Business Goals for 2017 // Sunday Sunray News

Sunray Sister only began in September this year, and I already have so many plans and ideas for where to take it next. So in today’s edition of Sunday Sunray News I want to share a few of my goals for 2017. I have split them up into four main categories: brand, product, business and online goals.

Also, my Etsy shop is now on holiday! When it re-opens in January there will be lots of new things, so stay tuned.

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Brand Goals – my image and message

Right now I am taking some time to step back and ask, “What message do I want to send out with Sunray Sister?”, “What is the point of Sunray Sister?” and “What value can Sunray Sister bring to other people; to my potential customers?”

From the beginning I wanted to create something positive, and I wanted to make myself feel more positive by being creative. I feel like my image is almost focused, but the message is still a little blurry. I love using pinks and purples, with neutral backgrounds, and hearts or faces. I love sewing cute little things for people to buy, with positive messages.

In recent weeks I have been revisiting my interest in minimalism, mindfulness and zero-waste. Now I am asking, “How can I be a minimalist if I am creating more stuff to clutter up other people’s lives?” This makes me sure that I really need to focus on bringing positive messages to people, via useful items which will add value to their life and serve a purpose. What’s more, buying handmade and from small businesses promotes a more ethical lifestyle, away from consumerism. Using reduced and sustainable packaging with my products is also really important to me. So these will all be additional elements that add up to create my brand.

Love yourself, love other creatures, love our planet. 

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Product Goals – what I’m selling

I love drawing and painting, but I feel like my sewn, tie-dyed and embroidered ideas are more focused, more unique and can deliver my message more effectively than any 2D artwork could. There are enough illustrated, pretty, positive messages available to put in a frame on the wall. I want to create pretty, positive things to wear and use.

In 2017 I am going to be making brooches, pouches, patches, dolls, bookmarks and book-covers with tie-dye fabric and embroidered messages. I also realised I could scan some of the embroidered messages and use these as unique greetings card designs.

At the same time, I still have ideas for illustration based work, such as zines and the images I already share on this blog. Perhaps these ideas can just stay online, in digital format where they don’t take up any physical space, but just spread certain messages. What’s more I could run workshops, write more in-depth blog posts and create YouTube videos all about positivity and creativity.

So for now, drawing is something for me, and this blog, and not something to sell as Sunray Sister. Saying that, I would love to take illustration commissions for portraits or similar projects, but only on the side as myself.

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Business Goals – serious stuff

Even though I keep saying I have a small business, I haven’t really done any of the proper business stuff yet. I have a name and a logo, a business card and a shop, and this blog and social media accounts. But that’s it. So a big thing I need to do in 2017 is write an official business plan. Goals cannot be achieved without a plan! The Prince’s Trust could help me with this on their Business Enterprise course, which I will hopefully do in January.

Another big goal for 2017 will be to take part in more markets and fairs. I was so proud of going to my first ever market last week, and I know that they will get easier. One serious thing I need to do is get public liability insurance, so that I can have a stall at regular weekend outdoor markets. I also went to my local Etsy team meet-up in November, which was really hard for me, but is something I need to do more in 2017.

In addition to markets, another way to get out into the ‘real world’ is via local creative co-ops. These are small shops run by a group of artists, that sell work created by artists. Examples in Bristol include Blaze, The Little Shop, Paper Plane and Co-LAB. There are also opportunities halfway between a market and a shop called pop-up shops, which would be great to get involved with, especially ones in association with Etsy. So in 2017 I aim to have my work in at least one local ‘bricks-and-mortar’ shop.

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Online Goals – spreading the word

Without the internet I think creating this little business would be quite tricky. In 2017 I want my Etsy shop to be fuller than ever, with a range of different items at different price points. I also aim to have 50 sales by the end of the year. Of course Etsy isn’t the only online marketplace, so I would love to join Not On The High Street and possibly create a Folksy shop too.

I really enjoy planning, creating and publishing posts on this blog, and I want to keep it up in 2017. So far these behind-the-scenes style posts have been most popular, so I want to create more content in this style. One problem at the moment is that I usually write the post on the same day that it is published, or if I am doing well, a few days in advance. So in 2017 I aim to create the following week’s posts in one day and schedule their publishing times.

I also want to add a YouTube channel to my repertoire. As with blog content, I have endless ideas for videos. I want to create craft videos, drawing videos, artist date videos, lifestyle videos, and look-book videos, and lots more in between. As long as they extend my positivity via creativity message! Plus a little feature I already have a name for: ‘Sunray Sister Sings a Song’, since I haven’t given up on music, it just has a slightly different place in my life now.

Social media is a huge part of my business, but my use of it could be more effective. In 2017 I aim to set social media schedules using spreadsheets. Right now Instagram is my most popular platform, with around 100 followers (the number seems to fluctuate each day between 100 and 120). By the end of 2017 I aim to have 300 followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

All of these different channels may seem like extra distraction for me, but I think, if I use them properly, each website will compliment the next. My blog posts will lead to my Etsy shop, and my Etsy will link to social media, my social media accounts will take people to my YouTube channel, and from there people will find my blog.

As long as my message and image is consistent across all platforms, and I am regularly sharing good quality content, which is strategically planned, I will be successful.

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Conclusion – what have I achieved and what are my goals?

In 2016 I have:

In 2017 I will:

  • Focus brand on spreading positivity through creativity
  • Write business plan
  • Stick to products which are sewn/made of fabric
  • Use reduced and sustainable packaging
  • Create YouTube videos
  • Have 60+ items in Etsy shop at one time
  • Have 50+ Etsy sales
  • Get public liability insurance
  • Have a stall at 20+ craft fairs
  • Get products in at least one local shop
  • Attend 5+ Etsy seller monthly meet-ups
  • Increase social media following to 300+ on each platform
  • Use a social media strategy
  • Write blog posts at least one week in advance
  • Gain 20+ WordPress followers

Of course, I have some personal resolutions, alongside these goals for Sunray Sister. They include minimising my possessions/de-cluttering our home, eating differently and getting outside more, all of which I might discuss in future blog posts.

What have you achieved this year? What are your resolutions for 2017? What big dreams do you need to transform into attainable goals? Let me know in the comments or on social media, and we can cheer each other on!

In case you missed any of my recent posts, catch up now!

This evening I will be finishing off some handmade gifts! I also plan to upload two final blog posts in 2016, this Tuesday and Friday. If they don’t show up, just assume I got sidetracked with wrapping and Christmas films, and I’ll see you in 2017 with a December happy highlights post on the 6th of January!

Peace and love

Rachel x

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