Starting small is ok. That’s why it’s called a small business. It’s not called a large business when you first start. You may be wondering where to start or how to start your craft business. Sometimes you just have to start and then figure things out as you go. But the more prepared you are and the more educated you are about your options, the more likely you will succeed.
What I mean is that you need to work to get that first sale before you are worrying about how to streamline your business processes or get to 10,000 likes on Instagram. If you are a stay at home mom and have a few ideas, how do you choose your business? Just start on one idea. Perhaps the idea that will fulfill unmet needs and has the highest sales potential. Basically, if a friend or colleague is already asking you for an item or service, then you potentially have a good start for a business idea. Now you need to find others who need you to solve their problem.
If you want to sell homemade goods, you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars creating the goods. The worst decision is to spend lots of money on raw materials, spend time creating a product, posting pictures on social media, and then hoping it sells. You need to find balance between creating one or two items to as samples and advertisements. As your business grows and people request new products or new versions, then you can take pictures and add it to your portfolio.
Another idea is to conduct research. For handmade items, go visit craft fairs in your area or visit etsy and other online websites and see what is already selling. Remember though that this can be both a good thing and a bad thing. The #1 selling items can mean too many people are already making the item. BUT it can also mean there is a DEMAND for the product and you can cash in!
What do you do? Start small. If you want to bake cakes, then bake a birthday cake for your friend, relative, and post pictures. As you gain more skills, purchase more supplies and tools, then you can eventually branch out to making expensive wedding cakes. Until then, feel free to sell your goods only to a select few, or even special holidays. There’s nothing wrong with only selling your baked apple pies from Thanksgiving to January.
Another idea is to take pre-orders. Side note: Take payment or partial payment upfront. If you sell homemade cinnamon rolls, establish a date for orders that week. Do not be afraid to charge more for handmade or individualized products. For example, if you are making a glitter cup with a personalized design and initials that the cusomter cannot buy at Wal-mart, then you can charge more. If someone wants a personalized coffee mug, do not compare your knowledge, product, and time to the Dollar Tree prices. If someone won’t pay you at least $8-$10 for the personalized mug, then don’t do it.
As your business grows through advertising and word of mouth, then you will soon learn the products that sell the best. Then you can buy your supplies in bulk and save money. You can establish a deadline for weekly orders to streamline as well. Here’s another example. A neighborhood chef posts her menu online on Fridays with orders due by Sundays at 8 p.m. This allows the chef to calculate ingredients, buy the food, cook, and deliver the meals by Tuesday and Wednesday delivery deadlines.
You make your own business practices to make the business easier, more profitable, and more enjoyable.