Have you ever dreamed of turning your favourite hobby into a business? Crafting is a great way to express yourself and explore your creative side. From woodworking to jewellery, crafting can be a great way to make extra money while having fun. But it can be daunting to go from hobbyist to business owner. With the proper guidance and effort, you can unlock your crafting potential and begin to build a successful business.
In this article, we will explore some important considerations and tips to help you build a successful crafting business. From developing a business plan to finding your niche market, this guide will provide you with the tools you need to start your crafting business with confidence.
Be Aware of the Change
The first step in transitioning from hobby to business is to be aware of the change that this entails. Crafting for fun is much different than crafting to earn a living. When crafting is a hobby, it is a creative outlet that you enjoy and makes you feel good. When crafting is a business, it is a source of income, and there are additional pressures and responsibilities. You need to be sure that you are comfortable with the transition and that you are ready to take on the additional responsibilities.
You also need to consider the financial implications. Running a business involves costs, and you must decide if you are willing to invest the resources necessary to make the business successful. You will need to ensure you can afford the materials and any additional equipment you need. You will also need to consider the cost of marketing and advertising too. While you can use social media at first for free, you will also need to ensure you have the funds to invest further if you need to reach a wider market or if social media isn’t bringing in the sales you need to ensure a successful venture.
To save money and increase your chances of success, consider upcycling, i.e. the art of taking something old and finding a new use for it or using it to create something new. This way, you can transforms cheap products (such as second-hand clothes or discarded plastic) and produce an end result of more value than the original!
Do Market Research
Once you have taken the time to consider the change and the financial and legal implications, it is time to do some market research. This is an essential step in the process and can help you determine if there is a demand for your product outside of family and friends. It can also help you to identify potential competitors and determine what customers are looking for in a crafting business.
You can start by researching the crafting industry in your niche. Look for any local businesses similar to what you are offering and research their products and services. You can also look for any industry-specific events or trade shows you can attend. This can be a great way to network and get feedback from potential customers.
You can also use online resources to do some research. Look for online communities and forums related to your craft and see what other crafters are talking about. You can also use social media to reach out to potential customers and get their feedback on your product.
Do You Have the Time
The next step is to determine if you have the time to make the transition from hobby to business. Crafting can be time-consuming, and you must make sure you can dedicate the necessary time to physically making your products. Many business owners, especially new start-ups, think it will be the perfect work-life balance as they aren’t going to a regular place of employment. However, when working for yourself, you will find your work seeps into your home life and has the potential to consume you all day, every day, especially if you experience an increase in demand or a large influx of orders.
You also need to factor in the time it will take to package and ship your products and any additional tasks you need to take on as a business owner.
If you don’t have the time to dedicate to your business, consider hiring someone to help you. You can look for a part-time employee or a contractor to help with the crafting, packaging, and shipping. This can be a great way to free up some of your time so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
How Will You Sell Your Crafts
Once you have established that you have the time and resources to make the transition, it is time to decide how you are going to sell your crafts. Do you want to open a physical store, a temporary market stall, or do you need to set up a website? You will need to decide which option is best for you and your business.
If you decide to open a physical store, you need to consider additional expenses such as rent, insurance, and employee staff to help you run the store if you can’t be there all day or need help. You also need to factor in the cost of any additional equipment that you need. You will also need to decide if you will be open during regular hours or if you will be available by appointment only.
If you decide to set up a website, you must consider hosting and website design costs. It can be tricky to find a website that allows you to set up an online store with payments for free, and you might need a complete website design to get it to look perfect.
Ecommerce setups can be a lower-cost alternative to opening a store; however, you will still need to invest in tools and automation to ensure your customers are getting the experience they deserve even when you’re not online personally. Use the Best live online chat software to answer customer questions instantly without them having to wait for you. Make sure you are using a secure payment portal that offers various payment methods so people can choose options to complete the sale. This can ensure you have the right content and sales process to facilitate purchases and answer queries.
Are You Legal
Depending on your chosen craft, there may be specific permits or registrations that you need to be able to trade. You need to ensure that you comply with all relevant laws and regulations. It is worth checking with your state to see what permits you need, especially if you are working from home. What you need precisely will depend on your food and premise, but you should also check first. If you are baking goods or preparing meals, you must ensure you meet food hygiene standards and all the guidelines and regulations required by the FDA.
You will also need to consider any taxes you must pay. Many crafters are unaware of the tax implications of running a business, and ensuring you are up-to-date on all your taxes is essential. Register your business to get your federal tax id and to determine the legal structure you will take. You may also need to register for a sales tax permit to sell physical products.
Are You Able to Price Competitively?
The final step to transitioning from hobby to business is determining whether you can price competitively. You need to consider how much margin you can spend on your products and what people will pay. This will help ensure that you can make a profit and keep your business running.
When pricing your products, you need to keep in mind the following factors:
- Cost of materials
- Production process costs, e.g. using fuel for baking goods or electricity to power machines
- How long it takes you to make the item
- How much do you value your time to be worth
- What you need to break even to cover your expenses
- Insurance and permits
You should also consider whether you can offer discounts or promotions. This is a great way to attract new customers and is a great way to boost sales, but it might not always be financially viable for every small, especially when just starting out.
Another aspect that can often be overlooked is the cost of damages, whether in transit or during production, items not turning out as expected and being unable to be sold, spoilage from poor quality supplies or storage problems, e.g., freezer failure leading to defrosted food or a complete power cut, or mechanical failure leading to damaged supplies during production. You should always account for losses, your projections ahead of starting up, and the insurance cost for any issues such as loss during delivery or consumers being injured or unwell using your products.
The craft industry is worth over $704 billion, with growth projected to be over 11%, reaching over $1376 billion by 2028. If you are thinking of starting a craft-based business, there is a demand worldwide for handicrafts making it a viable business option. However, there are some considerations for crafters who are considering making the change from hobbyist to a professional crafter and using this as their full-time income stream. Doing your research and assessing your commitment is a great place to start, and the other points in this post can go a long way in helping you to make the right decision.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post.