Browsing Category

Productivity

Blog + Business Tips,Productivity

How to Organize Your Shop or Boutique

Ready to get your shop or boutique organized? Click to read my three tips on how I keep track of inventory.

Jewelry displays. Signs. Table cloths. Inventory. Just a few of the many items to keep track of while running your shop or boutique. It can be hard to keep track of it all, but once you do — sweet salvation!

When I took over my cousin’s boutique at the end of last year, I found myself overwhelmed with clothing, accessories, wholesale accounts, social media posts and website updates. It can be hard to stay on top of it all, but after a few trial and errors, I found tips and tricks that work.

1. Determine A Storage Space That Works For You And Your Products

Determine how much inventory you have along with any materials that you use to make or ship your products. Once you have a general idea of that inventory, look at the space around you and see what you can already utilize. Figure out the best place to store your products — is at your house or apartment, a studio or co-working space or maybe you need to rent a nearby storage area. Make sure that wherever you end up storing your products, you can easily reach it when comes to fulfill orders.

Once you figure out where you can store your products, determine what is the best way to store them. Personally, for me, it’s with large storage containers. These contain my boutique’s products as well as shipping materials, signage and any other items I may need for my shop. However, maybe you need good set of drawers or racks or shelves for your products. It all depends on what you sell!

2. Stay On Top Of Your Space With Labels, Hangtags and Stickers

Labels are a saving grace! Especially if you can’t determine what products are where at first glance. I store my products in containers that aren’t see through, so it’s important to keep each container labeled properly.

When it comes to my actual products, I personally like to have my products pre-labeled with the regular price of the product. That way if a last minute sidewalk sale or vendor event pops up, my products are already labeled for a sale.

Search around for the best organization tools that work for you! That may mean labels or stickers, hangtags or signage.

3. Keep Track Of It All With A Spreadsheet

Spreadsheets have been a dream come true for me. You can use either Excel or Google Spreadsheets to create your own. I use Google Spreadsheets because it’s cloud base so I can access it wherever, whenever and don’t have to worry about always keeping the most recent copy in Dropbox.

I use a spreadsheet to not only keep track of my inventory, but to also keep track of my product names, descriptions, prices and more. Spreadsheets are super easy to use to keep track of everything in one place! Basically, once you have the basis of a spreadsheet, you can then customize it to fit your needs, which is what I did with the Ultimate Inventory Tracker.

Keeping your shop or boutique organized is a breeze once you get your system down. Figuring out storage, keeping everything (and I mean everything) labeled and tracking it all with a spreadsheet has been my no-fail system. Make sure to check out the Ultimate Inventory Tracker to easily organize your boutique or shop!

 

Blog + Business Tips,Productivity

How To Get Back Into Your Business After Taking A Break

Decided to take a break from your business and now you're ready to come back? Click through to read my three tips on how to get back into your business after taking a break.

This blog post is hitting close to home because, well you guys, the last time I wrote a blog post was in October. October! That’s crazy! But I’m getting my stuff together to get back into blogging, back into our Facebook group, my second business and well just back at it.

It’s true everybody needs a break every once in a while. That’s why bosses give you a vacation, isn’t it? Truth is — I was feeling uninspired and unmotivated with the content I was creating (amongst other things) and I thought a break was much needed. Plus I started a second business, which needed my attention!

Now that I’m getting back into my blog, my second business and Facebook group while juggling my full time job and personal life, I’m all about figuring out that balance. Here’s a few tips to help you stay balance while you get back into your business.

1. Plan it out.

I literally sat with my planner about a month ago and decided when my comeback day was going to be. Once I figured out a date, I wanted to figure out exactly what I wanted to do as in what kind of content I wanted to share. And exactly what I wanted to focus on by looking at my Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram and my Facebook group and my blog… are you as tired as I am now?

What you focus on your for your business is totally up to you! Social media platforms that work for me may not work for you and vice versa. So now you’ll most see me on Instagram, Snapchat and in my Facebook group. I will be blogging, but not on a weekly basis like I used to, which brings me to next tip.

For your shop, maybe you look at your inventory and see what is selling the best and what isn’t selling well and decide from there. Or maybe you decide your boutique should be focusing on certain social media platforms instead. Whatever the case may, plan it out.

2. Preach quality over quantity

I used to blog once a week and it was great! I love writing (Fun fact: I’m a former Journalism major.) and I love sharing my thoughts and expertise on certain topics. However, sometimes I struggled with what to write or how to express my thoughts. Some things are better said than written, I suppose.

So while I get back into blogging consistently again, I’ve set a goal for one blog post a month. I want to make sure I’m giving you guys the BEST content I can and that may not mean a weekly blog post.

That said, I wanted a way to connect with you guys on a more personal level to bring you more quality content. I find that occurs more in my Facebook group and in live short videos through Instagram stories and Snapchat.

Again, the platforms I’m focusing on may not the ones you should be focusing on. My challenge to you is to bring quality content to your audience, whether that means fewer promotions, but ones that have more meaning or posting less but better content on social media.

3. Be kind to yourself

I was listening to Episode 20 of the Market Beautifully podcast, which is all about managing your business while working a full time job. This is so me, you guys! Something that was reiterated by Haley and Tisa was to give yourself some grace.

To me, that means things don’t always go according to plan. A task that you thought would only take you a few hours may take you several days because you have other things on your plate — family, work, friends, etc. Rather than beating yourself up about it, be kind to yourself.

You may have a plan to photograph and edit your new inventory, write product descriptions and launch it all on your website in one night when in reality you can only allot time to photograph your products. And that’s ok! It all goes back to my first tip – plan it out. Figure out a schedule that works for you to work efficiently.

If you’ve been taking a break from your business and thinking about jumping back in the saddle, I hope these tips help get back at it!

Productivity

How I Kept My Business Running While On a 3 Week Vacation

Worried about leaving your business hanging while taking a must needed vacation? It is possible to keep your business running smoothly while still enjoying some much needed time off. Read how I was able to take a three week cross country road trip while still managing my business.

If you’re on my e-mail list or follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I was away for the past almost three weeks for a cross country road trip. Crazy, right?! From my home state of New Jersey, we drove through 24 states all in under three weeks. This past Monday was my first official day back at work and my trip seems like a total blur. I can’t believe it actually happened. All I can say is it was AH-MAZING!

We’ve had this trip planned for a few months, so I was able to prep myself and my business for the time I was going to be away. I was nervous I was going to be having to work a ton while on the road. While I’ve seen others do it and succeed, I’m not sure it’s for me. Working from home is one thing. Working while on the road without a stable Internet connection is a whole nother ball game.

Like many small business owners or solo-entrepreneurs, our vacations may not always fit the actual criteria of vacations. We’re still checking up on social media and replying to e-mails, so we’re not as in vacation-mode as we want to be. I was determined to not let this be the case for this vacation. Because let’s be real, this is once in a lifetime opportunity. I wanted to experience it!

Could my business stop completely and still succeed without me present? Not fully. I’m not sure if any business could. But it could survive by me only checking in here and there and coming up with a pre-vacation plan. So that’s exactly what I did.

 

melissahebbe-blog-k2ssm

 

Pre-Vacation Plan

1. Plan Out Your Content
I’m not talking about actually writing out your blog posts just yet. I’m talking about digging out your planner or pulling up your Google Calendar and figuring out what KIND of content you are going to post and when. I planned in advance the topics of my own posts and e-mails.

2. Reach Out to Others
This was the perfect time to get some fellow bloggers and business owners to guest post on my blog. So a few weeks prior to my vacation, I put a call out on some of the Facebook and Slack groups that I’m in and received a wonderful response. You may have caught Kathryn’s post about Facebook ads or Krista’s post on how to make sales using Pinterest. I’m really excited for the rest of the guest posts to go up later on!

3. Make a Master To-Do List
I know what I have to do, but if I don’t write it down sometimes I forget to actually do it! Having a master to-do list keeps me on track. I not only make sure I get what I need to do done, but I also make sure I get it done in a timely manner. I swear by my to-do list and planner. (Side note: I bought a sticker machine to make my own planner stickers months ago and I have yet to make my own stickers. I’m thinking of doing that soon!)

4. Batch, Schedule and Automate
These three words are what SAVED me. Something I started to do after I publish a new blog post was create pre-written content to automatically share on social media. This works wonders for Twitter. I also started to keep a library of edited photos I could share on Instagram. There are certain things in my business I now have systems for so I no longer have to post “live” for everything. I do the same for my social media clients as well. Planning out my content (and my clients content) helps so much when I get to this stage. Serious game changer.

 

During the Vacation Plan

1. E-mail Autoresponder
Because I know I would be checking my e-mail from time to time to make sure all my planning and scheduling was running smoothly, if there was an e-mail I was able to respond, I would. Hey, when you’re driving through the middle of nowhere (and let me tell you there were times when we were really in the middle of the nowhere), responding to a few e-mails isn’t the worse thing in the world. But because there are some areas where I would get no service for hours on end and because I wouldn’t be constantly checking my e-mail, I wanted people to know that I did in fact receive their e-mail and that I would respond if need be while on vacation in a timely fashion, but non-urgent e-mails would have to wait until I get back. People, this works!

2. Set Aside Time
Usually in the morning while getting ready in whatever hotel we were in was when I would have access to wi-fi and have a little down time to scroll through social media and any personal or client posts. I’d spend probably about half an hour in the morning doing this before my boyfriend woke up (if possible). Again, when I wasn’t driving I would check in sometimes on social media to see what people were up to and to post myself. (For our road trip, we paired up with Budget USA and took over their Instagram for our entire vacation.)

 

Post-Vacation Plan

1. Back to the Master To-Do List
I have posts, guest posts, course, e-mails and webinars all in the head right now and it’s time to get them into action. I also have my own personal work to keep on top of as well as my client work. So the weekend before I came back to work, I made master to-do list and then used my planner. A bit like I did prior to my vacation. I also looked at my planner to figure what days I would which tasks. Rather than just following one insanely long list, I broke it down to make it more manageable.

2. Give Yourself A Break
Yes, I just got back from vacation, but that doesn’t mean my vacation didn’t take a lot out of me. Between driving through the middle of the night, sleeping in our car some nights and the time zone changes, we were both exhausted and in need of a salad (way too much fast food). So if I’m crashing in the middle of the day, I allow myself to take a 20 minute nap and come back refreshed. That may mean I have work a slightly longer day, but I’ll be much more productive if I take that quick nap than if I didn’t.

I was thrilled to work with Budget USA for this trip and to actually be able to take a once in a lifetime trip like this, but I’m happy to back and up and running my business again. I can’t wait to share all the new things I have planned for you guys! In the meantime, if you’re planning a vacation this summer and are worried about leaving your business behind, take some of my tips into account and use my social media content planner method (hint: this actually works for more than just social media since it’s totally customizable!). Don’t let your business keep you from taking a vacation and don’t let your vacation keep you from running your business.

 

melissahebbe-blog-k2ssm

Save