Penplotter profit/loss, month of December 2020

First year of selling my pen plots, last month of the year. A very quiet month it was too, as I shut the shop after the first week. I guess that means this is really a "One Week Profit/Loss Report", but hey, who's counting?

Well me, so here we go with the counting...

Sales for December were: £223, lowest sales since the first month 🙃 here's the breakdown...



December Profit:

Overall Profit:

This is pretty much a break even month, which was, well, actually nice and more on that in the "Notes" section.

I've wrapped up the whole 2020 year in a short post over here: Penplotter profit/loss, for the whole of 2020

(PS. The shop lives here: (but currently shut), someone mentioned that I didn't link to it enough so I guess now this is a thing I do)

Previous posts can be found linked to from:

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Once again because October was such a good month and I bought a bunch of supplies, I didn't have much in the way of equipment expenses this month, just some pens in preparation for January.

Also because I only sold three plots there wasn't much in the way of postage either.

After the studio rent, the most significant expense was Instagram advertising, again a bit more on that in "Notes".

Here's the breakdown...

Postage & Packaging £24.90
Paper £0
Pens & Ink £34.30
Studio Rent & costs £159.16
Total expenses: £218.36

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Notes and observations

The big thing this month was deciding early on to close the shop and stop selling things until January. The main reason was both the postal service and Post Office were FUBAR from pretty much the first week of December.

I post a lot, even before all this selling stuff. Mail art, zines, writing letters, postcard exchanges, all sorts for years. Sometimes in Instagram DMs I'll be "I'll just send you this", and the other person will sometimes be "Oh, you can't do that, don't go to all that trouble!".

I'm like, "It's fine, I post stuff all the time, it's really no big deal". I'm literally 5 minutes from the main Post Office and in there most days either dropping things off or picking them up from the PO Box.

This December, things, were, fucked.

And I didn't want £85 unique, one-off pen plots going through along with everything else. Also for a couple of weeks, the Post Office itself was shut down because the staff got Covid, when it re-opened the place was rammed.

So ya, no post 'till January.

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I keep referencing posts I'm planning on writing and still haven't, gonna do that again here. This time it isn't the "How I decided to charge what I charge for art" post, it's the "Selling art on Instagram, a nerdy look at numbers" (or something similar) post.

The very short here is that the current plan is to spend about 10% of revenue on marketing. I hate the term or even the thought of marketing, but, when I put my "Art is a Business" hat on, it's a part of it. At the moment marketing isn't directed towards sales, but rather towards growth. But this isn't the place for all that discussion, it'll have to wait for the previously mentioned blog post.

In theory the marketing budget for December should have been £75, but I left it pegged at £60 simply because I forgot to change it. Which is nice as otherwise, I would have made a loss this month.

In the end, this month backed up what I'd previously thought, at the current prices I need to make three sales a month to cover my costs and pay for the art studio. Which once again is perfect, having art pay for the space in which I do it is very satisfying.

I mean it would be nice if it also covered my house, food and other expenses, but that's not something that's going to happen for a long time, but again, more on that in the "How I decided to charge what I charge for art" blog post.

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I kind of wish I had an epic blow out month to end the year, but I think being sensible, safe and stress-free are worth a lot more. I suspect January is going to be pretty quiet too as I was going to be getting a whole bunch of stuff done over the holidays but decided to, you know, relax instead. Meaning I'm not as prepared to hit 2021 running, but being prepared has never been my strong point.

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Fuller-ish expense breakdown

Postage & packing
All the postage £24.90
Pen & Ink
Sakura Gelly Roll Gold Pens * 12 £34.30
Sakura Pentouch Calligrapher Pen * 3 £9.15
Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip Pen * 2 £2.60
Rent & Costs
Art studio £65.00
Shopify £22.16
People of Print Membership £12.00
Instagram ads (roughly) £60.00
Total expense: £218.36
December sales £223.00
December profit £4.64
Profit to date -£988.88

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And that's a wrap for the month, and for the year too. I have an end of year round up which basically takes all the numbers and turns them into bigger numbers. You can find it over here:

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