Itn’t it sounds amazing: Instead of forcing your crafting time into nooks here and there — after dinner, before the kids wake up, on the weekends — you’ll start a business so you eat, sleep, breathe and, most important, live off your hobby.
So here’s your first step: Start reading. You don’t necessarily need an MBA to succeed in a crafts business, but knowing how to wield a mean needle isn’t enough. “It’s not necessary to have a business background, but if you don’t have one, [it is] necessary to read up for how to start.
Researching Your Marketing, Prices and Sales Outlets:
Research your market. Your friends and family may gush over your work and even fork over price for an item, but will others? This is where market research is imperative; don’t assume there’s a market for your handcrafted wares until you find it. Go to crafts fairs, scour the Internet, read trade publications, and again, talk to other crafters to see what their experience has been.There are several reasons to thoroughly research your market: to determine your competition, to find the best outlets for your products and to see whether your products will sell.
“You need to have something that you can make quickly but that isn’t apparent or easy for someone else to make or copy.”
Determine where you’ll sell your products.
In today’s digital senario, the Internet is a great source of information for a any business. Other sales outlets for crafts include craft fairs, craft malls and classified ads in crafts magazines. Entrepreneurs with really unique products might find representation in galleries or retail outlets.
Price for profit. Again, research can help you solve one of your most potentially sticky dilemmas: what to charge. “The minute you start to do [your craft as a business], you discover you don’t love it as much when you’re being paid 10 cents an hour,”. To avoid this monetary nightmare, do your homework before you invest time and money. “The primary mistake [beginners] make is to look at their product and say ‘I wouldn’t spend more than $10 for this,”.“They price based on their own pocketbook, which is a very big mistake because most crafters aren’t very rich. What they have to do is research the marketplace and see what others who are making similar products are charging for their wares.”
The Real Deal on a Crafts Business
- Startup costs: as low (excluding the cost of a computer and craft materials)
- Equipment: craft supplies, marketing materials, a computer, shipping and packaging supplies if you’re selling online or through mail order.