During the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more of us have turned our heads away from living the corporate life and have set toward achieving new goals of Exploring their own creativity, away from the corporate rat race. However, what if these hobbies didn’t just have to be something to do in your spare time? What if you could use them to generate a source of income?
You will know that many people make money out of the things they make at home.
A business fuelled by love and love alone. Maybe you had a DIY wedding and you made all of your own favors, or the moms at the school are asking you for your vanilla cupcake recipe. Lots of people are starting to support makers so that they get unique gifts, treats, and homewares that nobody else has. Starting your very own craft business could be a great way to turn your passion into a paycheck.
These days, starting your very own business from home is becoming easier and easier. You’ll see it from the hundreds of articles online outlining what it is you need to do to make a success of your business. In this article, we’re going to go back to the basics of what you need to do in order to think about starting turning your passion into profit.
Start With What You Love
With the coronavirus pandemic, and people less able to spend time with those they love, more and more people are turning to online retailers and small businesses to help them to make their friends and families feel loved and valued.
It is easy to be passionate about something you love, and it’s even more beneficial to spend your days making something you enjoy for the enjoyment of others. This however, is where turning your passion into profit can be challenging. You may enjoy making particularly niche items, but they may not be marketable, or people may form an opinion of your items that you do not like. Growing a business from something you love comes with these challenges, but you may be successful if you are Able to separate your own feelings from others’ opinions.
Whether you choose to continue down the unique, individual path, do you want to make sure that what you are selling comes with profit rather than losses when it comes to materials used to create, package and ship your items.
What Does Running a Craft Business Involve?
There can be a number of tasks when it comes to running your business, and the work undertaken can vary on a day-to-day basis.
Some of the activities are likely to include:
Purchasing Ingredients and Negotiating With Suppliers
Typically, the more you buy, the less money per item things are likely to cost. This means you are more likely to make a profit on the items that you sell. However, make sure that if you are selling multiple different products, that you are able to use some of the same material so that you are not using your home as a storage container for all of your crafting items.
Suppliers also have a business to run and succeed on the loyalty of their customers. Over time, you may be able to negotiate for discounts for your loyalty and the items that you buy from them. They are likely to be doing this further up the chain, too!
Making and Developing New Products
So you started a business making cupcakes. But over time you start to get customers requesting specific flavours or cupcakes that cater for vegan or gluten-free diets. Do some research of your market. Find out how many others would like you to produce goods that are diet specific. If you’re the only person in your area offering vegan or gluten-free bakes, and you have a reputation to back you up, you’re highly likely to be winning when it comes to the success of your business. Unfortunately (not unfortunately) this does mean having to take the time to develop recipes and having people testing to see how they taste for sale purposes. Developing new recipes specific for a dietary that you are not used to baking or can take some time to perfect. Be patient with yourself, you will get there and will have a whole new market for people to cater to.
Marketing Your Products
It’s going to be no good starting a business if nobody buys from you. It’s every crafter’s worst nightmare to wake up surrounded by the goods that they are trying to shift. But if nobody knows about your business, nobody will buy from you. This is why you need to focus on your marketing as of utmost importance. Create your Business name, logo, and social media pages with a link to the website that they can buy from. You may even consider creating some foil business cards that you can hand out to people each time and make a purchase. Be engaging on your social media, interact with people, one polls and live streams so that people get to know the person behind the business. All of these are cheap and easy ways to market your business and to sell your products.
Keeping Business Records (Orders, Costs, Bills Etc)
There is an awful lot of administration involved when it comes to running a business. Not only do you need to track your income for tax purposes you also need to manage your expenses. You’ll need to have a grasp on business records such as orders, bills, and the costs of posting and shipping your products to people. All of this requires an awful lot of work. If it gets too much, you may want to consider hiring an additional member of staff to take care of the administration tasks for you. A virtual assistant is a cheap alternative to hiring somebody on a full-time basis. However, if you want the personal touch at all times, then having somebody help you in person will be all the better.
How Much Does It Cost?
The great news is that starting a business doesn’t need to be expensive—particularly if you’re looking to operate solely online and making your products from home.
There may however be some start-up costs involved, for example, the costs of materials. Following on from the example of baking cupcakes, this is not just the ingredients, it’s the mixing bowls, the mixers, the cake pans etc- which will only need to be replaced after the natural wear and tear of a year or so usage. The cost of ingredients is where you want to work on your negotiation skills- gain exclusivity with a trusted supplier to get them at a lower cost for buying wholesale.
You may want to spend some money buying a spot at a flea market and selling your products there- which may be a good way to start your business and gain loyal customers.
Starting Your Empire Online
If the idea of sitting out at craft fairs doesn’t appeal to you, you could always take the business online. It is inexpensive to start a website, or there are many other sales opportunities online for craft businesses, Etsy for example. It’s a crafting ‘marketplace’ where customers who are already interested in buying home crafts are already on the lookout for their next purchase. Here, you could create links to your very own shop. Some website domains can even be set up for free!
Have several methods of payment available. Whether that’s credit cards, PayPal payments, or online gift card purchases. Having multiple methods of payment allows for a degree of flexibility and makes consumers feel as though they are valued for having their payment option listed. Make sure you have added security so that your business transactions are safe, and that customers feel secure in buying online.
Approach Local Companies
Maybe there is an independent coffee shop down the street that you enjoy going to. Try talking to management there about the latest recipes you’re working on, and offer to bring in samples of your products for them to taste. Sell the idea to them that they will be supporting a small local business, and that they will be reducing the mileage of the products they are selling- this will be a unique selling point for both your business and them!
Think Future Forward
Running a small business is never easy. You’re always going to Need to think forward, keep in touch with what’s going on in your local market. Also, think about the future. Where is your business going to be in five years time?
Remember why you started your business and always keep this at the heart of what you do and how you do it. Do what you can to keep going the extra mile for your customers as this is the key to your overall business success. People are more likely to recommend you to their friends and families if they know that your business is run with honesty, integrity, and heart.