Notes from Australia

Time to make, save, and invest money

The start of a new year is a good time to take stock of the previous 12 months in your business.

This January, I’m focusing on how I can make, save, and invest money in My Event Décor for 2019.

Making more money

In January 2018, my business had two categories: sales and rentals of décor products. Each category had two markets: (a) weddings and private parties and (b) corporate events and product launches.

Event décor rentals comprised 77 percent of revenue in 2017 but only 37 percent in 2018.

This drop in category share was due to my 2018 focus on the lucrative corporate décor purchases market, wherein venue managers and event organizers order decorative props — customized or in volume. I also ceased marketing to the lower-profit consumer wedding décor rentals.

The strategy grew my revenue by 65 percent in 2018 over 2017.

Corporate décor market sales have grown from nine percent of the total in 2017 to 42 percent in 2018.

I recorded fewer corporate event rentals, falling from 56 percent of total revenue in 2017 to 33 percent in 2018.

After I stopped marketing wedding décor rental products, its category share fell from 21 percent of total revenue to four percent year-on-year. Revenue from wedding décor purchases, however, rose 20 percent, due to selling higher priced products.

As I withdrew from the wedding market, I introduced a range of products broadly suitable for themed parties, and increasingly, for the home.

In 2017, home décor sales accounted for just one percent of my revenue; by the end of 2018 home décor was responsible for 12 percent.

The consumer home décor area took me by surprise. From late October to mid-December, I featured a range of Christmas décor products. Unsure what the response would be, I purchased a modest number of unusual festive-themed items, which sold out. This year, I’ll plan my Christmas range much earlier and will purchase more stock.

Thanks to this Christmas range and Google Shopping pay-per-click advertising, home decor product revenue rose by 439 percent from Q3 2018 to Q4.

Saving money

This year I’ll be concentrating on reducing shipping costs as my corporate event volume orders continue to increase.

I hope to save money on shipping and fulfillment costs in 2019 by:

  • Ordering standard box sizes in bulk.
  • Selecting certain suppliers to drop ship bulky items so I don’t have to ship them to the customer.
  • Specifying the shipping option from suppliers.
  • Buying bigger quantities of popular products to reduce unit prices and overall shipping fees.
  • Bundling products from the same city in a single shipment to reduce overall shipping costs.
  • Asking corporate customers to accept pallet delivery, which speeds transit times, reduces breakage, and lowers handling costs.

Investing money

I used to think  “spending” money on my business meant I was “investing” in it.

But investments need to produce a return!

As discussed in a previous post, I will invest more in Google Shopping in 2019. It already generated an impressive return on investment.

The real money to be made in 2019 is selling products for corporate events and venues, in high volume or customized.

I plan to expand my range of products that create an event “buzz” and are not commonly available through other event suppliers. To do this, I need to invest money in developing a range of custom event décor prop products for the 2019 holiday season.

Once I’ve calculated the margins and costs — and forecasted sales and profits — I will invest in product research, samples, photography, publicity, and packaging.

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