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DirtRoads

2014 Was A Good Year

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I'm really pleased with my bottom line this year.    October 1st marked my 4 year anniversary in the clay business.   This was the 3rd Christmas in my free standing destination location.  Last year was okay but this year ... I feel like I was adequately compensated for my time and capital investment (ROI is highest I've seen in any business)

 

Changes:

 

-10-20% price increase to meet 30% retail price/labor ratio

-Kiln consistently stuffed with small items

-"the spoon"

-Production increased by experience about 15-20%.   Everyone got a little faster.

-Increased jewelry production that subsidized retailing costs and used labor selling cost to produce instead of just standing around waiting for a customer to make a sale  (2.5 employees)

- Kicking out those 80%ers, focusing on 20%ers and introducing  a couple 1%ers.

80/20 rule... 80% of your sales come from 20% of your line.  Managing the 80%ers is the key to profitability.   A 1%er is one of those rare products that are on almost every sale.   This year I had a pottery spoon, 1 bracelet  and 2 earrings that hit that mark.

 

My brother said "you've got a pretty good business here now".  Year end profit was about 3X that of 2013.  I had 14K of expenses that I could have amortized 3-5 years but took a direct write off.  I would say I'm about 80% marketing and finance and 20% artistic ability (please don't take that 20% as bragging ... might not be that much :)

 

Thanks to all the contributors on the board.   I've taken a lot of advice here. Thank you thank you.

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Hey, great analysis.  A lot of us do this thro' a little observation but you've cracked a whole new, to me, way of looking at sales. I just know I have to make a lot more bleeding pots with pelican stamped on them to keep the supply up, and get frustrated if time does not allow me to pursue a dream.

Do you allocate time for this?

Babs

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I noticed that people were a lot keener on spending their money this year. A convention where I usually earn around $1500-$2000 per year got me freaking $3600!! I tell you, that was insane.

Businesswise, 2014 was a pretty good year--still broke, but that's okay.

Personal life-wise, though...2014 was an F5 tornado of fire and literal death. So...hoping and praying for happy things in the Year of the Sheep. :3

WHY NO YEAR OF THE GUINEA

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"80% of your sales come from 29% of your line"  Provocative statement. 

Do others see this in their sales?

Much to think about here, may need to be a new thread.

It is the good old 80/20 Rule that is in play and I bet most of us would see it if we kept as good records as DirtRoads. I confess that I do not.

80% of customers want your ordinary product.They are the bread and butter of your life. That lovely 20% are the ones who come in and ask "What's new?" They challenge you to grow and surprise them. The big group pays the bills but the second group keeps me happy.

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80% of customers want your ordinary product.They are the bread and butter of your life.

I have a small group of items that comprise the core of my sales; however, I do not consider those items to be "ordinary". They seem to fit a price point that is attractive to many customers who attend the events where I sell. Customers who buy them often comment on their uniqueness and how different they are from other potters' work. Most of my work for sale are vases (ikebana), containers, and garden/floral items; I seldom bring cups, mugs, bowls, etc. to sell at a show. At any given show, there will be multiple potters selling . . . cups, mugs, bowls, etc. and I willingly cede them that general market. I try to focus on a more specific line of work that others most likely will not carry.

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It is odd that one gallery sells wall pieces and another sells orbs. Similar price range.i had a good year. Developed my web site. Had a large solo exhibition, my first in Texas. Feel good about where I am with my work currently and want to develop it further.

Happy new year and may your plans be achieved.

 

Marcia

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bruce is correct when he says his work is not at all ordinary.  it is beautifully done, of course, and not something a buyer could find just anywhere.  we may all make similar things but each of us has something that says who made it without a buyer looking for a name on the bottom.

 

i have not seen the work of any of you except bruce but if it has wild horses i would expect marcia made it, if wonderful colors running together, mark, if brightly colored clay is involved it is chris.  guinea, i don'tknow. 

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