5 Things You NEED to Know Before Becoming a Small Craft Business

5 Things You NEED to Know Before Becoming a Small Craft Business

I have always been crafty and always liked to create. I started making hair bows about 4.5 years ago and shortly thereafter decided to make it a business. I have since morphed into making other things also, such as wood signs, t-shirts, hats and decals. It’s has been a long road, and I don’t do it as a full time job, so I have to squeeze my business in between the already busy life I lead, but I have built a pretty decent client base and have many repeat customers. Today I am going to share 5 KEY factors in running a craft style business that I have learned….the hard way.

  1. Get.Paid.FIRST! <—– I made this #1 because it has been my hardest lesson to learn! I am a very trusting person, and sometimes, it gets the best of me. I have gone unpaid and holding items for way longer than anyone should ever have to way too many times. I have also made items without payment and then the buyer backs out (and most times it was someone I know personally), so then I become stuck with said item. So my advice to you is: I don’t care if it’s your favorite Aunt Martha that is buying your item, at the VERY LEAST, get a deposit that is at least 1/2 the retail price up front.
  2. Separate Friends & Business – By this I simply mean, don’t let friendship blind you to your business, after all you started this business to make money, right? Friends can sometimes be your worst customers. Don’t get me wrong, I have a TON of friends that have genuinely supported me and my business in many ways since day 1, I am more talking about your “friends”, they always need discounts, favors, freebies and holds, beware of these “friends” and remember to follow rule #1. Your real friends will understand your time and effort are not free.
  3. Don’t Sell Yourself Short – Yes, I have done it, probably still do on occasion, but do your best not to. It’s OK to cut a deal or host a sale to clear out inventory, but do not undercut your profit. Make sure the profit you are making if worth your time and effort. If you are making $5 off an item, but that item took you an hour to make and $1.50 in cost of goods, you only paid yourself $3.50 for an hours worth of work! Worth it? No.
  4. Be Original – Be genuine with your work, make it your own design with your own imagination. There is so much competition in the craft world, you have to find a way to stand out!
  5. Love your Copy Cat – It’s a dog eat dog world, you WILL have someone copy your idea at some point in your life, don’t let it drag you down, don’t dwell and don’t say mean things to them. Your customers will most likely remain your customers, and the Copy Cat can find their own, this world is big enough for you both. Take it as a compliment 🙂

If you are just thinking about becoming a money making crafter, GOOD LUCK! It really is fun, and you CAN make good money from it, it works IF you work it!

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