Well it’s officially the year end and like everyone else, we are doing a recap post. This was also our first official year as a fabric shop. (For 2017 we started longarming professionally about halfway through the year).
It’s a good thing we focused on processes and making sure we had systems set up, because it sure makes end of year reports easy.
For quilting services, we always type up an invoice as opposed to writing up a bill at the time of sale via our checkout, so it was not difficult to count up the invoices (skip the non quilting ones), double check the larger totals for multiple quilts, and add them all up.
We did a grand total of 71 quilts for customers. This includes regular quilting of quilt tops, both allover and custom, finishing quilts, tshirt quilts, and a pile of runners.
But quilting services make up roughly half our our business. The other half is sales of fabric and notions. We do sell batting and backing as part of the quilting, but we also keep track of fabric sales over and above that.
The other question we get asked often is about the market. On weekends for most of the year, we have a booth at The Northside Market. This booth works out well for us and you, the customer, for multiple reasons. The market is centrally located in town and our shop is here in our house way out in the country. The second location gives people in town and further east/south a place that is closer to pick up and drop off quilts.
I also keep a small amount of stock in our booth, and rotate out some items. Regular customers also appreciate that we can bring some bolts or items with us to the market. For example, we had Christmas fabrics marked down for a while, and I would take a bin or two with me for people to peruse.
The best part, however, is the reports.
First up, stats from the site itself. You can clearly see when I started writing regular blog posts. More interesting and regular content means more traffic. More traffic to the site means more customers.
One thing I need to do here is break down the traffic further and compare hits to the shop only and the blog only.
And here’s a lightly edited version of the reports I see from our point of sale system. It’s tied in with the online shop so any sales there are also included.
Some of the reports aren’t applicable to our specific kind of business, like sales over time of day. We could also export all the data and make our own reports or use another service just for reporting. But right now we don’t have the volume where extra reports would help. In most cases, we’re close enough to daily sales we have a good feel for what works.
Obviously, we didn’t need a report to know most of our sales happen between 10am and 3pm. Our shop opens at 10am most days so that makes sense. There’s a couple of early morning and late night sales and those were ones we typed in after the fact.
The really interesting report here is the Day of the Week stats. Saturdays we are at the Northside Market and do quilting pickups. Clearly with this graph is is paying off, big time! or another way of looking at it, since people need to pick up and pay for quilts anyway, is that doing it in town on a Saturday is very convenient for them.
The larger report at the top of the image above is broken down by day, so the below image is the same data – just by month.
Can you tell where I started putting in full time effort? 😀
Of course, the quilting season is cyclical, so low numbers for July and August are expected. But it’s nice to have a clear graph of the real data to know we’re headed in the right direction.
Now we’ve established a baseline for our first real year of business. I can’t wait to compare to this time next year.