CREATIVE HOBBY INTO CRAFT BUSINESS
Turning your creative hobby into a craft business can be a way to make a little extra money and have a better work/life balance. But it isn’t just as simple as deciding to sell your makes, you need a clear plan and vision from the start and a desire to really create a profitable business. If you think 2016 is the year you need a new challenge and could make a good creative entrepreneur, here are our top tips.
Manage home working
Most small creative business start at home, which can have many benefits. But it’s also important you manage your home working, whether you have a garden studio, an office or have to use the dining table to make your products. Set your work boundaries and working hours, and make sure your family understand that you can’t be disturbed at these times. As your business grows, it will become even more important to manage your home working and to keep up with demand.
Have an action plan
When you’re just starting out, it’s essential to decide what your business stands for, who your target client base will be and what your goals are for the first year. Do you want to be able to exhibit at a craft fair? Perhaps you just want to make sure you break even in your first year. Have a clear list of goals and ambitions - but make sure they are reachable.
Find a wholesale supplier
Once you have clearly set out the aims of the business and what you’ll be selling (be sure to utilise your skills and passion) it’s time to stock up. Find a trustworthy and affordable supplier who specialises in your trade materials and the tools you’ll need for the job.
Choose your platforms
Making your crafts is the easy bit - the part you already know how to do. You’ll also have to learn how to promote your business and sell your wares, which some people can find quite tricky. You may have to approach sellers and stockists if you want your products on the shelves of craft shops. Alternatively, you can take advantage of the national and international opportunities on internet platforms. Set up an online shop and photograph your products, and you can also offer personalisation and bespoke options. The best creative online shops seem to be Etsy, Not on the High Street and eBay.