The first year of any microbusiness is a bit rocky and I had my expectations set a tad high, but I think 2012 was a good learning experience. If nothing else, I got a much better handle on how Newport News expects me to behave and staying on the right side of tax law is a bonus!
Since the only thing that happened in December was the paying of Etsy Fees ($0.60) and the income that Smashwords is going to theoretically pay my someday ($11.29)… I’m going to skip the monthly sum-up and roll right into the yearly reckoning.
Taxes – $(76.45)
This is the area I really dropped the ball on in 2012. First-off I’m not a retail location so I didn’t need to pay the $30 business license as such and second I needed to declare a computer so they didn’t default to the $3,000 ‘assumed’ machine that I had.
In 2013 I will not be paying for the retail license I don’t need and I won’t be paying for a $3,000 computer I don’t have. Instead I will be paying a tax on the nifty Chromebook I bought to replace my old laptop ($4.50 tax) and for a Direct Sales license ($0.00).
(Sidenote: I can do everything I need to run the business on the Chromebook thanks to Google Docs/Drive and the fact that I sell online. For $250 this is one kickass replacement for my netbook!)
PayPal & Etsy Fees – $(15.50)
Not anywhere near as high as it would have been if I’d gone the eBay route, but I’m wondering if I’m missing out on the exposure. I may have to run some comparisons and see if I can’t figure out the real cost ratio on both. *pokes spreadsheets*
I’m also looking into selling to people directly, bypassing any third party. I’m worried this will make people nervous, but I figure I can always off the third-party channel if they prefer.
Office Supplies – $(304.12)
This was my biggest hit for the year, but since it includes: the hosting fees, all of the domain registrations, the post office box, and all of the shipping… it was pretty much expected.
I’m working on trimming down the costs here (a post on that later), but for the most part I think this is going to stay my financial anchor for the foreseeable future.
Art Supplies – $(47.68)
This total was significantly smaller than expected. Most of this was due to the fact that I have a large stockpile of both for personal use (and that I didn’t paint as much as expected). I still haven’t made much of a dent in the supply pile so it will be interesting to see how much this changes in 2013.
Inventory – $(152.99)January Body Box Order
Even though I had a body box I could pull from I went ahead and bought new stock. Being the optimistic sort I figured that I’d plow through it in a few months… and a year later I still have most of it untouched.
Most of what I did end up doing was transferring old work-in-progress items from my personal body box to the business body box, using the current cost of the molds as their purchase price.
So I won’t need to buy any inventory for 2013, although I probably will bring in some more of the old bodies. *pokes body box*
Subscription Fees – $(28.00)
I didn’t spend enough time on Model Horse Blab to really see if I could pull in any consistent traffic through it and posting to Model Horse Sales Pages (MH$P) turned out to be more work than it was worth in most cases.
I’m keeping both, mostly because MH$P is the default location for hobbyists looking to buy and Model Horse Blab is fun darnit, plus I think it could be a good marketing venue if I just get my head back into the hobby again. It all comes down to time-in-chair and I just didn’t give them a fair chance.
If the traffic doesn’t pick up this year though, I may put them out to pasture come 2014.
Income – $177.10
This number was much much lower than expected, but I also didn’t manage to put nearly as much time into the micro business as I had hoped. That seems to be turning around a bit this month, at least in terms of butt-in-chair time so I’m hopeful.
I did end up selling some of the Saturday Story Prompts eBooks which was a pleasant surprise. I was planning on the SSP books being more of a tip jar for the website, but I’ve gotten some sales from other channels so once more of them start rolling over to free I might get a nice trickle.
Now I just have to make some non-SSP books… *plots*
TOTAL – $(447.64)
Over all I ended up paying roughly $38 a month to be a business in 2012. A good portion of this will be one-time costs, but right now I’m planning on spending just as much this year as I did last year.
Now if I can just get January to be a positive balance then I should have a nice bit of momentum for the rest of the year… Which means I need to paint more horses, market my heart out, and get some more eBooks out on the shelves! *rolls up sleeves*