How To Turn Your Hobby Into A Business
If you are an artisan or crafter you might have thought about what it would be like to turn your creative hobby into a business. If you are passionate about the type of work you do and want to share it with others, there are several things you can do to get your items out there and gradually turn your hobby into a small business.
Attend Craft Fairs & Flea Markets
Selling your items in person is a great way to interact with your customers and see what they think about your creations. Ask them what they think about your color combinations, the craftsmanship and the items themselves. Watch to see if they buy the items right away or if they look at the price tag and then put the item down. Take notes about things you’d like to improve and make those changes. After a while you will notice you are selling more and more items at these types of venues and that customers will have more positive feedback about your craft. Be sure you have an easy way for customers to pay onsite. Yes, cash works, but having a credit card option — like Flint — helps you to not lose out on sales.
Choose an Online Selling Venue
There are many websites that allow you to create your own online store for your handmade items. These websites are a great way to start selling your items and have almost no overhead costs. Etsy.com is one of the most popular online selling venues for crafters and artisans. You can create an online shop for free and you pay a small fee for each item you list and a small fee for each item you sell. ArtFire.com is another popular selling venue for crafters. This site has a monthly fee but no other costs to sell. The great thing about using these sites is that they draw in a lot of traffic and can help customers find your work.
Start a Facebook Fan Page for Your Products
Post photos of the items you make, and invite your friends and family to see what you are up to. Include other helpful information on your page. Make sure to include the link to your online shop and information about any fairs or markets you will be attending. This will encourage people to visit your online shop or attend a fair you will be at to see your products.
Create Business Cards for Your Work
Print cards with your business name on them. Include the URL to any sites you have related to your work (like to your online shop and social media pages). Give them out when you sell your items at fairs and include them in the packages of any items you sell online. If you create a wearable item and wear that item yourself, make sure to carry business cards with you to give to people who compliment your items while you are out. Check out Vistaprint or Moo for both already designed or design-it-yourself options.
Keep Up with Trends & Seasons
Customers who purchase from you and like your work will want to come back and buy from you again. Stay up to date with popular colors and styles and update your work to reflect these trends. This encourages people to keep coming back to your shop or booth at a craft fair to see what new items you have for sale. Creating seasonal products can also set you up for repeat purchases and give people a reason to come back for more. Starting an email newsletter can be a great way to share your new work with people who are interested in your items and will remind them to come back and purchase more.
Turning your crafting hobby into a small business is easier than you might think! There are several small steps you can take to start making money from your craft. It is a gradual process. But with hard work and passion, you’ll be there in no time.
About the Author
Michele Gallagher has been an active member of the crafting community for many years and has open and run several successful Etsy shops. Her products have been featured in many retail stores throughout her career including Nordstrom. Michele started MyCraftAssistant.com, a virtual consulting company where Etsy sellers can go to for help with SEO, branding and marketing.