As my business has grown, I have had to think a bit about how to manage the growth. I have been a one-woman show. Doing everything in the studio, and the marketing, the photography, packaging, selling, bookkeeping, webmaster......etc. You name the task, and I have probably done it. In part because doing it myself is usually the cheapest way to get it done.
Doing it all is getting harder and harder, and the outlook is that I will eventually have to get help. Some of what I do will have to be handled by others. Whether it is hiring a high school student...perhaps my own daughter??...or a stay at home mom looking for a few hours work...eventually I will have to face up to this issue.
In the meantime, I have come to realize I already have quite a few helping hands, ready to dive in when asked. Yesterday, and today, my dear husband has been helping out with stringing and packaging cranes. My youngest daughter loves to set up the boxes for the cranes, and place each crane inside the box. On Halloween evening, as my daughter went Trick-or-treating with her good friend, the friend's mother helped out with labeling packages, and folding inserts. In the past my daughters have helped get mailings out the door....stickering and stamping. And financial support has come from several sources as I build my business.
Yesterday was my largest output of cranes in a single day, thanks to the help of my husband with those little task that consume way too much time. It makes clear to me that soon I need to move from thinking about having someone help me, to finding the person a part-time assistant or helper. I am not ready to make that move yet, but before 2008 is over, I may well be there.
It takes time to move from doing it "all" on your own, to recognizing that having help can free you up to do what it is that you do best. I have talked about how I like doing wholesale because it gives me more time in the studio. Likewise, finding someone to take on some of the many small tasks will free up more time for me in the studio.
That studio time is why we get into this business. In the beginning it can be surprising how much time all the other work takes away from time creating. But ideally, we can work towards a new balance again. Finding the help we need to be more productive, and do more of the work we love. Are you a do it all yourself person? Or have you had help? What works best for you?