I can hardly believe its 2020 – the year I turn 40. WHAT?! How did that happen?
Most people make resolutions for a new year. I’m no good at that, so I make goals. I like goals. I REALLY like crushing goals. For 2019, I set one very specific goal – to double my gross revenue, which I did. In fact, I ended the year 124% to goal. Crazy.
For 2020, I’m setting a lofty revenue goal, of course, but I want to challenge myself in other ways, too. So, I’ve come up with a list of things I want to achieve. Some of them will help me drive toward more revenue, and others just feel like the right way to grow.
Here’s what I know about goals: I’m an achiever. I’m driven by deadlines and big challenges. I like to exceed expectations and push myself to the limit. (I also like lazy days on the couch with my cat and off-task distractions.) I believe in letting the little things go when the big things matter more. And, I believe that as long as I’m always driving toward BETTER, I’m winning.
I don’t have data or research to back up my goals. I didn’t do a bunch of math or consider exactly how many pots I’m going to have to make and sell to get to my numbers. I’m just going with my gut and dreaming big.
So, here are my 5 big goals for 2020:
- Grow my overall ross revenue by 50%.
- 50/50 in-person vs. online sales.
- Spend less and buy only what I need!
- Purge the plastic and foam.
- Expand my reach.
Grow my overall gross revenue by 50%.
When I sat down to consider this one, I looked at John (my husband) and asked what he thought I should do. He said “Double it again!” But, I have a full-time job outside of this little pottery business, so I don’t think that’s humanly possible. Instead, I’m setting my goal at 150% of my 2019 gross revenue.
I’m not going to share the specific numbers with you here, but this is big for me. I look back at 2019 and have no idea how I managed to make that much pottery, and get it into your hands. So this is going to be a serious stretch, and a major exercise in time management and efficiency. Wish me luck.
50/50 in-person vs. online sales
This goal is related to efficiency. In 2019, 62% of my sales were in-person, and 38% were online. I spent 26 days selling in-person at markets. It was A LOT. And if you’ve ever done that type of thing, you know that it’s not just the 3-8 hours of standing at the booth and smiling, its also:
- several hours of prep and loading the car (and carrying pots from the basement, in my case)
- 2-3 hours of set-up
- at least an hour of tear down
- unloading and unpacking
- updating inventory online
It’s physically exhausting. And for me – an introvert – it’s emotionally trying, too. I do enjoy meeting all of you, and chatting with you about pottery, but I’m just one person, and there’s no way I can take on more shows, so I’m going to try and increase my online presence, and get more pots in your hands that way.
Don’t worry – I still plan to be at the Dublin Market, and many other events around town, and I’ll continue to offer pick up if you are local to Columbus and don’t want to pay for shipping.
Spend less and buy only what I need!
It’s no secret that I LOVE arts and craft supplies. I love pencils and markers, fabric and paint brushes, stamps, paper, yarn and all the fun goodies sold at art supply and craft stores. Any excuse to buy more supplies is an excuse I can get behind. But, it’s bad for the planet, and it’s bad for my budget, so I’m making a serious effort this year to not only spend less on materials and tools, but to only buy what I need and use up all the good stuff I already have.
This goes for my personal crafting projects too – I’ll be finding fun ways to use up more of the non-pottery craft supplies I have sitting around. So watch my stories while I spend my free time sewing, crocheting and paper crafting when I can. (I don’t have a ton of free time, so don’t expect too much, ok?) What I don’t have use for, I’ll donate to some of my teacher friends. Their students will put my supplies to great use, and free up some storage space in my studio.
Purge the plastic and foam
If you’ve received a pot from me in the mail, it probably came in a box full of packing peanuts. I know, I know… they’re terrible. I had a lot of pots break during shipping in 2018 and it was infuriating. I did a ton of research on how to ship pottery more securely and landed on my current method – a layer of bubble wrap, then paper, then float the whole thing in styrofoam peanuts. Since I switched to this method, I’ve only had ONE pot break in transport. One.
But, I love this planet a lot more than I like clay, and we only have one Earth, so I’ve spent the past couple months really thinking about how I can do better. I considered a lot of things, but here’s what I landed on:
I’m going to trade my packing peanuts in for strips of junk mail! I bought a strip shredder and i’ve been running all my old magazines, grocery store ads, etc. through it. I’ll use that to cushion your pots. And, I’m going to swap out the bubble wrap for paper and cardboard.
One thing to note: I WILL continue to re-purpose clean packing peanuts and bubble wrap. So, the occasional pot will be packed in plastic and foam, because, why not? The more it’s re-used, the better.
This is also an experiment. If I find pots are still breaking, I’m going to have to keep experimenting. But I’m going to make a solid effort to ship in a more sustainable way. (And, I have a good bit of bubble wrap and packing peanuts to use up before I start this journey.)
Expand my reach
This one comes in 3 parts:
- get my pottery into some local stores (consignment or wholesale)
- start an email list!
- grow my social media following to 3,000K on Instagram and 600 on Facebook
I’ve worked in marketing for more years than I would like to admit, so these things should come really naturally to me. But, I spend my day job writing and designing marketing content, so when I get to my personal business, things are kind of running on auto-pilot. I am going to try and fix that.
I don’t know where 2020 is really going to take me or my business, but I am going to keep focusing on making art everyday, learning new things, and growing my business in the ways listed above. I look forward to looking back at this in a year and seeing how it all came together.
Here’s to a great year. Cheers to your goals and mine. To dreaming big, and embracing the unknown.