Are you a crafter? Can you take an idea and make it a reality with your hand? You may have thought, at one point, that you wish you could make this a career.
Fantastic news: You can. The demand for handmade crafts is increasing. Etsy, the largest online crafting marketplace, reported steady revenue growth since 2015. Amazon joined the fray with its Handmade Store.
Millions of people worldwide and in the United States are interested in turning their hobbies into a business.
It’s possible to continue crafting as a hobby. For those who want to go to the next level… for those who love what they do and are passionate about making a living at it… let’s talk about starting your own business.
You can turn your hobby of crafting into a business
It is obvious that the first step in converting your hobby to a crafting business involves treating it as a business. What does this actually mean in practice?
Names are essential for any new business. We’ll discuss this below.
Begin by creating a business strategy for your new. You don’t need to make it 100 pages. You can get started quickly with excellent one-page business plan templates.
Your legal business structure is one of the most important decisions you will have to make. If you are a sole proprietor, why not incorporate and register a partnership (limited liability company)?
What is the difference?
According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), a sole proprietorship is “the most basic type of business to start.” The sole proprietorship means that you are responsible for all assets and liabilities. This is the best option for your baby-crafting business. It’s also the easiest to set it up.
An LLC (or Limited Liability Company), may offer more protection. An LLC business structure offers the same limited liability features as a corporation. Our comprehensive guide on how you can start a business has many details. The Small Business Administration also provides information on common small business structures.
No matter what structure you choose, your new crafting business will have to pay taxes. The Start a Craft Business blog warns.
If you want your craft business to grow and prosper for many years, it is vital to follow all tax laws in your country and state. No matter how difficult it may be, there is no reason to not file your taxes. It is always better to have all your paperwork in order.
After you have decided on the legal structure of your business, you should consider whether you will need a license to legally operate a business. You can find all the information you need on the SBA website to determine which license or permit is needed for your new business in.
We need to talk about pricing before we get on with the heavy-duty business part of this conversation.
Crafters are known to undercut their profits by selling their products at too low prices. An article in the Etsy Seller Handbook titled Are you paying yourself enough? explains that we should be treating ourselves fairly. Makes us feel uncomfortable.
If your business is going to be successful, it will need to overcome that unease and create profit. Emma Featherstone writes for The Guardian.
You must calculate all costs. You should be paid an hourly rate that includes all materials, and then add some more. You will at least know how far you are willing to go if they negotiate on price.
No matter how you calculate your prices, ensure that they are setting you (and your business) on a sustainable course. Remember to include your profit when you start a business.
Your customers deserve the best
We’ve covered the essential business details. Let’s now talk about something more fun: how to deliver what your customers want.
Customers who are craft customers don’t want mass-produced items that can be bought unceremoniously at a big box shop for a discount price. They are looking for unique and original pieces made by real craftspeople with whom they can make connections.
Because they want to buy unique items, directly from the maker, they are purchasing from you. It shouldn’t be difficult for them to get to know you.
These are some things you can do for your customers to get what they want. Your brand identity is the first step. This includes being the face of your business and choosing the name of your company as a professional craftsperson.
You can search for “how to name a craft business” and you will find tons of options that provide lists of possible names. The problem is, every other aspiring entrepreneur craftsperson is looking at the same names.
You know that craft consumers want unique products from unique people, so generic names won’t cut it.
When naming your company, remember what makes you and your crafts unique. What is their essence? Their personality? Next, make sure your name captures their essence.
Ross Kimbarovsky is a serial entrepreneur who founded Crowdspring. He recommends that you start your business name search by thinking about what your name should convey, and then starting to brainstorm with these guidelines in mind. No matter what name you choose, it is important that your customer knows and can remember who you are. The business name generator will help you get started.
You can help your customers see the value in your business name by sharing some information about yourself on your website. You’ll need a web…and a logo. We’ll get into that more later.
Crafters who are successful know that strong personal brands can only be built with great handmade products. You’ll need to ensure that your products are well-made and that they appeal to consumers as a crafting entrepreneur. Van Den recommends.
Your perspective must shift when you are making money for profit and not for pleasure. Stop focusing on yourself and your hobbies and start looking at your customers.
Think about your target customer. The more specific you are about it, the better. Your customer’s needs will inform the products you create. You don’t have to lose your vision, but adapt your creations to meet the needs of your customers.
As you get more customers in real life, you will be able to do this better. Be prepared to change and adapt. Remember that profit-oriented crafting is as much about the consumer as it does about you.