Saturday , 19 August 2017
Let me share with you 25 simple ideas for tasks and things you could easily squeeze in your lunch break to help you move your handcraft business at a steady pace ahead.

25 Things To Do On Your Lunch Break To Further Your Handmade Business

etsy lunch ideas

25 Things To Do In Your Lunch Break
To Further Your Handmade  Business

By Rossi Ignatova – SilverSense 

 As the proud owner of a handcraft business you have to wear many hats. You not only need to design and physically create your product, but also market it, sell it, wrap it, post it and… oh, even socially network it. No wonder there are never enough hours in the day, especially if you combine your craft endeavor with a full-time, paying-the-bills job.

Caught in the blizzard of things to be done, you may even catch yourself thinking: “I wish I had a spare hour today!”, and then you may even look wistfully through the window wishing you were somewhere else instead.

Stop! You already have one such hour every working day and wouldn’t it be great if you used it creatively instead of simply filling it with a sandwich from the canteen, a coffee from the machine, and some gossip with work colleagues and/or friends?!

Let me share with you 25 simple ideas for tasks and things you could easily squeeze in your lunch break to help you move your handcraft business at a steady pace ahead. A word of caution though – don’t use your employer’s equipment for personal needs. Instead make use of your smartphone, laptop or simply a notebook and a pen.

  • Look at photos on Flickr for inspiration and networking. Post comments on images you love and join Flickr groups. Also upload your own photos and share them with the community. You never know what contacts you may make.
  • Spruce up your product descriptions – it’s one of those super important tasks that always get overlooked. So sit down, open a print out of your template description and edit it again and again. Jot down ideas how to improve it. Tell in writing little stories as to how you create your designs. Then proof your much improved description and start using it online.
  • Make lists of terms you can use as keywords in your product descriptions and online advertising. Try to come up with words and short phrases which are relevant to your product and help set it apart.
  • Research new suppliers – of beads, yarn, packaging materials, business cards… Make a list with the companies you have found to refer to when you need to top up your stash.
  • Jot down ideas for blog posts. Spend some quality brainstorming time and write everything and anything that comes to mind. You can develop these rudimentary ideas later, now it is important to simply follow the thread of your thoughts.
  • Catch up with your reading – have a look at the latest posts in leading blogs of interest to you and browse through magazines in your field of craft expertise. Don’t forget to post comments in reply to posts that have caught your eye.
  • If the environment allows it – do a bit of crafting. Spend 15 minutes making something straightforward and simple – for example, wirewrap beads or shape a batch of earwires. You never know – it may even attract some sales.
  • Update your status on Facebook and Twitter – chances are half of the world is socially networking in their lunch hour, so your update may be seen by more people eager to chat to each other and check out what’s new.
  • Work on your marketing calendar – log in ideas for Facebook and Twitter updates, develop future promotions, mark upcoming holidays and plan how your business will be getting ready for them.
  • Work on your media plan – get researching and collecting contact details of media outlets, bloggers and journalists needing stories in your field of craft expertise. Think about how to approach them and how to grab their attention with your motivational story or design.
  • Check media sites for product requests. You never know – your handmade creation may be featured in a large circulation publication, just because you reacted on time.
  • Do a post office run. Sold something the night before? Then post it in your lunch break. Customers appreciate receiving their orders on time.
  • Catch up with emails and inquiries – prospective clients like to get a response quick and it will present your business in a professional way.
  • Have a look at the craft forums you follow – read some new messages and post your replies. Connecting with fellow crafters is an excellent way to get feedback and support.
  • Think about your branding – is it time to get a new banner, new colour scheme, new packaging boxes perhaps? What about your artist statement or the ‘About Me’ page on your site? Analise how your branding helps set you apart and how it can be improved.
  • Clarify your pricing strategy – when working on your creations it is all too easy to either under- or overprice them. Think numbers in the cold light of the day when you are removed from the creative process.
  • Ask your manager if you can hold a trunk sale at your place of work. Do your research first on company policies and health and safety regulations, so that you are well prepared to block any objections your manager may raise.
  • Work on your craft party plan – calculate costs, clarify logistics, create a flyer or ask some of your colleagues if they would like to hold one for you.
  • Get to grips with technology – research new apps and platforms for newsletter scheduling, listing automation, photo processing. The better you know how to use them, the bigger the opportunities in front of your handcraft business.
  • Write articles about your field of craft expertise – describe your processes, develop tutorials, compile tip sheets. Then submit them to online blogs and publications offline.
  • Total up your craft expenses for the month. Keeping an eye on your outgoings will help ensure your business’s financial health.
  • Dream – visualize your creation worn or used by your ideal customer. No matter if this is a world-known celebrity or a person representing the niche market you want to sell to, close your eyes and imagine them wearing your products, using your creations and the satisfaction you will feel when this eventually happens in real life.
  • Create an affirmation document – write down all the strong, positive sides of your business both in terms of creative process and customer service and refer to this text in times when sales slow down a bit and you need a bit of assurance that you are doing things right.
  • Strategies – think where you want to take your creative business next and how to get there. Clarify the steps in your head and write to do lists.
  • Just relax for a little bit – your life is hectic as it is, so having some quiet minutes will help recharge your creative batteries.

Time is of essence and learning to manage each minute more effectively and resourcefully will help you grow your handcraft business, whilst keeping your sanity and working hard on your nine-to-five job.

 

Featured Etsy Items:

{1} Aged to Perfection Vintage Aluminum Dome Top Lunch Box 

{2} Apple Cozy in Burnt Orange

{3} Eco Lunch Sack with Garden GNOME design

{4} Vintage 1950s Roy Rogers Dale Evans Canadian Issue Lunch Box

{5} Vintage Tin Box / Lunch Box / Storage

 

  

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39 comments

  1. All of these are wonderful ideas. I hope to spend more time blogging in the future. Thank you!

  2. What a GREAT post…I work full time and have these thoughts every day about wishing I had more time! Great suggestions – whether they are done at mid-day or mid-night!

  3. I often sit for an hour wondering what to do next – now I’ll be using this list to get something else done while I’m still deciding! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. These are awesome ideas! Thanks for gathering them all in one great list – I will definitely be referring back to this over and over!

  5. Great post! I completely understand the predicament of having a full-time job and a side crafting business. I love your suggestions of how to spen an hour…wouldn’t have to be a lunch hour though. For me, I have trouble focusing on one task at a time. It’s nice to see a list of things to focus on.

  6. This is a brilliant list! I certainly agree with making products during your luch hour. Before I quit my day job, I used to make jewellery while having lunch and got a full order book in no time at all, even the company directors and managers were ordering stuff! I used to trundle into the office with a big holdhall of supplies each morning, and they all used to ask “what are you making today? can I come and watch you”!!!

  7. This was such a great article! Thank you for sharing. I made sure to pass it along on my facebook page!

  8. I needed this list. I am a full-time potter and pottery teacher and I want to see my business grow. Thank you very much for the coaching session!

    Find me on Facebook@ Studio 101 Pottery

  9. thank you, thank you thank you for this post! great ideas and info.

  10. This is really helpful – what a great list! I’m new to social media networking and working hard to develop my business so any help is VERY gratefully received.Thank you.

  11. These are great tips, thank you!

  12. What a great list! I’m waiting for my car right now and I can do a few of these!

  13. love love love this! Sometimes those ‘quit your day job’ articles make me feel so hopeless, being in debt with two kids…. This is great, I can keep going and growing and keep my health insurance, too!

    thanks so so much.
    xx

  14. Love all the wonderful suggestions!!! I don’t get an hour lunch but I can still see incorperating some of the ideas shared into my 30 minute lunch. :-)

  15. Thanks for the great ideas! I like to use my lunch hour to browse through jewelry magazines for inspiration or to work on some simple projects, but this gives me a whole new list of potential ‘to do’s.

  16. Thanks, these ideas are great. I’m not in the working field, but I can see where these ideas would give your more use of your time. I used to work in the OR and every chance I got to bead, I’d take out what I was working on. Many of the OR nurses brought the project even before it was finihed. I miss that!!!! Thanks for the ideas.

  17. This is a fabulous list. Thanks so much for compiling it.

    I often spend my lunch break browsing Etsy, Craftgawker (and now I’ve added Handmadeology to the list) looking for inspiration. It’s a great way to see what’s popular; a colour, a style, etc.

    I rarely spend the time on marketing ideas, and I think this could be a really beneficial process for me.

    I’m also now trying to work out how I can take some clay into the office and spend some time making pinch pots at my desk during lunch. :o)

  18. Hi guys! Thank you all for your wonderful comments. It means a lot to me that the article is proving useful to you in one way or another!
    With best wishes,
    Rossi

  19. Lunch break? :)
    Nice article.

  20. Wow, these are great ideas!! I also work a full time job, as an engineer and so during my lunch, I like to get away from my office completely. I normally go to the local bead/craft stores and end up spending way too much money!! Now I have better, more productive things that I can do to help grow my jewelry business!!
    Thanks so much!!

  21. Great information, and lots of food for thought! Thanks for sharing.

  22. Hey! Thanks so much for this post. I’m currently trying to work on marketing my new Etsy shop and I found this post so helpful. One question though– in regards to this:

    “Work on your media plan – get researching and collecting contact details of media outlets, bloggers and journalists needing stories in your field of craft expertise. Think about how to approach them and how to grab their attention with your motivational story or design.
    Check media sites for product requests. You never know – your handmade creation may be featured in a large circulation publication, just because you reacted on time.”

    Have any media outlets you could recommend that I might keep an eye on for opportunities to pitch my products?

  23. This is a really useful post! So many ideas! Thanks so much.

  24. Totally inspirational. I like how you mixed the “practical” (finding new sources of fabric and paper) with the “emotional” (re-writing the About Me section of my Etsy shop).

    Sometimes my head gets so full of the business side of things it wears me out, but now you’ve provided many options for using the left side of the brain as well as the right. Well written!

  25. I now run my studio full time producing and marketing our handcrafted magnets which we wholesale to gift shops and retail on Etsy.

    This list will be great for that hour when I need a break and need to change gears, but don’t actually want to stop working. So I will use this as a “working break hour” and still be accomplishing things that I seem to never have enough time for.

    Thank you for this idea!
    Fredda from The Magnificent Magnet
    http://www.themagnificentmagnet.com
    http://www.themagnificentmagnet.etsy.com

  26. Great article – I often bring projects to work on at lunchtime…today I brought my pad and pencils to work on some shrink plastic pieces, but forgot my fineliners! So ended up sharpening all of my coloured pencils (what a nerd) but at least they’ll be all ready for me later :)

    Thanks
    Sadie (@sadiesadiesadie)

  27. These are great ideas, I’m always trying to juggle my card making business and a full time job! Thanks x

  28. When the weather forecast in good, I take my bags with me to work and in lunch hour I photograph them in old part of town. Nothing better than natural environment.

  29. I only get a half hour lunch break, but these are some great ideas! I have about an hour commute to work with my husband, so right now with my high influx of boot cuff orders, I’m crocheting on the ride to and from work while he drives! It’s a huge time saver in the evenings and helps me to be more efficient in my shipping times. Thanks for the added ideas!

  30. Thank you for this list. I do try to work on my Etsy business during my lunch hour, but at times get overwhelmed with all the possible things I could do in one hour. This list will help me focus.

    Thanks!
    Elizabeth (www.doodleshop.etsy.com)

  31. Great tips, I’m so grateful for smart phones, and that is just what I do on my lunch hour. Get some good food, find a quiet place to park, eat and promote!
    Andrew

  32. Although this post is two years old, it is still super valuable. I have been doing my business for over six years, and finally was able to quit my day job in December. I am of the age that I can draw my Social Security, but the rest is from my handmade business. Anyhow, my point is that this article is valuable to those of us who are not at another job all day. It is hard to keep us with all of this, but I am bookmarking this and printing it. I need to keep this list at hand.

    Thanks so much.

  33. You forgot to mention Pinterest…another source of inspiration.

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