Without mentioning the obvious I think we can all say that the year 2020 was memorable. Despite the obstacles that effected the world this year I had to take a moment or two (or three) to acknowledge the good things that happened in my business. There were plenty of times this year that I wanted to not put the extra effort or time into CJM Developments LLC. This is officially the end of year three or in tax speak – the last year I can claim write offs without making a profit.
I did make a little bit last year but this was officially my make or break. I used the copious amount of downtime to refine the interiors on my planners, design more activity books and look for ways to promote my business to generate more sales. After paying to secure my website’s shopping page I conceded after six months of little traffic and no sales. I made the decision to do what I saw as a step backwards and moved most of the items to a self named Etsy shop (CJMDevelipomentsLLC). This move turned out to be the best thing I could have done to bring customers and sales. While I preferred for the sales to come to me, I couldn’t get my site or products in front of the millions of eyes that go to Etsy’s site everyday and that’s what lead me to make the move.
In the two months that I’ve run the shop I’ve made sales and reached an audience that I couldn’t afford to reach on my own. Will I close my online shop? No. It’s already paid for and I will always offer my items on my own store even if I’m not making many sales there. I do realize that bigger sites will put my products in front of more people but with that comes fees which cut into my already narrow profit margin. Not being able to buy items by the pallet drastically increases the cost per item and if I want to stay competitive I can overprice what I design or I won’t sale it. I love to design my planners and apparel but getting from idea to saleable product involves me working with companies that can print them in small quantities – and that’s costly. I’ve still done it because it’s the best option for my needs and budget right now. Soon I hope to be able to buy my items in bulk and store them in a warehouse that can package and ship instead of me. I’m doing all of this while working a 9-5 and taking care of my family so it keeps me super busy. At the end of the day I’m happy with the direction I took my business in, it’s thriving and I’m making plans to help it grow in 2021. I hope to make more business connections and gain more customers in the future. Every day is a new opportunity for growth and improvement. Thank you