Monday, October 5, 2009

Etsy Business Forum topics and life

Fellow Etsians, don't miss two threads in the Business Topics this AM (some very interesting ideas and points about balancing Etsy and life):
1- if you turn off the computer...
2- sell employment breakdown...
I also added a topic this AM to which I would love to hear your respnse:
3- who/what is your backup?

I love everything about having an Etsy shop - but, although I know self-employment is, by its very nature, all-encompassing, I didn't think about how much more true that is for a 24/7 world-wide shop! Finding that sweet spot between great customer service and response and having some downtime for yourself and your family is tricky!
A couple of things I try to keep in mind are:
  • Turn off the cumputer during creative time.
  • Good communication - let customers know you are thinking of them - even if it is not the minute they contact you. (scheduled regular times to communicate are as good as instant response for most things)
  • My Etsy shop - or even the purchase someone made there - is not necessarily the #1 priority for the rest of the world!
  • My back can only take so many hours at the sewing machine
I try to have a schedule for my self and my shop.
7:30-9:00 - On computer (drinking coffe): update blog, check convos, check GA, respond to overnight sales, plan day
9:00-9:15 - Turn off computer and get ready for work (I needed to add this 'cause I was still in my robe at 3:00 pm some days):get dressed, comb hair, etc
'til 1:00 - Studio time (trained myself ala Pavlov to pace according to NPR radio): work on new stuff, uninterupted.
1:00-2:00 - HEALTHY lunch while checking computer (also started after finding I was forgetting lunch and eating crap at 3:00): check for new convo, sales, renews, etc
2:00 - 6:00 - either back in studio, photosessions, or supply shopping/idea research: I try to consolodate getting out for supplies and ideas on Tuesdays and (if needed) Thursdays. Photo session are usually on Fridays for sure, and as needed otherwise.
Evenings are variable; Amazing Race, House and Project Runway allow me opportunities to retouch photos, update spreadsheets, etc while watching and not feeling totally guilty!
It would be nice to take weekends off, but for example this past weekend, Sales were great early Saturday, so needed to do some quick replenishing (not a bad thing!), so they tend to be just ad hoc, but with time for Jon for sure! I also have to schedule a walk in the middle of the day. My back is starting to feel the hours of computer and sewing machine time - and Gina (my dog) is feeling neglected.

Well off I go - must keep to schedule!

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