Time Management Guide for Furry Businesses

The following was a Twitter thread, which has been edited for clarity as a blog post by request.

We tend to get so focused on day to day, that we unknowingly trap ourselves. I want to share a calculation that has changed my business life for the better.

It seems like furry businesses are easily lead to feel like "Business is different here". This is how everyone who can pick up a pencil starts offering commissions, without consideration for studying how to run an effective business. Who has time? Draw art, make money, right?

If you consider yourself a "successful" business furry, you can feel like constant orders or engagement is a sign of success that you need to continue fostering. 

If you don't consider yourself a successful business furry, you may feel trapped by survival mode thinking, expecting to keep churning to claw your way out. It's cyclical.

We get so trapped in these cycles that we can't fathom having the time to pick up a book. This is dangerous to the success of all of us. No matter how big you grow, certain monsters will always rise up and bite you if they are not tamed, so here's how to tame one of them.

Monster #1: Time

We artists are so used to doing everything ourselves. If you're anything like me, it may be to save money or maybe because you think you -have- to do it yourself in order for it to "count". 

Guess what?

Doing it all yourself is ✨ bullshit ✨

"I'm an ARTIST. If I don't MAKE my art, then it's not MINE."

That is true! But hear me out:

Can people tell if you don't hand package your own pins? Would they be disappointed if you don't hand press your buttons? Do they get lasting value out of you packaging their order?

If you said anything other than the truth (which is no to all three) then, have fun! The rest of us aren't immortal so we have to figure out what those sorts of tasks actually cost us.

How do we avoid doing those kinds of tasks?

Get help! Even if that means... paying for it! Pay extra to have packaging added from the manu, pay a local kid to package your orders 1-2 times a week, get literally anyone to do those tasks other than yourself, even if it costs money.

“But I can't afford that!"

You can't afford not to, and here's why: Your time is so much more valuable than you ever realized, and here's how you calculate that.

You've probably heard the idea to gauge your time by paying yourself an hourly wage.

What if I told you that that method isn't paying you what you think it is? We need to work backwards.

Let's use a fursuit maker as an example.

FursuitMaker Co decides she wants to earn $30/hr. Instead of just billing $30/hr, we need blow that number up and see what it equates to in an entire year.

How often is FursuitMakerCo working every day, week, month?

For simplicity, let's say she has good work ethic and has timed herself, and knows with certainty that she puts in 40 hours per week. (PS If you're not timing yourself... do that too)

$30/hr x 40hrs/wk = $1200

But wait, are all 40 hours of that week spent on billable hours?

Business is not 100% billable. There is adminstrative time, book keeping, buying, marketing, social media, so many tasks that need to be done but aren't related to any one individual client.

Let's say that FursuitMakerCo spends one day a week on photoshoots and one day on marketing.

To make $30/hr, she needs to earn/bill $1200 worth of work in her 3 remaining days, or 24 hours.

$1200/24hrs = $50/hr

But wait, is she truely spending 8 STRAIGHT HOURS working those days?

Let's be honest, there isn't a soul on earth that can serve a full 8 straight productive hours every day. Maybe the machine breaks, sapping 30 minutes. She doomscrolls for 15 minutes (calling it "social media marketing time"), she eats lunch, her cat breaks something... things happen, you get the idea.

Amidst all the distractions of day to day life as well as other non-billable tasks (someone needs to answer those emails!), she probably only gets in 4 hours of actual sewing, cutting and assembling done in a day.

$1200/12hrs = $100/hr

What about vacation, sick time, holidays?

If FursuitMakerCo works 52 weeks a year, earning $1200 per week, that's $62,400.

Working for yourself is HARD, so let's give FMC 6 weeks  off per year to account for free time, holidays and inevitable sick time.

$62,400 / 46 weeks is $1356/wk

$1356/wk / 12 hours is $113/hr

So just in time alone, in order for FMO to earn $30/hr, she needs to value her time at $113/hr.


Add up all your expenses' total cost for the year. FMO's might look like:

Materials ($8k/yr)

Internet ($90/mo, $1080/yr)

Sewing Machine Tune Ups ($130 x 4, $520/yr)

Web Hosting ($15/mo, $180/yr)

Convention Expenses (marketing!!) ($4800/yr)

Office Rent ($500/mo, $6000/yr)


FMC has another $20,580 in yearly operational expenses that need to be covered by her fees - (Wow, she's super frugal!)

These costs add ANOTHER $19.05 to her hourly cost, and she needs to value her time at $132/hr just to earn $30 hr!

All of this is presuming that FMC wants to earn a very modest $30/hr. For skilled labor, she deserves more.

Can she bill $132 hr? Maybe, maybe not - but that's not why we have this. We have this number so that she can always ask herself "Is what I'm doing now worth $132/hr?)

$132/hr breaks down into 

- $66 per 30 minutes

- $33 per 15 minutes

or $2.2 per minute

Now we have a number that we can directly apply to the current task as a frame of reference, so we can decide if that task gives enough return to justify doing it above all other tasks.

This exercise isn't to make you feel guilty about "not doing enough" either - It's purpose is to create a guide that will help you spend your time in the most effective way, and build your business to accommodate your needs instead of performing gymnastics to meet the business's.

This way, when you do inevitably need rest, you can take it. 

If you made it this far, you must be pretty serious about making sure your business succeeds, and we should be friends. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

This isn't about updating your prices, it's about restructuring how you view your own time and how you are spending it. Having this lens to view your time through is an important part of deciding what tasks should take priority in your day-to-day operations as a business owner.


By this calculation, assuming it takes FursuitMakerCo 60 hours to produce a full fursuit, her prices need to start at about $8k, which seems about market price and I'm happy for that.

PS: I forgot to mention - Once you have your number, you should do everything you can to internalize it - Put it on sticky notes and put them in areas you frequent! Remind yourself constantly so you can really start to live that mindset. It takes time but start today!