There’s so much more to running a small business than just making pretty jewelry. I probably spend maybe 15% of my Hopkins & the Witch time actually creating. I wish it was more, but something I learned fairly quickly was that there’s no point making mountains of product if nobody knows it’s there!
I spend a lot of time taking and editing photos - each product needs between 4 and 10 photos so that I can make sure my customers have as clear an idea of the item as possible before they buy it. Living in the Netherlands, the light is often quite dull and quite cold, so I need to brighten and warm up the pictures so that they show their colours accurately. Writing descriptions for my webshops also takes time. In particular I often struggle to come up with “tags” - short words or phrases that people might use to search for an item. Etsy allows me to have 13, and encourages me to use them all, so I sit typing in “mabon necklace” “dreamcatcher necklace” “carnelian jewelry” etc for a surprisingly long time.
One all the new products are listed I need to promote them. That’s probably the single biggest thing I do. Writing blog posts and newsletters, creating social media posts that I hope you will all find engaging, and scheduling all of these… This is something never fully appreciated before running my own business, and in some ways I really enjoy it. I like writing, so blog posts are never a problem. Coming up with social media posts gets trickier towards this end of the year, as I try to keep my feeds as colourful as possible, and it’s tricky stopping them getting very orangey-brown in the autumn. That’s going to be my big focus this season.
Obviously there’s also a lot of even more behind the scenes work too - I fill out quarterly BTW (Dutch VAT) reports in Dutch, which confuse me every single time despite my ongoing efforts to tweak my bookkeeping so that it is easy to fill out tax returns. I also try to keep on top of my personal business development - reading books about small business, taking webinars, and carrying out market research.
Whew! I’m tired just thinking about it all!