Thursday, March 24, 2011

Watering The Cash Tree with Crafts and Helpful Hints

So you make something well. 
You might even have friends asking to purchase your something from you. 
A business is born. Now what?

For crafty folks there are so many options. 
Here are some things to keep in mind.

Being excited about your crafty brain children is always a must, but buying up product before you have real orders can put you worse off than you were before. For those of you with children who make kid related items, you can avoid the financial burden by using what you already have and customize it for your child.

Next (and I learned this through trial and error), I'd recommend getting at least semi professional photos of people using or wearing your product. People like to see things in use so that they can imagine it on them or their children, or in their home. The best thing that has happened to my business is my best friend having her daughter photographed in my tutus. Nothing like a walking adorable advertisement.

Give your items as a gift at EVERY opportunity. Baby showers, house warming, birthdays, holidays. When someone else sees someone opening your creations it opens up another market for you.

Be proud of what you make. Wear it! Use it! In PUBLIC often! Word of mouth is your best friend. Be prepared to hand out your information when people ask where you got that item. 

Be sure your items meet the standard. Once you start selling outside of your warm market, people will be a lot tougher critics and the last thing you want is a bad review on a social site. Don't forget fray check, extra stitches, protection on the inside of an appliqued item so it doesn't rash up a baby's skin. Get the idea?

Starting with FREE avenues to sell is a great idea. Facebook will allow you to make a fan page for your business and you can list prices and take orders on that page. 
Etsy. is FABulous, but they do charge you a small fee. If you expect from your order volume to sell a lot then by all means, but saving your advertising and product costs is where a crafter is going to  make money. 

Set up a paypal! RIGHT NOW! Be sure EVERYONE pays in advance. Paypal charges a fee too, so be sure you charge an extra .50 to $1 for your items to cover that. 

Shipping: Research what shipping will be cheapest. Don't do delivery confirmation unless your customer asks for it, and make sure they understand that their shipping fee will go up just a bit for that. The only way to avoid this is to charge enough initially for the product to fully cover shipping. 

People LOVE a discount. Offering an item for say $15 and putting that shipping is FREE is a great way to display a "deal". 

Don't abandon your business. Times get slow and one of the luxuries we have as crafters is that we do our work from home. If there is a lull in sales, start getting loud on FB, Twitter, etc, 

I hope some of this is helpful. It has taken me 2+ years to see any "real" profit, and lots of trial and error.

Be business smart. Get a business license to keep it legal. You'll need it when you get big enough to get invited to markets and craft fairs. I save 10% of everything to go towards what I might owe in taxes and keep ALL of my receipts to write off. I also save a little extra on the side to go towards booth rentals for large fairs. 

Most importantly, be sure you don't infringe on anyone else's business because those relationships with other crafters will help you build your business. Also be a fan. If someone makes something you LOVE, buy it once in a while. That is what keeps us ALL in business. 

Happy Crafting for Cash!

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had half the talent and drive you have :)