July 21, 2010
sometimes i find myself walking from one end of the room to another to gather different supplies, not being able to find something, or just taking a haphazard approach to my craft production. instead, i want to try to envision my process as a big production factory and figure out which things they would streamline. would they cut out all the appliques in one sitting? outsource an item that would save me money? hire extra hands?
first, figure out your craft from the inside out. the first time i make something, it usually takes me forever and i make numerous mistakes. but, by the 10th one i’ve made, i’ve usually figured out better approaches to take, how to save on materials, and in what order i should do the steps. it’s not until you really learn your craft that you’ll be able to start streamlining it.
crafting in batches. if you’re making one item at a time, break it down to see what the quickest method to make it will be. can you do 3 steps in one area of your room before you move to the next? if you’re making 10 (or 100) at a time, it will most likely save you time to set up a production line and work on all 10 items at once.
time yourself. grab a clock and time the different approaches you take to production over the next week or so. which method saved you the most time?
organize, organize, organize! think through your materials and supplies and keep them in sequential steps throughout your room, or have them all conveniently located in one place.
get help. do you find yourself using most of your time printing postage and packaging goods? cleaning your room? consider hiring help for tasks that take away from your production (and creativity). here’s a great article by megan aumen on how hiring can boost your sales.
minimize. are you making every part of your product, when in fact you could outsource some parts to save yourself time and money? even something as simple as business cards are worth consideration for outsourcing if handcrafting them is taking up too much of your time.
set goals. once you’ve determined your most efficient production method, set quotas for yourself. it will help you stay on task, focused and extra-efficient.