Saturday, April 23, 2011
No one ever said that running your own business was easy. It is anything but a "walk in the park." Most of us don't do it for the money. We run our own businesses because we want to do something that we LOVE. And some of us don't want to work for other people. And some of us want to have the flexibility to work from home (and be with our kids, if you have kids). I am doing it for all of the above and more!
I have noticed that some entrepreneurs may find it a challenge to squeeze in time for all of the business administration stuff and having any time left over for your crafts. So here are a few advice from my own personal experiences. Feel free to comment and add any tips and advice that you may have yourself. I love having your feedback and comments.
1. Keep a daily planner and have a calendar.
I have a daily planner booklet that I keep in my purse and I do take it everywhere that I go.
I also have a calendar. You can have an old fashion calendar eraser board or paper calendar that you can write on. But I prefer to use the calendar on my smart phone (it's so much more convenient).
2. Have a smart phone (if you can afford one). This saves me so much time!
3. Plan out your day (by the hour!) and give yourself an estimated time to finish each task.
Treat your business like a REAL job because it is! If you don't take your business seriously, you won't be able to achieve your business goals and quit your day job (that's my goal) in a timely manner. I'm not getting any younger so time is money.
4. Label out each daily task that you have for the week. I usually fill out my calendar on Sunday night. Treat all of your tasks like homework that you must complete everyday. And please be realistic so that you don't overwhelm yourself.
5. Have a day off each week. I always make sure that I have at least 1 day each week (could be the same day each week or different days) that I have as my "Me Day." On this day, I treat it like my weekend for my business. I use it to relax, catch up on tasks that I am behind on, or I spend this time to make more craft for my shop.
6. So here is my typical daily tasks schedule (yours might be different from mine):
7 am- Check emails and enjoy morning coffee with breakfast
8am-print invoice and fill orders
9am- package orders for shipment (depends on the amount of orders it could take awhile, and I can't control the demands of my customers. You will have slow days and busy days. So adjust accordingly).
I try to finish everything so that I can get the shipment out by noon. I like to ship my items out as fast as I can so that my customers can get their stuff asap! No one wants to wait forever for their package to arrive. I know I don't!
And use this time to do your book keeping as well. Do your book keeping as you go because if you leave that kind of stuff to pile up, you will definitely fall behind.
Time in between here is where my Day Job takes place.
8pm- check emails again. Update my blog and Facebook. Hang around the team forums.
9pm- squeeze in some time for crafting.
Go to bed at around 12 am (midnight).
And on my day off...well, I can do whatever I want! :)
*Make sure you pick a day off that you normally don't get a lot of store activity*
When you are starting out (new business owners) it might be a bit of a challenge managing your time and schedules. But it will get easier over time. So hang in there my friend! The world is made up of millions of small businesses like yours and mine. And if other people can do it and be successful at it, then so can you!
**Please feel free to leave me comments on more tips and advice that you may have**
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
1. TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS
2. HOW TO REDUCE STRESS AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
3. WHERE DID ALL OF MY TIME GO?
4. HOW TO SQUEEZE IN MORE TIME FOR YOUR DAY
Monday, April 18, 2011
Lately I have been obsessed with decorating ideas with organization as the theme. Because I'm in the middle of a major move and still trying to keep things organized. I am always on the look-out for cute ways to decorate my craft room (and keep it practical at the same time). So these are just a collection of ideas that I have found for my own personal reference. I am a visual person, so I want to keep a record of cute ways to organize (on a budget) as I am gathering ideas to decorate my craft room. But I wanted to share my findings with you. I am sure that most crafters would love to have a "dream craft room." And many of us don't have the money or the know-how to do it without breaking the bank. I am not the best at decorating and I am a savvy shopper. But I also have a "dream craft room" look that I would like to achieve. Because I spend a lot of time in my craft room, so I might as well make it nice so that I can enjoy my creative time even more.
MIX AND MATCH FURNITURE.
Make use of your empty wall space by using peg boards to hang your tools and items. I have a lot of mix and match furniture and shelving. You can mix and match your furniture and make it work by keeping your work station organized. Use what you have. You don't have to go out and buy expensive furniture from Pottery Barn or other expensive furniture stores if you want a cute and practical craft room. If the mix and match of furniture bothers you, tie it all together by giving your furniture a cohesive shade of paint.
INSTEAD OF HANGING PICTURES ON THE WALL, MAKE IT A PRACTICAL SPACE BY HANGING UP MAGNETIC WHITE BOARDS AND CORK BOARDS INSTEAD!
Artful, Stylish, and Practical! You can get these at Walmart and Target for around $10 per board.
THIS CHAIR LOOKS COOL AND PRACTICAL
but it looks expensive. I would love to have one of these in my library room if I have the money. I have a thing for very quirky and unique furniture designs. And this chair is definitely one of them.
MAKE USE OF SPACE ON A DOOR!
Use the 3M tape that you can take off without hurting the surface or wall. Don't drill holes or hammer nails through your doors because if you mess up, a door can be pretty pricey to replace. The cheapest door that I have seen at the hardware store is over $100. So if you are like me (likes to change and redecorate often), please use the non-commitment tape and NEVER use nails!
A great blog for organization and decorating ideas:
USING A SHOE ORGANIZER FOR ART SUPPLIES!
You can purchase this hanging shoe organizer at Wal-mart or Target for about $12 or less.
PERFECT COLOR COORDINATION.
A little splash of color can make everything all tie together. This is a design trick to make your decorating project look expensive but won't put a hole in your pocket.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
*CUTE WAYS TO KEEP ORGANIZED
*MORE ORGANIZING IDEAS FOR YOUR CRAFT ROOM
Monday, April 11, 2011
This post and everything herein is in no way intended to be a self promoting or egotistical post. This is for my personal documentation of my own journey to how I got here. I like to document my journey along the road to success because, "It is not the Destination, It is the Journey."
PERSONAL JOURNAL FROM FEBRUARY 2011:
So I had made a decision to do what I love and that is Arts and Crafts. I am an all around crafter who started my love for arts and crafts when I was very young. I first started out with sewing because my grandmother and mom were both very good seamstress. And as I got older I have had a grown curiosities for all of the other forms of art. I pretty much do everything now except for floral arrangements and wood working...although I have dabbled in both as well. I have nothing against those 2 forms of crafts, it is just they are not as enjoyable for me (the wood working is pretty stressful with the tools, I find it too dangerous). Anyways, so it began with a passion and so I have made a conscious decision to try to make it work.
Here is my timeline:
- Opened Etsy shop in September 2010
- Opened a 2nd Etsy shop in October 2010
- Wasn't active until December 15, 2010
- Missed the holiday selling frenzy, so I brushed it off and planned for next year (2011).
- Listed more items in both shops.
- One shop had only 26 items (which had a goal to list more items)
- One shop had 50 to begin with and then slowly climbed up to 100-110.
- Started to join Etsy teams
- Joined a local team and didn't find it very helpful because it was too small
- Joined an international team and began to network.
- Joined more teams and read everything I can and connect with as many people as possible.
- Gave in and set up a Facebook page for my business
- Gave in and set up a blog for my business
- Wasn't getting what I wanted out of the Etsy teams, so I started my own team with a friend.
- 1st day we had almost 50 members joined
- 2nd day we had almost 100 members joined (it was 90 something).
- 3rd day we had about 150+ members joined
- 4th day, we went VIRAL, we got over 300 members that one day. I couldn't figure out why or how we were having so many members that day, and then I checked my email and then I knew why...Etsy featured our team in a daily email that they send out to their 5 millions+ shop owners. And our team was 1 of the 5 featured team.
- The membership keeps going up and up and up...so now on average we have been getting about 40-100 new members on a daily basis.
- It helps to have good information and a genuine heart to want to help others out. I am going on this journey and I am doing it with almost 1000 other shop owners on Etsy...this makes me happy because I am not alone anymore. And plus there are so many nice people that I have meet along the way that I feel so Blessed.
- Started to go crazy with networking
- Adding and sharing so many "likes" on facebook fanpage
- Following and sharing with so many blogs
- Started a Team blog.
- And after 2 weeks of networking, I got my stuff in some boutiques in town. And I still got a few more interested boutiques. Went to a networking event with other Etsians. And have at least 2 shows to attend for the next coming months.
- 500+ Facebook fans "likes"
- almost 100 blog followers
- Team was featured on Etsy email blast
- Got my stuff in boutiques
**If you like my "Personal Journal Series: Journey to Success," please comment and let me know that I have fans out there. If I get enough comments and feedback from my readers, I will keep this up and will posts more updates. Hopefully my "Personal Journal Series" will help some of you out :) And please write to me if you want me to cover a certain topic that I have not yet covered in my blog. I LOVE to give business advice and love to help others in anyway that I can. God Bless!**
I am currently in the middle of a major move to another state. I am sure that many of you can relate to me with being very stress out for any moving event. It is hard enough to just move my personal stuff alone, but having to pack ALL of my business up and move that too is a lot of work and time. I will add more blog updates in a few days while I have to juggling traveling and moving at the same time. Thank you for being patience with me. And I really appreciate all of your support.
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Have you ever met someone who have been very successful in what they do for a living and to top it off, it so happens to be that they LOVE their job? And then you think to yourself, "That person is so Lucky, and why can't I be that lucky?"
Well, maybe on the surface, it may seem like that person is very Lucky. But have you ever stop the envious attitude and think how that person got to where they are today? It might have taken them many years and taking many baby steps to get to where they are. And as a business owner, you know how many long and hardworking hours it takes to become successful. I had an idea for my business about 1 year ago...but it took me a year later, to have it up and running. And even then, I am still working very hard every day trying to maintain the business so that it does not fall apart.
Take for example, Donald Trump, he has declared Bankruptcy many years before and he was hundreds of millions of dollars (up to his ears) in debt. But he worked hard and smarter and turned his fortune around. And now he is a very successful business man.
Michael Kors: one the most well known American designers, and a judge on Project Runway. Have also declared Bankruptcy many years ago and came back stronger than ever. In addition, it took him so many years to get to where he is today. The fashion industry is very cut-throat and the competition is very fierce. You are as Heidi Klume said,"One day you are in, and the next day, you are out." And if you have watched Project Runway, you see how hard the contestant have to work and how much pressure they are in. They really have to be "in it to win it."
10 STEPS TO CREATING YOUR OWN LUCK
1. Don't just talk about it, do it.
2. Have patience.
3. Be perserverance.
4. Be determined.
5. Be passionate about what you do.
6. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
7. Put in the hours.
8. Can't be lazy.
9. Market yourself like crazy.
10. NEVER GIVE UP.
Oprah doesn't believe in luck. She said that being lucky is the result of preparation meeting up with the right opportunity. And do you of anyone out there who is more successful than Oprah? And who have gone through so much trial and tribulation in her life? Oprah pretty much grew up in poverty and abuse and rise to where she is today. I do not call that Luck because she has worked very hard and she is very passionate in what she does.