I know some people come by this blog from my little etsy shop Blaqkat, and I’ve had business questions before so I thought I would start including some posts about business and some of the processes I use.
As you can imagine December is the busiest month for me and while I did manage to beat my last years’ sales for this month, I sadly had to close my shop earlier than normal due to the ongoing drama with the leaking roof (leaking into my craft room!) and awful roofers who just continued to make the roof worse!
However, the roof is now fixed and I am back inside my DRY craft room. So while I did not get the December I had hoped, I am looking ahead.
It is not just December that can bring sales, after the holidays people rush to shops to spend their money and gift cards they have received. So this is a good time to get prepped for business.
One of the best things I ever did when I started my business was to set up a postage station system.
The first part was to organise a central place for all those little pieces, so I used this door pocket hanger. It was designed for gardeners to hold seed packets but my seed packets are all stored in a tray. This just hangs nicely on the back of my Craft room door.
This is where I store all my Return address labels, Airmail stickers, Customs forms, Documents-enclosed wallets, Recorded-delivery stickers etc.
Most of my customers are international so I need to have a good supply of customs forms, airmail stickers etc on hand (when you have several packages to post, it is not great to be stood in the post office filling in forms and holding up the queue. While the British are known for their ‘queuing for anything’ attitude, we don’t like doing it and will huff and tut if held up too long).
Next I store all my inclusion cards – these are my Thank You cards, Jewellery Care cards, Pottery Care cards etc. I print these out on coloured card and can then add the relevant ones to the right packages.
I also keep a back up of my organza bags (all my jewellery items are put into pretty organza bags) and since one year I had a rash of orders all asking for the same colour, I ended up running out and not realising I needed to order more until I had used the last one. Now I keep a few in here so that if my main stock runs out I can order more and use these backups until they arrive.
(My partner purchased this label maker one Yule and decided to label it for me, hence the big white sticker across the top. He considers himself hilarious… o.O )
Now, almost all of my items are shipped in small padded envelopes. So in order to maximise my busy time I prep a set of envelopes early.
It fitted perfectly next to the door (that has the hanging pockets on) and was the exact size to fit my mini padded envelopes in. I love it when things work out like that!
I use the top drawer for international-order envelopes, the second drawer for UK-order envelopes, the third has a few blank envelopes so I don’t have to immediately turn to my bulk box and the fourth drawer has bubble wrap strips.
Since most of my orders are for jewellery, if I get some quiet moments, I take the time to cut up bubblewrap into strips and keep rolls of them in this drawer for quick access.
With the envelopes, I prep them by sticking a document enclosed wallet onto the front of each one (UK and International). The International ones have to include the invoice on the outside, but I thought it make it easier so I adopted it for the UK ones too.
Airmail stickers are added to the top left corner, and then a (blank) customs form and a Thank You card is slipped into the document-enclosed wallet. Finally on the back I put my return address in case the parcel goes wayward.
This all means that when I get orders I can just grab the appropriate number of envelopes, fill in the customs form, slot in the invoice, stick on the customs form and it’s ready! The photo opposite is a small selection of the ones I prepped yesterday.
Makes it really efficient if I get lots of orders all at once and I am short on time. I had never realised just how much time I lost sorting the envelopes during the order time. Once I got them prepped beforehand, made things so much smoother.
That’s how I use my Postage Station and Prep for busy days.
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As mentioned in my last post, I am going to be more active in this blog and with that being said I confirm it will be Witchy Blog Wednesdays! 🙂
I will be blogging weekly, on Wednesdays at 20:00 (BST)
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