How to start an online craft business
Discover the top 6 tips from highly successful craft business owners, so that you can craft it yourself, successfully!
There’s so much information out there on running a successful online craft business it’s mind-boggling! But don’t worry, we’ve saved you time by finding tips from some of the best crafters out there.
Deciding to start a craft business is an exciting and scary thing! You will most probably be running every aspect of the business yourself, from the making and selling to packaging and branding, so where do you start? We have provided top tips from highly successful and knowledgeable craft business owners so you can get started on the right footing.
No.1 – Sell something people want to buy
Oopsie! You love making your cute little whassits but did you stop to check whether everyone else does? And we’re not talking asking a few family members (who, however encouraging they are, will not want to hurt your feelings and so may not be 100% honest). You really need to research, research, research. This is the advice of Jess from Create & Thrive who runs a successful handmade jewelery business from her solar-powered home in Australia and helps others learn their way to success online.
Is there a market for your beloved product? What do people love and hate about it? Does it need tweaking to appeal to a wider audience? This kind of market research also needs to be ongoing and social media is a great tool for that. Once you start building a following with your customers you can gain a lot of valuable information from them using your social channels.
No.2 – Do one thing well
The Folksy blog is a great place for news, interviews and tips about selling crafts online and their post ‘A Beginners Guide to Selling Craft Online’ includes 7 really useful pointers on how to start an online craft business with ideas and tips. Tip No.1 suggests limiting your product range as a path to greater success. See more on the topic here plus loads more craft business ideas.
Be inspired by successful solo business woman here.
No.3 – Ensure your business is financially viable
Craft a Creative Business emphasises the importance of using the knowledge you have of all the business costs involved in your work, plus any overheads, time etc to calculate how financially viable your business may be. This can be used to create sales forecasts using best and worst case scenarios to give you a realistic idea of what might be possible and when.
No.4 – Don’t just sell anywhere
Fount of all crafting business knowledge, Patricia van den Akker of The Design Trust says her No.1 tip for selling craft online is to thoroughly research where you want to sell online. There are hundreds of online market places; Not on the High street, Etsy, Folksy and of course Ebay, but which is the right place for you? Don’t just go for the first one you find or even what seems to be the most popular. It’s imperative that you ensure your product is sold in an online location that suits your needs, your product and your customer. Patricia also lists some really useful questions you should ask each provider to help you choose the best online market place for your product. Remember, the whole experience needs to be super streamlined from loading time to ease of shopping cart usage. See more from The Design Trust here.
No. 5 – Take a better photo
Impeccable photography is essential! Your customers will run to the hills if your images are shoddy, blurred or in any way amateur-ish. There can be no scrimping done here! Worry not though, as there are a tonne of useful tips out there to help you become the pro you can be. Folksy have put together a really useful ‘how to’ guide for snapping your precious items. Scroll down their page for loads more photography help links.
Craft business story by Rascal & roses here.
NO. 6 – Remember why you are doing this!
Make sure you have had a thorough brainstorm about every aspect of your business. Have your vision clearly in mind, preferably on the wall in plain view, it’s easy to forget! You may have decided to start a craft business for one of several reasons; the love of making, to teach and inspire others, to make money, the list goes on. Just make sure you know which aspect is dear to your heart and makes your life tick (this may of course change with time) and keep aiming toward that. Otherwise it can be very easy to get caught in a slip stream, only to look up at some point down the line and realise you have ended up doing a heck of a lot of something you don’t love! See more on this from Mollie Makes.
Do you have any other tried and tested craft business tips for online sellers? Tell us in the comments below this post. We’d love to hear from you!
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