3 WEEK PROCESSING TIME ON CUSTOM ORDERS
April 07, 2021
The prominent focus of my business are my custom wooden signs so my monthly schedule revolved around my custom orders and supply levels. Since the start of this year I’ve limited my availability for custom wooden signs to the 1st - 15th of every month. Before setting a limit on my custom sign offerings I had ZERO control over my business. I was constantly on a time crunch to ensure orders were getting out on time, continually stressed about my wood levels, and more. Do we need to order more wood? What sizes do we have prepped? What sizes and stains do we need for this week? The orders continued coming, (which I am of course INCREDIBLY grateful for) but I realized I had absolutely NO control over my business. It took me 9 months into running my business full time to put my foot down and take my business into my own hands. I wanted to be in control of my business, I wanted to be on top of my orders and my timeline, and I wanted to be on top of my stock and supply chain, so I knew I needed to make a change. It was scary implementing this cut off for my custom orders, and I thought to myself, am I ready to essentially cut my order quantity in half each month? But I thought you know what, let me just TRY - the worse thing that can happen is I find I’m not getting enough business and I can go back to my old process.
This small change in my business completely SHIFTED the way I run and plan my business as a whole
At the start of each month I open for custom orders, I remain open for custom orders until the 15th of each month and then I am closed. All of my custom orders have a three week processing time, and I ensure every single custom order for the month is completed and shipped out before I reopen for the next month. With this structure I am guaranteed I meet the processing time on each and every custom order. When I close for customs on the 15th we go through and do an inventory check. We stock pile our wood, so we have a good number of sizes and stains built up in our inventory. At the close of the custom order window, if we find we are missing certain sizes/stains for the current open orders we will add those to the list of wood to prep. Since I am closed for custom orders on the date we do this inventory check, and I do not have ANY orders coming in for the next two weeks, I am able to prep any missing wood pieces and still ship them out in time before I reopen for the next month.
Aside from the nitty gritty wood & custom order process we go through each month, I also take into account planning for new product launches, planning for detailed threads co., planning for the podcast, and more!
On a weekly basis my schedule mainly revolves around my custom orders. How many orders do I have in? How many orders on average do I need to complete each day to keep things moving? If it is a slower week, I will spend more time working on other aspects of my business. If it is a busier week, I will ensure I block out at least 3 hours in each day devoted just to writing signs.
Outside of the custom orders - what I am planning content wise for the week?
Do I need to promote any upcoming launches? Do I have any brand partnerships coming up? Do I have an idea of what photos I want to post this week?
I usually do not shoot much content ahead of time, so I need to make sure going into the week I have an idea of when and where I am going to be taking photos, and work those time blocks into my weekly schedule.
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