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Topic: I'm feeling overwhelmed! When to hire extra help  (Read 1113 times)
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jpalerino
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« on: May 24, 2007 10:44:16 AM »

First of all I'm not complaining, I need some advice, especially from handbag designers.  I sell handbags on etsy.  I know I would sell more if I had more purses listed.  It just that it takes time to sew the bags and time to upload items to site.  Also, I'm extremely busy in my hometown.  My business has exploded overnight.  I am receiving calls everyday from at least 1-2 people wanting to book my design a purse parties.  Right now, I can only handle 1 a week and kind of keep up with orders.  I give everyone 3-4 weeks to received their order.  I'm feeling like I'm at a point where I need to get some extra help with sewing, etc to keep up with my business and my family.  I have so many ideas floating in my head and not enough time to implement them.  So what do you think.  Any advice from anyone that has been in this situation with their biz.   Should I hire the extra help and do you think it will be profitable to do so?
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stereoette
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2007 11:46:18 AM »

maybe you could have an assistant come in one or two days a week to help with (a) photographing and listing new bags on etsy, (b) scheduling purse parties, (c) shipping, which would give you more time to sew. If you need even more help after that, perhaps look at hiring someone to help you iron or do another task you might not enjoy as much as sewing and designing. After that, you could look at hiring someone to sew, and pay them by the piece. I would try the first two suggestions first, though, as they dont require as much quality control.
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jpalerino
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2007 08:11:45 AM »

Thanks for the tip.  I think maybe having a friend to upload and list on etsy for me will be a lot of help.

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CraftyChef
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2007 03:46:53 AM »

I think it's important for a small business owner to be visible as much as possible. IMO I would continue to talk to people and schedule the party end of things and be the local face and voice people can recognize. When you're selling on etsy and wherever else online, there's little direct contact, so that whole part of it can be given to someone else.

First thing you want the assistant to do is go in and raise all your prices. Seriously, you can get more for those bags, and you have added expenses now, so just do it.

You might want to at least start the search for a sewing assistant; you could be drumming up more business instead of bent over the machine, and when you're "hot" it's the best time to concentrate on marketing and make more sales. There's nothing wrong with being the designer while others do the construction.

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coachwriter
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007 10:55:46 AM »

I agree with what the others have said. It's time to find someone to help. You probably enjoy making bags, but what is your goal? If it is to grow the business, then you need to be putting in your time on doing that and it appears the big growth right now is in the parties. Instead of limiting yourself to one or two parties at a time, you could be doing loads of those and worry about the etsy business later. You need to build on your success and not be held back by it. I don't know if the build your own bag parties are your own idea, but if they are, you could have a franchise business on your hands. From what you've said, it all depends on which way you want to go.

If you'd like to chat about this more, I'd be happy to do it. PM me and we can set up something, no cost or anything. I've been in PR and marketing for many years and know that when something is exploding, you want to take advantage of the growth while it's happening. It's scary but should be thrilling too if you can figure out how to make it all work for you.

Hope this helps.

Warmly,

Lynn
« Last Edit: May 30, 2007 11:53:15 AM by jungrrl - Reason: Removed website link » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2007 01:10:33 PM »

Lynn makes a good point. This could be the perfect time to consult with a coach who can help you clarify and focus.
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coachwriter
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2007 01:20:17 PM »

Lynn makes a good point. This could be the perfect time to consult with a coach who can help you clarify and focus.

Oh, oh, oh, I goofed. I didn't mean to make my response like an ad for me. I got a deserved email from the operators of the site telling me not to do anything to advertise and I didn't mean it to sound that way at all. I do comp calls all the time as a way to help and support people. So sorry that I stepped over the bounds of this group. I don't need to talk to as a coach, but just as someone with PR and marketing experience who might be able to help.

Warmly,

Lynn
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2007 05:52:43 AM »

I didn't see it as an advertisement - not to worry, Lynn! I applaud your restraint!
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2007 06:17:44 AM »

I'm not involved in a crafty business, but I'll chime in anyway. Can you afford to pay someone to help? Don't just think about minimum wage - remember, (in the US anyway) you have other hidden costs, like social security you have to pay, unless it's all under the table.

Talk to your tax guy. He can advise you about htat end of things. We don't have employees yet Wink
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2007 03:18:13 PM »

Can you afford to pay someone to help? Don't just think about minimum wage - remember, (in the US anyway) you have other hidden costs, like social security you have to pay, unless it's all under the table.

You could avoid these costs by paying piecemeal like someone suggested above. Then they would be an independent contractor (so they would get a 1099 at the end of the year) and you wouldn't have to pay these other costs.
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