Shop Talk: I Did It

So for those of you who have been following know about the All Fired Up challenge! You can read about it here but the long and the short of it is that during the period of October to January I pledged to make the same number of sales and same amount of money as I had during the last 12 months. Well I finally did it!
So the first month involved a lot of planning and reading and then redoing photos, tagging and product descriptions, basically a huge overhaul. Sales started coming in and November was my busiest month ever and things were going really great and I nearly completed my challenge by the end of November. I was like four sales and thirty quid away from achieving my goal and then on the last week of November it went dead!!! Seriously, stats went down, no sales, nothing! Which was a little disheartening to say the least but I still had two months to achieve that last goal right? But it would have been a nice way to end the month.
So I did London Below market at the weekend, it was a little quiet but all the traders agreed this had not been a good year for anyone, Christmas has been especially quiet, Black Friday was a wash out for everyone, not even Small Business Saturday had been any good. I managed to sell a few bits and hit the sales quota par of my challenge! I came home and reopened my shop and updated my clearance sale and made a few more sales but still a few quid shy of my target but technically had managed to match last 12 months takings in two months, so go me! But as I sat typing this, the sales bell went on my phone and I hit and went over the financial target part, thus completing my challenge and I still have the rest of December and January to go!
But that doesn’t mean my challenge is over I still have a lot of work to do, like retaking photos of some of the new stock that went in recently and very hastily for Christmas and now I’m pushing towards my stretch goals and reaching for a 100 sales in my Etsy shop! And still lots of other bits and pieces to complete, to be honest the challenge is never really over, it really is an ongoing thing, keeping your business going is a challenge in its self but the stock room is clearing out which means room for new stock and basically it’s onwards and upwards.
Now I know it may not seem a massive challenge to make 40 sales in a short period of time but this post in for those who are just starting out and reminder do not give up! Because you will feel like giving up and constantly asking your self have you made the right decision and the answer is yes, yes you did! The thing with an online business is in the beginning you have no feedback, so people are little hesitant to buy your stuff because they can’t see first hand what your product looks like and you will be by the end of your first year a first class graduate in the art of patience because that what it is in the beginning, a waiting game. Sales are not guaranteed every week, some months will be a deader than dead but you can put this to good use by revising your shop and researching and designing etc etc, go over your plan, what is working, not working.

So now I’m hitting a couple of sales a week, I half expect it to go dead in January and February but I’m prepared for that, I have a plan for that month and that is to start working on new stuff and start building my brand as up till now I haven’t really had a style or niche. But I celebrated with a little cheeky gin and tonic last night because you should always celebrate the victories no matter how small. I’ll write more about what I learnt when the challenge is over.

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