ENTREPRENEURSHIP / APR. 24, 2014
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How to Run a Successful Craft Business: Five Top Tips

The pursuit of arts and crafts is very rewarding, especially if you have a knack for it. To be good at crafts, you must be creative, have a keen eye for detail and a lot of patience.

If you are a bit crafty, why not do it for a living? Clearly, it’s easier said than done, but if you are thinking about making that giant leap into the world of crafts, here is a little guide that might just help you get your feet off the ground…

Of course, like with any business, you’ll first need to come up with a catchy name - and a good tip is to pick one which relates to your business and is friendly to search engines (this will help you to rank well and ultimately drive the right people to your site).

Then you’ll need to buy the relevant domain name, get a logo, create a website, set-up your social networking pages, get business cards printed, purchase or download some good bookkeeping software…the list goes on. Although this sounds tedious, it’s essential to do these things; otherwise, you really don’t have a business!

Another thing to take heed of right from the very beginning, is don’t quit your day job yet. Building a reputation and particularly in crafts, a diverse and sizable product range, takes time - so in the meantime, make sure you have a regular source of income while you’re getting things off the ground.

What do you do to grow the business?

  1. Make Products People Will Want to Buy - this may seem blatantly obvious, but for instance, if you like making bunting, research your competition and make things that are trending to entice customers to actually purchase your items. But of course, put your own personal spin on things.
  2. Create a Crafty Niche - When you’re working with materials to create something unique and special, the sky’s the limit! By putting a little spin on the products you offer, you can really stand out from the crowd - for example, you could have a product range made of natural materials sourced from Lands’ End. People will be intrigued and feel part of something special.
  3. Blog – Creating a crafts blog is not only good for personal inspiration; it also helps to drive that all-important traffic to your website - and it’s a great way to engage with your customers. For instance, once you’ve created your ‘Lands’ End’ product range, you could write a tasty little article about where the materials have come from, accompanied by some interesting facts about the area.
  4. Get an Etsy - Although this sounds like the posh equivalent of an ASBO, it’s actually a really great portal for a crafts business. Etsy is a very well-presented, user friendly online marketplace and its attractive look makes it very easy to make all of your fine crafts look attractive to consumers. Although you will be selling things direct on your website, it never hurts to advertise your products elsewhere.
  5. Network. Network. Network - To be honest, this is an ongoing project, as it’s imperative to promote yourself in order to let people to know that you actually exist. Setting up a stall at top UK craft fairs is one of the best ways for people to engage with your products, get to know you and, subsequently, spread the word. You could even set up your own craft fair mini tour to ensure your name gets established all over the country - just don’t forget your business cards!

Starting a crafts business may seem daunting, but with real passion, grit, talent, determination and a product that you genuinely believe in, you can really make it happen – following these tips won’t hurt either!

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