Turning an artistic pastime or passion into a small business can be a rewarding way to cash in on your craftiness. But hold tight your needles, brushes, yarn and beads. There is much to be done as you enter the crafting industry.
First, focus on a singular craft
One person’s crafty interests can run the artistic gamut. Before beginning a small business, creators with multiple hobbies should limit their business project to just a craft or two i.e., knits, oil paintings, woodwork, etc. By restricting formal work to a single sort of craft, an aspiring business owner can hone their skills in that particular art, all the while enjoying the added benefits of keeping other interests strictly fun free-time hobbies. Eventually, these other interests can be incorporated into new products, but better to start small and grow as you go.
Carve out a niche
After you have selected a single product type to sell, work to differentiate your items from others already in the craft market. Stun customers with quality materials, product accessibility, and appearance. Address an unmet need or connect with a community with which you share a passion. For example, rather than selling jewelry for the masses, consider crafting environmentally sustainable pieces for teens or vegetable accessories for people with special needs one good example is buying IOD transfers for sale is very easy to market. Pair your crafty hobby with your favorite causes and interests to create a unique, marketable product that satisfies more than just your itch for business.
Prioritize quality over quantity
A small batch of perfect products speaks volumes more than loads of imperfect ones. Consistent quality keeps customers coming. Resist the urge to rush through craft production in an effort to maximize profits. Unfavorable words and bad reviews travel fast, quicker even online. A 2018 Reviewtracker survey found that 94% of respondents had been convinced by an online review to avoid a business and 80% do not trust businesses rated below four stars. Sacrificing quality for quantity, especially at the start, could lead to a quick burst of profits only to be followed by the inevitable slump as customers drop loyalty due to faulty products.
To speed up production and build quality assurance, consider selling easily recreatable products. Crafters can create in bulk and leave any additional product customizations for later. By consistently recreating the same pattern, item or artwork, crafters can perfect their process, ultimately increasing quality and speed. But there is no need to ditch one-of-a-kind items entirely. Match a catalog of “bread and butter items” with a short list of one-of-a-kind pieces.
Consider alternative products like patterns or DIY kits
Rather than selling finished items, craftspeople looking to break into the market can produce do it yourself patterns or craft kits. Buildable kits are a lucrative, low-stakes alternative for crafters looking for a lesser commitment or way to relieve the pressure of producing finished handmade goods. Slime kits, lip balm and gloss kits, jewelry, soap and bath bomb kits have all recently seen steady interest, each peeking around the holiday season.
Register your business
At-home craft businesses have a couple business structures to choose from, each affecting the way the business is taxed and the level to which the operator is held liable. A sole proprietorship is the default business structure. If you do business activities without registering as any other sort of business, you are assumed to be a sole proprietor. In this structure, your business assets and liabilities are not made separate from that of your personal assets and liabilities. Therefore, you can be held liable for any business debts or obligations your project accrues. A common choice for crafters serious about making a buck off their creations with no risk to their personal assets is registering as an LLC, or Limited Liability Company. Here, business and personal assets and liabilities are kept separate. Other steps to consider when formalizing a small business include registering your business name and applying for an employer identification number and state tax license.