Wasted Opportunities #3: No Written Contract and a Damaged Relationship

This one of many retrospective accounts of a money making idea blundered or not followed up because of procrastination.
It serves as my own reminder and as a lesson for future reference.

Dear diary…

In 2007 I set up a small illustration venture producing postcards and greetings cards depicting my town. Being keen and green I was naturally eager to get these illustrated products on sale in as many shops, libraries, museums and similar locations as possible.

My prospecting of potential outlets led to me striking up a good working relationship with the local borough council museum. While working a few part time jobs in addition to the business experiment, the free time was used in volunteering at the museum (good for the C.V. and an ideal way to network). This was the route I took in establishing a mutual agreement for the display and sale of my work. Critically, several important factors were left out of my decision making.

Save Those Receipts!

Keeping records of business expenses by saving your receipts need not be the headache we imagine. Setting up a simple Excel spreadsheet and religiously entering your monthly outgoings shows how the business is performing in terms of costs vs. sales. 

Beside demonstrating potential savings and averting hemorrhages in your cash flow, you can claim back expenses when you submit your tax return.

New businesses can claim costs dating 12 months prior to the official trading date. In other words, once you begin paying National Insurance contributions the costs incurred In the 52 week period before the first N.I. payment is tax deductable.

"Do You Have the Time for Success?" - Julio Melara (Book Review)

The premise of this book is that success is a byproduct of learning, information and growth. The acronym “TIME” is used to represent Talent, Information, Motivation and Enthusiasm in what is essentially a self help book. A quick read and laden with good advice, I occasionally refer to it to refresh my mind or receive a pep talk during difficult circumstances.

The discerning reader is often wary of zealous American “motivation” authors, finding their rhetoric so akin to political speak that they’re mistrustful of the message. Despite any pandering, lip service or over the top “You can do it” bravado, the author clearly means well and I am with him 100% in his assertions that we must take control of our lives, thoughts and beliefs if we want to achieve anything worthwhile. Taking action is more important than mere words, he says.

Leverage Seasonal Sales Trends

Are you making the most of specific times of the year for a push in sales? Christmas is the obvious example and an opportunity to cash in on people’s spending patterns.

Though confidence in general may not be what it once was because of the economy (most of us must face a January money hangover too) it is a period when the majority of the population is in buying in mode.

A few years ago I secured business funding from a charity and used it to produce a few thousand greetings cards. Although on sale during most of the winter, and off sale during summer, the remaining weeks in the lead up to Christmas is the time for really pushing the products and raising the profile of my business.