You may be thinking, “Probably not. After all I only get about 15 orders a month. I fit them in when I can and it all seems to work out.” Or you may be thinking, “Production is for big businesses, not small businesses. I don’t need to worry about that yet.” I understand your train of thought because I was once there too.
Rewind 6 years.
I was making baby blankets and burp cloths. I was pregnant and looking to make some extra money after being laid off from a very well paying position. I took advantage of the fact that no one wanted to hire a pregnant woman to start a creative career. No more high rises and conference tables for me folks. It was going to be me and my sewing machine starting something new!
I sold about 10 items a month. I had an Etsy shop but had no idea how to promote it or how to properly tag my items to be found. All I knew is that one day I was going to have a booming clothing line but that for the time I was happy to be pregnant, barefoot and sewing.
Here is what my definition of “piece of cake” turned out to be.
A general estimate of fabric turned out to be too little so I had to take extra trips back to LA for fabric. Cutting one or two ponchos in my home was no problem. After cutting 60 faux fur ponchos it looked like the abominable snowman threw up all over my home or like 60 dogs had rolled around on my floor and furniture for a month. (You pick the analogy, just know it was a mess!) I underestimated how long it would take me to sew all those ponchos. The closures I was using had to be sewn on by hand-do that 60 times! They ordered an additional size I was not yet making. Forgot to schedule time for pattern grading. Let’s just say I was rushed and stressed getting that order out (plus the 15 others from my Etsy shop that month.)
Turned out production planning did apply to my little business and it applies to yours too! Whether you are just starting out and hoping for that 60 piece order or if you are taking 60 orders a month and want to double it. You need production planning if you want things to run smoothly and cost effectively as you grow.
So keep following along on the blog as I get into this topic of production planning. I will help you to define your production needs, inform you on what is involved in the production process and will finish with a download that will help you plan your production to increase your sales and income.