If you’re an avid crafter and love to spend your free time crafting it might have crossed your mind a time or two to start a crafting business. In the age of Amazon, Etsy, and other online retailers it can be a great business adventure to start a crafting business! If you make high quality handmade items and have ever wondered how to start a crafting business these tips are for you!
How to Start a Craft Business
- The first step to starting any business is deciding what your product(s) will be. Do your research to see which products are the most popular and which are the most saturated. With Etsy you will see a large market of crafts of knitting, crochet, beadwork, shirt design, jewelry making, and more. Look at what others are doing and how you can do it better. (You don’t have to be the first – you just need to be better than the others.) Ask yourself (and others) would you buy what you are creating and if so, how much would you pay.
- Find out what your city, county, and state laws are for owning / running a business out of your home.
- Talk to a professional about incorporating (such as an LLC) and if you should be a sole proprietor or file as a corporation.
- Next, you’ll want to create a business and marketing plan. As with any business, this is a crucial step to keep your business grounded.
- Once you have your business plan developed you will need to work on your brand. This will include your business name, logo, tagline, and other key marketing components. You’ll want to reserve that business name on all social media platforms to make sure nobody else is using it or abusing it! (Tip – use KnowEm.com to see if your brand is available across all platforms.)
- Open a separate business account at your bank and with PayPal to keep all expenses and income separate from your family’s main accounts.
- Find a dedicated work space within your home that you can create and walk away from without having to pick everything up when you need to leave your crafting.
- If you haven’t yet, decide what platform you’ll be selling through. If you’re lucky enough to have secured a spot in a local store or boutique, great! If not, you’ll need to choose between sites such as Etsy, eBay, Amazon, and others. For handmade crafted items Etsy typically does really well but keep in mind that they take a listing fee for each item and PayPal takes a payment processing fee.
- Another important thing to keep in mind is that you’ll need to be realistic with orders. You might be able to crochet 50 scarves a week in complete silence with no interruptions but in real life you may need to limit that number to be realistic about how many orders you can accept. Make sure you don’t overdo it and burn yourself out before you get your business started.
- Learn how to take amazing photos to showcase your work. You may have some of the most beautiful crafts out there but if you can’t make people see it, they probably won’t sell.
- Find a good bookkeeping system to keep track of your supply purchases, marketing fees, income, and other important items to track. I recommend using QuickBooks to keep track of your budgets, profit / loss, reporting, and end of the year reporting for your taxes.
All of these tips should help you start a crafting business and keep that business successful! A good foundation is the key to success of any business and by doing all of these things, you’re building a great foundation for your crafting business.
If you could start a crafting business, what kind would you start? Let me know in the comments below!