Marketing for Mums Who Make – Are you getting the basics right?

Random Doodle 18 - The Days

Getting a bit strung out and need to get organised? This is a guest post from Polly Dugdale, of Handmade Horizons. She has a great free ebook to share, links are at the end of the post to download it. NB! Polly is also hosting a Google Analytics webinar over at the Creative University on Friday 22nd Feb, click the pic to register. Measuring your marketing is vital and Google Analytics is the best way to do that... it can be a real lightbulb moment for your craft business when you finally master the secrets of it!

Over to Polly with some top tips for successful organisation 
(I think her tips probably work whatever gender you are and whether you have kids or not, disregarding the bits about sticky fingers! I get all icky about being labelled, but looks like a great ebook and Polly is lovely so worth downloading)

Marketing for Mums Who Make – Are you getting the basics right?

If you want to have a happy, healthy family AND a thriving business without running yourself into the ground, you'll need to put some groundwork in first... I have watched in awe as colleagues and students of mine (seemingly effortlessly) manage to be amazing mums at the same time as running their fabulous businesses from home.  These mums really do appear to be superhuman!

Well… today it gives me pleasure to unveil 2 of their secrets to success. If you are a Mum Who Makes and want guidance to running a successful craft business from home, read on.

1. Get Organised

“Booo hiss”, I hear you say. I’m sorry ladies but dull as it may seem, if you want to run a successful business around you family, and enjoy it… you need to get yourself organised.
  • Find yourself somewhere to work
Find yourself a space where you can leave your stuff where it is.
By that, I mean somewhere that you don’t have to clear away when you need to sit down for lunch, or move out of reach of sticky little fingers each time your back is turned… It doesn’t need to be a whole room to yourself, but you need somewhere that you can down-tools and get the lunch on without needing to pack up and unpack every time you want to have a work session.

  • A filing ‘system’
You don’t need to turn into one of those scary* people who has a filing cabinet chronicling every piece of paper ever printed; but there are certain things that the tax man will require you to keep a record of – either digitally or in print. If, like me, you have some sort of system (such as putting everything in a big plastic box under your stairs), then you will not be scrabbling around in a panic when it comes to filling in your tax return. *means I am jealous

  • Use a wall planner (or calendar)

Planning ahead is absolutely essential for any business, though particularly when your work activities need to navigate half terms, play-dates and birthday parties!
Identify other important dates for your business too – such as when a key event is happening that your customers will be interested in, or when you intend to launch a new product range.  Keep these dates in mind when planning family activities; perhaps booking extra play-dates that will allow you a little extra time around the busy periods to dedicate to your business.

  • Plan ahead
When you know that you are going to have a couple of hours to get some work done, spend a few moments to plan ahead and work out how you will make the most of the time available to you.

Ask yourself: "What activity is going to make the biggest difference to my business?"

Don’t just lunge wildly into your to-do list without thinking about this or you could end up reaching the end of your allotted time, only to realise that you forgot about that important task that could really make a difference!

2. Avoid Distractions

This is easier said than done…  and don’t worry, I am not suggesting you  get your children to play “Harry Potter”, by keeping them under the stairs while you try to work…

There are going to be times when your duties as mum will take over from deadlines and work tasks; these are unavoidable. What you should take a moment to think about though are the distractions that are avoidable. Work out what these are, and make a plan for how you can avoid them.  E.g. Switch your phone onto silent, or turn off your email alerts when trying to update your website. How about that ‘Networking’ time on Facebook that ends up being a 30 minute session looking at pictures of old school friends… admit it, we’ve all done it! Try setting an alarm to go off after 15 minutes instead. 

Your time is precious – and the time you spend on your business should leave you feeling satisfied at the end of it, rather than flustered about what you haven’t yet managed to achieve.  Be realistic about what is possible in the time you have allocated and always ask yourself, "What activity is going to make the biggest difference to my business?"

These Secrets to Success come from the fab new eBook from Handmade Horizons: “Marketing for Mums Who Make: 5 Steps To A Successful Business You Love”. CLICK HERE to download your free copy now.