Finding Time to Create or Start a Craft or Blog Business.
I have seen several women wanting to start or create Craft Business or Blog, but don’t because of one little thing…
They believe they do not have the time in their already busy lives to add something else to their plate. Even if that something else is something they might really enjoy, maybe even love. That thing could also be something that makes you a little side hustle money.
And that is always good! Especially if you are adding to your family budget, doing extra things, goodies for the kids, whatever.
So, how do you find the time, or make the time to create? To finally start that craft business you have always wanted to start and do? And to actually make it work for you?
Here’s a little secret. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. But how you use them matters, to you, your family, and your customers.
Making Your Lists When Finding Time To Create
When you have other priorities on your plate, like kids, family, house stuff, and it is quite possible you work a full-time job it is already hard to squeeze in extra time.
Trust me, I know. I have been there.
But, I also worked a craft business side hustle while I was still working full time at a day job. And at times it was hard to fit it all in. It was hard.
Some days I didn’t want to even do the craft orders I had in my extra time. But I did. Because I was committed. I planned on doing it that extra time, and that time was meant for doing them.
You must be committed if this is going to work. And you must also learn to make lists.
Second. Batch your work.
If you make a list of outstanding customer orders, or tasks that you need to complete each week or month you will be ahead of the game. Make the list first.
Second, keep a running “should do” and “want to do” list for your craft business. These kinds of lists are great because they aren’t the immediate things you need to have done today or this week, but they are things that will help you build your business in the long run.
Each week, I pick 1-3 things from my “should dos and want to dos” lists and try to schedule them around my must-dos (like customer orders, blog posting, etc.) my family dos (like doctor appointments, house stuff, cleaning) and my downtime.
And Yes. I plan downtime. This is time for laying around, watch a movie with the kids, swimming in the pool, or just lazy days with family downtime. I plan this separate from the extra time I schedule for my craft business.
Free time, downtime or extra time is not exactly the same as downtime. Treat your business like another job, but it is one you really love and enjoy. Finding time to create for your business is key. You need to clock-in and clock-out.
When you are clocked out, that is your downtime. Schedule both separately. I know I must do this.
If I don’t, I will get burned out.
And if I am feeling like doing “something” I choose an activity I can do while watching “Incredibles” for the 100th time with my kids.
Batching Your Lists to Your Time
So if you’re working full time, finding time to create may need to be a bit strategic. You will need to decide the specific days and times that you can work on your craft business or even craft hobby.
I include hobbyists in this because you may be considering a craft business later down the road, and you may just be really striving for that special thing to fill you up! Give you an extra energy. I totally get it.
Let’s say you have an order to make 5 shirts. And it takes you roughly 3 hours or more to make them.
You need to determine at least 4 hours during the week on when you will tackle that order.
Then if you are done early, great! Don’t wast the time you scheduled. If you have another hour remaining, do something from the “should do” list so that you are being productive.
This is how you move it forward.
Customer Service and Custom Orders
In a craft business. I always ask the customer the date they need the item by. This is very important when it comes to your customer service.
It is everything! Without it you have nothing. And, it plays a big big big, did I mention BIG part on how you plan, schedule and work on your craft business.
Note on Rush Orders: A rush order is when someone calls you the evening or two before they need something done to see if you can do it. If this happens. It is up to you to say yes or no to do the order. But this is typically outside the usual customer service expectations. Just make sure you are not bumping someone else’s order to solve another’s emergency.
For normal orders. Most of the time I have about 2 weeks or 10 days to deliver something to the customer. That seems to be about the average expected time someone will wait for you to complete an average custom handmade item.
Of course, this depends on what you are making. But we will use this as the example.
After that, people will become impatient and cancel their order altogether.
Most people who appreciate the work and crafting that you do, understand that most of the time it is being made by hand. And while it does take time to make it they understand and appreciate your work. They are willing to wait awhile, but they’re not willing to wait forever.
A good rule of thumb is to return items that are being ordered or get items ready for orders within one week, up to 10 days. Once you get to the two-week mark, most people will one, be frustrated or like I said, cancel their order together.
So you will need to time, when is the best time to get these orders out to the people ordering, to your customers and to your schedule.
One thing rule that I always stick to is, under-promise and over-deliver. Get it done!
Finding time to create is one thing, but doing nothing productive with that time is dangerous. If you tell someone that it will take you two weeks to get a wreath to them, make sure that you get it back in the two weeks or less time.
Less time is better and that is where you over-deliver. Since you under-promised the amount of time it would take you, you now look ahead.
Things happen, emergencies occur, and on some orders, it takes me two days versus an hour to complete the order.
If you promise 10 days and get it done it 5 days, you are awesome! And if you promise 10 days (and an emergency or delays happens) and you get it done in 9 or 10 days, you are still awesome.
But, if you promise in 5 days, (and that same delay occurs) and you deliver in 10 or 15 days. You are not only, not awesome, you are probably not ever going to get another order from that customer again.
Delays occur. It’s not a question of IF they will. It is a matter of asking WHEN the delays will occur and how you handle and recover from them. So be prepared for WHEN, and not IF.
And spare your customer… make sure that you under-promise and over-deliver.
Once you have mastered the timing alongside with your order and your craft business, you will find that things are running pretty easily.
At some point, you will need to make a plan on how you will grow out of this phase. Take on more customers or grow your craft business.
Who knows, you may even be able to shift it into your full-time gig in the future. And if that is your dream, then turn that dream into a plan.
Do you have a craft business or are you wanting to start one? I’d love to know how I could help you more or achieve this maker’s dream. Leave a comment and let me know what you are struggling with.