Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Craft Business- Taking a break!

If you are a business owner you will know how hard it is to run a business. This is especially true in the crafty industry. From start to finish it's usually a one person show with help then and there from friends and family we can rope in!! So taking a holiday is not something we can do all the time contrary to popular belief!







However it is really important to take a break now and again for these reasons.

  • Sanity
  • Family time
  • Hobbies or trips away
  • To find new inspiration 
  • Personal projects
  • Proper sleep


But it is hard to close a business to take a break, how do you not reply to emails? How do you not ship orders? How do you leave your social media to wither away until your reach is a big fat ZERO and it takes weeks to build it up again?

I have put together a few ideas as to how to plan a break from your business without it all falling apart while you're away!

Emails

There are a few options here- let it go for a week without responding to any emails (not recommended), set an auto response saying you are away and what date you will be back or hire a virtual assistant to manage them for you. If you have a very high number of emails you may want to look at hiring a VA however if you are still a small business a auto response does nicely!

Facebook

Facebook is some kind of possessed crazy machine at the moment! I for one don't really understand what is going on, constant changes are making it hard to actually reach any of your fans. So who really knows what is the best way to handle taking a break. But you have a few options, schedule posts- these can be great except when people comment on them and you don't comment back so in this case it might be a great idea to have an interim admin on your page to reply to comments and respond to any messages. Of course you can always just post a status explaining that you will be away in this case it may be a good idea to advertise this using your advertisement manager on facebook. This will cost you but this way you have more of a chance of reaching those customers. I would also advise you to add a "I'm on holiday" image or something of that effect to your cover photo so when people visit your page they can easily see that you are away and when you will be back.

Website

If you are planning on closing down website orders while you are away it is important to make this very clear to your customers. I would suggest putting a note on your home page, shop page and checkout page. Also if you are tech savvy enough a pop up box as they check out would be optimal that states that you are away and their order will be processed and shipped on the day you get back. I wouldn't suggest closing your shop or making it hidden as you could lose potential customers very easily! 

Twitter/Instagram/other social media sites.

Now I'm not tech guru it's a wonder I know how to use the internet in a bare minimum capacity! You have a couple of options hire an assistant to post for you, schedule posts using an RSS feeds or something (don't quote me on that) or just leave it and promote the crap out of it when you get back if you don't want to post while you're away! 

Etsy and similar online stores.

These often have a holiday mode which you can turn on however if you still want people to see and be able to order you can leave your store open just make sure you make it very clear on all of your listings that you will be away and the date that their order will be shipped. This can be risky however because people tend to skim read and might not notice your messages therefore you could get bad feedback or unhappy customers.

Well there you go I'm done with this post it's time to take some of my own advice!! 

Now tell me how often do you take a break from your small business? 

Robin x







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