Saturday, March 1, 2008

Flickr Photo of the Week and My New Bag

Chive, originally uploaded by sylviascreation.

I chose this photo as my Flickr photo of the week from my Flickr contact Sylvia who also sent me this wonderful new grocery bag in the Bag Ladies Swap. Sylvia is from Denmark and posts some wonderful bags on Flickr. I've been following her photostream since I first got signed up for the Bag Ladies Swap group.
And here and here are her blogs:

Swap shopping bag from Sylvia
I'm afraid I've been ignoring my blog and my Etsy store these past days as I've been trying to organize the record keeping for my business and complete my taxes. What a chore! If I had known what I do now, after studying the instructions for Schedule C and other information about small business taxes, I would have done things differently. So, I am trying to set things up so it will be much easier next year including (some of these I was already doing but not doing well):
1) listing each of my supply and material purchases on a spreadsheet, and numbering each item
2) putting the item number on the item in storage, i.e. my sweaters for felting.
3) creating a new worksheet for"bill of materials" in my Etsy selling spreadsheet . This is where I note each part or item I use in making something.
4) Plugging the result from the bill of materials back into my spreadsheet so I can see at a glance how much something cost me to make and the profit I've realized.

Good news is I made a profit in 2007. Bad news is, it was VERY small profit. I'm feeling encouraged about 2008 as February was a banner month in my Etsy shop, in part due to the creation and sale (16 times) of my new pattern.

I am always learning and this week I learned something the hard way. When I sell my cabled neck warmer pattern from my Etsy shop, I send it as a pdf file to the buyer. And in the email with the pattern, I provide a link to my blog and let the buyer know they can sign up for my email newsletter here. To save time and ensure accuracy, I decided I would cut and paste the contents from one email into the next one. And I'd been doing this about 15 times when I heard from one of my buyers that the link in my email took her to some sort of Bible college site.

Of course my immediate thought was that somehow my site had been "hijacked". It took me a while to figure out I had misspelled "blogspot" as "blogpsot" in my link....15 times in fact. I'd sent everyone I sent the pattern the Bible link inadvertently.

Turns out it is a common tactic to buy up domains for probable typos and so anything you type with attached to it will take you to "Amazing Bible Studies". As I researched this, I found that some refer to this practice as "cybersquatting". Could have been worse, I suppose I could have sent my customers to a porn site! Here's a couple of articles I found about this issue if you want to read more:

Oh, and I did double check that all the links in this post go to the correct location. A belated happy leap year to everyone

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