Tuesday, 13 December 2011
The Shop is Shut
So, what do I need to do differently? Well - I'm not properly set up as a business at the moment so informing Ebay, Paypal and the Inland Revenue that I'm operating on this footing really is a priority. Then there's questions, questions to be answered. Like 'Do I really need a business bank account' given that the bulk of my transactions go through Paypal?': 'Is there any point in incurring a monthly fee to open an Ebay shop?' My accounting system, though accurate, is a little unwieldy so that needs tweaking to enable me to record sales and purchases in a way that doesn't involve writing 'War and Peace' each time I undertake a transaction. And I've been packing stuff up and labelling the envelope with its contents ready to ship straight after I've listed it as an auction item. A good idea in the first few days when there were only a few things to sell. Now though, I'm having to play a time consuming game of hide and seek every time someone's made a winning bid. Small practical issues like this have to be resolved before my head explodes with frustration!
I'm treating my initial period as an experiment - and I have to say it's been more successful than I'd hoped. Turnover in the first month was £200 but I've already doubled this take in the first half of December. Seasonal spending no doubt plays a part but I've also now got a handle on what sells well and makes the most profit. The exercise has helped me to become much more discerning at the stage that I acquire stock. Hopefully, there'll be no more entries in my purchase ledger that say 'Crap Job Lot'! And rather than drawing on savings I've now built up a little pot of money so that tiny business is self funding. I was expecting a loss in the first financial year but I'm now reckoning on being able to recoup start up costs and break even. There's no reason at all why I shouldn't be profitable in 2012/13. Will it be enough so that I can reduce my employment hours by a day and still be able to make enough to continue to pay off the mortgage at its current rate? It looks like a goer but I'll know for certain soon after the start of the New Year.