It’s not rocket science, plenty of people use spreadhseets BECAUSE they hate the math of figuring out and tracking data. You simply can’t do all of this mentally or you’d be buggered.
I use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of printing costs, pricing, impact on sales and aspects of planning for shows.
And all of it comes from the MOST basic equations in ANY spreadsheet. Some people a re better at this than I am but nearly every analysis I make starts with this:
Sum(RowA x RowB).
Everything about that “x” or “/” or “-” makes the difference between total cost, cost per unit, and profit margin. Ooooh, really artsy terms eh?
It’s not sexy at all, it’s especially dirty to some artists who are just starting out and perfectly happy making a few bucks pressing the flesh at a con an not worrying about the fact they only made enough money for the Uber to get back home. To be honest, I’ve been there (I have my own car, but I’ve been busted at a few cons).
So open a google spreadhseet (my preferred cloud solution for business – there’s an advertisement in there somewhere – pay me Google) and give it a try if you haven’t already.
One of my favorite things to do is simulate the sales figures before a show by altering a few numbers here and there to see manage my expectations before a show – changing figures and seeing totals update in real time really helps planning what to buy for the next show, what to dump, and seeing what small changes can do to the whole picture.
So have fun with your numbers, they’re not so scary when you can see them all at once in a way where they’ll behave.