Admin…it’s a bit like marmite, your heart may leap at the thought of creating an ordered system from which your crafting business can thrive, or your creative spirit may sink at the thought of being reigned in on such a mundane task. Either way, here at Craft Insurance we are able to help you get the background canvas of your business in place so you can be free to create your unique work of art upon it.
If you are searching this website, you may well be asking “what is craft insurance?” In this post, we will not only answer that, but will offer some tried and tested tips to enable you to get this and other foundations of your business admin in order. Once these are in place, you are free to to throw your all into the creativity for which you have unique talent and passion.
Our first tip is to ring fence specific time for admin. Depending on the size and structure of your business, you may set aside a whole day for marketing, packaging and posting purchases, communicating with customers, managing finances, ordering materials and social media planning. Or, this could be half a day, or a set amount of time each day. Whatever works best for you, it is probably helpful to timetable it in to your schedule rather than trying to squeeze it in to your already full life. This will free you to do the crafting you enjoy the rest of the time.
In a similar vein, it may be worth setting aside a bit of time to make a visual schedule, which will include admin time as well as crafting time. This might not only help yourself to work efficiently, but could be a reminder to anyone you live with that there are times when you are “at work” and shouldn’t be interrupted!
What is craft insurance?
Once you’ve established a time for admin and made yourself a hot drink, it’s then important to use the time effectively. Initially, you will need a variety of building blocks in place. Your business plan and financial management are obviously foundational. As part of these, we come back to our initial question of “what is craft insurance?”. And, “why do I need it?”. To answer this, we can refer to our own home pages. Craft insurance is for “UK residents who make, sell, and/or teach and demonstrate their handicraft, whether you are a sole trader, private individual, partnership, hobbyist, a craft club, or a Ltd company.” You need it to cover yourself when attending events where you are selling, demonstrating or teaching your craft, and also to cover your products’ liability for sales. As our mission statement says, “craft insurance keeps your hard work from unravelling”. So, if this is something you do not already have in place, call us to get a quote customised to your individual business requirements. This will be an admin session well spent.
Social media management
A large part of advertising your craft business will be effective use of social media. While this is an excellent way of reaching large numbers of people, it can also be very time consuming. Here are a few tips which might help to minimise your time spent on this, while maximising the outreach you achieve.
Consider which platforms would work best for your business and stick to them; don’t try to use every available platform. It’s best to effectively focus on a few, rather than try to spatter across many. Once you’ve decided on your direction, link accounts together. For example, your Instagram posts can go straight to Facebook, so covering two platforms in one go. While you may need to create time each day to respond to messages, you could use a single admin slot to write all your posts for the following week and then simply use the schedule facility to ensure they come out on the days you require.
This leads well into some more sound advice from small business owners; simplify and streamline as much as you can. Time is a precious commodity for most of us, and while we can’t add hours to our days, good organisation can allow us to gather together some tasks, so allowing us to use the finite hours we have to best effect. Periodic reviews can be a worthwhile time investment for this. Our lives and businesses are fluid and change all the time, and what has worked well for one season may not necessarily serve us best in the next. As you review, ask yourself if there are things you can delegate. Are there things you could streamline, as with social media? If there are recurring tasks, set up reminders either on a digital or old fashioned calendar. A “to do” list can be extremely helpful in organising the jobs to be done. Try writing one every week, noting down the tasks additional to those that are routine. It is satisfying to tick them off, and if they are not completed they can simply be rolled over to the following week. If they are still there after several weeks, it might be safe to assume they were never that important and can fall off the list!
Your business plays out against the backdrop of your whole life. Setting up a small business involves long hours and hard work, but you still need to eat, to shop, to sleep, maybe to clean and most definitely to spend time with family and friends. Good admin practices are not the whole solution to squeezing more things into each day, but they can help reduce the time spent on mundane tasks. A weekly meal planner, a family calendar, and regular communication with those you live or work with will help you keep going for the long haul.
Finally, you need time off. We are not designed to work flat out and cannot sustain that way of living. It is often counter cultural to stop and re-fuel, but it’s something we all need to do. Ensure you place your business hours on emails and other communications; customers will then know when they can expect to hear from you. Get in the habit of placing some boundaries each week around time for rest, restoration and fun. You will return to work refreshed and inspired for the week ahead.
Admin doesn’t have to be a dirty word! What’s more, creative genius and good administrative skills aren’t mutually exclusive! Hopefully, what you’ve read today will help if you dislike admin and if you need any help or advice where insurance is concerned, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.