Welcome to our March Handmade to $100K metric report! Ash and I (Ria here, hi 👋) are 3 months into our handmade shop journey but we still feel like our heads are barely above the water.
Every month we publish a metric report to share our highs, lows and the exact amount of money that flows in and out of our wallets. We want you to take our successful lessons as a guide to try things you wouldn’t normally. But reflect on our shortcomings with us, too – every business struggles, even the ones that don’t look like it.
Let’s get straight into it…
Etsy sales: $208
Amazon Handmade sales: $0
Packaging materials: $41
Printing costs: $78
Etsy fees (including promotions): $107
Instagram advertising: $105
Total income: $208
Total expenses: $411
Total profit: -$203
Etsy traffic (views): 918
Amazon Handmade traffic (sessions): 44
@boldlieco Instagram followers: 231
A lesson on doing enough
First up, we want to be honest about how we spent the most of March: we didn’t spend a lot of time on Boldlie & Co.
Life got in the way.
Ash was super busy with working on the design for the new Zibbet platform and I got caught up in some new projects we’ll be announcing soon here at Zibbet HQ.
The truth about side hustles is that they often get pushed to the side. Sometimes your day job gets in the way. Other times it’s family commitments or a health problem that can send your passion project to the bottom of your priority list.
We acknowledge that some months we have the capacity to dedicate more energy to Boldlie & Co, and others, like last month, we’ll let the waves ride out. We feel like the things we were able to achieve…were enough. Even though we’d love to have done more, we realize that this isn’t a race.
Lesson: Don’t let other’s momentum pressure you to take on more than you can handle. You are doing enough.
Note aside, with our limited time, we did kick some items off our business bucket list…
Last month our main focus was increasing the amount of traffic to Boldlie & Co. We did two things to try and reach this goal:
- We started on a new channel to reach a new audience
- We paid for traffic via an Instagram contest and built our social following
We opened a shop on Amazon Handmade
We were getting a small amount of success from our Etsy shop. In fact, we beat our sales from last month and doubled our income in one month. Not bad, eh?
We opened a shop on Amazon Handmade with intentions of reaching a new subset of customers. We underestimated how much time it would take to copy our listings over and we’ve made zero sales to date. But, we’re hoping the maintenance becomes easier over the next few months. Even if we make just 1 sale a month on Amazon Handmade – it’s one more sale than if we just sold on Etsy.
We experimented with paying for traffic with Instagram ads
Getting new traffic doesn’t just stop at finding places where your audience shops and inserting yourself there. That’s what we did by opening a shop on Amazon Handmade. Another way to reach new people is to pay for traffic. By paying for traffic, you can leverage social networks and search engines to prioritize your content above others.
That’s what we did last month by hosting a contest on Instagram and paying $100 to boost the traffic and results. Paying for advertising is scary. We didn’t know if we were throwing away money and $100 seems like a lot. We could’ve spent that money on new samples, packaging supplies or photography props. Were the results worth it?
There was a definite bump in numbers, but long term we just don’t think it’s sustainable to continuously pump money into a business with such a small return.
Plus, we still haven’t made a profit yet…
We still haven’t made a profit
…and it sucks. We know some businesses take YEARS before they turn a profit but we were hoping that our margins would improve over February’s results. We restructured our pricing structure and it’s attracted a few more sales… but not as many as we hoped.
This month, we’ll need to take a long hard look at whether our prices are worth it for us or not. It’s an uncomfortable pill to swallow – that something you’ve planned out methodically and strategically isn’t the right way to go.
So, what’s next? At the moment, we just aren’t happy with 3 or 4 sales a month. We know it’s early days but we really hoped that sales would be more consistent by now. For us, that means really sitting back and asking ourselves the scary questions. Are we targeting the right audience? Is our product the right product to focus on?
With that in mind, here’s our goals…
- Start expanding our line by creating new products. We’re seeing success with our whippet print, so we figure we’ll make our next line cater to dog lovers of niche breeds rather than new mothers.
- Launch a website
- Send a few of our prints to influencers
- Make a profit!