In Part One (here), I talked about how I came to Craftybase after leaving Outright/GoDaddy Accounting. I talked about how I didn’t have the time to devote to it that I wanted, that clearly it did more than I had time for, sure wish I had time, but really just give me my Schedule C and let’s move on.
In the past, my accounting/inventory OpsMode has been sort of… Let Craftybase tell me that I have some completed orders that have products in them that I have (according to Craftybase) sold but never made. How would I like to fix that? Well, I have to get the quantity to zero, so I go into Craftybase and guess when I made what sold and what materials I used to make that product, and the Craftbase moves the materials I used to the product I sold, calling the materials the cost of making the product (subtracting them from my materials inventory) and then hopefully, everything is even. If anything is still negative, I need to figure out what and why. Are the materials negative? I forgot to put in the invoice from when I bought the materials! Is the product still negative? Did I enter a date of making it that’s BEFORE the date of selling it? How many did I sell, did I not tell Craftybase that I made the right number? What does my website inventory tell me I have, maybe that will help?
Yes, that’s kind of backwards, and yes, that’s kind of time-consuming. And I knew I needed to do better. But I’m one person! And Tim needed that Schedule C! So I never felt like I had the time to really get in there and get shit right.
Then this year.
Which, y’all know, began in December of 2021 and isn’t apparently over yet….
This year I kind of decided… screw it, things couldn’t possibly be any harder than emailing the tax guy and saying that my husband had died, could we get an extension, and I didn’t know what to do.
This year I’m taking the time to really get in there, into the guts of Craftybase, and make all my stuff right. Hoooooooo boy is it time consuming! So far all I’ve done is the soap and that took, like, most of four days. But it’s going to be worth it.
For one, I finally understand something I didn’t before, and understand why I wasn’t getting what I thought I should be getting. See, Craftybase has this cool feature that when you make a recipe for a product (I’ll explain in a sec), it will calculate the cost of those materials you used, factor in your time, and tell you how much it thinks you should be charging for that product.
A recipe is a repeatable list of things you use to make a thing — for example, to make four bars of soap I need a pound of soap, a tablespoon of fragrance, a shrink-wrap bag, and one hour. It actually takes longer than an hour, from start to finish, but a lot of that time is just melting soap, or soap curing, and I’m doing other things at the time. So I tried to guess how much actual time is spent, per batch, between cutting the base, stirring in the fragrance, pouring the mold, popping the mold, shrink-wrapping the soap, and labeling it. That’s my recipe for making the product, and the materials I’ve tagged in the recipe get automatically deducted from my material stock when I tell Craftybase I’ve made a product. And it gives me a cost suggestion. For soap, it suggest I should charge, at minimum, $4.77 per bar. Which, since I’m charging $5, is pretty much spot on – especially when you consider that I haven’t added the wrapping papers and paper for labels into the cost of the materials, because trying to figure out the percentage of a sheet of tissue paper used to wrap one bar of soap and the amount of toner used to print the information on the labels just absolutely makes my eyes glaze over. I’m hoping that I’m not using more than .23¢ worth of paper (and toner cartridge). Otherwise, I’m just at the right margin for soap.
But do you want to see something HIGH-lar-ious???? Check this out. This is what Craftybase says I should be charging for my Eliza mugs.
What *do* I charge for it? $26. So next time someone asks me “what’s the best you can do on this for me”… oh, Imma tell them.
Think it might be better/lower, for something that I hand-build, instead of starting with a bisque piece? Here’s what Craftybase suggests that I sell my $15 incense burners for.
Almost double what I actually charge for them.
Work at home, kids! Live the dream!
ANYWAY – part of my point with this talk is that I could previously never get Craftybase to tell me what it thought I should charge. I assign manufacture dates, and materials used, and it just would NOT factor the price suggestions out for me. It always bothered me that I couldn’t make it work, but it’s not like I was going to change my pricing anyway… and I never had the time to figure it out.
Last week I figured it out by making and associating my first recipe (‘soap’), and BAM, everything started to come together. It doesn’t factor cost suggestions from materials used, it factors cost suggestions from RECIPIES (which have assigned materials). So all the products I’d been slowly hand-entering materials used, that’s why it never told me what it thought I should charge. Because I wasn’t using a recipe.
Now I kind of want to go back and assign recipes to EVERYTHING. Which is… going to take a while. I might go ahead and call my tax guy and say there’s no way Imma be ready by even mid-March, let’s just go ahead and file an extension now.
But ultimately, I’m going to be even happier with this accounting/inventory software than I was.