Omg, so much change this year already! We moved into our first studio and now we've hired our first studio employee! Until now Kim and I handled all of the studio production, and you may remember my amazing sister, Lauren is part of the team over on the customer service side of things, but until now we've never had production help. What a game changer. Continuing my partnership with Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed this post highlights my process for taking these big growth steps through the use of their financial service, QuickBooks Self-Employed. This post is sponsored by Intuit Quickbooks and this is a product I actually use and love.
One of the biggest challenges for me during this year of growth has been well, the growth. Everything is changing. This transitional time comes with a lot a messy, non-instagrammable moments where my ideal scenario hasn't quite been figured out yet. Owning a small business is not about perfection. I've learned that for a business owner that ideal scenario can take a while to figure out and sometimes you simply have to adapt to the circumstances at hand while you grow!
Here's a perfect example of that: In my new studio we have separate work areas for each different process which is amazing. Such an upgrade! We have a slab-rolling room where all of our plates are made, a slip-casting area for our cast porcelain bowls, a glaze area, and a kiln room. But we don't have a dedicated area for me to throw on my pottery wheel. As you may know, throwing on the wheel is extremely messy! The wheel also needs a descent amount of space for the potter to work comfortably, and for these two reasons I haven't found the right spot for it at the new studio. In fact, I'm coming to terms with the fact that the right spot may not be in the studio at all. I want my team to have the most space possible to work and as I'm the only wheel thrower in the group right now I'm adapting to the idea that maybe my wheel continues to live at my house out in my garage.
It's not ideal to have my wheel in a separate location wedged between my waterheater and lawnmower, but it's reality! Look down at the bottom photo closely and you can see on the left edge of the frame the sensor and track for my automatic garage door! I'm pretty sure those are dried leaves on the floor in the corner that have blown in, and clearly I haven't finished painting out here. Let's not talk about the fact that I started painting these walls two years ago.
When I first started my business it wasn't even a business. I was a girl who bought a pottery wheel and plugged it into an outlet in the dining room of my tiny one bedroom apartment. Now I have a real business, I file legit grown-up taxes, set aside money for payroll, track my expenses, and use way more spreadsheets than I ever imagined possible. Oh, and I work in the studio still, making pottery from scratch with my hands. It can be a lot to juggle these diverse tasks. Delegation is key to growth, and that's why I love the passionate team I'm growing. I'm happy to sacrifice having my wheel at my new studio if it means that my team can work happily and comfortably while we grow!
Another part of my growth team is Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed! Their app is on my phone right next to the app that powers my online shop. I love that I have accounting tools literally at my fingertip! Whether I'm on the go, in the studio setting up a photoshoot or even throwing pots on my wheel, I have my phone with me (because millennial) which means I have instant access to my Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed account to track expenses, monitor invoices, and even track the mileage I've driven for work trips (read about that favorite feature here!) so I can be sure to never miss a deductible.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I share with others about how I've been able to maintain business growth over the years is the importance of taking the time to learn about the financial health of your business. Knowing where my money is coming from and more importantly where it is going is the single factor that has powered me to grow through the years. The Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed app offers useful tools to dig into those details and to track the ongoing expenses a business has. The best part is that this app saves me time. I can track expenses on the go and get back to doing what I'm meant to do-- create lovingly handcrafted ceramics to make mealtimes beautiful.