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Topic: Keeping track of time?  (Read 433 times)
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arwenjade
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« on: August 10, 2011 05:11:05 PM »

I know that some crafters include an hourly wage of sorts when pricing their items. My question is: How do you keep track of time spent on your business/crafted items?

I'm trying to figure out a pricing scheme that works for me. But I've never been good at 'telling time'. Yes I can read a clock. What I mean is that I'm not very aware of when I start something or how much time passes when I'm working on a project. But for the purpose of figuring out a good pricing strategy that works for me I need an easy way of keeping track of my time. I tried a timecard thing (MS doc) on my computer but I always forget to use it. Oh and I don't have a printer so I can't, like, tape it to the wall by my PC or anything either.

Any advice please? Undecided
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CraftyChef
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011 03:21:28 PM »

Time isn't always relevant, but if you want to keep track, you just have to focus and do it. Get yourself a watch that has an alarm on it; keep a kitchen timer where you usually craft and set if off every hour.
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arwenjade
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011 04:31:56 PM »

Thanks for your reply!

I use the alarms on my cellphone frequently, and for everything. Even to help me remember when to water my plant! Roll Eyes lol

I know that there are other ways to calculate prices on crafted items. I want to try several different ways. I know some people figure in an hourly wage or some kind of compensation for their time. I just wondered how do they know (or keep track of) how much time to multiply that hourly wage by? Are they just 'guesstimating' their time? Or do they keep some kind of written/typed schedule, like a timecard? Are there other ways to figure it out?

I haven't officially started my business yet and right now things I do toward starting my business, personal stuff and everything else just kind of flow together. I'll be working on a personal project and get an idea for the business. Most of the time I'll immediately switch gears and start looking up info for the new idea. I could be at it for 5min or 5hrs before I go back to what I was originally working on. It's my natural flow and very possibly compensating for my time isn't going to be very feasible, but I won't know unless I try. I'm very thorough that way. I can't help it.  Smiley

I do appreciate your input though. Ringing bells are my most used time-reminder! I think one going off every hour though might annoy my roommates. I'll have to work on that idea... Grin
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CraftyChef
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2011 10:07:45 AM »

I'd say crafting is more like making a salary than an hourly wage. When you run your own business, you will have "unpaid" time no matter what because your business is pretty much your life, and you don't get paid for living. If you're at the point where you want to hire someone to do the sewing or whatever, then you'll be keeping track of their time to a pinpointed degree, but you'll still be on salary. That's just the way of it.

I would say if you're going to be "hourly", then sitting down and making the thing is what counts, and if you "guesstimate", that's good enough. The folks who write down every minute they craft are probably precise in many things.

If you come up with a price (folks often use cost of materials x 3 as well) and someone buys it for that amount and it doesn't make you happy, then increase your prices by 10, 20, or 50 percent, then use that as a formula. I think the point is to find a formula you can live with so you don't have to agonize over a price every time you make something.
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mandodeb
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2011 10:31:54 AM »

I made a point once of keeping track of how long it took to make an item.  What I found out was that the more I made, the faster I got at it.  What used to take me three hours to make takes just one hour now!  I ended up pricing the item to take into consideration the longest amount of time it took, paying myself $10 per hour, plus three times the cost of my materials.  I did not lower my price just because I got better at making these things.  In fact, I eventually doubled my prices because the quality of the items improved as I got more experienced - and people were willing to pay more (so I gave myself a raise to about $20 an hour).  Anyway,  you need to make one thing straight through from start to finish without any interruptions to figure it out.  That's what I did.  Good luck!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2011 10:33:45 AM by mandodeb » THIS ROCKS   Logged
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