Small Business Management Course Week 6 – Finance part 1.

This week we started the first of 3 weeks on FINANCE!

I have not been looking forward too this subject.  Me and numbers just don’t mix well – bit like oil & water & this type of maths is some of the worst (at least for the everyday type of maths).  I know it’s a very important part of running a successful business, which is why they have 3 whole weeks on it, I just have trouble comprehending a lot of it.  Thankfully for me though Lindsay is much better at it all.  Plus our trainers are doing all they can to help us to succeed.  Peter, out trainer for this section, has designed an Excel spreadsheet for each of us. The last couple of pages – the Balance Sheet & Profit & Loss sheet automatically change as we add in the figures on the first few pages.  It really simplifies things for us, but allows us to monitor how our business are going on an ongoing basis, provided we regularly do our book work.

This weeks lesson was focused mainly on this area.  Doing a stock take – that was huge for me, as it was I had to find a way to simplify it.  I have quite a bit of fabric already, plus machine threads, embroidery threads, stuffing … the list go’s on & could have gone on even longer especially if I had included all the paper craft supplies.  I decided these weren’t need as I am focusing on the sewing side of things at the moment, but later I would like to add a few other things such as cards to the shop also … but that’s another topic for another day  😉

So, after I did my stocktake, which took me all day, I needed to start to fill in the spreadsheet pages.  The main part to this was the sales predictions for the next 2 years.  I really have a hard time with this.  I can understand how you could work something like that out if you have been trading for a few years, you can look at the previous years figures  to see how much you did at different times of the year etc.  The longer you have been trading the clearer the patterns become, but for a start-up business … there’s nothing, you have to almost guess at what these figures might be.  Sure, with a bit of thought & knowledge of an industry &/or your own skills & abilities it’s an educated guess, but at the end of the day it’s still a guess.

With the predicted sales done, the next step was to estimate what my expenses might be based on the estimated sales.  That was a bit easier, but still quite a bit of work.  Again I tried to simplify things, rather than list every single pattern I might like to make, I divided everything into about 6 basic categories; Larger to medium toys, small toys, collectible toys, childrens cloths – small (ie hats etc), childrens cloths regular &  misc (aka – anything else I might be inclined to make that doesn’t fit into any of the other categories like the washcloths).  LOTS & LOTS of adding up, but eventually I had all my figures done.

 By saturday I thought I was doing pretty good, I had almost finished the spreadsheets & answered most of the questions on part B and C from the Word document.  I just needed Lindsay to look over it & help me with the few questions I didn’t understand.  I decided to have a quick look at how the Balance Sheet & Profit & Loss Sheet was looking … It wasn’t looking good!    😮    I started looking over my figures again to see if I had done something wrong or could improve things somehow,  but not really understanding most of it I really couldn’t see what I needed or could do &  Lindsay was busy rebuilding a computer … in the end, out of despair & frustration, I went up stairs & did the ironing, feeling it was all a big disaster.

Later that night – after I had gone to bed (the most popular time for thoughts & ideas to visit I have found!) – I realised I had made a huge mistake in some of the figures.  I had not calculated the fabric requirements for the toys correctly.  For example, some how I had decided that each of the medium/large toys used  0.4m.  I realised this was very wrong when it had occurred to me that I had just finished 3 snowmen & used only about 0.5m … BIG boo-boo!  But at least it was in my favour, once I had gone back over all the figures for the toys & adjusted them, things were looking much better & with Lindsays help Sunday afternoon, I got my assignments all finished & sent off to be checked over before uploading them for marking.  YAY!

So … that’s another week in & marked.  Tomorrow we start again, this week it is record keeping.  I’m actually looking forward to this one.  I have already started keeping a bit of a record of things but I’m sure there is a much better way of doing it & I’m looking forward to seeing what other options there are.

Well, I have some Gingerbread men to finish – they are looking very colourful & fun – I can’t wait to share them with you. 

  • Today is Georgie boys third birthday! Yay for Georgie! We look forward to many many more years giving him lots of hugs & belly rubs  🙂

Hope you are having a super week!

Bye for now love Mignon & Georgie    🙂

PS: Don’t – if you haven’t completed the survey yet, click here, it will only take about 2 minutes & you will be given a code at the end for a 10% discount at the Nittens & Patches store until the end of December – a great for some Christmas shopping!

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