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

#HBPmyhandemadebiz Instagram Challenge

Kerri Tutton

This challenge is now closed

Have you ever wanted to get more involved with Instagram but you have been stuck for images to post?  Or perhaps you want to share a little more about your business but needed some ideas on what would be interesting.

Come and join the Handmade Biz Planner photo a day, Instagram challenge to help kick 2017 off with some creative images of your business and have some fun along the way.

How to play:

  1. Share the above image with your creative friends who might want to have some fun too
  2. Follow @handmadebizplanner on Instagram where I will be running daily prompts
  3. Take a photograph of the 'prompt for the day' + upload it to your IG feed
  4. Remember to tag @handmadebizplanner #HBPmyhandmadebiz

This is a fantastic opportunity for you to create an album of photographs about your creative business, it will be even more amazing when you look back on them in a year or two's time to see how far along you have progressed.

Take this opportunity to be inspired to create, to be inspired by others creations and be brave, go and say hi to other crafters (it will make their day).  This is your online opportunity to network, get creative and increase your experience in IG.  Come and go as you please from the challenge and most of all, have fun.

I will post my top 3 fav's for each prompt throughout the challenge, keep an eye out to see if I pick yours!

    To be notified of the next challenge, email HBP here

    How to save 2 hours a day responding to customer comments on your social media accounts

    Kerri Tutton

    You have a great business, your products is selling like hotcakes you love working from home and the variety that a solo biz brings, but you are really really busy and totally wish you had an extra 2 hours in the day to answer all the lovely comments you receive on social media. The trouble is your also quite resistant to spending long periods on your phone, so what's the solution?

    Well, find below 5 key wins to help you organise and plan your social media so you save time over needing more time.

    1. Create your Social Media uploads in batch

    Schedule a regular time with yourself to create all your social media uploads for the following week.  This may seem a little overwhelming at first, so just start with 5, this is a simple one upload per weekday which you can use across all your SM accounts.

    2. Research the best times to update your feed

    There are certain times and days when the viewing of certain social media sites peek, Work out the time that your audience is out there looking at social media to get the best hit rate for your efforts.

    2. Schedule your uploads + feedback through a one stop shop scheduler

    After you have created your weeks social media try scheduling it all through a scheduler.  Hootsuite offer the ability to do this a with a variety of sites + you can manage all your feedback from one source instead of dipping into each app on your phone. [Cue fist pump]

    4. Schedule your feedback

    Science says it can take up to 30 minutes to return your attention to what you were doing before an interruption, so if you are getting distracted by a notification ping or the thought came in your head to check your phone 5/6 times a day, that's a heap of lost activity! Turn off the notifications and write down your social media feedback process.

    Schedule 5-10 minutes at 3 or 4 allotted points in the day to provide feedback to your customers that left comments on your SM sites.  This can be done through your dashboard if you using an application like Hootsuite.

    Or use this as a multi tasking opportunity too, so if your in the post office queue, or waiting to pick up the kids, you can make that your feedback time too.

    Other reading (coming soon)

    • Behind the scenes at HBP: How I create my social media uploads in batch
    • The best time for Social Media uploading
    • Testing Auto Schedulers
    • Social Media Etiquette & How to give great feedback.





    What's a Retro?

    Kerri Tutton

    A 'Retro' stands for Retrospective, which means to look back on or deal with past events or situations.  To run a Retro, usually means waiting until the end of an event, project or milestone to then commit some focussed quality time on reviewing 3 simple items;

    • What worked?
    • What didn't work?
    • How can I make it better?

    This simple process is an excellent method for finding the gold and it is also a fantastic method to extract the elements that didn't work so well, creating you the opportunity to see how you could make it better.  

    By consistently running a Retro amongst your business you will create a healthy pattern in reviewing work for the best possible outcome as well as increasing your abilities to see the positive in all you do, progressing forward creating ideas to perfect your service, your products and your business processes.

    Step One : What worked?

    This is when you would breakdown what actions you would you definitely do again.  Thinking about the Yes factor.  Yes this worked, why did it work? Was it about the timing? The quality? The impact, the audience, the process or the pattern? Who is qualifying the YES? Is that you for an internal process or your customer through a survey?  Find the little wins and celebrate them regularly.  This is the key to staying in the creative game with a positive mental attitude.

    A great example could be the communications you have with your customers.  On review you may be particularly fast and super friendly to respond to new orders which you know is definitely working as you are receiving feedback for a fast and wonderful service.  So you keep this in mind and create criteria's for 'when' and 'how' you get in touch with a customer and you formulate this into your business process.

    Step Two: What didn't work?

    You were so fast on setting up your shipping cost section online that you ended up out of pocket on an order.  On analysis you realised you had a national postage cost duplicated in the international postage.  This doesn't work well for your profits.  You have a difficult choice, either absorb the cost as your mistake or ask the customer for more money.  Down the track you are now armed with the correct costs so you can update your shipping prices to prevent future profit loss or an awkward conversation with a customer.  To prevent this happening again, you may even put a double checker process in place.

    Step Three: How can I make it better?

    Because you have taken the time out to review your shipping process you spot an opportunity to add something new to the mix.  You asked yourself, how can I make this better? Is there a way I can get repeat business from my super happy customers?  So you brainstorm some idea's which results in you popping discount codes in with you customer's order to keep your customers returning feeling even happier because they were given a sweet deal.

    The Retro is a magnificent tool to use and it extends out to real life too.  You know those moments when you had an interaction that doesn't end up feeling too good.  That's the time to do a retro, have a think about how you could have made that situation work differently or better, because I guarantee, you will probably get a second chance at it sooner rather than later.

    Retro Digital Download

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    Related Reads (coming soon)

    5 Biz processes to rock a retro

    The Retro that closed my business down

    How a Retro is the pathway to an epiphany 

    The non negotiable Retro Rule No. 1