You started selling your crochet to make a bit of extra cash, and it made sense to be able to plug your finances and give yourself an excuse to be able to crochet even more – after all what’s not to love about having such a great reason to crochet every chance you get!
But now you want to be able to take some time off, whether it’s to go visit family, have some time with the kids or just to have some “me time” you need to be able to put your hook down for a bit, but you still need the money to be coming in and you don’t want your customers to feel like you’ve dropped off the face of the earth
So how do you take time off from your crochet business and still keep things ticking over and keep the money coming in?
If you have an Etsy, Shopify, Amazon Handmade or any other shop that takes orders and payments automatically for you, then there are a few things we can do to keep your business running while you are away and keep the cash flowing.
You’re not going to be able to hide the fact that you’re away, but we can put some measures in place that it’s not as noticeable and that your audience keeps seeing you in their social media feed and in their inbox and they can keep placing orders.
Schedule Your Social Media Posts
You can schedule your Facebook and Instagram posts for up to 6 weeks in advance using Meta Business Suite which is free to use. Scheduling your posts means that content will still be posted in your feeds, keeping your social media presence going so you stay in your customers minds and can keep marketing your products so that they are still being encouraged to buy from you.
You can schedule both written and video posts, and you can add your Instagram hashtags too. You can also schedule stories and reels to your accounts as well using the Meta Business Suite which can be used on a desktop or via the mobile app. It however only lets you schedule to pages. To schedule posts in your groups, you will have to do that directly within your group.
In your scheduled posts let your audience know that you’re away and there may be a delayed response to messages, comments and that orders will be sent out later than usual. It’s better to be upfront about it than hide it. You don’t want your customers to think you are ignoring them or sending angry messages demanding to know why their order hasn’t arrived yet.
Schedule Your Newsletters
If you have an email list (and you really should have one) then you can schedule your newsletters too. They are a great way of keeping in the front of your customers mind and letting them know that there will be a delay in getting their orders out.
Your customers are far more likely to read your newsletters than see a social media post. If you want to communicate a piece of news, you are more likely to get it across to more people via your newsletter than social media which only shows your posts to a small percentage of your followers. Sending out a newsletter with the dates of your return and order turnaround time will give you the best chance of communicating with the greatest number of your customers as possible.
Your newsletter list is a powerful tool – use it
Only advertise Quick And Profitable Products
The last thing you want is to come back to after your time off is a massive list of orders that will take forever for you to get through and won’t give you that much profit for all that work.
Customers will likely only order what they see you advertising for sale. So deactivate any products in your shop that will not make you much profit or take a long time to make, and make sure these items are not being shown in any of your scheduled posts.
This way you can keep the orders coming in, but the to do list you come back to will be made up of quick and profitable items that will feel like its worth your time and won’t take forever to get through so you can get back to Business as usual.
Change Your Turnaround Time
You’re certainly not going to be able to get things made and sent out in your usually time, so you absolutely have to warn your customers.
Put the change in delivery times on the bottom of every social media post where you are advertising your products, and in your newsletters too.
Most customers won’t mind waiting a bit longer to get there purchase, as long as they know about it. If you say nothing, you will return to an awful lot of angry messages, demands for refunds and comments on your posts about you being a scammer.
You can easily avoid all of this by simply being honest and upfront about needing a bit more time than usual to get orders sent out.
Change Your Messenger Reply
If you’re not going to be able to reply to any messages at all then you need to set an automatic reply on your messenger telling your customers that you are away and can’t reply right now.
Include a link to your Etsy shop if you have one, or your Facebook shop if it’s linked to Stripe products so that they can still browse your products and buy from you. Just make sure that you warn everyone that the time until their purchases are sent out will be longer than usual.
How To Make It Easier Next Time
Ideally you don’t want to be jumping through hoops, risking loosing orders and coming back from your time off with a massive to do list to get through. You want to be able to take time off and truly be able to relax, to come back to business as usual not instant stress. But how can you make that happen?
You can make it happen by adding recurring or passive income into your business. Passive products are usually online things such as crochet patterns, or ad income from blogs.
These online products keep earning for you even when you take time off. They don’t need you to be constantly on social media, or to make or do anything once you’ve made the sale. You do the work once then profit from them on repeat.
Including some of these recurring income ideas into your business makes you more sustainable in the long term, and you never need worry about loosing money when you take time off.
If you are interested in learning how writing and selling your own crochet patterns can earn you an income even when you take time off without coming back to a massive to do list, then check out my membership The Hookers Academy here
There are 3 other ways that I can help you make money from your crochet
1. sign up to the Crochet Business School newsletter, for weekly tips on growing your crochet business, straight into your inbox.
2. You can also check out the Podcast for biweekly bite sized episodes on issues you should think about to grow your crochet business
3. Come and join our Facebook Crochet Sellers Support Group to connect with others on the same journey as you as well as regular checking in and tips from me