When you’re ready to make a little extra money at home or transform a hobby into a full-fledged crafts business, there are a handful of ways to prepare for this new adventure. Are you ready for the groundwork and organization it takes to run a crafts business at home? Before you get started, there are a few things that all beginners should know before they dedicate their time, energy and resources to the competitive world of crafting.
1. Determine Money-Making Potential
For the majority of beginners, the point of running a crafts business at home is to turn a profit. Whether you’re a wizard at crocheting baby blankets or making organic lotions for sensitive skin, you have to ask yourself if your craft is something that customers need. Your crafts business will be a success if you provide goods that serve a purpose, which translates into sales. Will there be a demand for what you have to offer?
2. Do your Homework
Before establishing a home-based crafts business, one of the first things to do is research the basic market. After establishing the demand for your crafts, pinpoint the type of people who will most likely purchase your goods. This will also come in handy when making advertising decisions. Identify the places where your potential customers will live – think of local, regional, national and global interests. Research the average price of similar products.
3. Are You Unique?
Since there are thousands of crafts businesses competing for the attention of consumers, it is important to stand out from the rest. To succeed in the industry, you must offer something unique and in many cases – one-of-a-kind crafts. For example, if you make beaded necklaces – what sets your creations apart from the thousands of other jewelry makers? Do you use a special technique, exotic stone, or offer an intricate pattern? Recognize your competition and analyze what makes their business work. This doesn’t mean the same formula will work for you, but you can get an idea on how to become a better business within your industry.
4. Test Out the Demand
It’s hard for many crafters to take a step back from their creations and assess the true demand for their product. When you’re looking for constructive criticism, call upon friends and family to lend a hand. Seek out five to ten of the most honest loved ones who will give you the best opinions. Also, pick people who most likely shop for the kinds of products that you offer. For instance, if you sew baby outfits, ask new parents for their opinions. Interview each loved one on an individual basis. Ask them what they like about your products, if any improvements are needed, if they have any concerns, and would they give your product as a gift.
5. Set a Competitive Price
Once you’ve assessed if there is demand for your product, you’re going to need a competitive price. One of the easiest ways to create a price range is to follow the lead of competitors. Take notes of an acceptable range for highest and lowest dollar amount. Keep in mind that your prices will fluctuate throughout the lifetime of your crafts business.
6. Sell Beyond the Internet
The Internet is not the only place to sell your crafts when starting a small business at home. Many crafters find success in setting up a booth at a local craft fair, farmer’s market, and other venues. Approach local shops that sell gifts, art and other trinkets. Ask the store manager if they’d be willing to carry one of your lines.