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Owning your own Business Series: Keeping records & Accepting money

Nope you are not ready to open yet because you need to serious think about HOW you will keep track of our inventory. I have not mentioned the IRS yet but will do so now, you do not want to make mistakes in this area EVER and how you will avoid that is by keeping meticulous records on every single thing that goes on in your business. You do not need to buy an expensive POS (point of sale) system, if you can afford it then go with it but if you can’t there are several other inexpensive bookkeeping software that also doubles as inventory trackers. Keep every single receipt if it has to do with your business, if your business happens to be a one person operation like mine is, FORCE yourself to do your record keeping at least once a week. You will thank me later for repeating this “RECORD KEEPING AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK”, no excuses DO IT. Do a little research on a software that will work best for the type of business you are doing. I use microsoft excel but I was an accountant for most of my life and if you do not have the experience, no worries get yourself some easy to learn software and I have heard that Quick books is easy to learn and use but I have no clue so check it out. Use properly labeled file folders to keep all of your receipts in, again this will make things so much easier if you have to go hunt for a certain invoice, your last months power bill OR a receipt for office supplies. Make these things HABITS and they will come naturally to you. Let’s just say that IRS did come to audit your business, I hope they never do but the reality is they could. If you have everything organized, neat, and easily assessable the agents can quickly look for whatever it is they want and the time spent is short on both of your parts….see there is a crazy reason for being organized.

How will you accept your customers money ? Things change at a quick rate on how people can spend their money and think to the future with this. Since I have opened, I only accept Master Card/Visa and cash. I have my merchant account thru my bank and that works great for me but that might not work for you. Again think very carefully because yes certain credit card companies and merchants have requirements. Merchants may require that you do say at least $5000 in sales per month to get a certain rate and if you don’t then that rate is doubled, BE CAREFUL what you set up. Lower is always better and if you make more YAY. Also make sure if you are going to accept ALL credit cards that they too do not have a certain amount that they require you to reach in sales each month. If you read very carefully all of the do’s and don’ts or you could do what I did, went into the bank and said I want this, this and this can you do that, and they could. You are almost ready to move forward to open your business. Hopefully I am not sounding like a negative, unhappy business owner because I am not, I LOVE my business but really just want to give all the real information so that no one get’s stuck with a bill you can’t afford. Yes it did happen to me which is really why I decided to pass on what I know so that it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

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It’s ok to Quit

I just closed the yarn portion of my shop but don’t feel sorry because it was not for lack of business. Had plenty of business and being one of the most unique business as a New Age/Yarn Store things can get pretty hectic. No doubt about it I did love my store but honestly something had to give, being a one woman operation can get a bit overwhelming and tiring very quickly. I did have 5 glorious years, working on my 6th with just the yarn alone but I have also had other things that I just really wanted to accomplish. Thus the title of this article “It’s ok to Quit”. Most of us are told things like “don’t be a quitter”, “quitters never win” and etc. etc. Just not true actually knowing WHEN to quit can put you back on the winning track faster than a speeding bullet!!

Yes I do know how to delegate but for me my business is very personal and it is hard to find someone who loves it like I do. When you own a business that is not in the “raking in a million trillion” every year, it can be hard to be able to hire help. BUT I do have a road that I have been wanting to travel down and as previously mentioned, something had to give so it was the yarn. I have had in my head for too many years to count an entire design line that has never even been thought of and in order for me to make that happen I HAD to lighten my load so to speak. I will not lie, it was devastating trying to pick what to cut out because I love all of it but had to be realistic if I wanted to get the other accomplished. Here is how I came to my decisions.

Look at the bottom line, IF you have to let some things go it certainly is a case of who your customers are and I won’t sugar coat it here, where you are making your most money. NO it isn’t always about money but when you own a business you MUST look to the future of how you will or won’t keep your doors open and how you will be able to fulfill your personal goals as well. If you are not grounded and balanced then you will not be giving your customers the best of you and we all know that is a MUST for a successful business. I really struggled with this until I started to look at big business and realized they do it on a constant basis. They keep what works and throw out what doesn’t, how many times have we just loved say a type of cleaner, soap, or even type of food only to find out later it was discontinued because not enough people loved it as much as we did. Unless that particular thing was the only reason you shopped at a store, more than likely you are still shopping there and may or may not be still looking for that certain something to replace what you loved. Again won’t lie here, I was terrified to quit a portion of my business that I started with and the day I did not renew my business license for the yarn I felt sick. It did not last long I am currently working like a crazy person, charting out and planning the new line of designs that I do plan on self publishing and releasing soon and have never felt better about my decision to QUIT a part of my business. Take the plunge, sit down and look hard at what you are doing and see where you can “Quit” a few things.

Category: crochet, knit, machine knitting  Tags: , , , ,  Comments off

Step It Up Crochet

Lately there has been quite a bit of controversy concerning crochet. Some feel that crochet is not getting “equal” treatment compared to all the knitting whopla that goes on. Yes I do knit but my first choice will always be crochet so I set out to sort of dig around and try to find out why this is happening and my thoughts on this are not carved in stone, it is just my opinion and what I feel all crocheters can do to sort of get crochet on level ground.

For ages there has been this myth that crocheters are cheap and will only buy acrylic yarn, “POOF” not true. As the owner of the only yarn shop in my town and I cater to more crocheters than knitters, this simply is not true. Crocheters are not cheap and they certainly do buy plenty of wool,alpaca, sock yarn, and they buy it, I don’t give it to them. It all depends on what they are making, I mean we all make dishcloths and there is no way anyone should buy cashmere to make something that you will be washing your dishes with. Ok let’s talk about Afghans, yea this may be why the “cheap” label got thrown out there. Well I am here to tell you that weather you are knitting or crocheting an afghan it can get pricey and you bet your best crochet hook, you want to go the cheapest route possible AND knitters do this as well. It’s alot of yarn and no one in “my circle” wants to shell out $350.00 to make one, not even a knitter.

WHEW, got that out finally. Now in defense of some of the whopla and rumors about crochet I do highly agree that we do need to step it up. Razzle Dazzle it with patterns, show people what crochet can really do. Yes I do plan on taking my own advice and start turning out some “higher” end patterns, one’s that will make people stop in their tracks and say “I want that and I want to learn how to crochet so I can have that”. I do believe that knitting has sort of been a bully to crochet but I also believe that it’s time for crochet to stand up and get noticed. I don’t plan on whining or bombarding any yarn companies, I do plan on hitting them with Razzle Dazzle.

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Yarn Shop Etiquette sort of

I have owned my own yarn shop for well over a year and it really has been quite the learning experience. Please do not think for one moment that I am unhappy about it because that is so far from the truth but there are times when I just want to shake people and look deep into their eyes and ask WHY???? I always feel like I am being rude if I tell someone “OMG this is flu season for crying out loud quit rubbing that all over your face, smelling it etc.” or “please go wash your hands, yes I see you licking your fingers because there is chocolate or whatever all over them and licking them off doesn’t clean them” . Ok enough of my whining all in all I do really enjoy my little shop and I feel overly blessed in so many ways to not only be able to open it but, knock on wood (or my head) that I am still open.

Below is a link to a very well written article about both sides of the coin so to speak regarding yarn shops and I can’t tell you how glad am I that they wrote it because I do not have a way with words, enjoy.

Twisted Collective Shop Talk

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