Handmade business OVERWHELM! A topic that few people discuss, mainly because everyone seems to want to lead you to believe that running a handmade business is EASY – and they focus on the glamour of owning and running your own business.
Well, I’m different – I’m brutally honest. Owning a handmade business isn’t for the faint-hearted and it can leave you feeling totally OVERWHELMED!
As a business owner, you wear many hats, you are:
- a receptionist
- customer service rep
- the maker
- the marketer
- the social media manager
- website designer
- tech person
- and the list goes on and on
This can be totally OVERWHELMING. So many things to do and only so many hours in a day – we all face it. And most of us are reactive – meaning that we run around putting out the fires that are the most pressing instead of being proactive and prioritizing the tasks that are involved.
Let me give you a couple of examples of being reactive so you get what I’m talking about.
- You work from home and have small children. You finally get a half hour or an hour of what you think is going to be uninterrupted time to do a specific task – let’s say finish that handmade object you’ve been working on. Johnny (your 2 year old) suddenly wakes up from his nap screaming. You drop everything and run to see what’s wrong. That’s reactive.
- This example is straight from my own life this week (don’t worry I won’t give you all the gory details). I have a full-time job, so the only time I have time for my handmade items and this website is early in the morning (5 to about 7:30 a.m.) and after work when I’m already exhausted. So, here I am this week focusing on the final prep for the release of free webinar I’ll be hosting on June 30 (more on that next week) and all of a sudden I realize I haven’t written a blog post for this week, I have a Mother’s Day open house next week and I have a stack of dishcloths that need to be blocked, no inventory or price list, and no price tags for the finished items that I’ll be selling! So,now it’s a mad hustle and a complete change of plans and priorities to get these things done. That’s reactive.
I hosted a live chat yesterday about this very topic of handmade business OVERWHELM. You can watch it here in my Facebook group (if you aren’t a member, you can request to join it) – http://bit.ly/2JQy4tN where we discussed some of these same sort of reactive situations.
To counteract being reactive is to become proactive, but it’s tough – especially if we have been hardwired to be reactive.
Being proactive includes:
- Tracking your time to see what’s taking up those precious hours that you have to work on your business – you might be surprised at what’s taking the most time! I use a program called Toggl, it’s free – can be installed on your laptop, android or Apple devices, or used straight from a browser – it’s available from https://toggl.com/
- Creating a list of things you need to do, prioritizing them, and blocking out time to actually get them done. I use Evernote (which is a virtual notebook that never runs out of pages or sections). You can create a free Evernote account and install it on your laptop, android or Apple devices, or used straight from a browser – sign up here https://evernote.com
- Some people swear by Trello, personally I find it too distracting.
What tools and techniques do you use to keep yourself organized and proactive?
I’d love to know! Leave a comment or better yet, come join the Facebook group and join the discussion below the video.
Now, I’m off to put out that fire – block my dishcloths, prepare my inventory list, make sure everything is priced and tagged for next weeks Mother’s Day open house event.
Until next week – Happy Handmade!
P.S. Watch for next weeks blog post where I provide you with more details about my FREE upcoming webinar workshop called – So, you want to start a handmade business – 10 Things EVERY handmade business owner should know!