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

What Should I Charge For Labour Costs In My Handmade Biz?

Kerri Tutton

handmade-biz-planner-what-should-i-charge-for-labour-costs-in-my-handmade-biz 

This is a SUPER DOOPER question and one that challenges many of us creatives.  

Firstly though, the fact that you have asked this question is fabulous so give yourself a pat on the back, as it means that you are thinking about your business product pricing seriously and you are not giving away your handmade products as a labour of love. (which is also fine btw - if you are running a hobby not a business).

So where to start?

For those of you that already have a job and your goal is to replace the day job, you may choose to use your current hourly rate to start with.  For those not earning what they want to earn, you may jump to calculating the hourly rate from a salary that takes your fancy.

Some of you may feel a bit awky about choosing an hourly rate, so your option is to add on a profit amount - go careful with this though as some of your handmade creations may take longer to make than others, you do want to have some consistency with your pricing to encourage your customers to trust they are getting a fair price.

Another option is to research what it would cost your business if you were to take on a staff member. Especially if you have a longterm goal to grow, you may need to consider at some stage paying an hourly rate, GST or VAT and Superannuation contributions perhaps.

Which ever way you choose to select your rate, the most important part now is to ensure you are incorporating the charges for the time you spend creating your product into your 'Cost Price'.  

Now for some of you, you may have lots of different techniques that you may need to consider.  As a jewellery maker I would often find that the time I spent on a new technique/design would often shorten the more I practiced, so be sure to re-asses the timing of your labour, to ensure you are charging correctly.

Then when you feel that you are more experience, you may decide to increase your rate (you are after all the boss now, so don't forget to give yourself a pay rise).

Once you have established your business and you want to move to the next phase, it would even be worth your while to consider other labour costs to your business such as time spent on:

  • Packaging
  • Quality Assurance Testing
  • Taking Product Photographs 
  • Listing Products
  • Delivering Products to the Post Office
  • Financials
  • Procurement of Business Materials
  • Conference and Meetings

Remember your day job, there is someone being paid to do all of the above, don't think for a minute that just because you are running a handmade business that you don't qualify to charge for it as well, just remember, who would you be paying if you had a staff member to do your job!

That's right - make sure you pay yourself and know your worth.


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The Handmade Comparison Trap

Kerri Tutton

'Her stuff is amazing, I love her work, omg look at her photo's they are perfect, is that what she is charging? Wow look how many followers she has, I wish I had that many, how did she get so many so soon? oh my goodness her website is awesome, uh - another day without a sale, I just don't think my work is good enough, what's the point - I just can't see myself quitting the day job at this rate.'

Does this sound familiar?  Does this sound like your negative self talk? Is it shortly followed with a burning sensation that connects with feelings of inadequacy, a little bit of jealousy and a low self esteem? Only to be wrapped in a deep upset that you want to be successful so badly but you just can't see yourself getting there and 'how is she making it look so easy?.

Okay darling, let me pour you a Kezza strength G&T and give you a sisterly slap around your beautiful chops. JUST STOP.

STOP

  • Stop focusing your start with somebody elses middle
  • Stop thinking about how many sales they are making - you really don't know
  • Stop assuming all those followers are real (did you see how many likes they got?)
  • Stop looking at their biz thinking its all roses then homing in on your biz worts
  • Stop the negative self talk
  • Stop underestimating yourself
  • Stop holding yourself back
  • STOP COMPARING*

*Unless your doing valid relevant market research with another large Kezza G&T

START

  • Start appreciating everything you have achieved so far in your business
  • Start planning what else you would like to create 
  • Start thinking about other creative ways you can bring an income into your business
  • Start being strategic about encouraging more followers to check out your feed
  • Start creating clarity on what your idea of business success is
  • Start talking to yourself positively about your business
  • Start challenging yourself 
  • Start backing yourself
  • START GOAL DIGGING

It is not sustainable to be stuck in the rut of a comparison trap, your business will fail little by little bit by bit because your energy is focussed outwards not inwards.

If you are going to look at another creatives business, look at what they are doing right and acknowledge how wonderful it is with humble appreciation, perhaps consider professionally critiquing what could be done better, look at what works and acknowledge that there are awesome business women out there - JUST LIKE YOU.

Try not to allow your developing self esteem and confidence be reduced because you didn't have the strength to think positively about what you are creating.  Understand that nobody in business has all the answers and that we are all learning something new every single day, we are all making mistakes and we all have off days.

Creating a small business to a level of success that replaces a consistent income takes time, it takes patience, resilience and lots of mistakes.  You need to go out into the world and put your flag in lots of places pointing them to your place.  

You have got to get busy being so good that everyone else is looking at you and admiring your work.

You have got this -  get out of the comparison trap and get busy loving your work.

Kez x 

 

How is your relationship with money effecting your business decisions?

Kerri Tutton

Handmade Biz Planner Blog How is your relationship with money effecting your business decisions

This is a really interesting subject matter and can also be quite confronting, it is also an essential area of life to be totally honest with yourself in, as well as visiting with an open mind to see where you can improve.

The purpose of this blog is to trigger an assessment of your relationship with money, to encourage you to review your history learning about money and see where you developed your attitudes towards money.  It is also an opportunity to review the language you use when you talk about it and think deeply about how money makes you feel. 

Then consider all this information and reflect on how your relationship with money is effecting the way you run your business.

I have to admit my relationship with money has changed massively and it has taken years of practice to get to where I am at now (and believe me there is still room for improvement).  

In a bid to help you and at the same time learn more about myself, I'm going to share my story with you in case it resonates, strikes a cord or drops a seed in a bid to hopefully help you along your way with your relationship with money. 


My introduction to the world of money was watching both my mum and dad work over 12 hours a day, 7 days a week managing their own newsagent and grocery business.  They worked hard and their answer to when the finances got tight was to take out more debt, this was a repetitive cycle until it became unmanageable, when the final solution was to sell the business, the house and start again debt free.

This was sustainable for a few house moves until the housing market crumbled and there was no where else to go but manage the debt.  Without the proper tools and guidance to change their behaviour (as this wasn't an era where people went outside for help) this created a lot of stress and anxiety which meant lots of arguments in our household on the topic of money and not being able to buy what was wanted and in many cases, what was needed.

This foundation of learning sent me off into my twenties determined to earn lots of money so  I could buy whatever I wanted when ever I wanted it. (yes I know - naive little thing wasn't I?)

I unknowingly took on my parents programming with finances. That time in my life was mainly spent sticking a card in a cash machine pressing my digits and crossing my fingers, if there was too much month at the end of the money I'd go into debt to go out, my budget put entertainment on each line and all the essentials were last, there was no such thing as savings and I used the words, 'I'm broke', 'I can't' or 'its too expensive' a lot, as I was constantly living in the 3.5 week low self esteem fog after payday.

I unconsciously associated with a belief that I needed to be earning as much money as possible to survive this financial lacking, so I jumped around the city of London taking pay increase after pay increase without much thought for longevity, wellbeing or developing a specialism.  Of course this was not sustainable, as soon as September 11th disaster hit, the whole city went in lockdown.

Then I realised that earning money wasn't the answer, it was how to be smart with the money I had worked hard for and make it work for me that was key.  That key of course took another 10 years to find the door of evolution as my road to personal development was delayed somewhat. I still hadn't worked out what was important to me yet as I was too busy partying in Ibiza!

Once making the effort to improve my relationship with money, it became obvious I had spent a significant amount of my life being programmed and programming myself with a language associated with money that was very negative. I used money (or lack there of) as a reason not to do things in life and I had also created an unhealthy association with low self esteem and my low financial status.

When analysing whether a product was worth the price tag I had made an association with the word 'expensive' to my current financial lacking or inability to afford that product.  It hadn't occurred to me to qualify it if was worth the price by comparing it to a similar product on the market.  I certainly never considered how much time and effort went into the creation or distribution of that item, the materials it was made out of or what was behind the brand of the product. 

So imagine the damage I was doing to my first handmade jewellery business when I left for home after no sales at the end of a day at the markets, with a low self esteem my mistake was to naturally assume my prices were off, reduce them and return to that emotional fog of the post payday of 3.5 weeks.

This would spiral into 'The Handmade Comparison Trap' and I would question my own business existence, my own talent and eventually my own existence in the future of creating my own successful business, which as we all know isn't a winning formula for success.

It was time to change my relationship with money and here are four tips on how I accomplished this;

Make a choice to develop a different relationship with money

It starts right here.  Any personal mission that you decide to journey on starts with you making a decision to be better than what you are now.  It doesn't start with your partner nagging you to make a change (as that change is to cull the nagging).

Make a deal with yourself, an agreement a bet or a challenge.  Encourage yourself with positive self talk, give yourself a goal no matter how small and treat yourself after you have achieved it.

Any teeny tiny change in your world - starts and ends with you and don't delude yourself into thinking that spouting affirmations of each morning with no follow up or action is going to win you that race - its not. Think about what you need to do, talk about what you need to do, then action what you need to do, it is your behaviour that will determine the outcome.

Remove emotion from financial decisions

Have clear reasons and benefits for making a financial decision in your business.  Ask yourself if you expect there to be a return on investment?  If so when?

If you are in start up mode and keen to buy a new application product to support your business, ask yourself if there is a free or lower cost version.  For example; Are you really ready for a $200 inventory application for your 3 months old business? or would you benefit from writing your inventory out in the beginning using paper or and xls spreadsheet? 

Reprogram your financial language

Are you the mate that your friend calls who is always talking about how broke you are, always talking about the bills that need to be paid?  Do you often use words like 'I can't' or 'it's too expensive' in reference to money? 

Alright let's be brutally honest, 'you actually can' - you are just choosing not to. You have a choice on how to spend your money, you have control to bring more money in and you control the money the money does not actually control you. (sound like a pep talk? - good, it is).

Start by being more positive about the way you talk about abundance and be grateful for what you have in your life and you will start to see more of this visual developing.  The quicker you change your thought process on how you think and feel about money and how grateful you are with everything you have right now - the quicker your language will change and your experience with it.  You may even find that your mate calls you more often!

In summary, make a choice to address improving your relationship with money and explore decisions that make good common sense for your business. Be honest with yourself re money and definitely encourage yourself to speak and think positively about money.

You will be much much happier in the long term.

Kez x

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How Do I Price My Handmade Products?

Kerri Tutton

Handmade Biz Planner Blog How do I price my handmade products?

So in this blog I will share with you some basic information on how you can price your handmade products, using a simple formula to achieve your retail and wholesale price.

Now there are a few things that can effect your price and I'm not just talking about the obvious items like material rates and time spent making and postage, so I am going to suggest you read a couple of other interesting articles to help you with some of the not so obvious but very valid 'money stuff'

The first one that will be super beneficial to you is 'How is your relationship with Money effecting your business decisions' as this addresses your underlying thoughts and attitudes you may have about affordability which could play havoc with the way you price or discount your products.

Another tough cookie to overcome, is to ensure you put a line in the sand between the damaging emotional turmoil when we get caught in 'The Comparison Trap'. Again, this can have an impact on our pricing due if our self worth drops too low and its looking for outlets - your price tags!

The Basic Product Price Formula

This formula is a simple and basic one to get you started in your small business.  Later when you are ready to take your business to the next level, you should read The Professional Product Price formula as this will incorporate the costs of running your business (which you won't have just yet if you have only just started out).

  • Cost of Materials + Labour Cost = Cost Price
  • Cost Price x 2 = Wholesale Price
  • Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price

Cost Price 

The Cost price is the total price of how much it was to make your product.  This is a combination of adding up the costs of all the components in your piece to the labour involved making it.         Let's say your making a pair of beaded earrings and the components total is $2.50.

To work out the labour costs, you need to know your hourly rate and the time it took to make your piece.  Say you choose to pay yourself a $30 per hour rate and the wire wrap earrings you
make take 15 minutes to create, tag + pack.  This would make the labour cost for this product $7.50.  

Materials Price at $2.50 + Labour Cost at $7.50 = Cost Price of $10.00
NOTE: The above info also tells you that you can make 4 pairs of earrings an hour so if you get a wholesale bulk order of 20 pairs of these earrings, you know to allot 5 hours to make them.

Wholesale Price

You now have the foundation to create your wholesale price, this is the price you sell to a store owner who perhaps wants to buy your products in bulk.  They would then sell your products at their retail price.

Now the basic product price formula suggests to multiply your cost price by 2 and sell this pair of earrings for $20 wholesale.  This gives you $10 to cover the cost of making them and you now have another $10 in your pocket.  

Retail Price

The retail price is what the customer pays who visits you at your market stall or your online stall. If you decided to sell direct to your customer, you would take your wholesale price and x 2 and sell the same earrings for $40. Putting $10 to cover the cost and $30 in your pocket.

Now the decision comes down to you on if you wish to sell wholesale or retail or both.  Many creators will think, 'well why don't I just sell retail as I make more money?' This is true, however if you are a new business you may not have a following yet to make those sales.  Plus the benefit of selling wholesale is that your buyer will purchase a larger quality in one go.

The other benefit is that the lovely boutique shop down the road may have been operating for longer than you they have a following of regular customers.  By getting your product in front of those customer, you could entice some of those customers to buy your product there and then come to you direct next time.  

Be flexible and research

Overall my recommendation to you regarding your pricing is to be confident about your product, remember you are a business and be  fluid with your price.

Remember to use a variety of external factors too,  research other similar products, connect with your ideal customer spending habits and get feedback from trusted sources.

The last tip, is to revisit your pricing on a regular basis. Trends change, rates of materials and postage changes too, avoid getting caught out with diminished profits because it wasn't on your retro list.


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    Your Free Biz Kit

    Download your instant and FREE Handmade Business Planner Biz Kit + monthly HBP mail.

    It includes:

    • 30 Crucial tips for starting a handmade business eBook
    • A downloadable + printable Daily Planner
    • A downloadable + printable Instagram Planner
    • 2017 quick view calendar

    How To Reduce Small Business Overwhelm By Simply Writing Things Down

    Kerri Tutton

    Handmade Biz Planner Blog How to Reduce Small Business Overwhelm by simply writing things down

    About 10 years ago I took a leap of faith and restarted my life moving from the Beautiful Byron Bay in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales Australia, up the coast to the stunning Beaches of Noosa in the Sunshine Coast.  I found in a fantastic little spot overlooking the river at Gympie Terrace and during this time of renew, I made a decision to write ever single day.

    I'd make myself a cup of coffee each morning and I'd open up my A4 Black and Red hardback book and after pitching the date in the top right hand corner of my page I would release.  Now for a 30 year old who had just moved to a new town, you wouldn't think I would have too much to write about however I was brimming.

    I would list all the things I was grateful for in my life as well as write about what I wanted to create in my life be it things, experiences and people. I would create how I wanted my life to be on paper and I would consistently give thanks for all that I had.

    I had recently discovered how to write positive affirmations so I would create them to help me feel better if I was feeling low and many times I would attempt to manifest the Australian Visa I had applied for at this time.  I would write what could be considered spells, to release me from my failed marriage and I would also write hilarious and encouraging letters to friends.  

    When I look back now I realise I was writing to heal and to create, I was releasing all the elements in my life that either needed to be gone or I was developing new experiences onto paper. It was massively healing and freeing and I felt like I was carrying less and less on my shoulders the more words I wrote.

    I love writing and I am not just talking about creating content, but the actual physical act of writing.  I like a clean, curl and crease free page of paper usually on the right hand side of a preferably new book ready for ink. I absolutely love a smooth pen that glides across the paper, you know the type, the one you borrow and it writes so perfectly that you actually consider keeping it! It doesn't have to be a fancy pen with a fancy price tag either, in fact I have fallen for those old ones with an attractive click everytime the ball point lifts off the page.

    Writing works for me, so I write my to do lists, I write my plans, I write when I am stressed and I need to heal and I write when I am creative and I want to share.  It's pretty apt that I have ended up creating tools for us creatives that encourages you to step away from the computer and smartphone to slow down and write it down.

    Writing is good for relaxing as it is quite meditative, your brain will focus more on the words so you can easily transfer all you are holding on to in that moment with the power of the pen.  Most importantly, it reduces stress and overwhelm by simply slowing down.  You simply do not need to remember everything.  Write it down, if it is a to do list item, a process, or how you feel - release it to a page and watch your shoulders relax, your head will calm and you will be breathing easier.

    Here's a few other examples of how you can bring writing into your business world and reduce the overwhelm.

    1. Write about your 'Why'

    Write a story about why you started doing what you do and why you are motivated to run your business.  This is a fantastic opportunity to describe how you feel about your craft, to share what drives you to do what you do.  You could use this as a point of reference on a tough day, you could share this with your customers so they can get to know and trust you more.

    2. Write a Morning Process

    Write down 3-5 tasks that you must do each and every morning to become your morning process.  These are non negotiable items that must be completed that will help your working day. Set the foundation of each day with these tasks to set you up for success, then have that yummy satisfaction of crossing them off your list as you complete them. 

    3. The art of gratitude

    Writing about what you are grateful for will really change your emotional set point.  Make time in your day to write down all the things in your business that you are really happy to have.  At first it may be a little difficult and feel a little odd being thankful for some of the most obvious things, but keep at it, soon you will start flowing with thanks for a multitude of elements and it will bring with it a naturally good feeling. (This activity works wonders when changing the subject matter from 'Your Business' to 'Your Life').

    4. Creative nonsense

    Bend your brain a little.  Feel stuck in a rut, doing the same processes over and over again? Well get creative with some writing and make a new pathway in your brain to something amazing.  Think about the nonsence in the story line of Alice in Wonderland, a talking Cheshire Cat? A Mad Hatter? Fantastic nonsense, give it a crack and see where it goes.

    5. Write a task list

    Starting, developing and running a small creative business has it's moments. There will be days when you just don't know where to start because there are so many things to do,  they may need to be done in the right order,  you can't do this because you haven't got that and before you know it you have lost 5 hours in social media ahhhh.

    Start developing and writing down a task list with a process on what to do within that task.  The best way to do this is to imagine you are handing your business over to someone else to run, so they will need to understand what to do and when.  Eventually once you have your tasks and processes created, you can then create your weekly business routine...

    6. Weekly business routine

    Take some or all of your business tasks and place them in a weekly roster to prompt you to accomplish what you need to do and when.  Need to order more findings? Check your stock on Friday before driving to the wholesalers on Saturday.  Do you prefer to create all your social media in one hit and upload it into a scheduler? Write down the best day for this to happen so come next week you social media feed updates are flying out the door.

    If you have any area's of your business where you specifically choose to write over type, share them here.  Or if you attempt any of the above for the first time, let me know how you go.

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    5 things I learnt when the computer said no!

    Kerri Tutton

    5 Things I learnt when the computer said no

    So I needed a break.

    My original plan was to visit a women's retreat in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.  It was a place I had fond memories of after completing the course 8 years ago and I was especially keen to return, as I had previously experienced quite a life changing epiphany there.  I think there was a small weird part of me that thought I could create that again.

    After 3 failed attempts to book the dang thing online a little question came to me asking if I should really be going back? Why chase something you have already done. Why not create something new?

    So I flicked the webpage and chose a spot on Air.BnB, packed up my computer, my work and decided to have a working holiday. Me, Myself and the Handmade Biz Planner.

    So instead of going down the Byron Bay (which is my old stomping ground when I first moved to Australia), I went to a little tiny town called Billinudgel just north of the shire.  Now when I mean tiny, I am referring to a newsagent, a corner store and a pub. That's pretty much it and I have to say it was perfect. The less wine bars and distracting places the better for my focus.

    The place I stayed was called 'Sanctuary Farm Stay' it was run by Heidi, a super friendly and bubbly host who was always free for a chat and super keen to help with anything.  There were 2 horses to feed apples, several saved dogs, my special fav was Trinidad a gorgeous pooch that would pop by to say hello and talk to me. (yes she talks).

    All was well with the world when I arrived and set up until I went to set up my Mac Desktop. Yes for some stupid reason I put it in the boot of the car and brought it with me. 

    So the wireless keyboard chose not to pair with the computer which was really odd.  I'd had small issues with this in the past but nothing like this.  I changed the batteries, attempting to get the computer to read it, but nothing.  So I resigned myself to (several) Friday night drinks with my girlfriend on top of a hill watching the sun set and the moon rise.

    The following morning I still could not get the computer to sync.  It refused so I restarted it, nothing. Restarted it again, nope, Rebooted it - SHIT! The reboot meant I shut the whole computer down which brought it to a starter screen requesting a password to enter - but my keyboard wasn't synced yet? AHHHHH

    This was the moment when you slapped your head, this was the Homer Simpson 'DOH, this was the kick something in frustration with yourself moment!

    Needless to say, the time was not lost, I had my old knackered windows laptop in my bag that sounded like a lawnmower after the fan would kick in after 5 seconds.  She did the job for the next 4 days.

    So after nearly getting flooded onto the property after a massive belt of rain dropped on us for 2 days (great working weather), I happily made my way home.  I achieved lots and whilst I wished I could have achieved more I realised that when it comes to running a small business that there will always be work to do, and often you won't complete as much as you originally intended to and that is okay.

    Of course I was worried about the computer, I had a lot of data on it and I needed to make sure I could use it.  So I hooked out an old keyboard with a usb cable on it and logged myself in.  Then I attempted to sync the keyboard and BOOM - it synced first time. AHHHHHHH

    So I sit with myself in silence asking myself what was the lesson here - because this opportunity to learn something is obvious as a slap in the face with a wet fish. So I came up with the following:

    • A Desktop computer is just that, leave it at home it doesn't like to be moved
    • When original plans become really difficult to create, maybe they just aren't meant to happen
    • Sometimes when things don't work - it is a sign that you shouldn't work either
    • You really don't need fancy gadgets to create great work
    • Don't allow an over ambitious to do list make you feel unaccomplished, quality work takes time

    Ultimately a great time was had, I got to spend some quality time with my good friend.  Plus I got to have some time for me and my business.  It was a gentle, productive and wonderful experience.  

    I'm looking forward to the day I take my work full time, and perhaps then I'll invest in upgrading the dusty old laptop. Until then - she got me out of a tight spot!

    Kez x

    Sanctuary Farm Stay - Billinudgel, New South Wales, Australia

    Review: The Instagram Auto scheduler - Grum.co

    Kerri Tutton

    Kerri Tutton

    If your mind has started thinking ahead to, 'How can I make my Instagram process better' then look up the desktop application 'Grum.co', the Instagram auto scheduler.

    I saw this application recommended in a creative community and it has really helped me organise and plan my Instagram feed to the point where I don't have to worry about it during the week when I am at my day job.

    Simple to use

    The first part that I like about Grum, is that is it super easy and simple to use.  This makes the processing of my Instagram upload nice and clean without too many actions. Simply click on the + add your image, content and tags and a smiley face or two if you fancy.  

    Encourages Quality

    With the application used on my desktop it encourages me to think clearly about what I am putting on my feed.  Does it have a purpose? Does it match my branding?  Before I used Grum I was susceptible to impulse uploads onto my feed and on looking back the image was great or even funny, but it didn't encourage flow...

    Supports Consistency

    ...which is important for branding.  You can easily see the flow of your feed with the Instagram style layout, this helps you to be consistent in your message, imagery and quality of work. This is a huge bonus as it encourages your brand to take shape until the time comes that the returning customer knows who you are in a moment of looking at your work. The flash test at its best.

    I especially like this layout if I have a challenge running, as I can feed any acute OCD moments by uploading my images in exact orders or patterns.

    Great Pricing

    The pricing is reasonable at $9.95 for 2 accounts making it affordable and on par with other applications that you would use when setting up your small biz. I was super luck to get a lifetime deal for $25 through AppSumo it might be worth hanging out in that space to see if another super deal like this comes your way, if it does, don't hold back. Its worth every cent.

    Take The Little Wins

    Kerri Tutton

    There is a point when a creative's light bulb goes off and they come to the conclusion that there is a lot more to running a handmade craft business than meets the eye.

    There are also a lot of brick walls in the process of 'learning as you go' and in many cases blockages that will stop you moving forward at pace.  It is often at this time a sense of frustration and overwhelm can kick in.

    This is when a positive mind set can help.  By learning how to appreciate the 'little wins' you can close your business day off in a much happier emotional set point.

    No matter how much time you have spend on your creative endeavours, try to find that little piece of gold and congratulate yourself for it.

    Practice this daily and you will avoid the roller coaster of emotions that comes with the ups and downs of running a business and avoid that negative pit that leads to the road: 'I just don't think I'm good enough'. 

    Get so positive with your self talk that it comes naturally to see the good in every moment. 

    It could be that you have done one of the hardest things and 'started' a blog! That in it's self is a really huge achievement, especially if it is your first time writing. Avoid knocking yourself for not finishing it, acknowledge yourself for starting with a little positive pow wow.

    Perhaps you needed to get rid of processing your expenses for the month (or perhaps the last 2 months!!) get stuck in, get it done and create a more streamlined process to make it quicker next month. Treat yourself to a break after completion and tick that bad boy off your to do list.  

    A really good trick is to acknowledge little wins that are focussed on the effort that you have made over the result.

    For example, don't beat yourself up with a block of chocolate for not making any money in your early phase of selling at the Markets. Give yourself a pat on the back for getting out of bed at 4am on your day off, having packed the car and set up a market stall, say well done you, for getting yourself out there to meet your potential customers and know that you made someones day special.

    "I can live for 2 months on a good compliment"

    -Mark Twain

    Make a decision today to find the little wins and acknowledge yourself, compliment yourself and cheer yourself.

    What little win's are you going to take away from your business day today?

    Kez

    How to improve your productivity using awesome storage + other time saving tips

    Kerri Tutton

    Image Acknowledgement :  @Dustypenny

    Image Acknowledgement : @Dustypenny

    Quiz Question : Where do you stash your scissors?

    Oooo good question! Okay, okay I know this one hang on... right so I keep a pair of scissors in my top cutlery drawer in the kitchen, I also keep a pair of nail scissors in a see through nail kit bag in the bathroom. (I think that original bag came from the freebie toothpaste pack from my last visit to the dentist, anyway digressing).

    Oh! I have another pair of scissors that I accidentally acquired (honest) from the family trip to the Cape, they are in the craft tool box on the shelf with all my bead stuff...ummm finger tap.. OH I have another really super sharp pair (for sewing apparently), those are in my bead travel bag. (That bag was a freebie too with the hairdryer).

    Ummm, I think that's it, yep that's all the scissors in the house! Please don't ask me where the tape is though I haven't got a bloody clue!


    Okay so the key message of the above story is to highlight that its all very well knowing where your scissors are, but if you can't find the tape, the thread, the wire, your fav blue beads - how are you going to finish making your products without your labour costs going through the roof?

    Put simply you can't, so instead of spending the next 15 minutes looking for them, getting totally distracted along the way, you are going to tidy up your workspace so you can work more effectively and save more time right? Wrong.

    Look, I'm not saying working in tidy environment is bad thing, it is potentially a lot less stressful having less clutter around, but it isn't the complete answer to improving your productivity, I mean seriously any crazy can throw stuff in a draw and hide stuff out of sight right?

    The key to getting super productive especially in a creative business, is ensuring that every item has its 'place' and you know where that place is.  The other element, is to make sure your items are always returned there.

    A place for everything & everything in its place

    Think about it, are you a jewellery maker constantly looking for a particular finding, Do you make products out of card and have all your card colours mixed up.  As a painter do you know what you did with that burnt sunset orange acrylic tube?

    Creating awesome storage for your creative tools and materials doesn't have to be difficult or expensive and it can actually be quite a relaxing process to maintain. By making items easier to get to or easier to see can help streamline your production time, your stress levels and the overall success in having a productive day.

    To inspire you to create time some saving storage idea's I have put together a heap of storage ideas in Pinterest for you. 

    Here you will also see the work of @kathyrac (imaged) who has done an incredible job of creating a storage space for her pens.

    I'm having a little creative drool over that mint set!

    Storage Tips

    • Office Stationery items in the top draw with pens (and a pair of scissors)
    • Scan and copy paper work for easy finding (search by title)
    • Create a system for titles of electronic files for easy searching
    • Use clear jars, plastic boxes or vials so you can see the goodies inside
    • Ensure a house rule if someone borrows your stash - put it back!

    Have you got any cool storage ideas or awesome tips - let's share :-) 

    Now before I go,  where do you stash your scissors?

    Kez x