Selling crafts and other items that you have created yourself can be incredibly rewarding. But it is important to ensure that you have a way in which you can plan your projects so that you have enough time to market and sell them, without burning yourself out.
One way that you can achieve this is by setting yourself up with a crafting calendar. You can utilise the calendar to plan your crafting time and to ensure that your projects run as smoothly as possible. This calendar can be created using a paper calendar or you might want to look at setting up a digital calendar in outlook or even on a spreadsheet. The choice that you make will depend on how many items you create and whether you prefer to have things in a digital or paper format. There is no right or wrong way to create a crafting calendar, so why not get creative with it?
Here are our top ten tops for planning a crafting calendar.
1. Plan in your existing commitments
Before you start planning your crafting projects and entering in the key dates surrounding them, you should first plan in your personal commitments. It is important to think about any holidays that you have planned or childcare or other family commitments and have these set as non-negotiable slots in your calendar. This then gives you a realistic view of the times you have available to create your products.
2. Create you crafting time slots
Being creative uses a very different mindset to being more analytical and it is important that you plan in time where you will be creating your products. You can then plan in other time to manage and promote your business. This might be allocating time to your accounts or looking for answers to questions such as “How much does craft insurance cost?” When it comes to each dedicated time slot, try and be strict with yourself and carry out the activities that you have planned
3. Plan for seasonal holidays
Holiday seasons can be very busy for crafters. Not only will you want to ensure that you spend time with your friends and family during these periods but you will also need to create stock to sell. Forward planning is definitely needed for these key times of the year. Christmas in particular is a time that is filled with opportunities to sell you products at craft fayres and craft markets as well as online. You should make sure you have researched How much does craft insurance cost? This is particularly important when it come to protecting yourself and your customers from any issues that might arise.
4. Making sure you have enough materials
Keeping on top of your stock is one thing, but you also need to keep an eye on the materials that you use to create your products. If you know that you need to regularly order certain items for your projects, make sure that you allocate time in your calendar to do this.
5. Project manage your creations
Each of your products will need to be carefully managed and the best way to achieve this is through project management. You should allocate dedicated time to create the items for each project and ensure that you are being realistic about the time frames needed. You can add in any deadlines that might apply if you are making items for a particular time of year or for a specific individual. Make a note of the materials that you need and ensure that you plan in some contingency time in case something goes wrong in the design or creation phase.
6. Book in Fairs and Craft markets
Craft fairs and markets can book up very quickly, especially around Christmas. Try and book in advance and note these in your calendar. You can then project manage all the products that you plan to make for the event. You should also have a look at how much craft insurance costs for craft fairs which will then give you time to research the options available and get your policy in place.
7. Work out your production time
As a part of your project management you should time how long it takes to create each of your products. This way you are able to allocate the time that is needed and you can focus on one product at a time. It can also be useful to know how long it takes to create your products for when it comes to looking at your pricing.
8. Plan in your sales opportunities
If you work with retailers or other stockists you will need to have a note of when you need to replenish the stock that you provide them with. It can be useful to have these dates worked out in advance so you can ensure that you factor this into your production timeline.
9. Don’t forget your own marketing
Marketing is incredibly important for any business and you should ensure that you allocate time at least each month to plan your own strategy. This could be creating posts to share on your social media channels or it could be producing leaflets or flyers to hand out at a craft fair that you are due to attend. By giving yourself a regular time slot to look at your marketing you are more likely to ensure that you get your products in front of new prospective customers.
10. Make time to relax
Running a business can be hard work and there are times where you might feel that you are lacking creativity. One of the best ways to achieve this is to ensure that you make time to relax and to refill your own creativity. This could be taking a day off each month to take part in an activity that you enjoy or planning time into your day to enjoy a short walk out in nature.