There is a post on my blog from several years ago about four things I wish I had done during my first year in handmade business that gets so much traffic. It’s honestly a little silly. By the way, this is also a shout out to the power of Pinterest. 90% of the traffic that post gets comes from Pinterest, and Pinterest is sending a lot of traffic to this post every single day for years. So, thank you, Pinterest.
The things in that post are still 100% relevant, and I still wish I had done them.
Even though this makes me feel old, I should mention that I started selling handmade products in 2010…
When I was in my first year in handmade business, Instagram wasn’t even a thing, so I COULDN’T have done a couple of things sooner, even if I wanted to. That being said, there are some things I should have done sooner or that I would do asap now if I were starting fresh.
There is a whole episode on this!! Check it out because this lays out the most significant benefits of offering custom and personalized work. Offering personalization can really help to grow your business and provide a good revenue boost. People LOVE personalization, and it’s really helpful if you don’t have constant creative inspiration. It can be hard to think up new products or designs all the time, on a schedule. Personalization can kind of hold the line for you and keep things flowing while you percolate on new ideas!
Get a laser printer or label printer.
Do I LOVE talking about printers? Not really. I do this regularly, though, because this is huge. It would be best if you stopped printing your shipping labels with ink. It’s expensive, and it takes too long. The sooner you can invest in a laser printer or a label printer like the Rollo or the Dymo, the better.
Label printers like the Dymo or the Rollo use thermal technology to create your label – so you NEVER have to worry about running out of ink. It’s also a much faster process to get the labels made. A laser printer uses toner to print, which lasts much longer than your average ink cartridge.
Either of these options might be a bigger investment upfront, but it will save you time, money, and headaches in the long term. Ink is smudgy and expensive! Either of these options is better options than ink. I genuinely regret the YEARS I spent printing shipping labels with ink.
Work on my money mindset + CEO self
When I started my business, I took myself seriously, but I didn’t see myself as the CEO of my business. I just saw myself as someone who makes things and sells them. I truly believe that because of that limited scope, I was holding myself back. I didn’t have as much clarity then as I do now about the importance of nurturing MYSELF as a business owner AS WELL AS nurturing my business.
It’s very easy to work only on the business and improve that from day to day or year to year.
But what about the business owner? I have found a SIGNIFICANT lack of education there and barely any resources at all for handmade business owners for nurturing themselves alongside their business, which is one reason we built our membership, The Council. I know from YEARS of experience of not doing this that it’s incredibly important to grow as an entrepreneur alongside your business as it grows, too.
My mentor said it best once: business growth cannot outpace personal growth. Meaning, your business can’t honestly go further than YOU are prepared to take it. You have to grow into being the owner of the business you want to run. Again, I TRULY believe this is very real, and I’ve seen it in myself and in our Council members, too.
If you want to hear more about that and learn how The Council has been developed to support YOU and YOUR BUSINESS, visit jointhecouncilnow.com to get the details and jump on our waitlist, and we will let you know the next time the council is available to join!!
Invest!! In help, tools, and education.
(I DID do this, but I wish I had less anxiety and misunderstanding about it) I did invest in education, services etc., early on, but I didn’t always do it the right way. Sometimes, I would invest in something and think “great, that’s done” which is of course entirely wong.
Paying for a service or education just means I’ve made my job easier, not that I’ve made my job nonexistent. I still have to show up and do the work, I’m just doing it with assistance now. Or I’m doing it with better insights. It’s important to know your role and account for that when deciding what to invest in so that those investments can for sure be worth your while. In short: paying for tools, services or education doesn’t absolve us from the effort needed to make them work, it just makes life easier!
So those are my 4 new things I wish I had done during my first year in handmade business! Catch up on the original 4 things here and do me a favor… pin THIS new post! ha.