Thursday , 21 November 2019
One Etsy seller does THIS every 1st day of the month

One Etsy seller does THIS every 1st day of the month

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.

Conclusion

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!

BIO

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.

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11 comments

  1. Thanks so much for this article!! I am always looking for time-management ideas. Between my Esty shop and my website, trying to keep track of everything AND create does make for a life of juggling. Hopefully once I start getting some sales, I most likely will be back to purchase some of YOUR products to make MY life just a wee bit easier <3

  2. Very impressive to have such a structured approach! I like how you commit to long term planning and review your goals regularly – this makes such a difference instead of just drifting along waiting for wildfires to catch your attention.

  3. I do a few first of the month things, but now I will expand it and really feel like
    I am on top of the business side of my Etsy shop.

  4. Wonderful routine! I’m a methodic person but when it comes to finances, I get distracted.
    Your tips will surely help me out.
    Thank you!

  5. Thank you for sharing this information. I look at my stats every day but not sure how to tweek them. I would like if I could figure out where the sales generate from even though I have not had many sales yet.
    My biggest downfall is shipping I constantly seem to lose money on the shipping which is not good since my pricing is low.
    I need to work on this. I had been using Fedex only to find everytime I get the bill it is higher than what I originally quoted on my shop.
    Again thank you for your wonderful tips.
    Sincerely
    Rachel

  6. Oh how I wish I was this organised… maybe I’ll start next month…..!

  7. Great tips to structure my monthly tasks!

  8. Good to know I’m already using sound business practices. Seriously, you have to do it this way. Leaving the tax info stuff in particular until the end of the quarter, or the year, is way too stressful, for one thing.

  9. This is a good list. I do most of these things every Monday morning. My daughter/partner and I meet every Monday for breakfast. We each have our separate responsibilities and a weekly meeting allows us to update the other. In having to prepare figures for the meeting it forces me (the finance, marketing and creative 1) to look thoroughly at many aspects of our business. We review fan acquisition numbers for both FB pages versus the previous week. Results of current ads running. Google analytics data,yearly, monthly and weekly sales versus the previous year, month or week along with design, production and wholesale updates. I have always believed numbers are crucial to review to know where you truly stand. You may think you are having a horrible week, but when you review you realize you are running a 120% increase over the last year so it may be a seasonal trend.

  10. This is the most useful blog post I’ve read in a long time. I am trying to get more organised in my business and this is invaluable advice for any business owner. Thank you so much for sharing this information to other Etsy sellers like myself. I will be adding these items to my to do list!

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