So... I have a question and would truly appreciate your opinions, suggestions, comments, etc. Please feel free to be honest as that is what I'm wanting.
My shop is keeping me extremely busy. Don't get me wrong, I'm VERY happy and VERY appreciative as I love what I do. I'm also dealing with some hand/wrist problems that I thought was just my arthritis kicking up a notch (yes, I know... and I do metalwork - go figure!) Nope, the doc thinks it may be Carpal Tunnel and has set me up for some tests next week and possibly therapy - pending outcome. I already wear braces while I work & sleep, etc., but he gave me 2 new ones to wear that are much better (yep, both hands) .
Anyway, I have many wonderful customers that are so kind & understanding about my timeframe, which went from 5 then 7 and as of last night, 10+ business days for processing/shipping (pending order size). I don't like to have this type of timeframe as I'm concerned about my customers, but I have no other choice as I can only create so much. I do this all on my own and there is only so much time in a day. My main priority truly is the quality/integrity of my work and customer service as I take great pride in what I do.
Here's where I welcome your opinions: Although I have many customers that do not mind the wait, I completely understand those who do mind. So I've been thinking about putting my shop in Vacation Mode for a short period - maybe 4-5 days, but I'll be honest in saying that I hate the thought of seeing an empty shop and think it would truly bother me. I've had some people tell me not to worry about it (easier said than done) and to just leave it open. I really need to decrease my timeframe and am concerned that it will continue to grow.
Additionally, most of my work is made to order. Due to the volume of sales I receive, it is not possible (at this time anyway) to have everything available at time of purchase, but sometimes I have some stock on hand. Plus I take custom/reserved requests for multiple orders.
So, now that I've written a short novel, what are your thoughts?