Sunday, July 10, 2016

It's taken me several weeks to get back to the point where I need to reset and think out loud about where I'm at. I'm still a little amazed at how well all of the boutiques are doing, and as long as I'm buried in orders, I haven't been terribly concerned about questioning my direction. July, as expected, seems to be slowing down a bit though, so it's a good time to get a new focus on things.

Social Media
I  still kind of cringe when I hear that term. With seven different sites/applications to tend to, the plan to just let it slide when I get busy has been fine, but if I don't get to work on things on a month when it seems I'll have some "extra" time, I won't ever get to work on it. At that rate I guess I need to develop a schedule to make sure I hit on all of sites I need to update.

And last week I  did a very bad thing. I discovered Polyvore and realized my background in merchandising women's clothing is a huge plus at that site. That always seems like a worthless skill, but I'll see where it goes for me.

New Projects
Finishing the all-in-one ACID site is getting closer and closer. It feels like one of those projects where the closer I get the longer it takes to make any progress...that's my own fault though.

Then I discovered a torturous site called EtsyRank. It evaluates Etsy shops from an SEO perspective in a way that is impossibly time-consuming to do manually. I've spent a great deal of time working on my Etsy SEO since I've found that site, and I have more work to do.

I also need to do a little more thinking on another potential project that came to light last week. While Etsy was mired in a Direct Checkout fiasco, Handmade @ Amazon made a brilliant announcement. They were originally going to start charging a $40 monthly fee to sellers starting in August 2016, and now they've postponed that to December of 2017. Aside from my private shops, nothing compares to Etsy when it comes to selling wares through a third party host. I'm told that Handmade @ Amazon is already pretty equivalent to Etsy for a lot of Etsy sellers, so I'm very tempted to try it out. That would be a huge project though.

Oh my, I almost forgot that I just got materials ready to start a crochet-based shop for patterns and actual items I crochet. For some reason I missed crocheting, and I had to go get a bunch of new yarn. Yeah, sure...I "had" to. :)

Ongoing Projects
As far as my existing stores/shops go, my primary focus has been on getting orders out the door immediately and keeping up with inventory and accounting processes. I haven't had much of a chance to significantly grow any of those stores lately, and I've got plenty of ideas piling up.

I also have a ton of jewelry piling up that I've designed and made for my Novapsis jewelry store, and I simply haven't had a chance to get it all listed. I thought I had plan to get that worked into my routine, and it kind of fell apart. Ugh! It's actually time to start thinking about the holidays for my stores too, so I need to start working on building a completed items inventory since made-to-order isn't practical during that time of year.

Personal Projects
I still have a bunch of blank wall space in my house waiting for me to finish the art I have planned, and that is way back on the priority list. The garden is looking good, so there will be inevitable projects there for canning and freezing. I've also been making a concerted effort to take better care of myself since that can involve some time-consuming processes (like making healthy meals vs. fast and easy meals). The meditation has been going very well and is helping, but I just suck at the diet and exercise end of things. I saw a Facebook meme the other day that said, "I promised myself I'd lose 10 pounds this summer...only 20 pounds to go!".  I know that feeling!!!

OK, so I guess my takeaway here is to come up with a temporary Social Media routine to take advantage of the slower order season and then setting some priorities around the new and ongoing projects since they can't ALL possibly get done anytime soon. I can at least work on the items I decide will have the greatest return.

It's now time for me to find something for lunch that will keep me in the 300 calorie range and yet leave me with enough energy and motivation to exercise later and keep up the pace with my projects.  It's funny how much harder it is to get things done when you're constantly hungry - LOL!