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Goals and Objectives for 2012 – “Business”

January 11, 2012

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On Sunday I outlined my Collecting goals and objectives for the year.

In today’s article I will be getting into my goals and objectives for 2012 for the second of the three hobbies that make up my personal mega-hobby of “B-B Bros. Sports Collectibles”.

For those unfamiliar with this blog, I always refer to my “Business” in quotation marks because I operate the endeavour on a very part-time basis and use all “profits” to simply enhance my collection rather than trying to make any sort of a living off of it.

Basically my “Business” exists solely to mitigate the impact of my hobby on my regular income and push me ever closer to a hobby that is completely self-sufficient financially.

So here you have it, my “business” goals for 2012:

1)  Achieve a 10% increase in eBay Store sales; both in volume & revenue

In 2011, one of my goals was to “increase sales by 10%” from 2010 levels, though I did not indicate if that meant revenue or volume of items sold.

In the end that definition did not matter as I fell well short on both counts.  Despite being well on my way to achieving the goal in both contexts through the first six months of the year, a pathetic showing from July through September helped lead to year-over-year reductions of nearly 7% in revenue and a nearly 30% in the volume of items sold.

Increasing sales by some percentage level, both in terms of revenue and volume, is all but certain to be a goal for me each and every year.

For 2012 I decided to stick with the 10% figure for both aspects, not only because I did not accomplish it in 2011, but also because I feel that it is an achievable target, especially now that I am better prepared to adapt as circumstances dictate.

Here’s hoping for a better showing this year!

2)  Have my items account for 1% of the Hockey Card listings on eBay.ca

This is another goal that is carrying over from 2011.  When I set this goal for 2011 I had in the neighbourhood of 3,500 items listed in my store, putting its achievement well within striking distance right from the outset of the year.

Following my store subscription downgrade – which in hindsight I should have seen coming – I had to drastically reduce my inventory in order to avoid going in to a very deep financial hole.

At the time of publishing this article I have just 159 items listed.

Since there are roughly 556,000 items currently listed in the Hockey Card category and assuming that number remains relatively consistent throughout the year, I will need to add about 5,400 listings to my eBay Store inventory in order to mark this objective achieved.

Thankfully eBay’s Turbo Lister tool has allowed me to keep the 3,000+ listings that I’ve had to remove stored and ready to be sent back online at the simple click of a mouse as soon as I am able to do so.

I do not anticipate being able to upgrade my store subscription level to its former state until sometime towards the end of March at the earliest, so until that time I will be dutifully working on editing and enhancing those 3,000 ready-to-post listings, while also adding hundreds of new items that I plan to sell.

When the day comes to return my eBay Store to its previous form, I plan to be ready to mark this goal complete.

3)  Generate revenue from other sources

This is a topic that I talked about here on the bbbros.ca blog from time to time last year.  I firmly believe that diversifying where I generate revenue from will be extremely beneficial in my pursuit of a financially self-sufficient hobby and it is something that I intend to focus more time on in 2012.

Some ideas that I have for the coming year include the following:

  • Establishing a greater presence on online message boards and offering items for sale when and where permitted;
  • Giving Kijiji, Craigslist, and others another try as a sales outlet;
  • Exploring the world of affiliate marketing and using to my blog and website to support those initiatives;
  • Making better use of programs such as Google Adsense on my blog and website; and
  • Doing consignment sales (i.e. joining eBay’s Trading Assistant program).

I tested the waters on a handful of these things last year, but quite simply I do not know enough about them to have even hoped for them to be successful.  My plan is to educate myself on how to best use them and maximize my chances of a positive return, then go about implementing/enhancing my use of them as the year goes on.

4)  Start and closely monitor an “investment project”

Back in December I wrote a post about a number of cards that I had  purchased at the Toronto Fall Sports Card and Memorabilia Expo and flipped through my eBay Store for some pretty substantial profits (particularly percentage-wise).

In that article I also mentioned that my tracking of the successes and failures of these sorts of purchases and subsequent sales has, in general, been nothing short of terrible.

To help address this issue, one of my major goals on the “business” end of things is to my plan is to start an “investment project” within the next couple of weeks.

I will provide specific details about the project in a post on January 22nd, but the basic idea behind it is to give myself self a budget – the amount of which is still to be determined – to create an account of cash and holdings of sports cards and/or memorabilia that I will track the in detail over the course of the year.

Hopefully the experience is a profitable one!

5)  Enhance my website

Last, but certainly not least, a major initiative I want to complete this year is to enhance and improve the look and feel of my website (operated separate from this blog).

This is something I have been meaning to tackle for months now, but other things always seem to take up my time and attention, pushing this project back further and further every day.

I think part of the reason for this is that I am really unsure of how I am going to make the enhancements I envision.  I’m a complete ‘do-it-yourself-er’ when it comes to my hobby and that includes designing my website, something that I admit I am far from comfortable with.

The problem is that I dislike the website I currently have more and more with each passing day.

So in 2012 it’s time to finally do something about it!

It may mean spending hours educating myself and testing out countless different layouts and designs, but such is the price of improvement.

If you know of anyone who is familiar with the Godaddy.com Website Tonight platform that I am currently working with and might be willing to lend a hand, please let me know, I’ll take any support I can get along the way!

*****

Two elements down, one more to go; look for my Writing goals and objectives this coming in my next post.

But before I get to those, be sure to let me know your methods of supplementing your income with a “business” and/or how you fund your own collecting goals and objectives.

Leave a comment, email me at bb_bros@hotmail.com, or connect with me on Facebook and Twitter.

Until Sunday, all the best in your collecting pursuits!

Ryan

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