Friday, September 21, 2007

Thinking of Starting a Small Business Selling Crafts?

So you make some really wonderful and unique craft creations and all of your friends encourage you to start your own crafts business. Wouldn’t that be so much fun? You could certainly use the money you make from your sales. That’s what I thought when I took the plunge and decided to make handbags and diaper bags. What I found is that there are several costs related to starting my own business. Here is a list to consider:
· Materials and supplies
· Equipment to make your items if you don’t have good equipment
· Labels for your products (in my case labels for my purses)
· Business cards
· Domain name
· Web hosting
· Digital camera
· Computer
· Internet connection
· Fees to list your inventory on a website
· Shipping materials
· Auction website template
· Last but not least – your time!
o To make your inventory
o To learn how to take good pictures
o To take good pictures
o To write good descriptions
o To determine the price of your items
o To determine the cost to ship
o To list your inventory online
o To ship your sales to buyers
o To promote yourself online
o To maintain business records

What I also found is that competition can be brutal online. When I started out I thought that I had the most unique creations out there. Then I realized that there are hundreds of people out there selling really unique things and that a lot of them are selling them for very low prices. You need to take the time to investigate the market that you want to sell in and whether your product is unique enough and whether you can make a profit with the prices that the market is paying for your product. I found out that my friends are willing to pay me more for my current product line than what I can sell them for online.

So, after you consider all of these factors and do your research, ask yourself whether you really want to start an arts and crafts business. What’s your motivation? Do you want to eventually support yourself from the profits of this business? Do you want to have a profitable side business? Do you want to sell enough to pay for your “habit”? Is this just a hobby? Once you figure the answer to these questions then consider the cost involved and determine whether it makes sense for you to start a crafts business. As for me, I would like to have a profitable side business and I believe that after months of research I have found the type of product I would like to offer online. But more on that later as I start this process. In the meantime, I will continue to sell to my friends at my very successful annual home boutique.


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