How to Keep Your Craft Business Organized
If you run a craft business you know how crazy it can get. And as many craft businesses are run from the house, it is imperative that your business and all of its moving parts are organized or it’s only a matter of time before your happy home becomes a breeding ground for total and utter chaos.
Below are some ways you can keep your craft business organized:
Designated Craft Area
Though it may be tempting to sprawl out on your dining room table, you will find that the results will lead you down a very chaotic and messy end. Having your own special area will keep you focused and professional. It will also ensure your supplies and merchandise are kept clean and safe.
Sales and Revenue Log
A sales and revenue log is perhaps the most important part of keeping your craft business organized. Whether it be electronically kept or not, your log should include at least the following items:
Date of purchase
Product Name & Description
Cost to Make
Having all of these fields included in your log will not only track your sales for reporting but will also give you a pretty good sense of the actual profit you are receiving from your items. What good is making $1,000 in sales if your items cost $1,001 to make once all fees are included?
A means of inventory tracking should definitely be a top priority for your craft business. Inventory logs should be kept current at all times and should not only be maintained for the items you are selling, but for the supplies you need to make your products, as well. There is nothing worse than running out of materials during your crafting process.
Inventory tracking is also beneficial for determining your best-selling items so you can always make sure they are in stock.
Inventory can be tracked the old-fashioned way (with a pen, paper and ledger paper), through spreadsheet software such as Excel, or through smartphone and tablet apps especially designed for this task.
Sold Items Management
Current inventory tracking is extremely important but don’t forget to main an account for your sold items, too. Not only is it necessary for month- and year-end reporting, but it also gives you a means for revisiting past sales and using them to create future business. You can manage your sold items much like you would your current inventory – pen and paper, spreadsheet or app – but it should remain separate from your current stock. For an even more efficient management, take high-quality photos of all of your sold items and include them in your database.
You should never use the same accounts for personal and businesses uses. Your business bank account should always be kept separate, even if it is just a PayPal account, so that you always control what is coming in and what is going out without getting any of your money tied up in your mortgage payment or cable bill. You should also keep your business e-mail separate from your personal e-mail so that important business e-mails don’t get lost in the mix and and become neglected. In additional, it is a good idea to keep social media accounts separate, as well.
Having a physical schedule – whether it be a paper calendar, an online version or app – can really help you keep your craft business organized because it is a visual reminder of not only what needs to happen and when, but also as a constant reminder of where your priorities need to be.
I personally keep two schedules: one for work and one for my craft business. Having two distinct schedules ensures a separation between home and business life.
Whether it be a closet, cabinet, computer desk or table, having a designated area strictly for shipping is extremely important to ensure your packages are handled in an organized manner. Your shipping station should include at least the following items:
1.) PC with printer hook-up
2.) Postage scale
3.) Bubble wrap or security foam
4.) Boxes and envelopes
5.) Shipping labels
6.) Business cards / promotional materials