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Grow Your Profits Week – Lesson 1 – Get Organised & Streamline Your Processes

{This post is part of a FREE 5-part e-course on growing the profits in your online handmade business, running on Create & Thrive this week. Subscribe to our email updates to make sure you don’t miss a lesson.}

Welcome to Day 1 of our 5-day course!

This week I’ll be taking you through five simple steps that you can take to quickly and (relatively) painlessly increase the profits you’re bringing in in your online handmade business.

Let’s start with a fundamental – something you may never have considered is eating into your profits.


Let’s get it out there straight away – I’m going to take a big bet that your workspace looks a tad messy right now.

Am I right?

Creative people tend to be a bit messy by nature – we have idea after idea, and we jump from one to the other – often forgetting to ‘clean up’ after ourselves as we go!

I am the queen of mess.

One of my best friends even calls me ‘Messy Bessie’. Yep.

My whole life I’ve always had a messy desk, messy room… but a while back I decided enough was enough.

When I realised that I was spending twice as long trying to find a component or tool than it actually took me to make a piece of jewellery, it hit me that this was a problem!

One way to increase profits is to decrease the time spent to earn the same amount of money.

The time we spend shuffling things around in our studios is time wasted. Time we could be spending more profitably – by making more product, blogging, marketing, designing… you name it.

But – I hear you say – I love having everything right in front of me! I gain inspiration from having beads/yarn/pencils/paints strewn all about!

You know what, I do too! But there’s no reason we can’t have them all strewn around in an organised fashion.


Step back and take an objective look at your workspace.

1. Can you organise it right now?
2. Do you need to invest in buying/making storage solutions?
3. Do you need to re-arrange how you use the space?
4. …Or even find a new space altogether?

Work out what storage you need to make your space organised and easy to use. Consider your working style and position.

For example – do you work sitting down? How can you organise your tools/materials so you need to move around as little as possible – basically having as much at your fingertips as possible?

Do you have a bin? If not, get one, and put rubbish in there straight away. And then empty it! (So many times my poor husband Nick has gotten fed up with my overflowing bin and emptied it for me…)

For a little inspiration, here’s a picture of my current workspace. This was taken over a year ago (by Paul Harris for an article in Smarter Business Ideas), but it’s pretty similar still.

You can find more workspace inspiration on my ‘Workspaces’ Pin board here.

Questions? Thoughts? Share with us on the Create & Thrive FB Page, or in the comments below.


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.



I’m definitely in the ‘messy Bessie’ category, too. However, we’re about to move into our first house and I will have a small room all to myself for my work. I plan to start it off right with a well thought out floor plan and storage/organization. Everything is going to be planned out before I even move in – from the wall colour, to the furniture.


That is awesome! Nothing like being forced to organise – I’m looking forward to the day we move into our little house (when we build it!) and everything is going to have a place… ahh… 🙂


You are most assuredly right! The number one thing I could do to make life easier is streamline my process. Unfortunately, I live in an old house with problems too numerous to go into, but which necessitate constant shifting of not only the fabrics for my business and my work space, but pretty much everything I own. My whole house is in a constant state of flux, and quite frankly it drives me stark raving mad! Needless to say, if I had a small fortune at my disposable I would have taken care of this long ago. I guess #4 Find a New Space Altogether would apply to me! Until that is a possibility I’m going with my latest plan (in a long series of plans!), which is moving everything except shipping supplies to a tiny upstairs bedroom. It’s not really big enough and I will need an extra heat source in the winter, but it has beautiful light almost all day and is extremely cozy. In fact, I get happy and excited just thinking about it. I need some help moving heavy things and I would like to paint it, so the transformation is slow, but I hope that by spring I will have a workable space in that room.

Thank you so much, Jess, for this series of articles, and for creating a community where newcomers like myself can learn more about building a successful online creative business. You are making so much information available that I can hardly take it all in, but I am truly, truly grateful!!! It’s all the encouragement and support, and the feeling that I’m becoming part of a larger community that make getting through the rough spots ever so much easier! Blessings!


Joy – you are so very welcome! Good luck getting your new studio set up – sounds like fun 😀

What say you?