If you’ve always wanted to start a crafting business but didn’t know how to connect the passion side to the business side, you’re in luck. In part one of Xinar’s Crafting Business series, we talked about how you can turn a passion into something profitable by getting into the right mindset. We also talked about how anyone can create a regular schedule to make crafting and creativity components of one’s lifestyle, so you can find out what you’re good at and refine your technique through practice (and not procrastination). If you need more help in getting into the spirit of the handmade business, check out the first part of the series here.
Start a Crafting Business: Dealing with the Nitty Gritty
Your imaginative faculties are ready; you can now focus on how to start a crafting business. Your handiwork enterprise is more than a hobby and needs to be treated as such immediately.
Your motivations to start a crafting business should go beyond making some extra cash or being your boss. Instead, maintain a level head and businesslike demeanor; you never know where this could lead when you start a crafting business.
To be a business owner is to be completely self-reliant, to work ridiculous hours, and to wear several hats simultaneously — a veritable jack-or-jill-of-all-trades — in a world where we can get daily assistance from day-care providers, personal trainers, and dog walkers.
Structure of a Business Plan
An ambitious objective implementing things to start a crafting business requires careful preparation. How frequently can we expect new product offerings from you? What kind of people are you hoping to appeal to? How do you intend to promote your business after you learn how to start a crafting business?
What will you do if your company fails? These should all be dealt with right away. Most people avoid engaging in the seemingly impossible task of developing a business plan. Consider it the equivalent of a road map for your company; you might get lost without one.
A business plan can be as formal or informal as you like if you keep in mind that it will primarily be for your own eyes unless you seek external funding (such as from a bank). It can be formal, written in a word processor and bound in a presentation folder, or casual, written in a journal and embellished with collage and illustrations. Making a list of quantifiable business goals and objectives is one option, too. That’s part of learning how to start a crafting business. The following are some suggestions for sections to include in your business plan:
- Detailed Company Description
- Innovative Mission Statement
- Market Persona
- Products Offered and Release Projections
- Materials and Equipment
- Projected Timeline
- Focus Market
- Competitor Research
- Commercial Methods of Production
- Strategy for Financial and Marketing Expansion
- Budgetary Anticipations
Develop your business plan methodically using the above areas, beginning with the information you already know and fill in the gaps as your understanding grows. If you don’t understand some of the terminologies, that’s okay, that’s still part of learning how to start a crafting business.
It’s recommended to get started with a plan, even if it’s just a rough draft, that addresses the following: How much money do you have to make? How much do your products cost to manufacture? Finally, how much money can you make off your product(s)? It’s crucial to take stock of your financial situation and set weekly, monthly, and yearly earning goals.
Spell out absolutely everything that goes into producing your product(s) and calculate how much of a profit you can expect to make. Thanks to this plan, your business will have a solid footing, so put some serious thought into it with the knowledge that it will evolve as your company does.
How to Plan Your Next Move in Your Professional Life
To make a living after you decide to start a crafting business, you need to do more than create items that the market will value. Having a lively way to make a living is also essential. You can shape your business into an innovative, new endeavor where you thrive professionally, and that’s a huge opportunity.
You are, in effect, designing your new way of life, so it makes sense to include things that interest you. For instance, if you are passionate about photography and traveling, you could start selling travel journals and related items.
Naming the New Business
Choosing a name for your company after you learn how to start a crafting business is like naming your firstborn child. Get the ball rolling by compiling a list of potential candidates and soliciting input from people you know and trusts, such as close friends, family, and coworkers.
The name you pick should reflect the quality and style of your company’s products. It’s essential to try out the company name aloud, just like you would with a child’s name, to make sure it sounds good and is easy to say. Think about where you want to be in ten years and whether the business name you’re considering will allow you to get there.
It would help if you researched whether another business uses the proposed name before committing to it. Investigate whether your potential company name is already used as a blog or a domain name. (If the domain name you want is still available, you may want to decide to secure it, as you will likely want a website at some point.) Make sure no one uses the name or a variation before opening a shop on Etsy and other platforms.
Your Unique, Crafting Flair
Now that you have a firm grasp on your creative abilities (and the nuts and bolts of running a business are out of the way), it’s time to let your sense of style shine through. The first offerings from your business should excite and impress consumers.
Competitors with more experience and a built-in customer base await you once you enter the market, so it’s best to come prepared with fresh ideas. The market is flooded with average products; differentiate yours by providing exceptional value. Now it’s up to you to make something, be it a single item or an entire line of merchandise. A recognizable style, design, technique, or aesthetic should be the unifying factor in your offerings.
The end goal is for people to be able to recognize your brand and products from just a glance.
Getting a job in the arts does not require you to conform to stereotypes about what artists should or shouldn’t be like.
You can fit in with the locals regardless of how you look. What you make should always be a genuine reflection of who you are. You may feel like holding back on a project because you want it to “fit in” with current trends or worry that your product isn’t witty, flashy, or sexy enough.
It’s okay if not everyone loves your product; what matters most is that you do.
If your voice is unfashionable, don’t sell yourself short by pretending to be something you’re not. Your attempts to fit in with the popular crowd are likely unsuccessful. In addition, being genuine to yourself will lead to a more fulfilling life overall. Perhaps there isn’t much competition for your aesthetic right now. It’s okay if not everyone loves your product; what matters most is that you do.
Your Business’ Mission Statement
Writing down a mission statement can help you stay on track and give your projects a sense of individuality. Getting there won’t be as tricky if you know exactly what you want. An inspiring mission statement articulates your driving principles and long-term goals concisely and compellingly. Add these components to your projects, and you’ll feel more accomplished, fulfilled, and confident.
To make sure your current works are imbued with your unique character and ideals, it can be helpful to read over your creative mission statement again. To formulate your statement, you’ll need to do some soul-searching and investigate your creative impulses and callings. Think about the things you would buy if money were no object, the things that would make your life better, the things that would make you happy. Statements taken together can form a creative mission.
Get Those Ideas Going After You Learn How to Start a Crafting Business
Ideation can change based on how you work and the nature of the projects you intend to undertake. A complete idea isn’t the only form of inspiration; sometimes, it’s just the seed of an idea. Don’t put yourself through the stress of constantly coming up with ground-breaking ideas. The point is to create something you love and showcase your talents.
It’s important to remember as you design your product that it doesn’t have to be radically different from what already exists; it just needs to present a new angle or innovative improvement.
Your products, no matter what they are, must be new and valuable to the world.
It’s best to ease into things by taking on one small project at a time and focusing on the finer points. Don’t let other people’s lack of understanding deter you from pursuing your dreams. In the early phases of product development, avoid making any compromises based on practical considerations such as a lack of funds for materials. Since designing is iterative, changes can be made down the road.
The best way to see how your work develops over time is to look back at the notes, sketches, and prototype models you made as you came up with ideas. Don’t just brush off your failures as learning experiences. Mistakes can be seen as openings for growth if one adopts the right mindset.
A helpful design suggestion could be lurking in your unconscious at any moment. To add, let your projects grow and develop naturally. Get some shut-eye and give your thoughts space so you can return to them with a clear head.