A little over a year ago, the EcoEtsy team conducted a survey and found that around half of the team shop owners were running their business as a part time endeavor. Being one of those part time shop owners, I sometimes find myself so buried in my “day job” and the responsibilities of being a wife and mother of two that carving out time to focus on my shop becomes an issue.
So, I thought I would focus this post on some ideas to help us Etsy part-timers focus on priorities for the year ahead and make the most of our limited time. Here are my Top 5 tips to get excited about what you can accomplish instead of discouraged by what you can’t seem to fit in.
For all Etsy shops, it’s important to set goals for the year and narrow the priorities that you will focus on. However, for part time shop owners this prioritization becomes even more important. The little time available is typically spend on creating, listing items, filling orders, and trying to market a bit in social media. Activities perceived as “extra” – creating an about page, discovering a new / better photography style, developing descriptions that draw buyers in – often fall to the bottom and then off the priorities. Setting one “extra” as a goal for each month is a great way to end the year with many of those items checked off a mental list.
Sometimes, an appointment with yourself needs to be on your calendar for you to find the time to focus and create. I try to set aside 2-3 hours on a weekend day just to create and try new things. That quiet time also helps me prioritize the work for the week ahead.
Just like the photo of the beautiful jewelry organizer by Tanjasova shown in this post, the more you can find ways to organize your shop time, the further ahead you will be. I am a list person. So, I constantly have lists of tasks to be done throughout the week. I am even known to put items like “post on Facebook”, “List 5 new items in the shop”, on my to-do list each day of the week. If they make the list, I somehow manage to get them done before the day ends.
Squeeze it in Between
With all the activities in a day, start to consider how you can squeeze your shop in between other things in your daily routine. For example, I drive past the post office every day on my way to my day job. So, it’s now part of the routine to drop orders in the mail in the mornings on my way to work. I’ve also loaded the Etsy app on my phone which allows me to handle conversations and other tasks from my mobile phone while I’m waiting in lines or in between meetings at work.
Try not to Follow Others
I think the most difficult thing for a part-time shop owner is watching others and wondering “why can’t I seem to get all that done?”. Or, like me, following lots of blog and conversation posts, being inspired with new ideas for improving the business, and then getting frustrated that I can’t find the time to implement. When this happens, I try my best to go back to tip #1 – Prioritize. If the ideas are important enough, I should be adding them to my priorities list.
Running your shop part time can definitely be a challenge at times. However, the rewards are tremendous. Having the time to allow my mind to create and think in a way that is much different from my day job is extremely relaxing and therapeutic. I love the feeling I get when I see a customer excited about something I’ve created. Your rewards may be different from mine. Yet, when you get discouraged that you can’t fit it all in, remember your rewards and I know they will give you the strength to refocus and keep it up!
Cheers! Lori – Drinks To Design
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