Having evaluated the last season, let’s look forward to the next season and talk about setting goals.
Drawing on my experience as a homeschooler, I can reveal that multiple times a year, I had to ask myself WHY I was doing this insane thing. During the rush of mum season, I know we are all asking ourselves the same question. You need to have YOUR answer, written in black and white, on the wall, if necessary.
Having the one reason you are in the mum business will define the smaller goals that help you to accomplish the big goal. Are you supplementing your household income, buying college textbooks or is this your family’s Christmas gift money? Goals are subjective to each individual and so I am going to try to be broad in listing areas for you to set goals. Use what applies to you and your business.
I highly recommend that you write these goals down. The physical process of writing is proven to help internalize your goals.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to generate some goals for your mum business.
- What craft skills do you want to develop?
- What business skills do you want to develop?
- How much do you want to earn?
- What products do you want to offer? What sells in your market? Are you confident that you can encourage changes in your market?
- Are you incorporating popular trends in what you offer? Or are your products 100% traditional?
- Where will you sell?
- How will you sell?
- Who will you sell to?
Experts recommend that when you set any goal, that you keep the following in mind:
Is your goal
Having a very large goal with no way to measure it will cause frustration in the long run.
I am going to share my goals for 2018. In no way am I suggesting that my goals should be your goals. I am only sharing as an example. These goals are in not necessarily in order of importance to me.
I would like to sell more large mums than small ones. 50% of the mums that I sold during 2017 were what I call minis. I’d rather sell 25 large mums than 50 small ones. I am struggling with this idea. I don’t want to lose customers but I mostly don’t want to spend my time on cheap mums.
I want to include more decorative ribbon and learn to use trinkets in a way that they don’t look slapped on and really utilize the real estate on large mums so they look artistic and not cluttered. To avoid clutter, I will leave it blank, which looks unfinished.
I want to discipline myself to enter inventory when it comes in and goes out. This will help me avoid feeling overwhelmed during tax season.
I want to offer hand-made supplies like braids, monograms and blinged trinket sets on my Etsy shop.
I want to learn to use Pinterest to generate sales.
I want to change my website and possibly my branding to reflect changes that I am making in my business.
For each of these goals, I will break them down into steps and put them in my planner. Putting them in my planner helps to keep me on track for accomplishment.
How will I go about promoting large mums? Should I get rid of the small mum option? (My husband says “yes.” I am honestly conflicted because not everyone wants or needs a large mum.) But the customers that want large mums are out there and I want to sell to them.
I need to invest in more decorative ribbon over the course of the off season.
I will look for inspiration from other mum makers when it comes to trinkets. Yeah… I’m looking at your stuff and drawing inspiration from your techniques.
I will note in my planner one day a week to deal with inventory, spreadsheets and money matters. Ugh… I am dreading it already, but I am also putting on my big girl pants and doing it.
Last season, I invested time and money into learning to use Instagram for marketing. I can report that it was successful, in that I made sales from folks who followed my business Instagram account that would not have found my business otherwise. I intend to do the same with Pinterest. I know from looking at Etsy stats that a lot of views were generated from Pinterest. Yes, people use it to find DIY tips, but I believe that it can also generate sales and I intend to learn it.
I have decided to quit selling custom spirit wear. I am not making money doing it. Everyone and their mother has an electronic cutting machine and is making shirts. I have started the process of re-branding by making banners for my online places that say “Homecoming Mums by Central Texas Spirit Wear.” In the past, I avoided using a lot of color or decorative elements on my website because I wanted my customers to picture their team and their child. Now, I want to inspire them to upgrade their mum purchases and so I will be using some blingy elements on my website. I am currently shopping some pre-made graphics with commercial licenses that I can use online and in print.
I hope these lists and ideas are helpful. Setting goals is subjective to your mum business. As I said before the homecoming mum industry is unique in the hand-made product world. Don’t expect to sit down and do this all at once. Take some time, but do give yourself a deadline to have your goals set. That way, you spend the off season working toward them and the mum season being creative and making, not scrambling to obtain materials or set up social media accounts.
I’d love to see your goals and how you plan to accomplish them. Share in the comments. One of the tenets of Mums, Inc. is “Better Together” and truly, sharing with one another has been a huge boost to our businesses. If you have any questions and you think I can help, feel free to email me, Christy@CentralTexasSpiritWear.com