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WHAT'S TRENDING [Makers Monday Motivation 4.30.18]
 
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When I was in 4th grade, one of the cool girls in my elementary school, brought her new Caboodle to class, filled with her colorful and well organized school supplies. Me and my nine-year-old classmates were in awe. (Children of the 80’s do you remember the Caboodle?!) I spent days after that longing for a blue, sparkly, plastic organizer of my own and couldn’t wait till my birthday when I could put it on my list. Sure enough, within a few months, girls throughout the school could be seen carrying their own pastel-colored Caboodle. 

The Caboodle was clearly one of the many 80’s trend items that came and went, but while it was hot, you couldn’t get your hands on one fast enough. 

As makers and creators, trends can really impact your business’s bottom line. Colors, materials, images, and styles that shoppers look for often changes from year to year. What is hot one season can look very stale the next….have you heard pineapples were SO last season! That is why in order to stay fresh, it is important, even if you create a product with a more “timeless” nature, to consider how you can incorporate trending elements into your products that your customers will be looking. 

Are you making products that are aligned with what customers currently want to buy? For this weeks Maker’s Monday Motivation, I challenge you to take a look at what’s going on around you in the marketplace and consider the ways trends play a role in your product development and business. 


REFLECT:

  • ow do you stay aware of current trends? 
  • Are you considering current trends when you start to develop new products? 
  • Do you consider yourself a trend-setter? A trend-follower? Trend-oblivious?
  • Have there been experiences in your business where trends have impacted your sales? 

TIPS TO TRACK TRENDS: 

  • o to Pinterest and see what items are being most reshared/repinned
  • Search for trending keywords on search engines, such as Google
  • Go to the library or bookstore and comb through fashion, lifestyle, and design magazines to see what products they are talking about. 
  • Read blogs and pay attention to businesses who’s whole job is to watch and aggregate trends, such as TrendWatching
  • Search Editor’s Picks sections on e-commerce sites such as Etsy.
  • Get out of your studio and pay attention to what’s happening in the world, with your friends, in your community, the economy, etc.  

Trends can really impact your business, so you want to make sure you are on the right side of the trend and able to benefit from the current zeitgeist. I hope this week gave you some ideas to insure your work continues to feel fresh and not dated. Want to do a deep dive into you product line and talk about how your offerings are measuring up? Let’s schedule a Power Hour to hash through and brainstorm ways you can be sure to stay ahead next season. Monday Motivation subscribers get 15% off through Memorial Day with code (FRIEND15).

We’re in this together!

Ashley

 
TAX TIME [Makers Monday Motivation 4.9.18]
 
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“Yeah, it’s tax time!” - said no creative ever

The start of April inevitably means it’s time to do your taxes. Love them or hate them (I’ve yet to meet a maker who really enjoys this annual ritual), taxes are critical to keeping any small creative business running successfully, so for this week’s Maker Monday Motivation I wanted to pass along some words of encouragement and simple tips, to help you as you take on the accounting tasks in your week ahead.


Tips to turn your tax time into an empowering (and possibly even enjoyable) part of running your creative business:

Shift your mindset:

  • Look at tax time as an opportunity to really see how your creative venture preformed.
  • Consider doing your taxes as a great chance to get organized.
  • Be grateful you’ve chosen a creative pursuit instead of crunching numbers all day ;)!
  • Is your studio in your home? Running your own creative biz allows you to write off a portion of your bills such as your rent, utilities, internet...that’s pretty cool!
  • Make your tax prep hours more enjoyable with this Spotify playlist by Billboard.

Prepare throughout the year:

  • Track the miles you drive for business purposes with the MileIQ app.
  • Set up an accounting software to track your income and expenses year round. (I’m a big fan of Freshbooks)
  • Save receipts! Your creative business (even as a side-hustle) allows you to deduct many of the things you spend money on each day (ie: that coffee date where you talked about your products; your design magazine subscriptions; visiting museums for “research”). The Shoeboxed app is a great way to insure you never lose a receipt.

Get help:

  • Taxes stress you out? Hire an accountant and let someone else do the number crunching and tax preparation for you.

Need some help getting organized so tax time isn't so stressful in the future? I’d love to support you. Schedule a free 30 min intro coaching phone-session.

We’re in this together,

Ashley