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Time Management Tips For Your Small Craft Business

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An image of a white desk, filled with crafting supplies, paint chips, flowers in a vase, markers and papers. Text at the top of the image reads, "Time management strategies I use to run my 6-figure craft business."

If you own a small craft business, you know that we are the CEO, CFO, designer, creator, and marketing director – we wear all the hats in a home-based craft business. Everything that we are selling and sharing comes from our creative minds. From a niche market sole proprietorship to busy entrepreneurs posting new crafts daily or weekly, it is so easy to get lost in a single task or in making to-do lists we never complete. Being your own boss is hard work, and that is why business success needs time management techniques.

I have worked from home for almost a decade and have seen a massive return in profit and potential customers in the last three years, mainly because I put in the right efforts at the right time.

4 Time Management Tips for Small Craft Business Owners

In my post today, I want to share with you four time management tips that are snippets from my helpful course, Time Freed, which I have used to successfully scale my craft blog and creative business to SIX FIGURES and beyond as a one-woman small business owner.

Wait, six figures as a one-woman show? Yup! Do I have your attention now?

Whether you are in your studio throwing some pottery, stringing a necklace, or drawing your latest SVG or printable on your computer for your crafting business, these time management tips for small craft business owners can make a world of difference in the amount of product and content you can produce and the growth of a highly profitable business.

We all know the saying, “Time is money.” I like to say, “Time is an investment.” As an entrepreneur, I like to think of ways to invest what I already have to grow my business.

So how can we invest your time wisely to have it return to you with reward and profit?

Time Management Tip #1: Batch Everything

Batching is the holy grail of my time management techniques. Batching alone is the best way to complete specific tasks and the most effective time management skill in the craft and creative business world.

But What Is Batching?

Batching is how you can accomplish multiple pieces of several projects at once, within similar task groups, without (and this is important) falling into the trap of multi-tasking or, as I call it, “task switching.”

Here’s a helpful example of batching at work:

At Christmas time, I love to bake cookies. All different kinds – sugar, pumpkin, gingerbread, etc. When I make a batch of cookies, do I make just enough dough for one cookie, make that one cookie, and then start over until I have made 12 cookies? Of course not. We mix all the ingredients to make all 12 cookies and then bake them on a cookie sheet, usually 8-12 cookies at a time. This example is a simple way of explaining how batching can save time when applied to our creative work.

Think of the time wasted making each cookie from scratch one by one. Likewise, how often do you repeat similar tasks for your work that could be done simultaneously to make substantial progress across more than one project?

A woman uses her smartphone to take a picture of a beautifully curated holiday tablescape. White dinner plates, gold and black silverware, and gold candlesticks are set up around a greenery centerpiece.

How To Batch

One way I love to batch is by doing my photography and filming for my crafts and tutorials during a set block of time. I have to photograph ALL THE TIME. I often have four to five brand-new craft designs I make and release monthly.

Instead of photographing each project and releasing one craft at a time as I go, I set aside an amount of time in my work schedule for photography batching. This means I take good photos of new products all at once. Of course, I then set aside time for batch editing and uploading.

For some of you, batching the release of your beautiful things or blog posts will also work. Others may want to batch all the pre-production and release projects on a weekly basis. However you do it, the more tasks you can batch, the less time you waste.

When I started batching on my own craft business and blog, I increased my productivity by 500%!

Action Step: Write a list of everything you find yourself doing repetitively and decide what can be paired together and batched on a weekly or daily basis so you can accomplish more at once.

Time Management Tip #2: Plan Quarterly

An overhead image of a workspace with a color-coded paper calendar, computer keyboard, and a mug of black coffee. Using an organized calendar is a simple and effective time management tip for craft business owners.

Related Post: 11 Time Management Tips for Small Business Success

Planning is the most important part of time management, but how you execute your planning is a different story. Sure, you need to write a weekly schedule, but if you are not writing those weekly schedules based on your annual and quarterly goals, you will probably never see a lot of big-picture progress.

I can hear some of you saying, “I need to be making annual and quarterly goals in my business?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Write Out Your Craft Business Goals

The best way to achieve long-term objectives is to sit down and write out four business goals for the year. Make them reasonable, and try to keep two of them a little smaller than the other two.

Once you have listed your goals, you must break down the steps necessary to accomplish your goals – aim to do this quarterly (every 90 days). Use these steps to create a work schedule, paying careful attention to the most important tasks.

Action Step: This week, think about some goals you need to plan out and break down for yourself in your weekly schedules.

Time Management Tip #3: Time Blocking

A woman sits at a white desk, working on writing down her business goals in a planner. There’s a computer and mug of coffee next to her on the desk.

Time blocking can be used in conjunction with batching. Time blocking concentrates on one specific task for a set amount of time. For example, I get a lot of messages from readers or customers throughout most days. But instead of checking my emails at a whim, answering them, and ultimately getting distracted by them, I allocate certain times throughout the day to do an email check. This means I will not look at my emails until I am within that block of time on the clock. Even if I see messages waiting, I won’t open them until the designated time.

Time blocking is an effective small business time management tip because it sets time limits on tasks, helps keep a daily routine, and allows more time for your creative work. Be sure your time slots are realistic, and you have enough time to finish (or make a dent in) the given task but not too much time, which will lead to distraction.

Action Step: Write out anything that is a common distraction for you throughout your work time and commit certain times of the day to those tasks so you can concentrate on your project goals or product creations.

Time Management Tip #4: Don’t Try And Be Someone Else

One of the modules in my effective business management course, Time Freed, is solely dedicated to this concept. While this one might seem a little out in left field, hear me out. As creative thinkers, we often get distracted by many other people or project ideas. This is often referred to as “shiny object syndrome.”

Shiny object syndrome occurs when someone in our niche develops something successful or makes us feel like we should have thought of it first. I have suffered from this at times and even tried to change who I am because of it.

Here’s the problem – shiny object syndrome lowers your self-esteem and is one of the biggest time wasters!

Let me debunk these two feelings:

  1. Just because someone else has done it and it was a success for them doesn’t mean it will be a success for you, especially if it doesn’t cater to your reader or customer’s interests.
  1. In the case of feeling as if you should have thought of something first, let me burst your bubble – no one has thought of any idea first unless you were born back during the birth of all technology – and if so, I’d love to meet you!

Sure, many people are putting their own branding or spin on something, but I’ll bet you can find at least a dozen others in your niche who have created something similar.

In other words, shiny object syndrome may make us suddenly feel the need to try and be someone else.

What Does This Have To Do With Effective Time Management Techniques?

When we are not focused on the things that make us better in our craft business and are moving us toward our goals, we face a heavy loss in productivity. Bouncing from one thing to the next doesn’t give your projects time to pay off or pay you money.

As entrepreneurs and crafty people, we are blessed and cursed with an overflow of inspiration. Shiny object syndrome is to be expected. But deciding not to let it consume you and instead let it inspire you can allow you to use time wisely, and your business will be better in the long run.

Action Step: When you see an idea you love and think it is something you should do in your creative business, ask yourself these questions:

  • Will this add to my profit?
  • Does this idea stay true to my brand’s identity?
  • How does this idea serve my buyer or reader?

If the answer is yes, add it to a list of goals. If the answer is no to any of those questions, put it on a Pinterest wish list or admiration board!

If I could give you the two most important takeaways from these time management techniques, it would be to stay laser-focused on goals that match you and your brand’s identity and use batching to increase your productivity and profit. You can end poor time management and put out your best work. Great things can happen once you take that first step.

Did these time management techniques help or enlighten you? Tell me below in the comments!

Wishing you creativity and success!

Text is overlaid on an image of a cluttered crafting workspace. The text reads, “4 major ways you are failing at time management in your craft business.”

About Abbi Kirsten

Welcome to my colorful corner of the internet, where we play with vibrant crafts and unlock your creative magic! Hang out with me and get lost in a fun array of projects, tutorials, and products, from stunning papercraft ideas to flower templates, Cricut help for beginners, and endless crafter’s hacks. 

Join the Member Vault and participate in my monthly Craft-Alongs in my Facebook group to access all the magic!

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