Any suggestions on staying organized? I am relatively new to beading and I've been keeping directions for some items in a binder and then I have a spreadsheet that I was using for figuring out costs and then I have paper where I was tracking what I make and not really tracking what I've sold and so as you can see, I'm feeling very disorganized and am wondering how you track all of these things. Any suggestions?
For me paper is better at tracking than on the computer as I work on the computer all day. I bought some of the green ledger sheets ( life accountants used to use before compters ). They come in different widths ( 4 or 6 columns ). This type of paper is in the office supply section at the Wal-Mart need me. I find these easy because I can list the date, a description ( where I bought the supply or where I sold the items ), and then I have several columns so I can use one for purchases and then another column for sales, and another for a running total to show me how in the hole I am. I am still hoping to get in the Black so to speak.
I keep my sales that I did not collect sales tax on in a separate column from the sales that had sales tax collected on it as I have a case at a antique mall and they collect the tax. Once a year, I have to pay sales tax on the items that sales that have not had it collected. This makes it easier when I get the form from my state.
These pages have three holes pre-drilled so they fit into a binder easily. I bought a binder with pockets in the front and back. I use one for receipts that I need to enter.
You can also use this same paper for inventory purposes as I do.
You could do a second binder with different dividers such as one for rings, necklaces, earrings, etc. I started saving instructions but since I string I stopped saving them. I may find something new and save it for a little while until I get use to it and then I can pitch it. I am not sure what your beading style you do so the binder thing may not work. You may have to get a binder for rings, one for necklaces, etc.
As far as costs for things, I have not really mastered this one although I usually buy things for specific projects so when I complete that project I know that I have in it. When I first started, I would put the cost of each bead or finding on the label that the product came in. I found that that did not work too well. You may need to use a separate binder for that, you could get the photos pages and put one bead or finding with the label as an example. Most of the labels I have seen has the cost and the amount of items on it. If not, you could easily write this in.
I have only been doing this a year so I know that I have a lot to learn. I will tell you that it is easier to do it as you go throughout the year rather than waiting to tax time if you are going that route. I usually don't do everything as soon as I get home from the store. Thus the pocket for the receipts as I can store them and then do it all at one time about once a month. Depending on how busy you are you may need to do this one a week.
I hope this helps. I would like to see all the other's thoughts as I may learn a better way myself. Good Luck!
Have a great day!
I also use mostly paper for organizing. I've been ogling the design and inventory software, but I have so many beads it would take me forever to enter them all, and when I first started I didn't even think about selling, so lots of things have no prices. I just make one up if need be.
Now, though, I put a price per unit on a label as soon as I buy something, and I have a notebook that I use for pricing. I write a description of the piece at the top, then list the materials used and the prices, then add time, overhead and a markup if applicable. If it sells, I write "Sold" on top of the page. I also bought a ledger from an office supply store so I can keep track of sales. It has a worksheet on each weekly page to list sales, then costs for advertising, postage, materials, work-related purchases (ie office supplies), everything you need to keep track of basically. At the bottom you then finish the worksheet and it will compute any profit/loss you had, and keeps a running total throughout the year. It's very easy to do, and makes it really helpful around tax time.
I also keep all my receipts in an expandable folder, with pockets for materials, office supplies, etc so they are more or less organized.
Actual BEAD organization is a whole different topic, I suppose.
Hope that helps,
These are great suggestions. I mostly make bracelets and earring and occasionally I make some bracelets. I am running to Walmart today and plan to pick up a ledger and spend the weekend getting organized.
I too didn't keep very good records as I never expected anyone to want to purchase my beaded jewelry, and was just learning more for a hobby. Now I get special requests (can you make me an anklet.... can you do this in a different color...) so my hubby says it sounds like it's time to get better organized. I agree.