Written By Alyssa Ficcaglia
Preparing for the storm. As a small business owner you should always be preparing for the worst. But no amount of planning could have prepared any of us for what is happening now. COVID-19 is not only a major health concern, but also puts a great strain on the economy. Businesses large and small have been forced to close their doors in an effort to prevent the spread of the virus. As a handmade crafting business, we are fully aware of how this can and will affect our day to day operations. In preparing for what is to come, here are a few things we are doing to stay ahead of this slow down:
Create a game plan
Utilizing any extra down time now is crucial to accomplishing your longer term goals. One of the first things we did was sit down and sort through our pending projects that we have been wanting to accomplish, but have always set aside because we just didn’t have the time. Writing these items down will be extremely helpful in mapping out our weeks based on the amount of orders we have pending. Not only will accomplishing these pending projects decrease a bit of our stress, but they will in turn play a big role in the future of our business.
Build up inventory
Now is an excellent time to begin building up your inventory. With a slower workflow, we can take advantage of getting ahead of orders and creating a stockpile of our popular items. When we enter our busier months, it can be surprising how quickly orders come in which can make the weeks workload that much harder and more stressful. By taking the opportunity to build up our inventory, we will be saving ourselves the added pressure we get when we are making each item as the order comes in. This brings me to my next point: preparing for holidays.
Prepare for the big holiday season
As we learned from our first Christmas in business just last year, things can definitely get overwhelming very fast. While we thought we had made all the right preparations, I vividly remember us looking at each other after going on multiple nights of very little sleep, if any, swearing that we will be more prepared for this year. One of our goals is to start planning for things like what Black Friday sales we want to run, the promotional content we want to put out there, and the product/product designs we want to create. We also will be compiling a list of supplies and materials we need to order so we can make sure we are fully stocked when the time comes. There is nothing worse than running out of something in the middle of the holiday rush.
Learn something new
One of the best things you can do, and something we personally will be doing a lot of during this time, is expand your knowledge on running a small business. In a previous blog post titled “Top 4 Resources for Growing Your Etsy Business”, I listed some of my go to learning tools that are extremely beneficial to growing your business. Now is the perfect time to start doing your research and learning everything you can about business. Listen to podcasts, read some good books, or take an online course. Use this time wisely so you can come out on the other side of this and hit the ground running.
Stay active on social media
Now is a great opportunity to start posting regularly on social media so your customers don’t forget about you and to take the time to get to know/grow your online community. We as a maker/business community have really rallied together and are lending a helping hand to each other. Make new friends, show your support to other small businesses you follow, and keep being inspired. Things may be tough and it may be scary but that is no excuse to give up. Keep pushing forward and your business will thank you for it.
Stay home. Stay healthy. Stay safe.