Running your own craft business can seem a daunting prospect at first, which is why it helps to spend some time making sure you have everything in place. This is our brief guide on what to think about before you take the plunge! If you’ve got any questions or worries feel free to ask us in the comments section.
- Know what you are going to make to sell and research your competition. Yes there will be people doing what you are doing, so make sure you see what they are doing and learn from them. Focusing on one or two core products is a great starting point, do them really well and they will get your business off the ground as you will have a focal point for generating sales. Try and offer to many things and you will find it a challenge when you come to sell yourself and find a key audience.
- Source your suppliers. Do your research and find suppliers that give you a quality product at a fair price.
- Where are you going to sell? If you are solely selling online then choose something that suits you. Selling on Facebook works if you have time to spend promoting your page and networking on Facebook. It’s also free. You could commit to a shop e.g. etsy, folksy or one of the many others that give you an online store in return for a fee, but you might not want to commit to the cost in the early days. Lots of people make the mistake of setting up their own website first…that’s fine but have you thought how people are going to find your site?
- The Boring Bit. Register for self assessment (yawn) and set up your books to record orders, sales and expenses so you are ready from the start and this doesn’t become more of a chore than it needs to!
- How much does it cost? Get your pricing right. Remember this is not a hobby, customers are paying for a handmade item. Have a look at other crafters and what they are selling at, be competitive but never sell yourself cheap!
- Be Seen! It is all about marketing and promotion and that is where some struggle. Promoting yourself and your products takes time, networking on social media takes time – time that could be spent making. You need to come up with a plan, after all you will only sell things if people know where to find you. If you need help there are plenty of us out there willing to help (see our ‘Get promoted’ page for details). Get yourself on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram – maybe not all at once, but start building your presence so customers see you.
Are you thinking about taking the plunge? Feel free to ask any questions below and let’s see if we can help each other out.