Turning Your Craft Hobby Into a Business

January 7th, 2021 by dayat Leave a reply »

Handmade items are coming back strong in today’s society. Every handmade item is unique due to the fact that the pieces used to create it are not exactly identical. I know this because I’m a woodworker. I’ve been building home decor accessories and furniture for 30 years. With wood as my main building material, no two boards have identical grain patterns. Even when I build 2 items, following the same pattern or design, the finished products will be the same but will have there own unique appearance due to the grain of the wood. Mass produced items sometimes lose their identity due to the materials used or the quality of their construction.

Marketing your products is a far tougher problem than building your product. Several options are available to use to get sales. In most areas there are vendor shows, such as craft shows or flea markets. You will pay rent for a designated spot and you will be required to have your display ready for the public at a specific time. You will be required to be at your display for the duration of the event and handle your own sales. You will also be required to collect any taxes which are required in that particular area. Some areas require you to have vendor’s insurance for your display. It’s a good idea to know the requirements for your area before you plunge into business and find out that you don’t meet the requirements.

Another popular method to get sales is selling from home. This can work well for you if you have room in your home to do this without interfering with the rest of your life. The other pluses to this method are you are in control of the time that you will be conducting business, there is no moving from one place to another so there is no set-up or tear down. Of course you would be responsible for your own advertising. Once again, check on your local laws to be sure this is a legal option in your area.

Some crafters I know do “home shows”. We all know how this works. A “host” invites friends over to a party and you show your items. Usually you would give the host a pre-arranged percentage of your sales to be used to purchase your products. You may also have certain products that are only available to the host in order to get others to host parties.

Wholesaling to others is another option for a person starting a home craft business. Putting an item in a shop on consignment is another way to get sales. These two options do not require you be present to get a sale. You take a reduced price for your item and the seller gets paid to make the sale.

I saved the best and what I think is the hardest for last. Selling online. It is very easy to set up shop online. Whether you get your own domain or you sell on a handmade site such as etsy.com or artfire. com, getting noticed takes some time and some know-how. When I started selling online, I had very little computer experience and no idea how to get online sales. Post your products and get sales right? WRONG!!! People have to know what you sell and how to find you.

There are several ways to advertise online. Some are free and some are for a fee. They all work, but which ones will work best for you? The only answer I can give you for this is trial and error. Probably the most important thing about getting noticed online is using the proper keywords so the search engines can find you. Once again, if your computer knowledge is like mine, you will be using the trial and error method. I have found that changing my keywords after doing keyword research has had good results.

Now I do keyword research prior to posting to save time. I have found selling online to be a learning process because it keeps changing constantly. Just when I think I know how to do something, it changes and I go back to the drawing board. All in all it’s a fun way to make a living. I’m doing something I really enjoy, working with wood, and selling my products to someone else to enjoy.


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