A Year in Review: 2017
In January I posed my goals for 2017. Well it’s come time to review those goals and see how well I did with them. I was so surprised going through this list. Life this year led me down a path I wasn’t expecting, and some goals I manage to exceed (never thinking it possible) and some goals never ever got addressed! Such is life. Overall, it was a great year.
1. Increase my profit by 25%. To do this I have to bring in more sales, which means I HAVE to have help…i.e. I have to have an employee. I can make the product, but I need to sell more, to do so I need to do more events, which means double booking, which means I have to have someone to cover those events.
I accomplished this! If I’m being honest I didn’t think it would be possible (though I did take steps to make it possible, I still didn’t think it would actually happen!)
2. Higher a part-time employee. <– This looks calmly typed and doesn’t portray the excitement/fear/anxiousness/giddiness of how I really feel ha!
Accomplished! It was a learning experience for both of us, but overall this was a great addition to my team. We definitely learned what shows NOT to do, but then I’m learning that every year when I do my own shows. It was sometimes a challenge to have two set ups stocked, but I got it figured out and was able to keep up with having stock for both of us.
3. Each year I’ve introduced new products (and removed those that weren’t selling). At this point I’ve about got my set up set. I know what fits in my display, what I can travel well with from event to event, what holds up in the heat…you get the picture. I really don’t have anything I want to introduce or anything that I feel is a good time to introduce with where I am. So, I don’t have plans to have new products this year.
I didn’t introduce any new products, but I did create/introduce a number of new gift sets over the holidays. They went over well and I’ll continue them next year.
4. However, on to point four, I do have plans to experiment with new products. Shaving soap, liquid soap, foaming bath whip, and cream soap. Most of these are all things I need to know for the Master Exam and to further my soapy knowledge (for my own personal satisfaction).
Yeah…that didn’t happen. *SIGH* In my defense I was so busy when just making and selling products…then I moved in June…and yeah. You know what I’ll be doing this winter. No excuses!
5. Grow my online sales. This has been a long slow tedious process that I will continue to work on year after year!
This is probably where I made the biggest change this year. I’m going to keep working on this. I have plans for this (hear more about it in my 2018 goals)!
6. Grow my sales for custom wedding/shower (baby & bridal) showers. I did do more favors this year than last year, but I need to find ways to get them out there in front of the target customer. Part of that involves me getting out there and partnering up with local florists and caterers and seeing if they’ll be willing to work together with me. Definitely a plan I need to spell out and set clear goals for myself.
This is one thing that got pushed to the back burner. I did continue to do custom favors, I just didn’t do anything to help grow this side of my business.
7. Continue to grow my teaching classes.
I taught 20 classes, a couple private classes, did 5 library presentations. This is basically a little less than what I did last year with intensive classes, but a big jump in presentations where I can reach more people and so we’ll call it a draw. I love teaching. That is one thing I know!
8. Start forming the Local New England Soap Guild Chapter. As secretary, much of this will fall on my shoulders for getting it started and initiating everything. It’ll be a challenge and I’ll have to make sure I schedule time for it, but I’m excited about it.
Let’s call this a draw. There was some work done, but not nearly what I hoped to accomplish. Again, busy busy year. I simply ran out of time. It’s at the top of my list though to really pull things together and get some ideas implemented.
9. Take (and pass) the Advance MP certification test…since I didn’t get it done last year.
Done. Thank goodness. I never have to look at another MP test now. I’m done at advanced. MP soap I can appreciate it, but it’s so not my thing.
10. Submit a class proposal for the 2018 Soap Conference. Nope, I’m not telling what the topic is yet. Ha! And yes this is a different idea/class than the one I submitted two years ago, which wasn’t accepted.
I did! It wasn’t accepted, but that’s ok. I put together a proposal I was really proud of and submitted it.
11. Sign up for the Master CP Soap Exam. And start really PREPPING and studying and learning all that I need to pass said exam.
I signed up in April. I’ve since accomplished nothing. Okay, not nothing, but close to nothing. I will be buckling down this winter. It will be the focus of everything I do this winter.
12. Continue to save a percentage of every sale for future plans.
I did this, just not to the extent I wanted. Moving can really throw your plans out of wack!
A look at the Highlights of the Year:
- I participated in 106 markets (Sarah did 16, parents 3, other friends covered 2, the rest were all me). Last year I did 77 events.
- Taught 20 classes and did 5 Library presentations.
- Made my 5000th bar on September 19 (Last year I made just under 5000 for the year).
- Made my 6000th bar on October 11
- In total I made 6,723 bars of soap (if I count every bar/half bar/cupcake by # made and not what equates to the weight of a full bar then I made 7,273!)
- Bought a house and moved in June!
- The first item I made in my new studio was a batch of Spearmint & Eucalyptus Bath Bombs.
- Started 12 in 12 on my blog.
- Attended the Annual Soap Conference in Las Vegas
- Increased online sales!
- Started an Instagram Account (which I need to figure out how to get followers on it now).
- Started the year off well with keeping up with my newsletter and then failed to keep up with it. I plan to readdress how I do my newsletter in 2018. Things have to change with that.
- In total I made over 16,000 product this year. If we do the math that roughly works out to me make 43 products every day of the year :D.
- Participated in The Corner Spot where I got a trial run at a “store front”. I learned a lot!
- I failed at creating any new soap tutorials on my blog.