What to Consider Before Starting an Online Craft Business
Turning A Hobby into A Business
Are you ready to take your craft hobby to the next level? Wondering how to start an online craft business?
Due to the increasing demand for handmade goods, you’re off to a good start. During the pandemic, a growing number of people took craft lessons. Many celebrities also enjoy making crafts with their two hands, including former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and Actress Lynn Whitfield.
The opportunities in the craft space continue to grow. Your products can be featured in magazines, TV shows, movies, and swag bags.
There have been plenty of successful craft businesses that started from job loss, a burning desire to own a business, or a fun project that had high demand. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to start a business, but make sure you are not starting it from a desperate place (need to pay rent or utilities). Also, make sure that the people who advise you that your hobby should be a business are those who have actually purchased from you.
The benefits of having an online craft business include an additional revenue stream and potential growth. While you can’t start a craft business for free, you can start one for under $1,000. Your startup costs would include website hosting, domains, email marketing, business entity setup, and a business license. Even if your business is based out of your living quarters, you want to have a business license.
Do You Have The Mindset for Entrepreneurship?
Typically, aspiring entrepreneurs are told to write a business plan, have startup capital, obtain a license, and build a website. Nothing is wrong with that. As a matter of fact, those are important. But before you start an online business, you need to have the right mindset.
Success doesn’t happen overnight, and taking shortcuts will cost you.
Assess the areas where you are the strongest. Are you good with paperwork (admin)? Do you understand numbers well (finance)? Do you have the gift of gab (selling)? Are you good at marketing or graphic art? Do you like creating systems? Logistics (operations)? Are you a tech junkie?
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses saves you so much trouble. In the beginning you’ll wear many hats, but over time, you will need to delegate tasks. The goal is to get to a place where doing the things you excel at produces a profit.
Questions to Ask Yourself:
How many days and hours per week can you spend on your business?
Be as specific as possible. Please know that “Team No Sleep” doesn’t mean that you’re effective in your business. Sure, there will be times when more hours are demanded, but that is done sparingly, when there’s a new product launch, an event, or a campaign. Be realistic about your time, especially when you have kids, a spouse, a day job, and other commitments.
How are your decision-making skills?
Can you make them right away, or does it take you longer to do so? In business, you are always faced with choices. Making decisions out of haste and emotion can cost you your business.
Do you get along with others?
In business, you have to work with others in order to grow. There are mentors, coaches, and advisors who are willing to help. Aside from that, you will need to effectively communicate with vendors, customers, and partners. Bottom line: you can’t run a business alone.
What is Your Attitude Towards Money?
Have an honest conversation around this subject. Business requires knowledge of real numbers. Saying “too much,” “not enough,” or “a little” isn’t a numeric value. Your feelings towards money play a part in interaction with vendors, customers, and partners, along with other areas of the business like pricing your products.
The purpose of money is to increase what’s there. It’s the by-product of getting things done faster.
Do you spend on impulse?
Are you a careful spender?
Are your purchases calculated?
Do you prefer volume over value?
Do you feel that money is evil, or do you see it as a resource?
Test Proof of Concept First…
Before starting a business, sell to strangers. Family and friends aren’t going to always buy your product. Neither will they always give you honest feedback. Ask paying customers for feedback and be willing to listen to their criticism. See if they buy from you one time or multiple times. Are any of your customers referring your products to others? Is there a request for you to sell other products within your expertise? You can’t sustain a business with only people you know.
How do you plan to sell your first 25–50 units? Startup costs and monthly expenses are good to know, but in order to pay them, there need to be sales. Where will you sell your products? How are your selling skills? How do you plan on selling to your customers?
There’s plenty of discussion about starting an online business, but very few talk about getting into the right frame of mind. Starting a business is the easy part. It’s more than creating social media pages, taking photos, and saying you have a business. Business requires actual work.
Click here to download Turn Your Crafts Into A Profitable Business E-book and Bonus Checklist: 7 Things to Consider before Starting A Craft Business