Record keeping is a crucial part of any business. Even if this topic is completely daunting to you, no worries!
I've always resisted keeping any kinds of records, but I developed an easy and simple way to keep track of customers and what they ordered, when I ship it, and their important information such as their address where you will be sending the plants to.
It's also a good idea to have an idea of when to send them, especially if it's for a wedding or other event.
The timing of getting the plants there a day or so ahead, and not after the party is the difference between having repeat customers, and complaints and refunds.
This spreadsheet resides on my computer where it's easy for me to find. You can also use a note pad, card file or any other system that makes sense to you and that you'll actually use.
It's important to keep this up to date; don't leave it, do the updates on the day you ship the order or you'll forget.
I generally had a template that each year would just get carried over.
The most important things are:
I also have a column that tells exactly what they've ordered, and if there are any substitutes, the date of expected shipping, the price and shipping costs in separate columns. I also use the sum function, and use that to tally up the income and shipping costs, taxes charged and so on.
As each order is shipped, I highlight and change the color to reflect that it's been shipped or carried over, canceled or whatever other important status. You can choose the colors to suit your needs.
Other records that you need to keep are any receipts for shipping, such as postal or mailing costs, office supplies, greenhouse soil or pots, and even the receipt for any training you take - including this e-course.
File them on your computer in a place that you'll be able to find them again, or print them out and make a physical file.
In most areas, you can use these as deductions when you file your income tax return; even things like interest on loans and your mortgage, legal fees, and a portion of the square footage of your home if you use it for a home office. Check with your accountant for exactly what to keep.