Accounting has never been my thing. I'm a pretty good bookkeeper, though. I love filling out forms which is sort of what bookkeeping is. Make sure all the entries add up both across and down the page. Make sure you have all the receipts and get them entered correctly. Balance the checkbook on at least a sort of regular basis. I'm good with all of that.
What stymies me is the overarching structure. Like where do I put the individual columns? Do I start with the Net Income or does that go on the far end? Exactly what needs to be detailed and what can be lumped. And what is it I really want to know, anyway?
Peggy and I aren't getting any younger. Wait. I'm not getting any younger. Peggy always remains young to me since she is more than 10 years younger than I am. We have been trying to figure out how to proceed with our show schedule. We love doing the shows but it's exhausting, particularly for me. And Peggy has a day job so she needs to take vacation. Do we do fewer shows so I'm not as exhausted or do we change the way we do shows so it's easier on me. Part of that discussion is how we have done at specific shows in the past. This requires data in some format where we can see what makes us money and what doesn't. Of course, there are other parts to the discussion - what do we love to do and don't want to give up even though its less profitable. Any decision we make regarding our shows needs to be based in data. Do we really make more money in Oxford, MS even though it's a much longer drive and we spend more nights in hotels and more meals in restaurants? Well, I don't really know. We need the data to figure that out. And that's what I've been working on.
I really wish I could say I know all this stuff. We should know where we make our money but somehow don't. Other vendors really seem on top of this stuff.
My brother has arrived here and he has a vast accounting background. He worked for years doing accounting and mostly hated it although he does know his stuff. Both he and my husband are pros at Excel which really helps since I'm obviously not. So how do I get the silly software to add these two columns together and subtract the next 6 columns? Yes. Now I know. And Craig's accounting background has helped me figure out what I need to include and what really doesn't matter. Or doesn't matter enough to me to really keep track. Ah, yes. It really is all about what I want.
Peggy and I had breakfast this morning and went over the figures I had pulled together. Some of our shows really do make us more money than others. There is an interesting balance between level of sales and level of expenses. I also put together a list of everything we sold the last two years to see just where our income comes from. Our biggest money makers really are out yarn and fiber. I thought I knew that but now I have the figures to back me up.
I'm not sure at this stage what will change. We may end up dropping some shows and adding others. We are currently making some changes in how we deal with our inventory. Pulling everything out and packing it up only to unpack it all and put it away after a show takes a lot of time. If we had a huge stream of people coming through the studio between shows it would be different but as it is I'm working on a system that does not require unpacking all our nifty Ziplock bags between shows. We'll see how it works.