Running a handmade business can be really rewarding. However, if you’re not careful, it can also start to get really expensive.
Here are some tips for you to save money while maintaining your businesses integrity:
1. Market Research
Do your market research. Be sure to do your research prior to launching a new project. Doing research before sinking money into supplies and tools for a new line of product can save hundreds or thousands of dollars. Ask yourself these questions: How much are they willing to pay? Who are your customers? Do they need what you are selling?
2. Make A Plan
There is nothing like waiting until the last minute and having to ship out an item overnight or express to wake you up to how much those services can cost. Plan ahead and pay your bills on time. Late fees can quickly eat at your profits.
When traveling for business book ahead for the best rates. Planning ahead can not only save you money but a lot of frazzled nerves that come with trying to get important things done at the last minute.
3. Find Partners
Pair up with a non-competitive business. For example: if you’re a painter, maybe you can pair up with someone who sells paints, brushes, canvas, etc. to share costs in a local craft show.
4. Swap Goods And Services
Find some other home based business that offers services you need and propose a trade. Swap your goods and services for goods and services you may need. If you need a gift box for packaging or promotion you may be able to approach someone who creates boxes as their business and trade product from your inventory for the box you need.
Don’t forget to ask for referrals. If you’ve just finished a job and the customer seems happy be sure to ask for referrals. Better than any advertising or mass mail campaign personal referrals are a great money saving way to get more work. Depending on your business you may also be able to offer a small discount for referrals.
6. Canvass For Equipment
Do your research before buying office equipment. Look for the lowest prices on furnishing and tools. Find a company that offers a low price guarantee (if you find the same item cheaper elsewhere they will match/refund the difference). Do your research online for electronics.
You might be interested to check cnet.com. You will find reviews for all sorts of equipment there. The more knowledge you have about a product prior to purchase the happier you will be.
7. Try Second-Hand Equipment
If you are thinking you’d like to sell screen printed T-shirts check around for used tools and equipment to start you out. This way you get a feel for whether the new venture will really work without investing in brand new machines and tools.
Then if the whole thing doesn’t work for you for one reason or another you can re-sell the item you just purchased for close to the same price you paid.
8. DIY Prints
If you have a brochure or letterhead that needs to be printed but you don’t need a lot it may be cheaper to do-it-yourself. If you print small batches regularly it may be cheaper even if you need to spend a little money to buy a printer.
Double sided printed materials at office supply stores can cost 50 cents a page. Than may not sound like much for your first 10 or 20 pieces but if you will need hundreds of pieces over time it can really add up.
That’s it. See if you can use any of these money saving tips to help give your handmade business a little boost.