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Blogs for creatives who are looking to turn their handmade hobby into a productive and successful handmade business.

Procrastination to Productivity in 6 Steps

Kerri Tutton

 Handmade Biz Planner Blog Procrastination to Productivity in 6 Steps

As a creative developing your own business, it is totally understandable that at some point, sometime soon even, that you will get totally distracted and overwhelmed by all the things that you want to get done in your biz.

You might find yourself

  • spending more time writing your to do list than crossing it off
  • bouncing between unfinished tasks then bouncing on to another one
  • creating more and more ideas and trying to work on them
  • procrastinating about what or how to do the next task, but not actually doing it

If this sounds like you, then it may be time to invest in a system / method or process to help you experience the satisfaction of completing a task and boosting you to get some actual work done.

In my continuous search for answers to 'How can I do this better', I discovered an article by James Clear which inspired me to test the 'Ivy Lee Method' a repetitive cycle of 6 steps to assist in reaching peak productivity.

I'm testing it now, this is my Day 1.  These are the steps:

The Ivy Lee Method

  1. At the end of each day, write down six tasks you need to accomplish tomorrow
  2. Prioritise these task in order of importance
  3. When you start working the list, focus on only the first task until it is completed
  4. Repeat with the rest of the list, in order
  5. What is not finished on this day, move to the task list for the following day
  6. Continuously repeat this process

This task list method is basic enough to prevent you from getting too overwhelmed with the enormity of having to complete 'all the things' and simple enough to avoid getting too detailed about the work ahead.  

There is another benefit of this approach. How many times have you written a to do list and one or two items always seem to get trumped?  Which means by the end of your working week, you still have the 'filing' or 'expenses' on the to do list?  Well this method ensure that tasks are not forgotten and that they are all completed.

If I get to the end of today and I have 2 tasks left on my list.  They go to the top of tomorrow's list and I then add 4 more tasks in order of importance. Nothing is left.

There are a couple of key behaviours that you need to make this Ivy Lee method work for you.  The first is that you need to commit to attending to your list as a daily event, until it turns into a habit. The second, is that you ensure you prioritise in order of importance, rather than preference.

If you are running your handmade biz tasking yourself what you prefer to do, rather what needs to be done, you are not running a business, you are still in hobby mode.  If you are not sure how to prioritise your tasks, then create a criteria for your business, these should be influenced by your Mission, Vision statement. 

Have a go at the Ivy Lee method, or share with us your top method for avoiding procrastination and getting productive in your handmade business.

Want to road test the Ivy Lee Method?

Join the Handmade Biz Planner and use the Daily Planner in the free Biz Kit to list your 6 tasks for the day. 

By joining HBP you will also receive the link to the Facebook Group 'The Hangout' where you can bounce creative ideas and challenges with other makers.


5 Tips on How To Use Your Business Card

Kerri Tutton


One of the most popular items that you think you may need at the beginning of creating your business will be a business card. The question is, do you really need a business card when you are working in the handmade industry?

With a fair few boxes of business cards in my cupboard to match my previous business ideas plus quite a healthy addiction to stationery, I am probably not the best person to be advising you, however I can share with you some productive ways to use a business card and some electronic alternatives.

Now before technology became what it is today, I used to watch business cards flying around all the time, especially in my young London years working in the executive firms.  Dependant on the company and the ego's I was working with, the presentation of a business card sometimes became laughable.

Apart from representing your company and being quite possibly the first impression behind the brand, there was a purpose to that card.  We needed that number or email because we didn't have a smartphone to record all the details or look up the business on Google.

Business Card branding has really taken off also , just look at the amazing cards that are being designed today via this Business Card Pinterest Board

Here are a few other ways to use your card within your business...

A Customer Order

I received an impeccably wrapped order when I purchased a ring holder via an Etsy seller and within the packaging was the business card + another discount card.  Of course I don't really need the business card as Etsy has my purchase history, but I can forward the card now to someone else as a recommendation.

Market or Event Stall

You don't want to work your fingers to the bone preparing for an event or market stall, only to be requested for a business card and not have one.  That is of course a potential sale gone out the window as more often than not you will come across customers that fit into the 'Considered Purchaser' category. (learn what that is in the blog: 'What purchase type is my customer?')

Don't fret though, as I learnt last year at a local Business Womens Network by the Digital Marketing expert to 3 Ingredients - don't worry about not having a card and simply get your customer to follow you on your Facebook or Instagram account. (after all, all your contact details are linked to those accounts anyway).

Thus increasing your popularity on social media and providing your customer the opportunity to look at your old and up and coming products.

Product Cards/Tags

When I ran my handmade jewellery business I created myself a multi purpose business card, not only did it display info about my business as well as represent my brand with it's colours, logo and design - it doubled up as a jewellery tag and holder for displays.

Business Meetings & Networking Events

It is always handy to have a card to represent you and your business when heading to a meeting, especially if you are going to be networking with others. It's a quick hit to pull out a card and leave it with someone, especially if for any reason is not appropriate to be jumping on the social media wagon straight away.

Another option is to have your business card set up in your phone with a photo and sending it to your new business pal.  This way, not only will you have their details, but they will have yours plus a face to the name. (Because we always remember the face - just not the name).

Business Prizes

You can't put your iPhone in the fishbowl can you? But you can put a Business Card.  Yep you will find after going to a few networking events that there is always a prize where a local business will donate something sweet for a little bit of advertising.  

You will definitely need a card for this!

Do you use your business card in a different way? I'd love to hear them. Share your idea's below.

What Are My Customer Touchpoints?

Kerri Tutton

 Handmade Biz Planner - Business Foundations - What are my customer touch points?

A customer touchpoint is defined by where your customer touches or experiences your business. It is the journey they take when they engage in your company.

By stopping to analyse your customers touchpoints starting from the beginning to the end of a transaction and beyond,  you will begin to see opportunities on where to improve your customers experience.

This valuable information can assist you to make decisions that could improve the quality or the speed of your service.  As a result you may find that you sell more products, receive more references, gain new customers, make a bigger profit and become more successful in different measures in the business.

To truly understand touchpoints for your business you need to think like one of your customers and consider the experience they are having before, during and after their transaction with you.

Examples of Customer Touch Points

  • Company Website
  • Social Media
  • Online Market Shop
  • Invoicing/Billing
  • Order Process
  • Advertising
  • Promotions
  • Telephone Calls
  • Word of mouth
  • Testimonials
  • Surveys

These are some major touch points which can be broken down further, during the purchasing process and even extended after (to encourage return customers). Below, are the stages in a customers journey with a business, where you can find these examples:

Customer touchpoint Stage 1 - Before Purchase

This is when your customer first discovers your business, be it through friends, advertising or searching for a solution to a problem.

  • Advertising
  • Social Media Feeds
  • Blog
  • Word of Mouth
  • Product Reviews
  • Testimonials

Customer touchpoint Stage 2 - During Purchase

This is the point of sale for your customer depending on how you choose to sell your product.

  • Retail Store
  • Online Store
  • Market Stall
  • Sales Representative

Customer touchpoint Stage 3 - After Purchase

How do you care for your customer after they have purchased your products and do you have any touchpoints there?

  • Billing/Receipt Confirmation
  • Thank you Card / Discounts
  • Customer Survey 
  • Marketing information relevant to their preferences
  • Birthday gifts

Once you have spent the time to identify all the touchpoints in your customers journey, you will have a clear customer experience map of your business.

Analyse this map and check if it is all working as you anticipated, are you customers happy with the experience? Can it be improved? How could you make it better?

By ensuring this is a smooth and seamless experience for your customers, with them knowing you have them in mind - it will lead to greatly satisfied and loyal customers.