Monday, February 3, 2020

Death, Taxes and Painting

Back a few months ago I had the opportunity to give a presentation to a local artist guild about my "TIPS" on selling art online.  I've been associated with this group of artists now for a number of years and those that are somewhat online savvy have taken note to my recent increase in my Facebook following and sales.

So they asked me to be their guest speaker. Boy was I nervous.  It has been sometime since I stood up in front of a group of people and spoke more than just a few words.  In my previous life (before art) I was the business administrator for a church and private Christian school.  Since it was the law in Nevada that all business over certain number of employees have an acting safety committee I took on the task of creating one and added the hat of Safety Director to my wardrobe.  Let me just say, "I could give a mean BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS TRAINING".  So it isn't completely foreign to me to talk to a crowd but talking about selling art was a quite different than talking about blood and bodily fluids.

My first main slide point in the presentation was more of an outline of what I was going to cover that evening and I thought this might work well also as a guide to my future blog posts.  I mean, if you decide to write a blog then having a blog post plan is quite important and this is going to be mine for the next little while.

So the first point as you can see is REPORTING AND STATISTICS.  I'm sure you are wondering why an artist would first be talking about spreadsheets and numbers but did I mention that I have a business degree?  I've been wired to be an accountant since birth and that is, what I consider to be a gift from God, especially around this time of the year and the start of 2019 tax season.

So let me just say that I keep my whole business bookkeeping on Google Sheets.  This works great for a small business that uses the Cash Accounting method.  I kept my spreadsheet on Microsoft Excel for years but when I started using Windows 10 my old Office Suite program decided to go on strike and Excel no longer wanted to do any work for me.  I was forced to either buy a new program, go to an online subscription or embrace the free spreadsheet program offered by Google.  I chose the latter.  And while there was a bit of a learning curve, it really boils down to a "Spreadsheet is a Spreadsheet".  The one really exciting thing for me besides FREE is that I can now access my files from my phone or Ipad.  This is great for my mileage log because for the first time in 2019 I was able to keep my mileage current as I went and not have to spend hours pouring over my calendar and typing every odometer reading for the year into a spreadsheet.  I just have to add a formula to total my business miles and then print it out.  This has saved me hours of work!

So now you can see that I track my mileage on the spreadsheet and my bookkeeping on a spreadsheet but there are other uses too.  I have my art inventory that I track and a cost breakdown for each product I make on there too.  Spreadsheets are amazing tools and I thought you might actually want to take a closer look at my spreadsheet that I created so I have provided a link to a blank one that you can view.  Link to a spreadsheet file just like the one I use.  Of course this is a "View Only" link and I removed all the numbers but you can see how it works.  If you would like to receive a copy of the spreadsheet for your use then you can send me a message through my Julie Townsend Studio Website or Facebook Studio Art Page and I will send it to you the file.

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