Starting a craft business is a great way for artists and other creative types to work from home. It takes time, money, and marketing, but once you understand the basics, you'll be off to a great start. Here's how to begin:
Choose a Specialty
You should choose a line of crafts to specialize in if you want to transform your hobby into a profitable business. Ask yourself, which of my talents and skills meet a need in the marketplace? What do those people want? For example, deciding to open a knitting business is too general and you will struggle to compete. Narrowing that down to "knitting with circular needles" would keep you competitive, while pursuing a business you're passionate about.
Name Your Craft Business
Besides making your creations, this may be the most fun part of starting your business. Brainstorm a list of possiblities. Your business name should indicate your products or services. See whether the names you've listed are available as domain names. Also, check the internet to see whether anyone else is already using that name. If you decide to incorporate your home business, you will have to comply with specific state rules (be sure to find out those requirements).
Get Licenses and Permits
Check the local, state, and federal requirements for running your business. You can call the appropriate departments for each of these, or browse their website for information. You may just need a business license. Licenses and permits are industry specific, so be sure to find out what you need to avoid penalties.
Build a Website/Blog
There are many do-it-yourself web platforms that will make it relatively simple to build a website. WordPress is famous for blogs, but you can use the same platform to build your own website. There are many video tutorials on the internet to show you how to do this. You can also add a blog to your website. Blogging about your craft business will allow you to form relationships with visitors and display your work. Adding an opt-in newsletter or email list to your website will also allow you to sell your work to readers.
Sell at Arts and Crafts Shows
Take your crafts to festivals or shows and sell them. The attendees enjoy buying homemade crafts and like meeting craft-makers. The costs for shows consist of purchasing a booth, your marketing materials (business cards, brochures, or flyers), travel expenses to the show, and shipping (if it's long distance). Some choose this option to bypass splitting their profits with stores, and to get access to many new buyers in one setting.
Remember that you are running a craft business. Some of your daily work may consist of mundane administrative tasks (that can seem boring), but think about the day when you can grow your business to the point where you can outsource work.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.