How To Keep Track Of Your Orders Small Business – Hey, guys, I’m here to talk to you about something you probably haven’t thought much about…yet! Tax season.
Our family calls January through April 15th “busy time.” My husband is a CPA and he helped me a bit with this post.
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So this is for those who have an ET shop, photography business, cake decorating business, Mary Kay, Lularoo, Pamper Chef, or any home based business that seems to fit into this category.
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If this is your first tax year, or if it’s your first year, you may be overwhelmed with what to report on your taxes. If you stick around for a few years, you might find something valuable. Taxes never crossed my mind when I opened my Etsy shop 6 years ago, but luckily I had a man to tell me what to watch for. So here’s what I want to share with you today… what you need from a tax standpoint. Organizing this will save you time and money on your return.
I keep an envelope for my receipts and use them every month. I use a simple Excel spreadsheet to track my data. You can also write them by hand in a notebook if that’s easier for you, or I’ve included some free printables for you to use.
* One more thing, you can certainly do your own taxes, but a CPA is not a bad idea. It costs money, but you can also save money. They know the right questions to ask and often have advice to protect your taxes and give you peace of mind knowing you have everything in order. Also, every business is different and some have different needs so you know what those needs are. This is general information only please check and make sure no forms are missing.
1. All your benefits: (This is obvious). Write and you will make a sale. Sign up if you earn money from an affiliate program. This is any way you can make money for this business. Keep your receipts for your records. These can be hard copies or electronic. Know where they are so you can find them when you need them. *Note: I like to include everything they paid me for including shipping in this category. I reduced the shipping costs later. This is optional but I find it easier to follow this way.
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First, I think the most important thing is to save your receipts! Again, this is only a general list and will vary depending on your business. Where my list comes from, I’ve mostly sold closed items, but it should give you a good idea of what to use.
* Home office based on square footage. If you have an office or even a closet that is used only for business, you can think about it. It’s $5 per foot (up to 300 square feet) Don’t forget to include the items you need to furnish/organize this space in the price.
*Telephone and Internet Charges – You can take a percentage based on how often you use it for business.
How it works: Track the miles you drive every time you drive anywhere related to your business! Let’s say it’s written down as you go. Sometimes I miss a few and look at my receipts to see where I went and how many. I use google maps to find the miles – very easy.
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Mile IQ Appis which I have not tried but from research it seems to have very good reviews. It’s for Apple and Google phone users, and it’s free!If you find yourself “sorting” instructions on sticky notes or books, it might be time to organize and fix it with software. of free management for small businesses.
Most Silhouette makers don’t plan to sell their handiwork when they start with their Silhouette CAMEO… but inevitably a friend, neighbor or friend of a friend asks, “Can I buy it from you?” And you yourself have a small overnight business with no way to follow orders.
It’s easy to remember an order or write it down in a book, but take it from someone who was in that position six years ago and now has a few employees.. It’s not a measuring stick. You need an ordering system for small businesses. Also, take it from me..it’s very easy to implement an order management system from scratch and the Google Suite tools – all free – make it easy to do.
If you use Etsy or another site with a traffic management system like Shopify or Wix, you may not need to do this, but Silhouette small businesses start on Facebook or word of mouth. mouth, and that’s where you need a way to follow the order.
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How to Follow a Small Photography Business Guide Here are my ideas for following directions for your small photography business. Go to Google Forms. (If you don’t have a Gmail account yet, you should create one before creating the form. Now is a great time to set up a free email address for your small business!)
You can create a form from scratch or use one of the templates. If you are completely new, I suggest using the order form template – you can change it.
At the top of the form, mention the form… something like “(store name) order form. In the description, you can put something about the information you collect and tell them what it is. Next time when you go to send them an invoice (yes.. before you start doing anything Before you collect the money) state your time, etc.
Then add blocks by clicking + for the necessary information you need. Each site requires different information (swipe bar) that you want to collect.
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If there are blocks, you need to click on them and select the trash can to clear all the blocks.
Send instructions (form answers) to a spreadsheet At the top of the form, you’ll see a second tab called “Answers.” This is not where you go to see your answers. Instead, you can automatically edit it and drop it into a spreadsheet in Google Sheets… and it’s free. Click on the little green spreadsheet icon and a window will open.
I assume you don’t have a spreadsheet created, so click “Create a new sheet” and select “Create”.
A spreadsheet will open and you will notice that there are rows at the top for each piece of information you are currently collecting.
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Anyone who fills out your order form will enter their information into this spreadsheet.
If you want to be notified every time someone orders, click on the Tools menu and select Notification Rules to set up email alerts.
Tip: Do you want to move forward automatically? Use Zapier to send an email or write an email to thank anyone who placed an order or provided follow-up actions. Zapier is free for up to 5 zaps. Connect Google Sheets (Select: When a new line is added) > Gmail (Select: Email is written). You can create a system in a spreadsheet to organize orders by rank or color – whatever you want. You can add other columns to your details, such as “Order Status” or “Paid / Not Paid”. Those columns will remain blank when the form is filled out.
Sharing the order form with customers Once the page is set up, return to your order form. We need to get the link so you can give it to anyone who wants to order from you.
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Click “Send” at the top of the form. Click on what looks like a paper clip on the side and check the “Short Link” box.
You can then post, email or text this link to anyone inquiring about ordering to fill out the form. You can post the link on your Facebook page or share it on your social media.
Looking for more tips on successfully starting, growing and running a small Silhouette business? Check out my e-book Cutting the Excess.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I get a small commission for clicking on them and buying products through my links. Here’s how to get your machine sized to support the Silhouette School so I can keep buying line related products! Their business forever. You can also waste a lot of money, discourage new leads and customers from doing business with you, and damage your company’s reputation.
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To avoid all this