Welcome to my little corner of the blogosphere to share the ups and downs of starting a craft business, with plenty of tips, mishaps and the odd glass of wine!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

5 Essential Things to Focus on in Quiet Times.

Quiet times. We all have them.

What do you do during a lull in your business?

Getty Images Stock

Do you panic? Do you take advantage of it and spend more time with your friends & family? Or do you use the time wisely?

I do a bit of all of them if I'm honest.

Here are a few of the things I do, to ensure I'm being productive during my quiet moments:

1. Update my Etsy & Folksy listings. Adjust the tags and descriptions to make sure they describe the creative process, the advantages your product can offer the customer, fully detail the measurements, cleaning instructions, restrictions, etc that are needed for your products.

2. Get my accounts up to date. I know, I know, it's a boring job (for everyone except those funny accountant people who enjoy all that stuff!) But it's one that has to be done to keep on top of your business. I just keep a simple spreadsheet with incomings & outgoings, and a front page with tables tallying up month by month, how much I've made & how much I've paid out. It means that come tax return time I'm much more organised and don't panic quite as much!

3. Make extra stock. This is something I do in limited quantities as most of my items are made to order, so it's difficult to know how much of any items to make and in what colours, but there are certains items, like the Campervans, which I know will remain popular all year round, year after year, so I do make some of those when I have the chance to.

A tower of Campervans

4. Research. Be it researching suppliers, retailers to approach, design methods, packaging & postal methods or how to divide your marketing & advertising budget... All and any legitimate research is good for your business. I say legitimate because it's easy to get distracted from your purpose and get caught up with looking at shiny pretty beads, for example, when they have nothing to do with your business. (Yes, I am speaking from experience!) Even if you aren't in a position to buy, change suppliers, branch out into retail markets, pay for any marketing, it will be useful to have some knowledge for when you are ready to take that step.

5. Design new items. Now this is something that I would like to spend ALL my quiet times doing, but I've put it last because although it's the point I like the best, if I started off on this one, I'd never get numbers 1 - 4 achieved! I'm one of those designers who always has ideas racing round my brain and rarely have time to get even half of them down onto paper.

I find I quite often have to refer back to this list when I hit a lull as although I know what I need to do, re-reading it afresh always helps me to focus.

On that note, I'm off for a couple of weeks on holiday with the out-laws and will be doing plenty of number 5, with a little bit of number 4 thrown in for good measure!

PS. If you want other posts along the same lines try these:

The Reality of Being a Work At Home Mum

5 Mistakes Most Businesses Make Using Facebook

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I really appreciate all comments made on the blog (it reminds me that I'm not talking to myself!) so just wanted to say thanks for adding your thoughts. Simmi x

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