Crafting has probably never been a more popular hobby than it is today. And running your own crafting business is often the next natural step for those who love to make things. After all, why shouldn’t you make a living doing what you love?

6 Things You Wish Somebody Had Told You When You Started Your Handmade BusinessHowever, there are some things that you should know before you start so that you can be prepared to run an organized, profitable company.

1. Inspiration

Follow your passion and don’t let go. Your business probably stems from something you’re passionate about, but over time, the day-to-day running of the business makes it hard to keep that passion alive. Fuel it daily by reminding yourself why you started your business. Make sure that you fall in love with a problem, not a solution.

2. Beautiful Photos

The photo is the first thing that captures the eye of the shoppers. When you sell online, your photos will make or break your business. In fact, there are people who barely even read the product description, but just buy pretty much immediately based on the photo of an item. So make sure that you master the art of craft photography.

3. Price For Profit

Pricing your handmade products is very important. This is one of the most common problems in the handmade community. Most crafters start off selling their work from a hobby perspective. You have no idea what price you should be selling your work for, so you tend to drastically underprice it.

Don’t try to compete in price!

There will always be someone selling something similar to what you make for much less than you. Even other talented crafters and artisans. You need to do the hard work to figure out what price you need to sell your goods for to make a decent living, and that’s the price you need to sell it for.

This is hard. It can be confronting. It will probably take you out of your comfort zone.But if you’re serious about making a living from your craft, it’s something you need to do.

4. Hire Smart

Hire people who love to do what you hate to do so you can focus on your dream and evangelize your passion. Hiring an assistant is thrilling but also scary. Take time to hire the right people for the right job. As a small business owner, you can do anything but you can’t do everything! You can easily find hardworking virtual assistants in Elance and Odesk.

5. Be Prepared

Protect yourself from the unexpected. Things will happen that you can’t control. Do what you can to protect yourself. Set up systems and processes in your business so that you can take a vacation or care for a sick child. Make sure that things won’t fall apart if you step away for a moment. Respect yourself enough to ensure that you can take care of yourself outside of your business.

6. Get a Mailing List

Email marketing is important for every online craft business because it is a direct and effective way to connect with your customers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you can blog, facebook, tweet, instagram your heart out… but people can still ignore – or just miss! – all of this.

Once your customer or prospective customer has taken the step to trust you with their email, they have given you permission to contact them directly. These are your best prospects for making a sale – the people who love what you do already! You don’t need to convince them that what you make is awesome, because you already have. Treat them with respect, give them value in the emails you send, and stay in touch with them on a regular basis. They will reward you by becoming loyal customers.

Bonus: 10 Steps to Startup

  1. Open a checking account for your business.
  2. Set up a good record-keeping system.
  3. Acquaint yourself with IRS regulations.
  4. Make sure you’re properly insured.
  5. Register the name of your crafts business with local officials.
  6. Find out about zoning regulations, licenses and permits.
  7. Obtain a retailer’s occupation tax registration number.
  8. Learn about federal regulations applicable to your crafts business.
  9. Decide which printed materials you need in order to do an effective promotional and selling job.

Do further research to find out what other craft sellers are doing. Consider finding other handmade sellers to learn from. No harm is ever done by spending time in planning. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later.

Gary Capps

I live in the one of the most beautiful places in the world on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my wife and our 2 dogs, Poppy and Mia. Since 2009 I have helped over 15,000 handmade business owners to grow their business with our software and free tools designed for todays entrepreneurial artisan.

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