Feeling Overwhelmed Bossy Babe?
Working 2 jobs and running a jewelry business…yes, that equals 3 jobs total…can be very overwhelming and can make one feel pretty exhausted.
When I first decided to venture into the world of small business ownership I was excited and had the feeling of relief "I no longer have to listen to the higher up! I'm free!"... but after 6 months of going at it on my own I quickly realized that I HAD to work some kind of other job to supplement my dream. I don’t know what I was thinking…start a business, quit my job, and everything would be amazing and simple ummmm no I was very wrong.
Why do I care to tell you all this? Mostly because I now understand what it takes to be a small business owner. I now know what it takes to feel successful and in control of your own life/career. Yes I still have to “work” a job (for now) to make my dream real but in the end it is all worth it. I am telling you all this because you might be in the same situation I was roughly 16 months ago.
I want to share some tips and tricks that I have learned…so far… that I hope helps you achieve your #bossbabe stats!
Track your finances!!
When I first started out I just ran around buying whatever I needed without putting any thought into tracking my spending. This was a huge mistake! By the time I sat down to look at where my money was going versus how much money I was actually taking back in, I was devastated. For 9 months I thought I was doing good…the numbers told a different story. Now don’t get me wrong, typically in the first 2 years of business true profit doesn’t necessarily exist but you should at least be working toward a “break even” situation which brings me to my next tip…
Know what your financial situation is….
When I decided to start a jewelry business I jumped in head first. Which would have been great if I had a set plan and knew where my numbers stood. I didn’t even look at my bank account or run any numbers to make sure I was financially ready to take on the task without depleting my savings. I was so excited to be my own boss, where I could make all of the decisions, but reality check you need money to do that! So make sure you step back and make a plan before jumping right in and creating a gigantic splash.
Make a list..
This one may or may not be helpful to you. Since I make jewelry by hand I need a lot of materials like chain, wire, and other components. In the beginning I sorta knew what style of jewelry I was aiming for but I also wanted to please and attract EVERYONE. So I did what any crazy jewelry maker would do and bought every jewelry making item I could find and now I have a TON of materials that I will never use. And since everything costs $$ I caused a decent amount of debt in my business. Yes I can resell and/or return some of the materials but in reality I don’t have time for that. I now make a list of what I truly need while maintaining a monthly budget. I am a one women show without any financial backing who needs 2 side jobs to supplement my dream so, needless to say, money is always on my mind.
Always be thinking ahead!
I HAVE to keep one step ahead or everything will fall apart. Aside from schedules for side 2 jobs I also have separate schedules for my business.
Schedule one: Selling online (website AND Etsy) which means scheduling time to take photos, write product descriptions, and uploading it all on to the web takes up a lot of time. Keeping a schedule for this helps me remember what step I am at and when I need to finish the rest.
Schedule two: Selling in-store (Inspire Art Gallery and Forsberg’s A New Leaf) I love to have my pieces in store. I think it is so important for people to be able to touch and try on the piece before making the decision to purchase. That being said I need to make sure I have piece there for them to look at. Creating a schedule to review inventory, restock, and keep in touch with the store owners is really important.
Schedule three: Selling at craft fairs, farmers markets, etc... (see 2017 events here) this is probably my favorite way to sell. I really enjoy meeting new people and having the opportunity to travel around Michigan with my goodies. But this is one of the most stressful schedules. Every show has a certain deadline for submissions, some are crazy busy and are hard to get into, and some are juried so you must submit photos and info before you are accepted to the show. All of this takes a bunch of time to research and find the right shows for me and my craft. I typically start looking 8 months in advance and fill in my schedule as shows pop up.
The most important schedule!
Time to create! I wouldn’t have a jewelry business if I didn’t have jewelry! This is the most time consuming thing in my life. The hard part about scheduling “creative” time is that I am not always feeling inspired. No inspiration = crappy jewelry. Once I am in the mood and working on a piece, the time it takes to finish it varies tremendously.
I have many other schedules I work with like reviewing monthly financials, purchasing materials, hunting for rocks, etc… these schedules are just fit in between everything else.
Now how do I keep everything straight?! I literally have 3 calendars that I keep and I start scheduling a month in advance so I can stay ahead of the game…craft fairs I start at least 8 months in advance. I found my scheduling rhythm that works great for me but everyone is different so take the time to figure out what works right for you.
Always Make Time To….
…be you!! I ALWAYS make time for me, my family, and my friends. Is it as much time as I would like? Heck NO! But it is time. In the beginning I was so stressed, so overwhelmed, felt so undervalued. I would sit around thinking “no one even sees how hard I’m working…no one even cares..” BooHoo BooHoo BooHoo….Well that is obviously some major negative thinking and also I wasn’t doing this for other people, I was doing this for ME. What was my real problem?? I was losing touch with myself, my family, and my friends. What happened when I started to build social aspects back into my life? I felt SO MUCH BETTER! While working toward your goal do not forget about yourself! Make time to do things that get you out and social!
I can’t believe how much I have learned in less than 2 years and every day I learn something new! I am proud of how far I have come and you should always be proud of yourself for what you do!
Lets always help each other!
So if you are you a bossy babe, what are your best tips and tricks to running a productive business? What is your business? I want to hear about you and what you do…. leave a comment below!
Self Taught Jewelry Designer based in Traverse City, Michigan.