Here’s what we would do if we only had 4 hours a day or 20 hours a week to work on our Etsy shop or handmade business.
This is might be helpful for you if…
...you work another job outside of your Etsy shop (and most of us do) and you’re super busy
...you find yourself fitting in your handmade business in between your family’s lives like during nap times or while your kids are at school
..or maybe you’re a full time student so you’ve got a limited amount of time to work on your biz
If any of these are you or there’s some other important reason that you’ve got a small amount of time each week to work on your business but you want to get the maximum impact out of that time, this episode is for you.
Perhaps you’ve felt like you spent too much time working on your business only to discover the things you spent time on weren’t actually making you sales or you find yourself distracted on social media and you’re just not as productive as you could be.
You can listen to the episode here, or keep reading below!
I’ll share a goal of mine right now: I (Taylor) am working towards getting my total work week time down to just 20 hours a week. That’s it. Just 20 hours a week without any changes in money.
If I could work just 20 hours a week, I know that I would have the space and time for more rest, less stress of course, and cultivate more of the meaningful experiences I want to have in my life. For example, I know you guys know I always say this, but traveling more is my dream. But also yoga, more time for trying recipes, more time for relaxing on the beach. So, if I can get my work week down to just 20 hours a week, that will help me reach these other goals.
So that’s what I thought this would be such a great topic to share because many of you might have started your online businesses to have more time and more flexibility just like me, or this also applies to you because you literally only have 20 hours a week for your biz, which is totally fine.
You do not have to hustle to run a small business! You just don’t. You can take things one step at a time, and go at your own pace, whatever that may be.
Okay, so 20 hours a week. That’s 4 hours a day if you want to work in your business Monday-Friday, or 5 hours a day if you want to work only 4 days a week.
You can also split this up to make it work best for your life. Maybe you do 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours at night, or you do all 4 hours a day in the evening after your job. Literally any way this works for you but the point of this episode is to give you an idea of how to time block your work so you take the time you do have and make it as productive and energizing and enjoyable as possible.
We’re going to talk about 2 different options. The first one is helpful if you’re already making daily sales in your Etsy shop. Next after that, we’ll talk about how to spend 4 hours a day in your Etsy shop if you aren’t making daily sales in your shop yet.
So, first, if you’re already getting regular orders that you have to fulfill each day, here is how we would spend 20 hours a week in your handmade business, Monday-Friday:
1-2 hours a day - order fulfillment and shipping
Self explanatory - make your product, fill your orders, pack them to ship
30 minutes a day - social media engagement
What is social media engagement? & what it’s not…
Now for social media engagement, let me tell you what we mean by this. We do not mean just scrolling and scrolling through instagram and hearting posts or watching reels. Sure, that can be fun, and a good way to relax, but it’s not helping your business in any meaningful ways.
Instead, you want to utilize those 30 minutes on social media to really engage with your dream customer and make connections. Instead of hearting/liking 30 posts, take a minute to leave a meaningful comment on the posts of your favorite fellow small businesses or customers. I like to spend a few minutes doing this, and then I will post my own content, and then a few more minutes doing meaningful engagement each day.
1.5 hours a day - batchworking
Social media content (REELS - check out our training on this!)
Prepping/producing more product
SEO & Keywords
Not sure how to decide what you need to work on in your batchworking time?
What do you need to do the most? Try to identify 1-3 top priorities.
What do you need to do next in each of these priorities? What is the next step?
When you answer that question, that’s the thing you work on.
Pro tip for batchworking: Set a timer for 1.5 hours.
We aren’t trying to do all the things in one day. Your goal is to complete those 1-3 priorities each day and THAT’S ALL. You sign off after that.
It’s also important to say that batchworking is not the same as multi-tasking. It doesn’t mean doing everything at once. Instead you work in batches to complete many related things at once before moving on.
Now, if you’re not already getting regular orders, your strategy is going to look a little bit different because we’re looking to grow your audience and get you seen on Etsy, here is how we would spend 20 hours a week in your handmade business, Monday-Friday:
1 hour a day - learn the foundations of Etsy: keywords, SEO, and shop profile optimization
Start with our SEO guide, which you can get on our website OR....if you step-by-step instructions on how to build the best foundation, we can teach you how to do this in our course, Dream, Create, Sell.
1 hour a day - engaging on social media and creating social media content. More time spent on social media growth!
2 hours a day - batchworking as you work towards 100 listings on Etsy or in your shop
Prepping/producing more product
SEO & Keywords
If you’re a new or new-ish Etsy shop or you’re not making regular sales, we really need to focus you on adding a lot of products. You really need 50-100 listings at a minimum in your shop to do well on Etsy.
You might be thinking like “omg there’s no way” but a lot of these are going to be variations, size options, etc. If you’re an artist and you make one of a kind art, you could list all of your originals but you could also make a series of miniature art or something small like postcards or tiny canvases to add more listings, and of course, make prints. I (Katie) just recently reopened my art etsy shop, and I hit 50 listings super quick because I was listing prints of all of my work, and sets of similar prints, such as a set of 6 ocean themed prints, or a set of 6 bear prints, etc.
You can also bundle products together as a way to add more listings. People like buying sets of things and if you’re already making them anyway, all you need to do is photograph a set of items that make sense together and Boom! New listing. For example, if you sell cute scrunchies individually, you could also create sets of 3 in different styles and sell them as bundles too.
Why do you need so many listings? Because of the way you get found on etsy or even google with keywords. Imagine if you only have one listing. So, Katie, let’s say you sell a original piece of artwork that is oil paint and has a tropical vibe. So, you make the title “Pink palm trees original artwork painting.” Okay, so who is going to find this and love it and buy it?
Well, someone who’s looking for a painting with palm trees and loves pink.
But, you’re only going to reach that person with one listing. Now, if you have a bunch of different products for sale and you paint sea turtles, beaches, mermaids, paddleboards and surfboards, you can reach all of those different people who like those things. Now, multiple that by 100 products for sale...
You'll have a much better chance of greater sales because you’re reaching a much bigger audience by having different titles and different matches in the Etsy algorithm instead of just one or a few. So, if you have less than 50 products for sale, that’s where I’d focus if you’re not getting a ton of orders yet in your shop.
Alright, so that’s how we would spend our time if we had just 4 hours a day or 20 hours a week to work in our handmade business. We’re super curious if you do something like this, or if you have a different process, we’d love to hear it. ✨If this is helpful to you or you have any questions about time blocking and batch working, hit us up on Instagram at @shopstudiosisters because we ALWAYS answer DMs.✨