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Handmade business OVERWHELM

Handmade business OVERWHELM

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:

  • 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.a receptionist
  • customer service rep
  • the maker
  • the marketer
  • the social media manager
  • website designer
  • bookkeeper
  • tech person
  • salesperson
  • 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.

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.  6/1/2020 I have to admit, I’ve changed my mind about Trello.  I’ve been using it for about a month now and really like it.  It does take some getting used to and you really need some good templates in order to make it work.

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.

 

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