A lot of people are drawn to the idea of making their craft hobbies full-time. Stories of creatives quitting their nine-to-five jobs to make money out of their online stores are not unheard of. Unfortunately, only few who attempt to do so actually succeed in lifting their businesses out of the part-time sector.
So what’s the secret to success? What did those successful creatives do to successfully launch their small-time skilled hobbies off the ground?
While crafting is all about passion, business is all about making the right decisions. To be able to successfully combine the two, not only do you need the consistent drive to create—you also need to know when, how much, and how to put them out there, so the cycle repeats. When you are able to make decisions that put these in sync, earning the money is only a matter of waiting for your next order.
Now, setting up is another matter. If a craft business is something you’re looking forward to doing in the future, read these tips to know how and where to begin.
The most important step when launching a business is choosing what product to create. Selling handmade crafts may be popular, but you also have to be realistic about selling something of value. You can use high-quality but affordable crafting supplies to create the perfect item, and you may have magic hands when it comes to crafting, but you also have to consider other things from the business point of view.
Ask yourself these questions to see if the move is one that is practical for you:
- How do you deal with pressure? When requests stream in, you have to keep in mind that you’ll be working on a tight deadline. Determine your SOP when processing orders. It’s better if you inform your clients how long they’ll expect to receive each order. You don’t want to earn a bad rep for failing to deliver on time.
- Do you have a fallback? Confidence is a great and important value to have, but when you’re talking about business, your confidence must be backed by empirical data. Doing something as a hobby may be a lot of fun when you don’t depend on it to pay your bills, but when you do, the pressure can get to you.
- Is crafting really your calling? You may like your hobby simply because it lets you destress. So what happens when it becomes the primary source of daily stress? When you turn your hobby into a full-time commitment, you have to grapple with it day after day. If you’re going to commit, make sure you really love the task as it is, or you could regret it.
- Can you take on a challenge? People have hobbies because it allows them to take things slow. When it becomes a business, the hustle gets tougher. Ask yourself if you’re going to be able to take the burden of hitting quotas or deadlines all the time.
- Are your crafts sellable? That is if you’re going to sell your own products to yourself, will you buy them? Get good market data. You may think what you’re creating is something special, but your target demographic may find it otherwise.
Learn How to Market Your Products
Whether you’re doing business online or selling your crafts in a local physical shop, you still need to learn how to properly and effectively market your products. Although this skill does not come to people naturally, there are programs and courses you can take to learn how to put your brands out there. It may require consistent work and constant learning, but it’s an investment of money and time that will pay off for your business in time.
Create a Website
One of the best ways to establish your brand and manage it with minimum cost is by opening up your own store online. For example, a lot of crafters sign up to e-commerce platforms to set up shop. Using these platforms, they are able to create brand exposure and take orders from people within the wide market of the platform. It’s also the easiest way to sell internationally.
If you want to move beyond the platform’s brand, you can create your own e-commerce website, which does not only let you sell your crafts and handmade products but also allows you to advertise, track orders, support customers, and use market analytics tools to see if your marketing efforts work.
Join Trade Fairs and Craft Shows
While setting up shop online gets half the work done, you still need to venture out and create exposure for your brand if your goal is to really grow. Joining trade fairs and signing up to sponsor craft shows are great ways to establish the physical presence and get your items in front of people.
This strategy doesn’t only let you advertise your crafts; it also helps you inspire others, gather new ideas from other creatives, and perhaps even find worthy connections.
Open a Physical Shop
This may take a while to establish, but interacting with people is a way to constantly find motivation for your work. You can man your own shop while also managing your online sites. It’s a way to earn both ways and not solely depend on your online stores for profit.
Transitioning from part-time hobbyist to full-time entrepreneur is not an easy feat but is nevertheless doable. Success may take a while, but as long as you set yourself up properly, you’ll be on your way to earning money out of something you love.
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