A guest post by Megan Eckman of Studio MME
Image credit: 2013: A Fresh Start card by Emily McDowell
As makers, we’re all in holiday panic mode right now. We’re prepping for shows, buying huge quantities of packaging supplies (much to our boyfriend’s annoyance since it all goes on his side of the closet), and shipping out orders left and right. But all this frenzy at the end of the year means one big thing: we’re forgetting to plan for 2013. That means when January 1st rolls around, we’re full of energy and ambition to achieve…we have no idea what.
See the problem? That’s why today you need to set aside an hour and do some major brainstorming and number crunching to ensure that you hit the ground running when the big ball drops in New York City.
Here are some things to consider when planning out 2013:
- What are your goals? Do you want to double your income? Hire an assistant? Hire a nanny? Buy a new computer? Get into a wholesale show? Travel to a new city to get your work into new galleries and shops? Make a list of all the things you want to do. Some should be very specific (like rock New York Gift) while others can be a bit more vague (create a new line of jewelry).
- Plan out your big events. Put the shows and conferences you plan/hope to do on your calendar.
- Plan your vacations. Look back over the last few years to see which were the slower months for you (not necessarily monetarily but work/activity-wise). Take your vacations during that time.
- Plan out your launches. Again, you can be vague and not even know what you might launch yet. But certainly if you create clothing, you’ll want to launch your summer line long before July. Having a launch set in your calendar helps inspire you. Plus, you can plan them for your slower months to ensure you have the time you need to devote to it.
- Crunch the numbers. How are your revenue streams doing? Is it time to lose one? Is it time to add a new one?
- Look over your wholesale shops. Are they all still pulling in a nice profit or has an owner dropped off your radar?
- Up your prices. January 1st is the perfect time to increase your prices (and thus charge what you’re worth), especially if your profit for 2012 didn’t meet your expectations. Plus, your wholesale shops will need to restock anyway so doing it at the same time makes things easier for them.
- Look at your monthly incomes and figure out which months were your most profitable. Do you know why? This should really help you decide which shows to do again and what products have brought in the most money. Do more of those in 2013!
- Make a list of the other makers you’d like to meet in person. This may seem silly but every time I do this, I end up meeting half of them for coffee or at a conference. A new collaboration can create amazing things!
- Pick a theme or motto for 2013. Along with redecorating your work space, this can really help you stay motivated during the ‘slower’ months right after the holidays.
So there you have it: 10 things to consider while planning how to make 2013 your most amazing year yet. Taking the time to make your goals and action plans now means you won’t have to get up early on New Year’s Day. And really, who wants to get up early the first day of the new year?
Editor’s note: Come connect with our co-host Megan and the #OMHG crew to chat about prepping our businesses for 2013 this Thursday, December 6 from 1-2EST on Twitter with the hashtag #OMHG. Bring your ideas & your questions! You can learn more about our weekly chats + how to join the fun right here.
Megan Eckman always knew she wanted to be a creative entrepreneur. She threw all sense to the wind and graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 2009 with degrees in art and creative writing. She began her business a year before graduation in keeping with a promise to her mother. The promise turned out to be fuel for a passion in illustrating and soon afterward Megan moved to sunny California to pursue her artistic career as the artist behind Studio MME Illustrations.
Most of her days are filled with illustrating quirky tales, but she also loves writing freelance for national magazines like Backpacker and Renaissance. In her free time, she reads children’s fantasy books and explores the photographic possibilities of antique cameras.