14 Mar 2020
It is everyone’s aim in life to have a job that they love. After all, on average, people spend more time working than they do with their nearest and dearest, so we owe it to ourselves to make our profession something that we enjoy.
If you’re passionate about crafting, turning this interest into a business might seem like a no-brainer. However, as exciting as the prospect might seem, you need to come to terms with the fact that you might not view crafting in the same way again.
Your hobby will go from something you used as a means to escape to something that encompasses the majority of your day and requires a huge amount of hard work. It’s one thing to go from making a few pieces for family and friends to selling to the public. That’s not to say that it’s not the right choice, because becoming an entrepreneur and being in control of your future can be extremely rewarding.
Do your research
If you are serious about turning your craft into business, the second thing to consider is whether there’s actually a gap in the market for your product. You might be amazing at crochet or quilting, but what is it that makes you stand out from the crowd and why do people need to invest in you?
The best way to identify your customer and determine whether you are on to a winner is through extensive research. Talk to other crafters, join online forums and visit as many craft fairs as you can. I wouldn’t have found the inspiration to create my first product, and as a result, my company, if I didn’t talk to so many people and identify what the industry was lacking.
You should also try talking to other competitors in your field, you’ll be surprised at how many people are willing to offer advice. Setting up a business is not without its challenges and they’ll have valuable lessons for you to learn from.
Create a plan
As with any start-up business, you need to create a business plan. It’s inevitable that things can and will change over time, but having a strategy and structure from the start is important.
Your time is precious, so you need to be sensible about how you use it. As with any new venture, you can expect it to take up a lot of your time, but try not to burn out before you’ve even started. Waking up slightly earlier in the mornings or putting aside an hour in the evenings will give you time to work on your business before you are ready to take it full time. If you have kids, involve them in what you are doing so you’re not missing out on quality family time – this also gives them an idea of your working day.
Build your brand
In order to connect with your customers, you need to establish your brand and ethos. Once you have an idea of what that is, it needs to be consistent across your marketing materials and visual assets, social media, website and pretty much anything that you are doing in the company’s name.
Taking advantage of platforms such as social media and online marketplaces are great for getting your products out there. They are cost effective and use minimal resources. Of course, it’s important to explore other ways of selling such as developing a website, in addition to trade and consumer fairs but you will quickly learn what’s right for you.