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  • Writer's pictureHeidi Wilenius

first blog. goals.

Welcome to my blog. Insights and ramblings on owning my own small business (and whatever else comes to mind), from me, Heidi. Written in no particular order, just whatever comes to mind when I sit down. It's January 2022, dandelion wishes has been open for over 2 years now, and I still haven't updated my "herstory." Keeping a website up to date has proved to be beyond my current bandwith. So let's see if I can keep up with a blog. That seems much less work, especially since I went with the template wix handed me. Maybe people will read it. Maybe not. My goal for now is writing it, I am not going to worry about readership. (If you are reading this, and feel a need to correct my grammar or punctuation - please stop. If I have to worry about all of that, this will never get written.)

So today, in honor of the New Year, I first set my sales goals for the year. I enjoy goals. Although money is not my end goal in all of this -- the shop needs to have good sales to survive and thrive. So I set monetary goals, which, while they an oversimplified way of looking at things, they are at least easy to measure.

What most excited me about setting goals this year was having an ENTIRE year of actual sales to base my goals on. For a woman who opened her business a few months before a global pandemic, this is a HUGE DEAL. I first set monthly goals in January 2020, which were basically pulled out of (almost) thin air, since I had only been open for 2 1/2 months at that point. Not shockingly, I did NOT make my 2020 annual goal (and very few of the monthly ones). I'm also very stubborn, and once I set a written sales goal, I never change it - regardless of hell, high water (ie Aug 2021), or a global pandemic. So while I was happy with where the shop was at the end of 2020, I most definitely did not make my year-end goal.

So when I sat down to create monthly goals for 2021, I was again flying blind. I sat down at my computer and used my mental dartboard to make up some numbers, trying to extrapolate some sense out of my 2020 sales figures, which had taken quite a hit, between being closed for a couple of months, and then operating at a max capacity of 3-5 customers during the holiday shopping season.

In 2021, I soared past those "dartboard" goals (well, except for Aug/Sept, see note above about "hell or HIGH WATER", we had a lot of the latter). So even with the Great Hopewell Floods of 2021 (which closed my doors for almost 3 weeks), I finished out the year over 35% above my original goal, and a solid $7K over the "mental stretch" goal I set for myself before the holiday season began. (Because while I refuse to change my written goals, once I achieve them - well, I have to set a stretch goal!) But, since those goals had no basis in any sets of actual facts...the fact that I exceeded them has less meaning -- and so, setting this year's goals are more exciting for me! My 2022 goals have actual basis in (non-alternative) facts!

And since I am not flying blind in 2022 - I set not only sales goals, but monthly buying budgets! OK, this has me REALLY excited. As much as it probably terrified my CPA husband, I was pretty much making all of my buying choices on nothing but gut instinct in 2021 -- including the budgeting part ;) Or lack of a budget, I should say.... Thankfully, as it turns out, my gut instincts were pretty darn good. I'd like to say it was my amazing retail expertise, but I think there was also a significant element of luck involved. Also, my artists and my customers both rock, so that really helps!

So in honor of creating a monthly buying budget, I got a bit carried away in MS Excel. I now have a sheet for every month, and can add in orders, and (in theory) keep myself on budget. And I added in some cash flow figures to see if I can keep my business account in the black all year, without relying entirely on Black Friday. (Let's see how well I do on the budgeting part when faced with the reality of FIVE wholesale shows in 3 months...#selfcontrol is not my strong point when buying.)

And speaking of Excel, I also ran more reports today, so know I know fun facts like 5.48% of my sales last year was from greeting cards and 5.26% was from socks. I think I get an unusual amount of joy from Excel. I know there are other data nerds out there who understand my joy. You are my people!

And now, it 11:39PM, and i'd like to fit in at least one episode of Outlander before bed. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

jan 2 2022, hopewell nj

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