Here are some top tips for turning your craft hobby into a realistic business opportunity, and to help you decide whether it’s the right decision for you:
How Do You Cope Under Pressure?
Whilst you may love your hobby craft when you are working at your own pace, and on projects for your own home (or to gift to your friends or family), it’s important to ask yourself whether you will still feel the same way when you are working under the pressure of a deadline, or creating something to someone else’s brief. If you love what you do then you’ll never work a day in your life. But if working at speed and having to complete a project within a specific timeframe makes you feel stressed and anxious, then it might be best to leave your hobby as just that.
It’s important to remember that when your hobby is your business, you will be depending on your own production and business skills to pay your rent, buy the groceries and pay the electricity bill. That pressure can stop creating from feeling fun and relaxing and turn it into something very serious: are you prepared for this shift in focus?
Can You Afford the Start-Up Costs?
Have you considered the costs involved in setting up your own business? These can be as small or as large as your business model dictates. Modern small consumer driven businesses no longer need the upfront expense or commitment of securing their own business premises. If you have the space in your home then you can set up your work shop without leaving the house: some small craft business owners even start their business production process from their living room.
You can then set up a virtual shop, rather than a tangible one, by establishing your own website and selling your products on established market place websites. This means that you won’t be responsible for many large monthly overheads, such as rent, staffing costs, and the necessary insurances involved in a public facing business such as shop insurance or public liability insurance, but you will still need to have some start-up funds.
If you choose to attend craft fairs and events (a good idea to help you to build awareness of your brand when you are just starting up) then you will need to make a small financial investment here, and you will also need to purchase the supplies you need to create your initial stock. But other than these relatively small costs, one of the main benefits of establishing an at-home crafting business is that it is not a financially prohibitive business model. Do you have the money you need to start your business, or would you have to secure a business loan?
Can You Sell?
When you are establishing your own craft business, it’s not enough to be able to make beautiful things: you also have to be able to sell them! Consumer-driven business is no place for modesty: you need to have the confidence in what you are creating to shout about it from the rooftops. That means seeing every interaction as a potential business opportunity, carrying business cards with you and distributing them liberally, and not being afraid to talk to strangers about your business.
If you have no sales experience, or are shy and find the idea of having to sell your business (and yourself) daunting then you will have to think very seriously about whether setting up your own business is the right decision for you. It really doesn’t matter how beautiful the products that you make are: if you don’t have the confidence that you need to sell these products then you will never have a profitable business.
Site last updated 3. July 2017