One thing I keep researching is managing a really, really small business like Art of the Firebird. Heaven knows there’s a lot of information out there about small businesses, but so much of it is geared toward either people who want to be consultants of some sort, toward people who are opening brick-and-mortar retail, or toward people who are eBay-ing. Even the information for artists is mostly geared for people either doing the “show circuit” or trying to get into galleries.
What does Art of the Firebird require?
- Product. I think I’ve got making product down, more or less. I get my torch time in, and make jewelry in the odd minutes here and there. That’s the fun part, after all!
- Inventory management. I’m getting there. I’ve got the tool I need set up for finished product, but I really need to do a better job of tracking the glass, at least, so I don’t overbuy some colors & find myself without others.
- Local shows. Down the Street Bead Shows are doing well enough for us for the beads & such, but it would be nice to find a couple of “finished product” shows that would be a good fit for Andrea and me. I don’t just want to blindly apply to some, though, which means research, which means time!
- Photographing product. Pain in the ass task! Even though I have the photography corner set up more or less permanently, the setup needs tweaking (lighting is not what it should be). I’d also far rather melt glass than shoot photos! If I’m going to sell online, though, it’s critical.
- “Stocking” the online stores. Well, that depends on getting the photography done and products inventoried. Once those get done, adding items to ArtFire and 1000 Markets is pretty easy. I keep wondering if there is any point in trying to have a presence on any other online venues…and if it’s worth the time.
- Marketing. EWWW!!! HELP!!!! THIS is where I need a guidebook for my type of business. Honestly, I just don’t know what the hell to do here!
- Accounting. What I know about accounting is this: money comes in, pauses briefly, and goes back
out. I tried QuickBooks and it’s big-time overkill for me. Isn’t there a simple, easy-to-understand accounting setup or tool out there somewhere?
- Generic other stuff. You know, packing and shipping online sales, restocking supplies, making sure all the various forms get filled out & submitted in a timely manner every year, redoing our show display every time we do a show (it seems), and a zillion other things that aren’t coming to mind right now.
At least I don’t have to deal with stuff like, say, payroll! Sarah, Donovan, and Mr. Boots work for Greenies, after all.