How to Start a Craft Business on the Right Foot!
You can learn how to start a sustainable and rewarding craft business – IF you don’t stray down the path blindly, and get the right education in the process!
Are you thinking about turning your hobby into a profitable venture? Great, because I have stumbled upon something that could put you on your path.
This evening I, after some degree of inner whispering, decided to purchase and download a guide with the roadmap to get started. It’s called Crafts To Make and Sell, and it is pretty much all about what the title says.
If you are entertaining thoughts on turning your craft ideas into a real venture, I will tell you what’s in store.
I not only received an in-depth 100+ page main ebook, but also a few bonus mini-guides as well that complement the main book. They are, in order:
- A guide for mastering online marketing
- Pattern templates you can use as guides for your projects
- A guide to getting organized with time-saving tips
- A story of one woman’s unique branding craft venture (it’s a cute tale you may enjoy)
Now as soon as I open the book, I’m anxious to go straight to the included craft project tutorials that are on a later chapter, but I realize that the business end of it is most important, so I resist the temptation to do that.
I’ve learned that books are a lot like chocolates ( yep the Forrest Gump reference) you never know what you are going to get. After the warm intro, I’m introduced to the topic of finding out what kind of crafts sell, and what to look for.
Explore the Market First
You can save yourself a lot of unnecessary frustration down the road if you will take the time to do market research first! The first few chapters takes you through the start of your journey by doing the preliminary steps of exploring the kind of craft you are most interested in, finding out what its potential reach is, and how you can present it.
Learning about the buying habits of different demographics and what kind of crafts they really go for is so so important, and the author does a good job of pointing out how different locales do this.
For instance….small towns may gravitate towards rustic, primitive, or farmhouse styles, beach areas may be seeking nautical-inspired craft items, like lighthouses and seascapes. In other words, start with your own immediate environment. Explore different boutiques, talk to proprietors about shopping trends.
You may come away with a wealth of information …info that will be VERY helpful regarding what are people looking to buy, and can YOU fill that niche?
Traps to Avoid When Starting Your Biz
You know the old saying, if it sounds too good to be true…..Well, you know the rest! There is a chapter after the first that talks about things you should be wary of, like classified ads that tell you you can make money from home with crafts BUT….ask for an upfront fee.
Reminds of of about ten years ago when I researched this topic and the SERPs were literally flooded with these fly-by-night “envelope stuffing” bull$h!t schemes…thankfully I knew where the back button was!
Decide On What You Are Going to Sell, and Where
Once you have ruled out what people locally are shopping for , local venues open and interested in your offerings, and you have the wherewithal to go for it – the next step is finding the right kinds of places to showcase your craft offerings.
Choose Your Venues Wisely!
There is a lot of good info in this section; you will learn about different selling venues that are the most commonly utilized, their pros and cons, and what you should know going in. I definitely agreed with Foster’s argument against the traditional booth – the fees are steep, and you probably will owe them to the proprietor of the storefront as well, so do your homework carefully.
I remember when I first heard how much a booth rental was at the Renaissance Festival near my area….My brother in law was considering it, me, I was kind of leery, sure, you could hit paydirt (and showcasing handmade crafts at a fun event like that, what’s not to like about the idea) BUT you could also barely break even, or totally flop.
Once you begin to build a name for yourself, you may start thinking about expanding your reach and seeking out new prospects. The tenth chapter in the main ebook talks about one of the best ways to introduce yourself to new people, and since you’re already talented with your hands, you’ll love this one:
Make a scrapbook of your crafts, past selling venues, and custom products! Showcase your offerings in this time-tested method that’s portable and a GREAT way to build a good rapport with others.
Managing the Equation of Time Plus Labor
This part – earning what your creations are worth – is a stumbling block no doubt, for some of us. How do you make sure you’re getting a fair price for all your time and effort (and don’t forget, factor in the cost of materials, too) and not end up becoming (* cough * cough* – a starving artist) ?
There are at least two chapters that address and discuss these issues at length, and explore ways you can be sure that you’ll get rewarded handsomely and not have your talents undercut, but in addition…exploring different tools, are there some that work more proficiently BUT get the same quality? Consider investing in it!
Remember to Nurture Relationships
This is where “people skills” are going to come into play….The relationships you create and sustain between you and other clients, proprietors, and contacts, need to be build with strong bridges.
You will learn a lot of useful tips in the middle of the book on ways to begin and maintain harmonious relationships between you and the people who are your buyers.
“It takes 20 years to build a good reputation and only 5 minutes to ruin it” – Warren Buffet
Learn to Customize Your Creations
This section of the book is very much, golden…Customizing your offerings and tailoring them to meet specific clienteles needs, is going to be a very pivotal point in your craft business. When you develop a popular product, you may find that people may be making requests for such modifiers as family, organization, or team names.
Personalization is a very popular technique and it’s something the big box stores don’t have a leg up on, so being willing to personalize and customize your crafts is one thing that can skyrocket your business.
Taking it To the Next Level – Online!
You may get to the point that you may want to expand your reach beyond your zip code and make your amazing offerings available to a larger audience, the best way is to consider establishing a web presence as well.
If this part scares you a little, or you’re not tech-savvy, don’t worry, there are a few chapters that explain how you can overcome these hurdles and find good online venues to sell your crafts like Etsy, the use of Facebook pages, and many other options.
One of the four bonus books, which is 25 pages in length, will walk you through the fine art of marketing your crafts online, you’ll learn how to promote yourself effectively through the use of video, your own website, and article marketing.
First off, this is no fluffernutter report – this is a real honest to goodness roadmap for craft venture success. I do want to add a side note that I had a brief email exchange with the author and she is very congenial; later on sending a non-autoresponder email my way to inquire if I was able to open the file easily.
Good customer support – (that’s a quality you need to have too, in your own craft business!) Should you buy it? Only you can answer that question. IF you answer “yes” to the following questions:
- You want to establish a thriving craft business that can sustain you
- The 9 – 5 is definitely NOT for you
- You are ready to commit 100% to growing your business
- You have a craft product already, but need some help getting it off the ground and selling.
Then this may be the kind of guidance you’ve been looking for. But don’t take my word for it, you can download your own copy and check it out for yourself and see!
Best of luck to you in starting your new craft business and much success! “Carpe diem” (seize the day) and don’t spend one minute wondering if you’d be better off on the corporate treadmill, when you have a craft idea calling you and it gets hard to ignore!