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Creating Space for Success

The holiday season is upon us! While this is typically a frenzied time for many, it can also be a great time to strategize about how to stay organized and productive, and to get yourself – and your business – poised for a successful 2013

The holiday season is upon us! While this is typically a frenzied time for many, it can also be a great time to strategize about how to stay organized and productive, and to get yourself – and your business – poised for a successful 2013. Here area a few ways to make room for all the important things you’d like to accomplish in the New Year:

Clear the stock. You’ve probably created some items that have sold pretty well, while others may be languishing in your inventory area. If that’s true, you’ll want to develop a strategy for how you’re going to get rid of your slow sellers – that way, you’ll have room for the new and exciting things that you’ll be creating. One way to do this and boost your year-end revenue in the process is to have a holiday sale – but not the traditional sale where you offer a discount on your goods. Instead, try offering a “mystery bonus” – where for certain purchases, the buyer will get a bonus item (which in reality is one of your slower selling items). You don’t have to reveal what the bonus is – you can just say it’s worth a certain dollar amount. To them, it’s still a bonus – they have no idea that it’s not a hot seller. For you, you’re clearing out slow-moving inventory and making sales in the process. Everybody wins!

Simplify your supplies. I know for many crafty folks sometimes it’s as exciting to get new supplies as it is to actually make something with them. Having great material around can be inspirational and may lead to awesome new creations. I also know that sometimes there can be too much of a good thing. For instance, one of my clients runs a knitwear pattern business, and she had many, many samples of yarn in her office. She had so much extra that the samples she didn’t like were often in the way of the ones she wanted to use. So we went through a process of editing her yarn collection to include the ones she really likes and uses, and a few of the samples that she may want to check out for a future project. The samples she didn’t like, hadn’t used in years, and had no plan to use, got the boot.

If you’re overrun with supplies, it’s a good idea to do a thorough edit of what you have, what you need, and what you want. It’s unlikely that you will actually want or be able to make use of all the supplies you currently have, so it’s worth taking some time to review your supplies and clear out what you don’t want, need, or use. Often times, this process can be made easier if you identify where you’ll be passing your unneeded supplies along to BEFORE you start the editing process. For instance, many school art departments would be thrilled to take a crafty person’s supply castoffs, and in some cities there are clearinghouses of teaching supplies where you can donate your supplies.

Plan space for the new
. Once you’ve cleared out your unneeded supplies, you’ll likely end up with some space that you can use for your new stuff. This is a great time to plan out how you can better use your storage. Think about the items you use most and least frequently – make sure you are keeping the often-used items close to you, and the infrequently used items further away. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your storage – you don’t have to use boring boxes or cheap-looking clear plastic containers. With one of my clients who runs a scrapbooking business, she had lots of decorative paper that wasn’t being used, so we used it to line her clear plastic containers. This did two things – it reduced the visual clutter of seeing everything that was inside the containers, and it also breathed new life into paper that she just hadn’t been using.

Trim your to-do’s. Year-end editing shouldn’t just be limited to your physical supplies. You can use this time of year as inspiration to review the various tasks that are part of the running of your Etsy store, and make sure you are focusing on your priorities, whatever they may be. Take a few minutes and list all the tasks that are related to your marketing, your administrative tasks, and the production of your items. What are your goals for each area? What tasks support those goals, and which ones don’t? Can you delegate, simplify, or streamline some of the tasks? Even better, if some of those tasks don’t support your goals, can they be deleted completely?

Here’s a quick checklist of how to plan for an organized and productive 2013:

  • Decide what inventory to have a holiday bonus sale on
  • Edit through your unneeded or unused supplies
  • Donate your discards
  • Plan your storage
  • Create cool containers
  • List out your priorities and to-do’s
  • Simplify, streamline, delegate, or delete tasks whenever possible

One last success strategy: Make sure to plan your organizing time. Even if you schedule just 20 minutes a week to focus on reviewing your to-do’s and keeping your supplies organized, you’ll be much better off than if you spend no time on these things at all. Staying organized is a key foundation element in every successful business, no matter how large or small.

What are some of your ideas for how to create space for a successful 2013? Sound off in the comments!

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