I just watched an interesting video about how entrepreneurs often waste their time on things that don't generate income...Some of the things that were mentioned were futzing around on facebook, tweaking your slogans, looking at pretty pictures online, etc. Pretty much everything that's fun to do.
This dovetailed nicely with an idea that I'd intended to write about, which was how you need to try to work smarter in order to reduce your effort and maximize your results. If you can concentrate on things that will result in income, while also doubling the usefulness of that thing, it won't just bring money in, it will also give you some extra free time.
For example...I told the people at a venue that I work with, plus the people at a bridal show that does a display of cakes, that I'd make them both some dummy cakes. I could have done some super-modern cake designs for the show, but the venue is a traditional plantation home that's full of antiques and beautiful architecture, so cakes for them should be more traditional. Instead of doing five different cakes I decided to restrain myself and do three that would be good for both purposes.
The result is two fewer dummy cakes to make, plus networking with two different businesses plus the brides who will see the cakes. Less time spent on display cakes = more potential free time for me.
To make it even better, I decided to use things from my Etsy shop to make the display cakes so that I could use photos of them in the etsy listings. That gives my Etsy clients another idea about how to use the molds, flowers etc, which can help to increase my sales there. Here's one of the Etsy listings showing how I used the branch mold as a border on one of the display cakes.
And I just mentioned my Etsy shop on this blog, so a blog entry has just doubled as a way of getting that out there, too!
So try to interweave the things that you make and the things that you do. It can help to cut down on the time that you need to spend on different things, while also improving your business's reach.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA