Crafting is fun, but if you have people approaching you regularly about buying your products, it might be time to take things to the next level. You can turn your passion and creativity for your crafts into a full-time, profitable business.
The profit potential can be great, and it might seem tempting to start a business out of a hobby, but make sure it’s really what you want. One hobby crafter told Candice Landau of Bplans.com that she was surprised that she didn’t love doing her crafts after she made it a business.
“Something about how I relate to those activities changed, fundamentally, and for good. So, I advocate thinking long and hard before making your hobby into a business,” she said, encouraging potential business owners to decide whether or not they’re okay with seeing it as work instead of a hobby.
“If the answer’s no, save yourself some heartache and choose some other way to make a living,” she continues. “Because it’s amazing what a loss it feels like not to be able to enjoy something anymore that used to bring so much pleasure.”
If after pondering this question, you’re sure that you still want to start a business, that’s wonderful! Just be prepared for the steps to come. Here’s what you need to do to make a successful crafting business:
Narrow Your Product Line
Have you ever heard the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none?” Essentially, this adage means that when you try to do too many things, you’ll never be truly good at any one of them. Narrowing your product line to a few select products that you’re very talented at making will lead to you mastering this craft. You’ll be the best in the business.
Additionally, it makes it less overwhelming for customers when they come to your shop. When they order, you’ll be able to keep up with the inventory demands because you’re not handling too many materials and processes to make dozens of products.
Create Your Workshop
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling products online or in a store; you’ll need a workshop and all the necessary equipment. Your workshop could be your garage, a shed in the backyard, or a rented space.
Fill it with all the tools you need—remember that this is an investment, so the expense of the tools will be well worth it. You’ll also need details like heavy duty tarps and drop-cloths to protect the flooring and make for easy cleanup.
Once everything is set up, it makes creating and selling crafts an absolute breeze! You’ll be so happy to have that space designated for this specific purpose.
Choose a Business Structure
Although this is a dull part of starting a crafting business, it’s important to make sure the legal side of things is taken care of. You’ll need to register for a business, probably a limited liability corporation (LLC), which is affordable and easy to fill out.
This business structure makes it legal for you to make business transactions with customers so that you’re in the right tax bracket. It also protects you from limited liability issues so that you don’t find yourself in the middle of an unjustified lawsuit. It’s easy to set up, and once it’s taken care of, it’ll be smooth sailing.
Establish a Brand
Branding is very important in any business, but it’s especially powerful in crafting. There’s a lot of competition with everyone striving to be the cutest and craftiest company on the block.
Come up with a catchy, crafty name that will be easy to remember. It doesn’t have to bear the name of your products unless you specialize in a certain type of product. Create a logo and brand colors that you can use in all of your marketing efforts, your website, and your business card.
Use Strong Marketing Tactics
Once you’ve gotten your business started, it’s time to get your name out there. Your marketing tactics are just as important as forming your business.
One of the best things you can do is to attend trade shows. Selling crafts on the internet is great, but it’s better if you can present them to an in-person audience. People like to touch and see a product to make sure it’s what they’re looking for.
You’ll also want to use social media and online advertising to attract more online visitors. You can purchase an ad on social media for as little as $5 and reach a wider, targeted audience with it. There’s no better way to get customers and grow your business.