Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ask A Rat

As crafty-business-teurs (yes, that is an official term) we are it. We make, market, and fulfill orders. And respond to emails. And do bookkeeping. And order supplies. So I imagine that this week's question from Raven's Whimzy is a common one.

How do you balance "production" 
versus "creation"?

First, I have to explain what "production" and "creation" are in relation to this question. Raven's Whimzy explains that she "end(s) up doing so much shipping, bookkeeping and production" like making multiples of items that she finds herself with "very little time for actually creating new things." Production vs. Creation. Pretty simple.

With the holidays coming up we can all use a lesson in time management and prioritizing which, in my opinion, this is all about. I suggest setting aside a certain amount of time, no matter how much you have to do and how many orders you have to fulfill, to just create. Spend this time brainstorming, sketching, and making prototypes. The technical sides like researching material costs, pricing, market research, or planning a launch shouldn't be included in this time. While this is all part of bringing a new product into being, it isn't about creating. By prioritizing time for creation, you may have to extend the time period for order fulfillment and make your customers aware of that. This may especially be the case if items are made to order, but a simple statement along the lines of "please allow 1-2 weeks for item completion" can help everything.

Following the footsteps of linkmaster, jswrites, here are a couple of links to help. There's "Organizing for the Holidays (And Beyond)" and Lillyella's recap of her virtual lab session on Organization and Time Management. While everyone has different commitments everyone can find a chunk of time to commit to creation. Whether its an hour a week or an entire day doesn't matter. Use what time you can!

1 comment:

  1. Sweet! Thank you so much for the great input! I've actually found a system that seems to be working for me now. I've designated every other day a "maker" day: in which I do no bookkeeping, ordering, etc, answer only minimal emails, AND I've weaned myself away from the almost obsessive need to mail everything the VERY day the order comes in. No one seems to mind so far, lol!

    And on the maker days, I keep to only 1/2 the day of "production" (putting together multiples of things). The other half is purely creative - and now I have a BUNCH of new necklaces and pendants hanging around in various stages of construction. Yay!

    Thanks again, and I'm lovin' your team concept - so much helpful stuff :)