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How to Get More Done

Lesson 3 of 17

Start with Sales

Tara Swiger

How to Get More Done

Tara Swiger

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Lesson Info

3. Start with Sales

Lesson Info

Start with Sales

We're going to start by getting specific community in this picture at the really upsetting a spreadsheet I don't like spreadsheets way need spreadsheets for this because we're going to start with your sales goal so before you could be productive, you need to know what you're working on and you need to know what matters to you in your business because like I said, there's a lot of ideas about what you do in your business, but none of that matters if you don't build a business that you actually care about in love there's a lot of advice out there about how to build other people's businesses, but I want you guys to build a business you truly enjoy so need to get clear about what you want there's a bunch of ways to do this you could set sales goal, you could set a like a publicity goal like I want to get featured in this pressure this magazine you could set a goal for how many products you have in your shop, but we're going to start with this steals goal in this class comes all about your ...

holiday sales and so that's what we're going to do in your workbook on the very first page, which is strange enough called page three oh ambitiously forecast your sales so the first thing is to think about how what number of sales and we're talking about money what's a goal you want to set, and then the next question is by win. So it's. One thing to say it's, just make five thousand dollars but it's really different if you want to take five thousand dollars this week or five thousand dollars a year, and either of those is a fine there's. No judgement about how big or how small your businesses, how big or how small your goal is. What matters is that you identified for your son self. You can then create enough products on enough sailed to make that happen, so you will see that I have ask you these questions on page three and I want to hear from you. What are your what is your goal you want to make how much money by what date now and you can share it in the chat room if you feel bold and someone here in the class can share it, if you would like to raise your hand if you wanna share it or do you, you just shout it out of me. You have a goal in mind of what you'd like to make. Um if you're if you think about the holiday season, you must set the goal day like december thirty first, december twenty fifth you might also do it when I work with students. We usually set goals for a three month period for, like the quarter so starting october first through the end of the year starting june first for the end of the quarter and that's a good chunk of time, three months is a really great period of time for you to get a lot done and but not so long that you forget about it and you just let that goal go aside. It's great to have a field goal for the whole year, but if you don't think about it all year, you're not going to be doing any action to move you towards it. Enough kind of our goal here is to take action. So is anybody want to show their goal? Is anyone sharing it in the chat room? They are, and we can start there. Kudos to everybody for putting your really your numbers out there. So kita says by the end of the year, she wants to make a thousand dollars. And then christine veiled woman says ten thousand dollars by december thirty first, and they continue to come in. Excellent like that because you see the range of people's goals what matters most is that you know your own business and you know where you want to take it not what it looks like in comparison with something else ten thousand or one thousand it's all the same we're going all the same math because it's one thing to know how much money you want to make and it's another thing to know how to do that that's a question I get asked most okay set of sales goal how to actually reach the sales goal the first thing is to know how many products that translates into for you we're going to do it the math on page three of your workbook how many products if you take your average um price of your there your average price of your products your goal divided by average price of your product and this is when we get into math so on page three you want teo think about how many products the average price of your products which have to make or have to sell in order to reach at sales goal. Okay, now I want to make a note about profit before we go into I know some of you have businesses with different priced products we won't go into that in a minute but I'm not about profit if you took a terraced class on pricing then you know that if you sell a five thousand dollars worth of, you know, sales, that doesn't necessarily mean five thousand dollars in your pocket, especially if you're making a product often you're cost of goods sold. Your expenses are going to be a chunk of that. When you set your sales goal. Where was going for the sales girl here? Not a income goal, you might have to bump up your sales goal to take into account all your expenses in order to get the amount of money in your pocket that you want, and that depends on your expenses for your business, so you can't forget to take profit into account, but your actual profit margin is for products that makes sense. Okay, so now are there questions before I go on? Let's check, and if you guys have any in the chat rooms, feel free, tio, go ahead and raise your hand. We did have some or people that were setting out to their goals calm and so shout out to sandra glover clark, who says she wants to make ten thousand dollars to christmas. So a couple of those and molly vanroekel, who wants her annual income to be thirty three thousand so let's, talk about maybe what you want to break that down, teo before now and then in the air, like the three month quarterly, yeah look teo and so I on we'll talk about this in a minute how many weeks you have I didn't math so from today until the end of the year you have nineteen weeks so because I knew we would we would all be looking at calendar trying to figure out how much we actually have left so the thing is your and actually get us to clarify for folks when you were talking about that goal we're talking sales were talking profit sales because and this is especially for makers who make their products you need to know how many products you need to make in order to reach that sales goal that's why we're starting with sales so if you know your profit math and you need to figure out if you want to actually put ten thousand dollars in your pocket what's your steel school and for somebody who has a really high cost of goods like urine maker or a jewelry maker that works with fine medals and stones they might their sales goal might have to be double or more but they're actual profit goal is but they want their income to be okay so now the thing is is that most of us have a variety of products to raise your hand if you have a variety of products at price points ok, good that's what I thought everyone so although if you had just one product you could do that goal divided by price of product and you would know okay if I had if michael was ten thousand and my thing costs one hundred dollars that I need to make what is that a hundred no a thousand items to reach that goal but if your price points are all over then we're going to fit it together like a puzzle and the thing to keep in mind is there is not one boy your puzzle world workout and what I mean by a puzzle is that you maybe sell ten of these and twenty of these and thirty of these and there's altogether makes your sales goals were going to do some math to make that happen, but I want to look at page four in your workbook I haven't split this out product by product because before we fit the puzzle together I actually want you to do the math for each of your products stand alone. So if you on ly soldier twenty five dollar product, how many of those would you have to reach uh I mean those would have to sell to reach your sales goal so on page for you'll see product by product number one and then product by product number two you guys might have fifty products I want you just match for all of them obviously not right this minute but least do it for two or three you're going to divide your goal by each price point you're going to take, say I saw the map making guide for twenty five dollars divide my goal by twenty five to figure out how many effects all I sold, what I need to sell and I want every do this with students they always pushed back and so I don't have to do the math. I know I'm not going to just sell one thing I know I'm going to sell a variety of price points the reason is because you actually get some really good data to see sometimes it doesn't occur to you oh my goodness to reach my sales goal of thirty three thousand dollars, I would have to sell five thousand of my thing and if you khun see that, okay, this thing I have to sell a ton of and this thing product be I only have to sell ten of that gives you an idea of how you want to fit your puzzle together so that it's doable for you and especially if you make a physical product, you can only make so many of that physical product, so fill out page number for at least the first raid on the product name the product price how many of these would you have to sell if this was the only product who sold in order to reach your goal and if you have and what I suggest, since we just have to hear in the workbook, of course you can make many more copies of these, and if you buy the cross, he'll get the work she could print off that many of these as you want, do it for a low priced item and your highest priced item that'll give you a good range to see how many products you need to make and sell. And then the next question to answer for each product is how many weeks do you have till you're in date? That number will be the same if your date is december thirty first. You have nineteen weeks and so how many of that product we need to sell a per week? You guys were doing math. I'm talking to everybody. Catch that. I'll say that again. Okay, so once you know how many items you have to sell total before, say december thirty first to reach our sales goal. How many do you have to sell a week? So you take how many products divided by how many weeks you have that's? Nineteen, probably. And that is how many products you need to sell per week to reach your goal. Now we know that you don't have the exact same sales week after week there might be a couple weeks of ramping up as you fill up your shop and you get ready to do this and you put your marking place marking plan into place but that number gives you an idea because we're gonna follow up and see how doable is your goal is your goal really realistic or is it really insane? We're going to talk through that so for each product when did you do the math of how many you need to reach how many products you need to sell to reach your goal total and how many you need to sell each week? Are there any questions about that let's check people are starting teo do that math and audrey luna studio says, oh dear, I would have to sell six hundred paintings to make my goal, okay, but you know, this is the work to do teo to see what the white the reality of the follow up to that is so if you have to sell six hundred paintings but you have five hundred paintings you've already made awesome if you have to if you have zero paintings and he'd paint six hundred paintings in the next nineteen weeks, maybe not so much you know or you and we're going to talk about what to do if your goals if yu need t change up your goal, but maybe that's, not the product focus on this time. Do you guys here have any questions? Yes, what? You don't have any sales at all, so you're just kind of like dreaming. Wait are going to talk about in just a couple minutes about if your goal is unrealistic or if it yes, if your goal is unrealistic, the things you khun dio the I'll give you a sneak peek of that there's two parts of it there's actually producing enough and having enough for sale and then there's the marketing. And so in between abby cross about email marketing and megan's cross about doing a marketing plan that will be covered, but that is that it's a two parts of reaching your goal, I'm gonna say that again in a minute. So now that you know how many of each product and maybe like the painting, you have to sell six hundred but have enough for their product that you don't have to sow fifty right now, you know that. So then the question is, how does it fit together? Because in reality, if you sell more than one product, you're going to sell a mixture of them, so an example of a puzzle putting it together is if your goal is a thousand dollars and product a ten dollars in prague is twenty dollars there's a couple different ways this could work right you could sell one hundred days or you could sell fifty bees if they still alone gets sixty plus twenty or twenty plus forty or two plus forty nine there's so many ways this could fit together and on page six in your workbook there's a workbook paige called fit the puzzle together I want you to do some math there where you take your price times how many items you need to sell to reach your goal and the total amount you would make for that item so that second part that how many items to sell is the flexible part you can kind of mess around with it I do this all the time with my sales goal just in my journal right now okay? So I could sell ten of this and twenty of this or I could sell five of this thirty of this and till I hit on something that's realistic and we're going to talk about how to tell if your goal is realistic does that part makes sense you reaching your sales goal will be a puzzle that you fit together through all these different pieces and there's a bunch of ways that could work and actually we can talk about your goals and how you could fit the puzzles together and I can help you walk through it so dr mann expression for you guys how does your puzzle fit together? And I know some of you guys were doing the math and you're writing it down let me know as you think through this what what is coming up? What are you realizing? Yeah, that without question the numbers aspect of my business is totally unmanaged im im able to do the math but it takes a really long time yes, I have no familiarity with like all of this it's like I've been thrown in the ocean and I can't swim okay? But so I get that and also that really, really common because uh especially if you start because you're doing something and you love to do it and then offer it and then you saw some there's never a time that somebody had stopped using math on so nobody else is going to force you and that's actually why I included this why we're doing this send across about time management is because so when he will say I am so frustrated I never get enough done I'm never reaching my goals my sales goal seemed totally out of touch and when I say ok what's your sales goal, how many products would that be, how much you have to produce? They don't have the answer and so just knowing what you need to dio can help clarify how you spend your time and so it's okay that you don't know the numbers it's like you want to come in here knowing this where that's why we're walking through it together because I wanted to kind of forced you guys to boil it down into what exactly you have to do in cell and I know some of you guys sell services and so um that is a slightly different math because you're not making the thing ahead of time that you can look at your calendar and see how many of these would have to book a week in order to reach my sales goal. So does anybody wanna walk through your puzzle like, what is your goal? Yes, I chose one item just to start with because I thought that would be simply I'm sorry ellen met easy juvenile hall design dot com um so I chose a new adult coloring book which I think is a great gift for the holidays and I wanted my goal was to sell eighteen thousand dollars worth by the end of the year. Okay, um so okay, so this is where it gets difficult, so if I did this correctly it means that I would have to sell each one for about twelve dollars, okay? If you don't already know the price of this item yeah, no it's something I'm just about done creating okay, so that's that's the way the numbers work this way for me to work backwards if I were to sell them a twelve apiece and let's say had eight weeks left to the end of the year because I'd like to have the last week of the year free yes, right I'm going to sell them for holidays yeah, I think that's if I don't doing it right one hundred twenty five per week okay, so that's eighteen you have eighteen weeks, eight weeks, eight weeks, eight weeks right? And no eighteen you have nineteen in between now and the end of the day I'm doing this wrong, right? Right. Okay, so the numbers are different. I don't have one hundred twenty five a much easier now. Thanks. You think? Oh eighteen divided by twelve equals one hundred fifty okay. One hundred and fifty divided by eighteen weeks equals eight point three three per week okay, so you have to sell a point three three week and what's kind of great about the coloring book. Is it's going to be a pdf? I guess. Are you gonna ship it to people? Shit. Okay, so but you make it once and then were printed when they order it and then your ship it correct? So it's nice about that is you can make and ship kind of infinite number let's say there's your not held back by physically making each one because once you make it and I know there's a lot of knitwear and sewing designers who make pfc and then just sell it the pdf made you just consult as many as you want us out so does that feel doable to you? Oh god yes okay, excellent and so you know, we use eighteen weeks but if the thing isn't finished yet maybe you just have seventeen weeks because we'll take you another week to finish it because you're gonna be here enjoying this class today not not finishing it on dh how does this fit together with the other pieces in your business? What other product points you have if you want to share well actually it fits together well because the other thing I'm working on is some other licensing designs and pattern design. So I'm sort of prepping ah whole home to core licensing portfolio at the same time. So in order to do this I create it once I printed it. That gives me time to put part of my schedule towards marketing and selling and part of it to creating what I'm hoping to use for next year excellent right now because once you make it your done with making part, you can move on to making from the house for marketing that right and I have to spend time marketing that excellent yeah something else we have more sheets of paper with someone I would like to share their yeah yes my company's called fountain jury leather instagram my first item is ah front pocket wallet and I was going to sell it for eighty books okay my goal is ah five thousand by the end of the year nineteen weeks it looks like it I would need to sell three point five a week okay I'm so impressed you guys are doing us math without calculators that's a total of selling sixty two point five in the next nineteen weeks right? Every everybody correct something crazy yeah so that's three point two per week let's say three point three now can you physically make that many? Yeah like thiss it seems like a doable definitely okay and how does that fit together with the other pieces in your business I did the same thing for a uh smaller cheaper I don't want to be like twenty bucks doing the same goal of five thousand um for nineteen weeks it was looking like about seventeen a week to sell round okay, I got thirteen I did five thousand divided by twenty I got two fifty and two fifty divided by nineteen and I got thirteen so that would be thirteen of that product so you could see that's thirteen a week is that is that physically possible to make thirteen a week that would be a little bit harder yeah, so let's see how this could work together and this is going to be even more math okay, so you said etienne, because you're going to do if your goal is five thousand you have something for eighty and something for twenty obviously you have you could you could you're enough sell as many of the eighty item thing is you have to sell of the twenty so you could so we're going to get to five thousand here so you could sell like two thousand of this and that would be hundred items right? To get to two thousand dollars and then you need to just sell three thousand of these or you could test cell well, if you saw one hundred of these, you're going to go over your goal so that's great, but you could do something like fifty of these and then whatever's left of these and that's. What I mean by the puzzle is if you can't make all you need to make of the twenty dollar thing fitted together with a higher priced thing to come out with your goal and you'd have to physically make fewer of these and also actually find fewer customers bonus points of a customer comes and buys both at one time so do that I can do all this mass of possibilities, but your workbook page is there to help you that and any anybody else went on yeah anitra anitra and my company is reflection design dot com on instagram that reflection design and I have a floor pillow that and I'm going to take the wholesale price of this perfect instead of a retail price yes because that's one of my goals by the end of the years to have more we'll settle accounts yeah so the holts wholesale price for the floor pelo is uh eighty dollars okay and what's your goal uh the year uh eight thousand easy math uh cell one hundred of them do you have another product you're going yeah, I have a smaller pillow of floor sorry a sofa pillow which will wholesale for sixty dollars okay and you want to do the puzzle thing where we figure out yeah how you can so this is the price for the dollar sign uh we're going for a thousand now do you have a kind of limit about how many of these you can make a week? I'm gonna stay a week and they're going to fly by nineteen like like what would top you out on the smaller pillow how many could you make? Ah and a week probably between eight to ten in a week so what if we say eight here is going to make our math meth you're s o these sixty times eight equals for eighty so then you have to make way more in order so eight thousand minus for eighty is oh, you know what I did eight a week and you have I didn't do that math, right? You have nineteen weeks. So sorry. Eight times nineteen there's one fifty one. Fifty two times sixty is nine thousand. Oh, okay, so if you exactly yes, yeah. One item now, the other way, the other way you could do this is say, okay, I want to I don't want to make a hundred if you wanna make about half that. Yeah, so I've got about seventy five. Yeah. Um, so if you made and making a mess of this, but if you should seventy five times sixty, you get four thousand five hundred that goes there, and they're not to do eight thousand minus four thousand five hundred. We need this to be this and fight it by eighty equals around up to forty four of you sold seventy five of the sixty, dollar ones you need to sell forty four of the eighty dollars, and then if we divide it by how many weeks you have, we're looking at three of these per week and four of these per week. Now you said you could make, like, seven, so that is actually exactly seven three of the big gun, four of the little that's perfect, now I'm going to throw another thing that you is that good you were making out alright, excellent. I love it when the math turns out that you'd actually easier than we thought and not like more stressful, so I'm going to throw a whole attention. All this tio remind you that we hardly ever sell one hundred percent of what we make. This is what you're talking about right for you. It might not be production it's increasing sales. So when these numbers or how many you need to sell a week, you need to sell for a week. In order to make all this work, you need to sell three a week of these to make it work. But how many do you actually need to make now on your worksheet, I have told you to add twenty per cent to the numbers that you came up with, so you'd add twenty percent to this forty four united twenty percent seventy five and I picked twenty percent because you need to make some amount more than what you want to sell. And it depends on the scale and scope of your business, so some businesses sell at about. Eighty percent of what they can make some business to sell only like fifty percent of what they put in their shop you know your own business and how it all works out but you will need to make more items than you want to sell so you multiply by twenty percent you could multiply it by well when I say multiplied by hundreds twenty percent actually one hundred and twenty percent so you take twenty percent of this number and added to that they're actually making more than you need to sell so that you have some excess so great like easy to understand example of this is if you go to her craft show unless your thing is the most popular thing and people are just like rushing over and buying it off the shelves very rarely sell one hundred percent of what you take your crap show did you sell some percentage somewhere most people I work with so in between sixty and eighty percent of what they take so when they figure out what is my sales goal for this craft show and I always say well how many products will it be to reach that sales goal and then you want to add a percentage on to that so you make more then what you absolutely need to sell so you have extra in your shop because in my experience even when my turn was flying off the craft show table there's always like some percentage that people are like oh what she doesn't have very much I'm not that interested and they walked by it like it could have just been two seconds ago that people were like, so excited and buying it but like once it gets down to that last twenty or ten percent people are like and you're like two seconds ago you loved it I don't know what the difference is but there's something about a full shop and the same is true of like sc or shopify shops the more that you have in there the more you khun sell and so you wanna add you want it addison extra buffer to your numbers and plan to make more than what you really need to sell to your goals that makes sense you guys are all not because I'm sure you've had that experience of not telling one hundred percent of what you made so then ask how many weeks do you have left and we've actually done that math so then how many products do you need to make per week? And we walked through that right? So for your forty four of your eighty dollar items you need to make through weak if you haven't yet done that math, do that math now have you guys done that math in your workbooks and other questions? We're just a bunch of math let's talk about questions absolutely let's start with there's some people who don't do things that necessarily on a weekly basis, and so they're wondering, for example, how do I just the math if I'm not selling per week but rather set shows, for example, I have two big fiber shows and one small show coming up this fall. Yes, so I would do that you could do all of this math for, um, this isn't about how much you're going to sell a week. This is how much you need to make per week, so even if you have the craft show in december, you still need to make all of you might not have any sales from now until december, but you have to make enough each week, and if you wait to make all forty four the week before your craft show, you'll be miserable. But if you make three a week up until then, you'll have everything you need in your in your shop. So that's one of the things that I would also if you're doing multiple crack shows but I always recommend, is that you figure out what your sales goal is for each show and make sure that you've made enough things to reach that sales go in each show. Now you don't always tell one hundred percent at every show so hopefully if you have back to back shows you have some product to take from this one to that one but always tell people you can't make money that you didn't bring with you you can't make money off product you don't have there so it's better to make more to reach that sales go you're gonna be that much closer to actually being able to reach yourselves because there's nothing like running out and you haven't reached yourselves goal and something comes up and they're like, oh I would I would have bought it if you had it like that she's really disappointing and translating that to an online sales then isn't heard tio thank you wear different way to look at it. Okay, so another question is how could this formula be worked for one of a kind or unique pieces? Okay, so this is what I found when I talk to people about one of a kind pieces up often they're in a range they have a kind of peace and I'm thinking like jewelry or scarves hats have a kind of peace that even though each one is different they're all about the same price so when I hand spun and dyed yard, every single skin was different because I spun it by hand there wasn't wayto make to the same, but I had like a skin that was one hundred yards, it would be this price on one that's two hundred yards would be around to this price the same it's usually truly jewellery or anything one of a kind maybe you have smaller necklaces in this price and bigger ones here. So you're looking for the range around the average and you could do the math by well, these pieces that are the size or usually between twenty and thirty, so I'll just pick twenty five it doesn't have to be perfect, perfect, perfect because what we're getting at is making a production plan, so this math did is yes, it's about sales it's about gold setting will talk about more of that in a minute, but now you know what, you actually need to get done weekend and weak out now, you know, when you think I'm getting enough done, do I feel good about my work day? I don't know are you making three a week? Then you have a measuring stick so it's less about how emotionally you feel at the end of the day and mohr defined and you know what you're working towards and you know you're doing this in order to reach this goal that you truly care about, not this rat race, if I just need to do more, I need to do more, I'm not doing enough that makes sense, and so what you could do at this point is actually take the numbers that you figured out of what you need to make and put them on your calendar. How or however you keep track of your day, we're going to talk about different systems for doing that, but if you use a lot of my students are big fans of google calendar, and they put it in either on monday or on friday, make ex items this week or you can even break it down per day. When I was spinning your and I would have a figure out because my full time job after I quit my day job to do it, and I actually asked another urine maker a good year before my business had grown to that size. How do you know? How do you pay your bills isn't really stressful, like without a regular paycheck coming in, how do you manage it? And she said, well, what I do is I total up my bills, including my supply bills, all my bills that need to be covered from my sails, and then I divide it down into the products, which is what we did, and then I even divided down into the day, so each day I wake up, I know in order to pay my bills this week, I need to spend foreskins of urine today and I did that for I didn't do it. It wasn't like month by month, but I thought ahead, if I'm ever going to quit my day job, I needed to replace that salary. How many skeins of yarn would need to sew per week per month, even per day to reach that? And then I was able to put my job once I knew I had reached that number and I reached it consistently and so of course, when I'm working forty hour days that's a lot of just like sitting and spinning after I've already worked all day forty days, forty are weeks, never forty every day, that would be amazing, but no, so I there's a lot of work, but then I knew once I don't have the job and I'm doing this whole time, I can make even more skeins, but part of the that goes into why we're talking about this is there is an upper physical limit. If you physically make your products, you can only make so many with your own hands and your own time, and we want to identify this to make sure that your sales goal is in alignment with what physically possible.

Class Description

Stop fretting over the limited number of hours in a day and get to work – the smart way! In How to Get More Done, Tara Swiger will lay out a simple action plan that will help you manage your time, your business, and your family life more efficiently.

When Tara's online yarn shop replaced her day job, she fielded a lot of questions about the secret to her success. One thing led to another and now she is devoted, full-time, to helping other crafty entrepreneurs realize their dreams. In this class, she’ll help you take control of your calendar and build your business. 

You’ll learn how to:

  • Implement a simple system for managing your time and tasks 
  • Prioritize time with your family 
  • Balance business, life, production, and marketing 
  • Strike the perfect balance between “studio time” and “admin time" 

You’ll identify your time-sucks and unproductive distractions and overcome common scheduling pain points by developing an action plan that works. 

Learn how to create a workday you'll love - no matter how (little) time you have. You’ll make the most of your time, keep track of your to-dos, and get the things that matter done in How to Get More Done with Tara Swiger.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Kickstart Your Profits

Bonus Materials

Get More Done Resources

Get More Done Workbook

Ambitiously Forecast Your Sales Calculator by Tara Swiger.xlsx

Improve Your Holiday Sales Sketch Note

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


a Creativelive Student

A really great class. As a newer creative business owner I have had trouble with always feeling like no matter what I worked on it wasn't the right thing or it wasn't enough. I think the advice in this class will help me feel better about my accomplishments and keep me focused on the things that will help my business. Thanks!

Jacqui Kelly

I loved it! start to finish really packed full of sensible easy to follow advice - great workbook and extra materials. Highly recommended. Tara does continually mention STARSHIP and MAPPING with out any background info on these topics which began to niggle at me but guess the answers are on her website. This was my first full class after purchasing my Creator Pass and it gets a 10/10