After a real emotional breakdown this weekend, I finally cracked open my copy of Start Your Own Business: The Only Startup Book You’ll Ever Need and began taking some real steps toward my goal of running my own business. I had realized that I was doing things to keep myself active in my business goal, such as keeping up with relevant blogs and making a few items here and there, but I wasn’t really doing anything. I realized I had been saying things like “This is the year I will get started on my crochet business,” and “Starting next summer I will begin to sell my items at craft shows.” I had even tried to get into a couple craft shows (remember the Holiday Handmade show I was going on about for a couple posts?), but would miss deadlines or wouldn’t follow through with the necessary phone calls I needed to make to ensure my spot at the show. So I’m starting over at the very beginning though I’m not sure if I can rightly call it starting over…
What is my first step? Goal setting! My main goal in starting my own business is to do what I love for a living. What do I love? I love crocheting! I wrote out a list of all the things I’m really good at, a list of things I’m not so good at and found that my real problem is focus and drive. I have tons of ideas, but no real clear idea of how to make my ideas become realities. I found that I get lost in all the possibilities because I have no clear “next step” in front of me to keep me focused.
I also needed to set up a budget that is not only reasonable, but flexible. A budget on my time is also necessary; how much time can I devote per day or week toward my small business venture? I have allotted myself a $50 per month cash allowance for general spending money and another $50 a month for craft supplies. The $50 spending cash will be actual cash I keep in my wallet; I believe that if I have a set amount of cash that is visibly decreasing, I will have a better idea of how much money I have to spend during the month on crap. This may turn out to be too much or too little for a whole month, but that is why the budget is flexible; I can go back and readjust so that my budget suits my needs.
I created a list of basic food items to buy each week to keep me from frivolous spending as well as a basic supplies list of items I will need for my small business. I listed things like frozen lunches for work and snacks I can easily afford or make on my own such as popcorn on the stove instead of those microwavable bags. First of all, you wouldn’t believe how much those little packages of popcorn add up to when you really like popcorn and secondly, I do not own a microwave. For time I have set two hours a day toward working on my small business whether that work be studying my small business books, research on my particular niche, or actual crochet work. The point is to have time set aside for working toward my goal, not micromanaging every day of my life as I am not the kind of person who can say that I will crochet for three hours on Monday and then read blogs for one hour on Tuesday. That is way too ridgid for me!
I have set a goal to raise $300 by the end of December. This will not be difficult to achieve since I have worked out a budget that leaves me with a good amount of breathing room and also because my family is extremely small and I will not be spending a lot of money on holiday gifts. I have also set up a meeting with a friend who has a lot of video experience to talk about the possibility of crochet how-to videos. I have written some words of inspiration as well as my goals on my fridge in dry erase markers so that I will have a visual reminder of where I’m trying to get to.
I am still working out my short-term and long-term goals, but for the time being I want to experiment with my time and money as those are the biggest excuses, aside from lack of drive and feeling overwhelmed, that I find myself making when it comes to why I’m not moving forward. I know that setting these goals will keep me from feeling overwhelmed and by creating a clear and distinct Next Step I can remain positive and focused!
Wish me luck!