Sunday, 15 February 2015

Making Plans

At the end of each year, when I have finished my last event, I always tell myself that I will have plenty of time to make new glass during January and February and even take some time to develop new ideas and test out new materials. It has never happened and this year is no exception.

I have applied for three open call exhibitions and have been busy making new glass for each (I am only allowed to submit the glass shown on the application images) and I also have a show at Harlow Carr at the end of March.  In May I will be at Saltaire Arts Trail for three days and I will need plenty of glass for that too.  So the kiln has been on nearly every day and I have been cutting, grinding and cleaning as much glass as I can.

As a small business I always find January/February difficult months for cashflow - not much flows in but plenty flows out to pay for stall fees and submission fees.  I try to spread the cost of glass by making my significant purchases when Warm Glass has sales and offers. I took advantage of their 12 Days of Christmas offer in December to buy all my teaching glass and my staple glass - large sheets of clear, white and vanilla.  I only started planning to buy glass a couple of years ago when I created a Cashflow Forecast and monitored my spend from 2012.  Money spent on glass was chaotic and impulsive (and frequent)! so I have reined in my outgoings by setting a budget for each expense. This means I have cut down on buying magazines and books and keeping a record of my mileage. 

If, like me, you are a small business and struggle with balancing the books, I recommend setting up a Cashflow Forecast in Excel. Financial forecasting, budgeting and bank reconciliation is really boring so I set aside two hours a week to update my spreadsheets and accounts.  It might not stop you from spending money but it certainly answers the question "where does it all go"?

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