3. Time Management
You work at home, now, so any time you have is usually devoted to work. With that said, it is the way you use the time that will make the difference. If you are jumping from one thing to another it doesn’t make a dent in the progress that needs to be accomplished.
When I am making a batch of elephants, for instance, I have found that sewing all the eyes at one time, on fifty different elephants, saves time because of the same color of thread being used. Or sometimes a different type of foot on the sewing machine is used. Therefore, I save time, cutting down the times threads and feet on the sewing machine are changed.
There have been times when I have three sewing machines set up, each one with different colored threads, so that I can go from one machine, on a gliding chair, to the next without changing colored threads.
Take the time to plan your strategy of production. It will save time in the long run.
Looking at the big picture, Production, can you farm out these little, simple things to other people, and save time to pay someone else to do the job? Just think about it.
My Boss had some other Crafters that couldn’t keep up with the orders. With their permission, my Boss hired other Crafters to do part of the labor. Sometimes she even had the workers pay a deposit for the materials used to be returned when all were completed. This would save on the cost of supplies getting lost in the shuffle of new employees or those that could not do the work and didn’t turn it back in.
One last thing, Even though you are home, schedule your work time. Remember it is now a job and if you don’t show up for work, you won’t have a job to bring in the money.
4. Investing and Re-investing in your work.
Being a seamstress was only one of the jobs I had. I also learned to paint wooden ornaments, statues, and even learned to make ceramics for the same Boss. And I accomplished all of this at home while my kids were growing up.
In order for my own home business to increase I found myself investing in new materials to accomplish these new talents. I even got so bold as to submit my own lines of work to my boss rather than making just her ideas. And all of this took a little cash to get started.
But in the long run the investment paid off. Each paycheck I would invest a little bit more into materials and invent new products. Not all of them were accepted, maybe 1 out of 10 was accepted as saleable, but they were my own idea and it gave me a great deal of self worth to know that I accomplished this.
Learning a new trade took a great leap of faith on my part. To go from seamstress to ceramicist was a gigantic leap and quite a bit of reinvestment. A Kiln is not cheap.
Fortunately I did not need a large kiln for what I was going to learn to make. I could fire up to 300 ornaments at a time in a test kiln. This job started out as an opportunity to help another artist fill the orders needed for my boss. Although I was not able to fully copy this other artists work I managed to make enough to help. At the same time I came up with a totally different line of ornaments that took off like a sky rocket in sales. My new talents paid for a lot more comfort. The re-investment was worth it.
5. Pricing your items