How I Organize My Small Business Before the Holidays

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Tips for Organizing your Small Business- Especially before the busy holiday season!

In addition to running this blog, I also run an Etsy Shop where I sell handmade wooden shelves and picture ledges. Since starting the shop a little over a year ago, it has really flourished into a fun business with lots of orders. Last holiday season, I had no idea what to expect and I ended up bombarded with orders and became totally overwhelmed. This year, I know to expect the onslaught of orders and realize now that I better get myself organized!

There are so many aspects of running a small business, marketing, taking orders, responding to customer inquiries, shopping for supplies, and actually filling the orders. With all this work comes my least favorite part of the business, all the paperwork. I keep every receipt for tax purposes and need to keep track of all revenue coming so that I can correctly file taxes in January.

So since I am on the only employee (except for my Dad who is the best helper!) all those tasks fall on me. My workshop is seriously a mess and my paperwork method leaves something to be desired. Enough is enough, I need to get this mess under control!

I have been wanting a label maker and when I saw this DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Value Bundle Pack I scooped it right up off of Staples’ website  (also available in stores so check your local store first!). I love this one because it doesn’t require ink, so no purchasing expensive cartridges! You also can save money by printing postage. I was amazed when I first opened my Etsy shop and learned that shipping is so much cheaper when you print a label at home versus going to the post office. I save a couple bucks on each order that I print at home, which really adds up! The bundle pack also comes with four different sized label rolls. I love that I don’t have to download and use templates to print entire sheets of labels. This is so much easier! You can print the exact quantities that you like, so no wasting entire label pages. I was also impressed by the font choices. There were so many to choose from and they were so easy to customize.

I gathered up a few other supplies from the craft store and then I got to organizing.

Here are the three areas that I think need to be organized in order to be successful during the holidays! 

  1. 1. Orders-Keeping track of orders is crucial. A business is nothing without their orders!

I decided I needed a big board to keep track of orders. Currently I just keep a list on my phone, but it never fails. My hands are covered in stain and I need to pick up my phone to double check a color request. By having this board in front of me, I can easily see what the orders are and when they need to ship by. I used the DYMO to print labels which I stuck onto magnet paper so they can be moved around.

(My workshop is literally a cave, there is no natural light. Please forgive the lighting in these pictures!)



2. Marketing/First Impressions-In order to stand out from other shops, I needed to step up my shipping game!

My next thought was that I needed to step up my packaging game. In the beginning of the shop, I wrote hand written thank you cards, but honestly, I don’t have the time or energy to do that this season. I bought flat cards and typed up a message to print and stick on each card. I know I appreciate when I get nice notes with my orders, and I think this will be such a nice touch that makes my product stand out! I just typed up a nice message, printed it on the largest label that came in the bundle pack
and then stuck it onto the flat card! I love this special touch.


3. Paperwork/Accountability-Unfortunately, the more you make, the more paperwork there is! Keeping this organized helps with tax season!

Finally, my least favorite part of this business, the paperwork. As January and tax season looms right in front of us, I begin to get panicky thinking of organizing all of my receipts and orders! I buy all my lumber and supplies to order, so I basically have about 3,211 receipts laying around everywhere. I had started with sticking them in with my blog expenses, but that quickly became a mess, so I knew a new solution was needed. I purchased these beautiful copper toned wire bins and had Ryan drill some holes into the plywood in my workshop.


They hang perfectly and have a spot for a label! I printed a file folder sized label out for expenses and one for income.


Then I placed labeled file folders in the bins. I am thinking that this will help keep everything organized for tax season when all I will have to do is add it all up!


I love these gold foil animal file folders! So much more fun than the regular manila ones! And when things look pretty, I always do a better job of keeping them organized!


This label maker is the first one I have ever had, and I now want to label all.the.things. I have probably created a labeling monster! Want to label everything too? Pick up a DYMO LabelWriter! Check your local stores to see if they carry it. A bunch of stores now have it in stock! If not, you can pick it up online!

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Be sure to go check back every week for Staples Daily Deals for special deals on your favorite DYMO LabelWriter® products including DYMO LabelWriter® 450 Bundle, LabelWriter® 450 Turbo, and LabelWriter® 4XL Turbo!

I am really happy with my LabelWriter 450 Bundle Pack. It has thermal printing technology and the printing comes out in crystal clear  in 600 x 300 dpi resolution.

The LabelWriter® 450 Turbo is also another great product to check out! It is available in select stores and also online and will help you label, file, and mail. It prints labels at high speeds (71 labels per minute!), precise quantities (print just 1 or entire rolls of labels!) and my favorite part, you can save a ton of money by printing posting. This saves you a trip to the post office! If you own an Etsy shop, you probably make tons of post office visits like I do! No monthly fees or surprise costs at all!

How do you get organized before the busy shopping season? I would love to hear any tips of tricks you have for me!

I hope that my tips on How I Organize My Small Business Before the Holidays was helpful! Happy Holiday Shopping! (and selling!!)

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3 thoughts on “How I Organize My Small Business Before the Holidays

  1. I used one before I retired from being a school principal secretary. I used it ALL.THE.TIME too! We had a dedicated labeler for visitor name badges and one in the attendance office that printed admits to class for students who came in late or had been absent. I also used it to label teacher mailboxes, mail outs, teacher incentives, notebooks, files, file drawers, on office machines with directions and to label confiscated items from students. It is a very valuable tool.

  2. Organization can be so hard – but it’s amazing how thinking “looking good” can make a difference. I love those folders and the labels make it easy to know what goes where! #client

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