One Etsy seller does THIS every 1st day of the month
I’ve been an Etsy seller for many years and I keep a routine on the first day of every month that I thought you might be interested in learning about. My first of the month routine is something that has been helpful for me, but there is no magic in it – just insight into 12 days a year from me, Jason Malinak, owner of the Etsy shop JJMFinance – helping Etsy shop owners thrive since 2007!
Here are some of the particular things I do on the first of every month:
Pay my bills.
Not very exciting, but I owe people and businesses money for the services they provide to help me run my business. I have to pay for certain supplies, apps, websites, Etsy fees, marketing services, etc. I always pay these and I know I am on time and up to date with my monthly consistency.
Update my cash position.
Every month, my business brings in cash and I spend cash. I track what my ending balance of cash is and decide where it goes. I ask myself, should I reinvest it on a certain expense for the upcoming month, save it for a major future business expenditure, or transfer it to my personal checking account. Cash flow is one of the major indicators of the health of my business.
Perform my bookkeeping
I use my own bookkeeping system that is a spreadsheet to update my revenue and expenses. Doing this every month helps me see how my business is performing financially. These records also become the foundation for filing my annual taxes, so tax time is all in morder. (Here is my bookkeeping spreadsheet and a paper and pencil based alternative).
Review my business results with others
I talk about how the business performed for the month with my wife – telling her the highlights and shortfalls from the month. I also keep people that are closely tied to my business updated about the financial results of the month’s activities and any business updates they need to know about.
Review my feedback
I do this throughout the month, but I always check up to see if my customers were happy and what they had to say about my products. This is a fun activity as I strive for good customer service and enjoy seeing the fruit of my efforts.
Double check my inventory
Again, I do this throughout the month, but I make sure all items are active and ready for sale. I check the inactive, draft, sold out, and expired tabs in my listings manager on Etsy and make sure nothing is hiding in there that should not be.
I look at the home page of my shop
Does everything look the way I want it to? Sometimes a featured item might be gone or something accidently got put in a wrong section.
I look at my shop stats
I do this throughout the month, but give a little more dedicated time to analyze the results and see what is working well and what can be improved.
I download my Paypal .csv file
I save this file for tax purposes of revenues coming in through PayPal. I can easily grab the revenue and PayPal fees off of this spreadsheet for bookkeeping and tax documentation.
I gather my receipts
I file and record my expenses with the receipts (paper and electronic). I don’t want to lose any proof of expenses for tax purposes. No receipt = no proof = IRS not happy.
I plan/review business activities for the upcoming month
What new product will I work on? Where will I advertise? Where do I hope my future revenue will come from? What will I be working on? How much time will I have to commit to my business? I take specific times for long range strategic planning, but always review these plans and update them and make them more specific at the beginning of each month.
I spend anywhere from 1 to 4 hours doing these things every month. I also add onto this time my personal financial responsibilities and taking care of routine administration tasks that need to be taken care of for my family.
I’d love to hear about any business cycles you follow or what you do every month in the comments below.
Regards, Jason Malinak
Aka JJMFinance – helping your Etsy shop thrive!
Hello, I’m Jason Malinak, a CPA that loves Etsy! I’ve been helping Etsy sellers thrive since 2007. In my Etsy shop, JJMFinance, I offer bookkeeping, tax, legal, and financial know-how and tools. I have two published books: Etsy-preneurship and Finding Your Inner Etsy-preneur. Check out my blog Etsy-preneurship.com. I love connecting with small business owners, so feel free to reach out to me with any questions – I also offer personal consultations. I enjoy family time, football, reading, and learning. I value passion, excellence, and trust.