Hello!! to you all and any new visitors form Alicia’s dreamy blog. So sorry I haven’t been posting in forever. I had some serious blogging block (which you have been so kind helping me through). I’ve also been run off my feet because my lovely bloke is away so I have been extra busy. Never mind; I’m back and sooo invigorated by all of your post suggestions; please keep ’em coming!
So to start I am going to tackle Craft Business organization. I am going to do this in parts because there are a few organisational areas of running a business that need looking at in turn (at it will make it all look less scary). Spend a bit of time each day staying organised and it will only benefit your business, help you to remain focused, and far less stressed out!
Yep! Like; I’m on top of it!
Different types of business paper work & what to do with all:
- Invoices/receipts for all of the materials that you buy for your business – and this means every single thing you purchase to run your business; from a pearl button to a laptop, from a weaving loom to the phone bill. Be absolutely strict about keeping every one of your receipts. Keep all unpaid invoices in date order in one place to help you plan and prepare your budget to get them paid. When they have been paid store them in date order newest first. A big lever arch file is great for this job because after you have sorted them in date order they won’t move around and become unsorted. As for book keeping I can’t say much about that because I’m a maths dummy so I have a nice friendly account to do all of that for me
- Invoices/receipts for sales you have made in your business – because my business is online sales only I have access to all sales receipts from day 1 to the present day. I usually don’t need them to work with them, but every now and again a customer will call up and say ‘x was missing from my order can you check it out?’ so I can look up their invoice and fix the problem. It’s good to keep hold of sales invoices (at least for 3 months) because besides helping you to tally up your weekly sales figures, they include useful information like the customer address (so you can with permission include the customer in a newsletter campaign), you can also read through your sales to get a feel for what products are popular and not so popular in your shop.
- Supplier catalogues and price lists– sometimes these things are flipping hard to get hold of, other times you get sent a forest of them! Get organised and store the ones you use in a file or a magazine rack, store them in order of materials type, and throw outdated catalogues away.
- Business cards – staple the suppliers card to the relevant cover of the supplier catalogue. As for the other cards try writing a little note the back of each business card stating why the person is important to you and then store in a Rolodex in materials type (or business) type and in alphabetical order.
- Sketches, product development, and craft business ideas – it is on scraps of paper that ideas which will rock the world are born, but only if they DON’T get left in your jeans and put in the wash. What I do is carry around an A5 sized Moleskine with me wherever I go. Should a flash of inspiration occur on the train or at home I can record all of my bag designs, all of my ideas for moving my business forward, blog post ideas, business to do lists all in one place. And no, I have never ever mislaid my Moleskine; it’s not an option. I have gotten through 8 of these books now and I keep them all safe because I look through them every now and again as often the old ideas are just as important as the new ones. Store all sketches, inspiration images such as magazine rips, photos fabric swatches, design notes, and other material samples in a way that makes sense to you. This might be on a big mood board, all a big sketch book, or in a folder. Then you can leave part-developed ideas and return to them later to then develop them to fruition. This is all vital because we all spend so much time designing, day-dreaming, and researching and if we you don’t store all of these plans properly we are wasting a precious lot of time and maybe mislaying ideas which could have had the potential to become business dynamite!