How to Start a Craft Business Full-Time
As a creative, you already know there’s a whole world out there beyond the traditional craft market. You may already be skilled at a variety of crafting projects, and have even perfected some of your skills. For instance, maybe you’re great at making jewelry, creating clothing, or creating beautiful hand-crafted items for yourself. If you’re interested in selling those types of items, a craft business would be a good fit for you.
When starting out a craft business, however, you need to decide what type of business structure you want to pursue. Will you choose to go with a sole proprietorship, or will you go the route of a corporation? Or, maybe you’d rather start out as an artist/small business and expand your interests as you go along. Regardless of which direction you choose, making a business plan is absolutely essential.
In order to successfully craft business plans, you first have to have one. How do you make one, exactly? How do you turn your ideas into viable craft business models? Well, first, ask yourself a few questions: What type of craft business do you intend to operate? Do you plan to sell your own products, or partner with other local crafters in order to sell their products?
If you intend to sell your own products, make sure you get a full-on craft degree, or enroll in a short course on basic crafts. That way, if you ever decide to open up your own craft business, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting into. Additionally, it helps if you have a particular expertise in a certain area.
After answering the above questions, you’ll be better equipped to come up with a viable craft business plan. Now, you need to turn those answers into something that can be put down on paper. Put together a draft that includes both your basic idea for the business structure and details about your products. It’s best if you include a detailed sales pitch for your products in this document, as well as a description of your craft-related experience. This information will prove invaluable when it comes time to seek financial support from investors.
As mentioned earlier, you’re going to need a full-on craft degree or other proof of your crafting skills before you can begin exploring capital options. If your talents are fairly extensive, however, you may not need a college diploma to access the funding you need. You may want to visit local universities and talk to the administrators about student loans and grants for the arts. It is also a very good idea to contact local businesses and see if they are interested in funding your craft projects. Many times, these small businesses will have the resources necessary to make your craft ideas a reality.
Once you have some basic ideas for your new business, you should turn to capital options. One of the easiest and most effective ways to raise money is to use social media, especially Facebook. If you start a fan page for your crafters, friends, and family, potential customers will learn about your business and maybe even “like” your page. Facebook’s news feed features many fun activities, including craft contests, which will draw attention to your crafters’ work. In no time at all, you should be able to attract significant amounts of online traffic to your crafters’ page.
The ability to bring in a steady stream of online visitors, however, requires you to spend a few hours every week (or every other day) participating in the social media outlet. You must advertise your crafters’ page to everyone you know and try to build a relationship with each person. If you have any questions or feedback about the Facebook crafters page, crafters who are either fans or followers of your page can offer their expertise. This is a great way to build your reputation online and a good way to make money as a handmade business full-time craft guru. Soon, you too will be bringing in that regular flow of online traffic!