If you’re a handmade business owner, then you probably understand how difficult it can be to establish a work and life balance.
There’s accounting, marketing, social media and more to worry about. How can you even think about making time for yourself?
Burnout is the most threatening influence on your handmade business, because it goes after your creativity, the most important asset you have. Each of us employs different methods to keep our creativity alive; hopefully, some of the ideas here will help you keep it going:
1. Identify Stressors
A study shows that there are phases that lead someone to experience burnout. The first one is a compulsion to prove oneself – an excessive ambition to show colleagues, and themselves, that they excel at what they do in every way.
The higher expectations lead to working excessive hours, doing it all themselves, in an obsessive desire to prove that they are doing well. They end up neglecting other life priorities, such as their health.
2. Take A Break
Having lots of orders is a great thing, but it can also be overwhelming. If you need time to catch up on order fulfillment, consider updating the processing times both on your Shop Policies page and in item descriptions to give yourself some breathing room.
Take time for yourself once in a while: dine out with friends, go shopping, watch a movie or take a quick weekend getaway with your family. Then, catch up on the work you already have. Knowing you have extra lead time on incoming orders should take a load off your shoulders.
3. Have Your Own Craft Room
Save time and hassle by putting all your stuff in one place.
Instead of working at your bedroom, have your own craft room. If you don’t have space in your house for a room, even finding a place for a desk is a great idea. Try to keep your projects, etc. confined to that area.
And make your workspace lovely. Flowers and colorful artwork can do wonders for your creativity. Adding prints of your favorite quotes are a great way to stay inspired and motivated too.
4. Have A Clear Policy
Have a clear store policy. Resolve conflicts, don’t run from them. Let people know what you expect from them, and ask them what they expect from you. Be clear and concise with your policy, and how you say it.
5. Make Use Of Apps And Softwares
Poor time management is another thing we do that leads to burnout. The best way to save time is to use apps and softwares to do other things for you such as shipping, photo editing, social media management, etc.
There is also a software that will help you with your pricing and inventory.
Also, don’t be afraid to raise your prices. Handmade sellers often undervalue their own work. While raising prices may deter some customers from purchasing your products, over time you could end up earning more money for doing less work.
It is all about finding your product’s pricing sweet spot. For instance, if you sell an average of 50 handmade soaps a month for $5 each, you’ll make $250. If I increase the price to $6 per soap, I might lose a few sales each month. But if I sell only 45 soaps, I’ll still make $270. That’s $20 more a month for doing less work than before. Test your pricing to discover the sweet spot for your products.
I’ll be honest; I still struggle with many of the things that I listed above. And, as a busy business owner, it’s virtually impossible to incorporate all of them at the same time. So choose at least 2-3 and focus on improving those!
And keep in mind that, even when you’re overwhelmed and feel as though you have to work 100% of the time, avoiding burnout is best for you.
Have you ever experienced entrepreneurial burnout? If so, what did you do to get through it? Share your experience in the comments.