Admittedly, I don’t relish the bookkeeping aspect of selling online.
Creating, advertising, packaging, posting, and networking plus keeping up with the blog takes up a great deal of my time … who has time to keep records on top of everything else?
Yes, keeping records this isn’t the most exciting creative business topic but it is something we all need to do. Good record keeping will:
- Keep you organized
- Make you more productive
- Keep you informed on how your business is doing
Here’s just a couple of questions that are answered by keeping records.
- What do I have in stock?
- Where do I have each item listed, how much is it costing me and how many times have I renewed the listing?
- Do I have materials in stock to make more items today?
- How much did I spend to make my items this month?
- How much should I sell my handmade items for?
- How much am I paying on sellers fees?
- I am losing or making money?
- How much profit in total did I make this year?
Your record keeping doesn’t have to be complex and your don’t need a diploma in Excel to keep records well. The important point is to have a system that makes sense to you and is easy to update regularly.
Etsy provides great record keeping tools and you can even download a spreadsheet of sold transactions but if your selling on multiple sites and also at markets or local shops your going to have to set up systems that collect data from all avenues of selling and sales. There are a couple of simple ways to get started:
- Store your receipts – keep a box or folder and throw all the receipts for stuff your purchase for your business in it.
- Track your Sales – adapt the free excel document I’ve created to keep track of stock, sales and costs.
- Set pricing for your items using this sheet.
- Keep a notebook and jot down sales and purchases
- Use an excel spreadsheet
- Create a list of all the items you sell.
I’ve created an excel spreadsheet for keeping records which you can download for free here. Please keep in mind that I am not an excel expert, in fact I would consider myself a beginner. The sheet is intended as a starting point for you to edit to suit your needs.
Be your own success story
It might sometimes seem like a lot of work, but good record keeping can save you time and money in the future. Keeping good records means you can see any profits, which you can use to help your business grow.
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