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10 Ways to Work On Your Business, Not In It

Most creative people start a handmade business because they are creative and want to MAKE something.They probably don’t start a business because they love running a business.

The problem is that those are the exact tasks that make a business grow.

As hard as it might sound, you should spend as much time (or more) each week making your business grow as you do making your product.

When you do that, you see things like this happen:

  • You get past the early “here is my product!! It’s great!!” posts on social media and get to the really good stuff that makes your target customer want to follow you.
  • All your photos and descriptions are top-notch and help sell your products when people see them in your shop.
  • Your expenses and income are well-tracked so you know your company is making money even after allowing for all the expenses and fees that go into it and <gasp!> paying yourself a decent wage.

The goal here is to have more orders coming in than you can handle so you can do things like raise your prices, turn down people who ask for discounts, and invest in better tools that help you be more efficient in making your products.

You don’t get there by spending more time at the sewing machine or in the woodshop.

So let’s start easy. Spend one hour a day working on improving your business. Here are some tasks you could do:

  1. Open a Business Checking Account
  2. Buy (and learn) a basic accounting software
  3. Learn Photoshop or Illustrator
  4. Learn a little more about your target customer… look at the profiles of the last 5 people who bought from you and find other things they “Favorited” (assuming you’re an Etsy seller)
  5. Come up with a social media post that has nothing to do with your product and is something your target customer might find useful
  6. Find and watch a video about how Facebook ads work
  7. Find five competitors. For each one, list out five things your products have in common and five things that are different.
  8. Look at your process and figure out how you could cut 10 minutes off every product you make
  9. Call a local store and see if they would be interested in carrying your product
  10. If #9 terrifies you, find a video channel on YouTube that teaches basic sales/selling skills

These are just a few ideas. There are potentially THOUSANDS. If one gets frustrating, try something else.

You should find after a couple of weeks that your business is starting to function better… and that’s just on one hour a day, every day. Imagine what two or three hours a day could do!

You might also want to check out the “Five Things to STOP Doing in your Small Business” post as well.

If you want to keep the discussion going and get several tips on running your business every week, join my Facebook Group! (and be sure to answer the questions… I only accept new members who answer them)

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  1. Pingback: Keeping up with the Joneses | WaltzWorks

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