Category Archives: Planning

4 - Everyday Dragons

Micro Mini Shipping Methods, Redux

Micro Shipping Boxes

I’ve been using USPS Priority Mail for all my Etsy listings, which works out to roughly $6.51 for VA to CA shipping for a 5oz package. The boxes are free and the tracking number is included, so it seems like a good deal– right?

Well not when you pair it with an $11 horse!

It wasn’t until I started working on revamping the listings to match the new custom order prices that it really hit me how much the shipping was. The micros are supposed to be cheap and fun, and 50% markup for shipping is neither. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Saturday Story Prompt Collections – Take 2

SSP Collection 2010.01

So after poking around with the idea of doing a Saturday Story Prompt collection I came to the realization that I can’t rationalize charging someone a dollar just to take 4-5 previous blog posts and bundle them together.

To counter that I’d planned on adding ‘new’ prompts to those collections– but it seemed sort of a waste to not be able to share them with the world (since that’s what the prompts were meant to do).

After mulling it over for a bit I think I’ve finally stumbled onto a solution! Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Saturday Story Prompt Collections

Saturday Story Prompts

One of my yearly goals is to find a way to repackage existing blog content in an easy-to-read eBook format in order to stock the Dollar Shelves. With that in mind, I sorted out the blog by category… and the Saturday Story Prompts (101) came in right behind the Daily Snippits (447).

I figure the prompts will be an easier target for my Smashwords learning curve (since they’re shorter) so I threw them out on the planning board and tried to make a product out of them. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Why I’m Using Amazon Payments Instead Of PayPal

PayPal logo

I’ve heard horror stories about PayPal for almost as long as the company has existed. There are numerous websites about the various folks they’ve taken money from and sellers that they have screwed over. I actually setup a second bank account back when I did this the first time, just so PayPal wouldn’t have access to anything but the business funds.

But most of the bad things I knew about happened years ago and thus I’ve been waffling about using PayPal or not when it comes to my business.

And then this happened. The story is still spreading across the internet like wildfire, so hopefully PayPal will fix this in the next 24 hours. (Check out this wonderful post by GreenGeekGirl that breaks it down step-by-step.)

Now I am firmly now in the NOT camp. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

The First 42

Net vs. Gross

Hammering out a sales plan to meet the January 2012 income goal is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Going into this project I was fairly confident that the first $42 would be the easiest to earn, after all I’d made that easily when I was doing only model horses, right?

Well, no, not so much when I start looking at the numbers. That first month income goal is for a net amount (after costs), not gross amount (before costs) and I rarely pulled in that much from the horses due to high material costs vs. price points. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Quarters For College (or: Income Goals for 2012)

Quarters for College

Due to some shuffling of future plans, it looks like the business needs to start picking up some expected income drop-offs come 2013. So instead of ambling into next year, I need to ramp things up a little faster than I had planned on.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m not trying to make a living from the micro business, but it does need to start paying the bills (literally)– right now the scariest one, aside from the mortgage, is my student loans.

Yay for higher education? Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Stocking the Shelves

March 2011 WiP

March 2011 WiP

Well, this little project didn’t quite turn out as planned.

I figured I’d sort through the piles and make a list of things that were finished and Ready-for-Sale (RfS)– but I have one thing for that list and a very very long list of Work-in-Progress (WiP) pieces that will probably be finished by January 1st.

Some of them are very heavy on the probably… and it’s not just the horses. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

18 Weekends and Counting



There are now 120 days left in 2011 and I’m starting to buckle down and get this business plan off the ground. If all goes well I should be ready to roll into 2012 with posts in queue, product in place, and everything shiny.

But making plans = good, putting plans into action = better.

I’ve been putting off a lot of the work that could be done on the business because I don’t want to do it ‘early’. But this is not NaNoWriMo, there’s no penalty for starting early and truth be told, it makes zero difference whether I do some of the tasks now or in November/December. Continue reading

4 - Everyday Dragons

Of Horses and Words

Hobby AND Business

Hobby AND Business

One of the things that sets me apart from other folks dreaming entrepreneurial dreams is that I’m focusing on building a retirement income, not a replacement for my day job. I expect the bulk of the work to happen now and the bulk of the income to happen later, which is at cross-purposes to everyone else I’m reading.

Not that I wouldn’t love to stay home and pay my bills chasing my various hobbies, but realistically I don’t see myself turning a huge profit from artwork and writing. You can make a living blogging… but I’m neither a personal consultant nor a business consultant—and that’s how most of the bloggers make it work. Continue reading

Everyday Dragons

Starting Small – Cost Neutral Hobbies

Since the theme for this month is baby steps, I’ve decided to find ways to make my favorite hobbies a cost neutral exercise. This would allow me to continue to enjoy my down-time if money gets tight when my husband goes back to school and to experiment within the available markets. I will be using them as a base to develop costing and pricing methods as well as polish my marketing and records keeping skills.

Amusingly, ‘running a home business’ could also count as a hobby since I enjoy creating and maintaining systems as much as anything else!

At the moment the two hobbies that cost me money are working with Model Horses and Dual-boxing on World of Warcraft. While neither of these aren’t things I have to have, they are things I enjoy doing– hence the investigation into finding ways to make them ‘free’.

Continue reading