Beginner Basics –
1. Don’t Do it For the Money
It is important that you don’t go into the craft business for the wrong reasons. If you are hoping to make a quick buck, then you’ve chosen the wrong industry! It usually takes months to see a return on your investment and years to start to see major profits from your hand made craft (if you ever do see major profits).
Crafters do this because it is their passion, not because they expect to make a lot of money from selling their products. That’s not to say that there isn’t money to be made . It just takes a lot of time and perseverance on your part.
2. You Need to Start Small
When starting your new craft business, you should try to borrow very little or no money at all from lending institutions. Having to meet monthly loan payments can put you under tons of financial stress in your new business.
Try to rely on your own savings for purchasing initial supplies and then try selling your products at local shows and to family and friends so you do not have huge operating costs right off the bat.
3. You Have to Do Your Research
To have a successful craft business you need to be prepared and take the time to research your product and your market. You have to know what kinds of crafts you are going to produce and what supplies you’ll need.
Because this is a business, you need to try and keep costs low and you want to spend as little as possible on your craft supplies. You might have to shop around a bit before you find the cheapest supplies.
Next you need to figure out your market. What kinds of crafts are popular right now? Who is buying there? Where are they buying them? It is important to figure out who makes up your target market and what the best way to connect with them is.
4. You Have to Find Your Niche
Making a splash in the crafting industry usually means setting yourself apart with a really unique craft that still has wide appeal. As a hobby turned business crafter, you face more competition now than ever before. Having a really original and unique product will put you ahead of the pack.
5. You Will Have to Market and Sell Your Product Yourself
It may sound obvious, but many excellent crafters aren’t the best sales people. Remember that when you start out, you are most likely going to be selling your craft yourself at local shows. You have to make sure that you are comfortable talking to people about your craft and make those much needed sales.
6. You’ll need a Strong Support System
When you first start out, you’ll really need to rely on your family and friends. They will probably be your first customers and an excellent way of spreading word about your new project. When you start showing your products at local craft shows they will also be able to help with manning your booth and with setting up and tearing down your display.
7. Find the Little and Personal Touches that will Make All the Difference
Most people enjoy going to crafts shows because they have a chance to meet the artisans face to face and learn the story behind the craft. This gives the purchase a much greater meaning. That personal touch makes all the difference.
Little touches like gift bags or gift wrapping also have a positive impact on your customers and they’ll be more likely to be repeat buyers if they are impressed with your professionalism.
8. The Industry is Fickle at the Best of Times and Often Seasonal
There will be rough patches. The crafting industry is fickle even at the best of times. The amount of sales you make is also often seasonal because there are more people looking for unique crafts around the holidays. You need to prepare your stock for these surges in demand, but you also need to be prepared financially for any lulls.
9. Other Crafters are Your Best Friends but They Can Also Be Your Worst Enemies
Other crafters are your best resources. They can give you lots of tips and help you out of a difficult situation. Meeting other crafters and learning from their expertise can be really beneficial. They are also your competition.
There is only so much money that people are willing to spend on home made crafts so you need to set yourself apart from other crafters and try to steer clear of those crafters who are eager to copy your ideas for their own gain.
10. It Takes Time
Remember: good things come to those who wait. Don’t get discouraged if your new home made craft business is not a success right away. It takes time to establish your reputation and your customer base.