To Do List to kick start your craft business in 2016
Well, December came and went, far too quickly, and now we find ourselves starting afresh January 2016. Happy New Year to you all.
As I do every New Year, I found myself reflecting on the year just gone by, what I did well, what could have gone better, and what I can change to make things much better. As I scribbled out my lists, it occurred to me, that many of my own thoughts and resolutions could so easily apply to you and your craft business, so here I am, sharing my list with you, and ideas on how those could apply to you.
Disorganised pile of clothes on a sofa
Get paperwork organised
Sort decorations and put them in boxes (so they aren’t a nightmare to find next December, as they were this December just gone)
Organise my clothes so I can easily see what I have
Go through the kitchen utensils draw
How getting organised can apply to you and your craft business:
So, get paperwork organised…I suppose that applies to us all. Not being a naturally organised person myself, I’ve found the best way for me is to file each category of paperwork separately. For you and your craft business, this could be having a separate folder for invoices, tax stuff, insurance stuff (of course), product list inventory, raw materials inventory, price lists, official stuff if you’ve had to get your products tested, or assessed, any relevant certifications.
When I thought about organising my decorations and wardrobe, it mad me think of you and you raw materials. Just as I’m thinking about sorting my wardrobe out, so I can see exactly what I have, and put my outfits together more easily, could separating your raw materials into categories make work easier for you too? If you have a stash of textiles for example, would it be an option to separate them into colour categories? Or thickness? Or into uses – so, If you have a selection of material you only use for one purpose, you could keep that separate from the rest.
My messy kitchen utensil drawer could easily equate to a drawer box that you keep your tools and equipment in. If you too run the risk of spearing yourself on something sharp and pointy when you go rummaging for the one thing you want, then like me, maybe you need a little sort out. How about using one of those cutlery trays to keep things separated, or quite simply loads of different containers (whether that’s an old takeaway box, or revamped baked bean tins if you want to be thrifty)
Declutter, Donate or Re-Use
- Make Christmas cards and decorations out of this years cards and wrapping paper
- Keep my desk clean! Tidy work place tidy mind. I will be honest with you – I’m not a naturally organised or tidy person, so this is going to be hard for me, and if I manage it, life changing!!
How Decluttering, Donating or Re-using can apply to you and your craft business
It seems every year I spend a fortune on cards for family and friends, and I have a sneaking suspicion that these cards have made their way to the recycling bin by early January. This January, I want to use all the cards we received, and make them into lovely new cards for next year, gift boxes, gift tags, and even some decorations. There is a wealth of information on the internet on this, so even though I haven’t dome papercrafting like this before, I know it won’t be a problem. I even happened across another blog called 365 days to change the world, which you can read by clicking here. In fact, this blog has a wealth of ideas on re-using so that you don’t have to spend money on new.
All of those scraps, offcuts, leftovers, from whatever material you use to produce your craft – instead of throwing it out, have you tried making something completely new from it? Have you ever watched Masterchef, when they ask the chefs to produce a new dish from fish bones, peelings, and fridge dregs? 9/10 they manage to create something incredible. So, could you do that? Are you missing a trick with materials, that would otherwise be thrown out?
If the tools of your trade are no longer the latest model, be it a kiln, sewing machine, or hand tools, before you buy the latest shiny model, and take the old one to the tip, there may well be someone out there who would love to take it off your hands. If you don’t want any money for it, there are still many online sites where you can offer your goods up free to a good home.
- Keep away from the January Sales!! You DO NOT need anything
Ok, so, although I’m talking about avoiding January sales on a personal note, it’s still worth a mention for you and you craft business.
How January Sales can apply to you and you craft business
January Sales aren’t just for the high street shops. It’s also a great opportunity for you to clear out some of last years stock to make way for new ideas and new creations this year. A lot of crafters produce seasonal stock, so, if you don’t want the Christmas stuff taking up valuable space, it maybe worth giving a small discount in January to get it gone. Did you have a product range that didn’t sell quite as well as you expected? Again, January is a great opportunity to clear it out, get a little something back for it, and give those hungry shoppers what they want – a bargain. (This also fits with the decluttering resolution, so double whammy)
You can also use January sales to your own advantage by topping up on your own supplies at knock down prices which can only be a good thing.
Communications with customers
In 2015, we set a Facebook page for our business, and started a blog. In that year, I learned a lot about doing both!! I discovered that it’s not something you can duck in and out of, if you want to actually see results from your efforts. If you don’t want to see any results, then why bother in the first place?
This year, we’ve decided to really go for it with a social media campaign, and aim to blog regularly, not only to keep in touch with current and potential customers, but also, to help people find out website.
How do you contact your customers in relation to your craft business, and can you improve on this? If you don’t use it already, you could look at social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to name but a few. Do you write a blog? Or how about writing a weekly or monthly newsletter? All of these would be great ways to tell your customers about your January sale!!
Blog and social media schedule on a whiteboard
I hope you’ve found my ideas helpful. I’d love to hear your thoughts too, so please do leave any comments in the comments box.