Welcome to our February Handmade to $100K metric report! Ash and I are 2 months into Boldlie & Co and our business is slowly rolling along.

We publish monthly metric reports as part of our business journey on growth and transparency. In our minds, the reports serve to meet two goals. The first goal is to inspire you with what you CAN achieve with limited time and money. The second goal is to remind you that struggling is a part of running a business. All sorts of obstacles that come our way are simply… normal.

So come along, celebrate our wins and keep us accountable for smashing our next set of goals!

Let’s get started…

 

Money

Earnings

Etsy sales: $134

Expenses

Packaging materials: $89
Printing costs: $88
Shipping: $44
Mockup photos: $98
Etsy promoted listings: $73
Etsy fees: $22

Totals

Total income: $134
Total expenses: $414
Total profit: -$280

 

Traffic

Orders: 3
Etsy views: 1,669
Etsy visits: 957
@boldlieco Instagram followers: 70

 

What we got up to in February

Not only did we get our first sale, but we got our first 3 sales!!!  We’re not at the point of making a sale a day, but, the orders are real validation that we’re onto something. People actually like our work.

Here’s how we did it…

 

We made some SEO improvements to our shop

Our main focus in February was improving our Etsy SEO. We want our listings on the first page when people search for items like ours. Once we rank well for good keywords, we can stop spending as much money on promoted listings. We can shift our focus and money in the future.

Plus, if our products are ranking well but we aren’t getting enough sales, then it means there’s something wrong with our listings. It gives us a chance to improve other aspects of the product – pricing, photos and descriptions.

Last month we did a whole lot of tweaking. We improved our product images and made changes based on the Etsy search algorithm. We also tripled our current listings to improve our chances of being found in search for different audience profiles.

 

We shipped and packed our first orders

After some strategies we implemented last month, we made our first sales at the beginning of the month! But we didn’t put much thought at all into what happens after we made a sale. After the excitement wore off, we were left thinking: how the heck are we going to ship out our prints and keep them from getting damaged on the way?

 

We failed at some things…

One of the goals we set in January was to launch our wall decal range this month. We actually received our sample decal damaged and stained with coffee in transit which was a huge letdown.

Apart from that, the turnaround time for printing was far too long and we found out that the material wasn’t suited for cutting. It’s much more expensive to have it professionally cut up by the printers, too. If we want to pursue the wall decal path, we’ll likely have to print the stickers in bulk for it to be worthwhile.

Here’s a few mockups of what the decals would’ve looked like. We’re still doing our research, but so far, it looks like we’re pushing out the launch of our decals for a later date.

In the beginning, we wanted the prints to be a testing ground for our designs before we turn them into wall decals and textiles goods.  Right now, it doesn’t make sense to put a large amount of money getting stock printed until we’ve made more sales.

 

February lessons

Here’s the biggest lessons we learnt in February that we hope will help your business, too:

  • Not everything will go to plan. Problems will arise, tasks will take longer than you think and you will make mistakes. It’s better to fail in the beginning so that you can quickly learn and recover from obstacles. And, just because a plan fails, it doesn’t mean that you’ve failed your goal. We still have our ultimate goal in mind but we’ll be taking another path to get there.
  • Be open to changing your business on a whim. We decided to list our products on Etsy first so that we could leverage their search traffic and find out who our audience is faster. While experimenting and tweaking our business, small things would come and change the game in a snap. Sometimes that changed our entire pricing strategy and other times it made us rethink how to present our product better. By putting our work out there early, we’re less attached to our products because we haven’t spent weeks perfecting it. We’re open to changes and we’re even open to the idea of letting our customers take us where we need to be in order to be successful.

 

March goals

It’s important to celebrate our wins but also reflect on what went right and wrong. We can’t ignore the huge elephant in the room – even though we made sales last month, we’re still spending way more money than we’re making. Onwards to March!

Here’s our goals:

  • Make a monthly profit
  • Rethink our pricing strategy properly
  • List our products on a new channel
  • Set up an Instagram campaign to drive growth on social media