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Monday, February 02, 2015

Top Ten List: How To Start Your Creative Busines Month Off Right

Hello and Happy Monday--here's a little side note before we get into today's post  I just discovered this tool (I know, I'm behind the times...but trying to catch up seriously!!)

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And on to today's topic and post:
 How I start off my month in my Creative Business.  My top ten tasks.....

This wasn't exactly a "Burning Question"  from a reader but I thought this list may help some of you who are just starting out in a creative business to see some of the things I look at and plan on, over a  month to month basis.  I find that I do better professionally when I have a game plan in front of me and take time to hold myself accountable for my actions or 'in-actions'.  I'm not perfect and I still have  a lot of rough edges but over the last few months I've been doing most of these things monthly (and some weekly), and what I've noticed is that my sales have gone up because of my focus.  Hopefully this list or portions of this list will help you, too.

10 x 20  Celebrate Inn  (acrylic on canvas)

Want to know how I start my 'creative business' month off?  Here are some of the things I look at when I evaluate performance.

1.  Review Your Sales for the Month.  Do you spot any trends?  Did your sales spike after an ad campaign, blog post, Facebook Post or promotion you ran?  Note any successes or areas of opportunities. Are sales inline with yearly projections, if not what changes need to be made?

2.  Review and input expenses.  Are the expenses in line with the activities for the month?  Was enough spent on future projects versus current projects?  Is the budget on track for the year?

3. Ensure enough funds are transferred to my tax savings account based on sales.

4. Review calender for the month and for the year.  Do you need to update any projects/add projects/change deadlines or dates.  Identify projects or tasks to be outsourced (ie assistant tasks or need to hire specialist for any task)

5. Review yearly goals and activities. What needs to be planned for this month and into the next couple of months.  Any changes?

6. Update/plan promotions for the quarter.  What tasks need to be done for the promotions (ie ads made.  Blog and newsletter posts written or outlined)

7.  Review monthly production.   Was enough created this month to be on target for sales projections?  Review results.  Has everything been photographed, varnished, hung, priced, allocated to shops or listed online?

8.  Review weekly activities from month prior. Is there anything still left to be addressed?  Schedule those activities if so.

9.  Identify educational opportunities.  Ensure time is scheduled for practice and research.  (IE processes,  skills, marketing research, sales and or product research).

10.  Review and pay bills for the month, identify major purchases that may need to be addressed for the future and allocate budget accordingly.

Note--doing all of these things is not easy and is time consuming.  I do many of these tasks on a weekly basis so at the end of the month/beginning of the next month it's more of a review and an adjustment sort of administrative task.

  If you take time each week/each day to work on planning, you stay on track and on task a lot more efficiently than if you wait to do it and address things only when there is a crisis or you are on top of the world and running around like a chicken with his or her head cut of! :))


What are some things YOU do each month to track your productivity, sales, expenses and future planning/projects?  I'd love to hear your thoughts or questions!

Until next time,



Be sure to visit my upcoming in person workshops for 1-2 days of creative play and inspiration!

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