Some people think that craft business owners must spend all their time surrounded by their favorite hobbies. But there are many elements that go into starting a craft business legally and running the business side. The following post walks you through how to start a craft business and turn your passion into a revenue stream.
The Handmade Crafts Industry in 2022
The handmade business industry is booming in 2022, with consumers looking for unique products and online marketplaces making them easily accessible. Not all craft ventures run exclusively online though. There are also craft fairs, flea markets, and local retail shops that can sell handmade items.
Why You Should Consider Starting a Craft Business
If you’re thinking of becoming a new craft business owner, here are some top benefits to consider:
- Turn your passion into a career: If you want to start a craft business, it’s probably because you already have some crafting skills that you enjoy. This can be a perfect way to create a job you actually enjoy.
- Enjoy time flexibility: Whether you sell online or at local consignment shops, you likely produce most of your products from home on your own schedule. This can leave room for work/life balance or working full time while getting your new venture off the ground.
- Get started for little money: Starting a crafts business usually just requires some supplies and maybe domain or marketplace fees. It can be one of the least expensive industries to break into.
- Create multiple revenue streams: There’s room to create multiple product lines or offer your products in different ways to diversify your income. For example, you may offer finished products as well as overflow craft supplies you haven’t used.
- Build community: There are plenty of ways to get others involved in your craft business. You may have your kids help you pack orders, or work with friends and local events. Many craft entrepreneurs also enjoy active online communities.
Starting a Craft Business in 12 Simple Steps
Each crafting business may look a bit different, depending on your niche and skill level. However, here are some basic steps to help you go from just a hobby to a fully-fledged business.
1. Research Your Niche
Most craft businesses have a niche, whether it’s knitted items or hand-carved wooden figurines. Get to know the other businesses that sell similar items, so you can learn where there may be openings to differentiate your own offerings.
2. Choose a Name
A name tells customers what to expect from your business and can help your brand stand out. Search on your state’s database and online to make sure your choice isn’t already taken.
3. Create a Formal Business Plan
Your craft business plan should detail everything from what you will sell to how you’ll reach customers. There are lots of templates online to get you started.
4. Select a Business Structure
Your business entity determines how your company is taxed and its legal structure. For example, sole proprietorships are generally treated just like individuals. But a limited liability company separates your business assets from personal assets if there’s an issue.
5. Get a Business License
Depending on what you sell and where you operate, you may need to register your business with your local government. Check with your state and city clerk for the relevant forms.
6. Choose How to Sell Products
Do you plan on selling crafts online, or utilizing other avenues like craft fairs? You can even use a mix of strategies to reach customers.
7. Open a Business Bank Account
Keep your business finances separate to make tracking easier. Open a bank account and start tracking revenue and expenses.
8. Source Supplies
Think about what items you need to create your inventory, then stock up on supplies. Consider wholesale suppliers to save money on products you need in bulk. Don’t forget about shipping supplies like boxes and labels, too!
9. Build an Inventory
Then it’s time to hone your craft and create enough items to build your product line. Find places to store your products before they sell.
10. Photograph Products
If you’re selling online or creating any marketing materials, you’ll need photos of your products. Handmade products usually pop on a simple white background with natural lighting. Practice photography or work with a professional to take eye-catching photos.
11. Price Items
To determine prices, calculate how much each cost in terms of both supplies and labor. Then compare similar items and do research to determine market demand.
12. Create a Marketing Strategy
Once the basics are in place, it’s time to get the word out about your business. Consider marketing on social media, buying ads on marketplace sites, or getting some press attention in your local community.
How Much Does It Cost to Start Your Own Craft Business?
Startup costs for a craft business vary widely depending on the type of products sold and whether or not you need a physical location. Those with an online store can often start a craft business for under $100. Those that require an expensive inventory or physical location may need up to $50,000.
Are Craft Businesses Profitable?
Crafting can lead to a profitable business, especially since these businesses are generally inexpensive to start. To keep operations profitable, you need to price products high enough to cover all expenses. Don’t just factor in your materials, but take into account your website and marketing costs, your time, and support costs like shipping and storage.
How Can You Start an Online Craft Business with No Money?
Selling online using free marketplace sites can allow you to start a craft business with no money. Simply use recycled materials or items you already have around your house. Then sell to friends or list items on free sites or on social media. Then use your earnings to create your own website or list products on sites with fees like Etsy and Amazon.
Image: Envato Elements
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