market as I haven't yet grown enough to purchase the more expensive pieces. That will come though. Infact, viewing my Sales Reports on ebay I'm averaging £10-£15 per item at 70-90 sales per month. Still chicken feed to some of the bigger 'antiquers'. Nonetheless I do have growth. To start with that was £2-£5 per item at around 20-30 sales at the beginning, so over the 3 years it has increased, all be it slowly. On the good side aswell my vintage style clothes are doing ok, though the jewellery hasn't done much yet. I'm glad I expanded to include these 2 extra categories as they are fun to buy.

This weekend I'm going to outer Manchester for a 300 stall fair and end of next month there will another in Manchester with 700 stalls, so surely I will find some lovely pieces affordable to my business. I also plan to find some fairs near the seaside to have a day by the sea. I dare not go on holiday because of my business. Honestly, if you close down for a week it takes another 4 weeks to get your ratings back up. So all hotels or camp sites must have internet access so I can run my business on hols.

One negative aspect though is my website shop is doing rubbish. Ebay is still the best seller but we've had some ups and downs with their silly rules for sellers. Whereby my little individual shop, which I spend every day with PR work, is hardly selling a single thing. It won't stop me continuing but sometimes I think the only way forward is ebay. I had hoped the stand alone website would get me out of ebay, but that hasn't happened yet.

I'll report back when I have my goodies.