Crafters who are starting out on new business using your creative talents- sit up and take note of April of Blacksburg Belle!
If you work full time (like me) and if you feel that you never have enough time for your creative business – you need to watch this video and this video by April.
April shared some great ideas – these are things I’ve always kind of known but never quite made the connection between theory and practice. Here are the points that I like and what I’m going to do for each:
Wake up early to work on my creative business
April talks about getting up early and tackling creative business tasks in the morning while we’re still fresh. Most often, I plan to make products or list items at night on weekdays but this never ever happens cos I’m either too tired or I’ve reached home very late due to traffic. This point appeals to me as I’m usually up by 6.15 every morning and I have about an hour of time (that I usually dwindle on non-business tasks like reading the paper) before I have to get ready for work.An hour a weekday will give me 5 hours of productive “studio” time or blog time for my business and I am sure that I will be at my freshest at that time.
Go easy on the heavy-duty marketing
I was also struck by what she said about marketing for a new business. Without spending time to make more products that will lead to sales – there IS no business! I keep forgetting this point and I have been busy thinking up business cards, brochures and blog parties to market my business – which technically hasn’t taken off by leaps and bounds yet!Of course, one has to market the business and let people know it is there but for a new business to take off well, it is more important to have products to sell! (Got a nice rhyme to it, aint it?)
Concentrate on high-leverage tasks
In one of my previous posts, I was rambling about trying to finish off this and that in April. Though making products figured right at the top of that list – I have since then realized that I was giving too much importance to other tasks like socializing and networking without actual contact with others (read wasting time on Facebook and lurking around craft blogs without commenting!) Thankfully, I have been creating new pieces consistently during the past month, so my business is not in such a bad shape – but I haven’t made enough items to reach my full potential yet.
As April says, I’m going to concentrate on high-leverage tasks from now on:
- Make more products – I will try to create products at least 2 to 3 days a week.I’ve joined the Bead Table Wednesdays group on Flickr to jump start my creativity.
- Write better product descriptions-Geez, I’m a professional writer and that makes me pretty cocksure that I’ve got this down pat…but reading my item descriptions later always makes me cringe! So I’ve got to spend more time writing smart descriptions!
- Scheduling blog posts – starting today, I’m going to try and write 3 or 4 blog posts before hand so that I’m not running in circles trying to find topics to blog about.
- Improving my products– I don’t want to keep making the same thing or keep using the same materials. This is why, I’ve started deviating from my usual style and comfort zone while making my recent batch of earrings.
Go offline during creative time and use commuting time to read mails/posts/listen to podcasts
I’ve been reading blogs about improving productivity, I’ve signed up for a lot of emails on creative businesses but reading all that content has left me with no time to make anything. From now on, I’m going to go offline during creative time (mornings) and instead I will use my 45 minute commute to stay up-to-date with the helpful stuff in my inbox. I’m not having any more of this information overload business happening!
The tasks that are not on my high priority list for now are:
- worrying about my branding and marketing strategies
- looking for constant inspiration by lurking on blogs
- subscribing to email courses and services that do not help me create and only contribute to clutter in my inbox.
- learning new techniques – I will limit my learning time to 1 or days per month so that I don’t waste the time I can spend in creating things in ways that I already know.
How will you make time for your business this month?
What is your creative biz schedule like?