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Is Crafts the Right Business for You?

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 5 Apr 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Is Crafts The Right Business For You?

So you want to start a business and you’re considering entering the craft field. Whether you’re thinking of selling your own handmade crafts, sell craft supplies or perhaps sell your teaching and demonstrating experience, how do you know that crafts is really the right business for you?

Running their own business and making a living doing something they enjoy, rather than being paid to do a tiresome job, is something many people dream of. The dream is great – you set up on your own, sales boom, you build up a lovely nest egg and live happily ever after. As nice as the dream is, the reality can be vastly different. Statistics show for example, that many new businesses fail within the first three years, which is a somewhat daunting thought.

Running your own business isn’t a step to be taken lightly, so if it’s something you’re wondering about doing, you should ensure you give it plenty of thought, think through all the consequences, look at the market situation and work out whether it’s really the best move for you.

Assessing Skills and Experience

If the idea of running a craft business is appealing to you, it helps in the first instance to work out why it appeals. In the majority of cases, having existing skills or experience in the craft arena is a common reason and something that will be highly beneficial. You may have personal interest and knowledge of the crafts arena, through participating in many creative and crafty hobbies.

Perhaps you’ve sold your handmade crafts previously to friends, family or at small craft events, or maybe you’ve worked within a job that had direct or indirect contact with crafts. It may even be that you have no existing knowledge, but have spotted a gap in the market and want to take advantage of it.

Whatever your existing knowledge, skills and experience, start by making a list of exactly why you want to start a crafts business. Then note down all your relevant skills and experience, both professional and from any hobbies. Finally write down all your strengths and weaknesses – and be honest! Think about the answers to key questions such as:

  • Do you have the necessary organisational skills to make this business work?
  • Do you like working alone or with other people?
  • How are you going to fund the business?
  • Are you a risk taker?
  • How many hours a day would you be willing to work? If you have a family, would they mind you working long hours, evenings or weekends?
  • Do you believe in yourself and your ability to make this work?
  • Do you know the craft market?
  • Are you already a craft expert? Or do you have other relevant expertise?
  • Are you good at communicating and selling products or services?
  • Are you creative?
  • Do you have any support? Is there anyone who could help you out?
  • Are you reliable and hardworking?
  • How dedicated are you?

Making lists and answering questions such as these is a really useful method to use in the early days of business planning, as well as during your business progression, as it helps get all your ideas on paper and helps you see your strengths and weaknesses. It will help you considerably if you’re honest in your answers. It may be that starting a crafts business right now might be the wrong time, but starting in a year or two, when you’ve established financial backing, may be better.

If you feel uncertain about any of these issues, it doesn’t mean you can’t run a business – but it may mean you need to work on the areas in question. The main thing is that you feel happy with your choice and if you feel the crafts business is what you want to do and are willing to take the risk, then good luck!

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[Add a Comment]
None - Your Question:
I have been making jewelry over 7 yrs. My design inspirations come from everyday objects. I love creating a piece of jewelry with no idea how I want it to look. As I lay out my pieces and arrange them, the design pops in my head and I'm off and running. There has been times when nothing inspired me to create a piece. I arrange and rearrange the pieces many times and nothing comes to me for the design layout. I have gone as long as two weeks without a fresh idea. It worries me that If I start the business, I might get a design freeze. Is this something you hear business owners concerned about in the beginning?

Our Response:
This can be an issue. If you want to create a successful business, you will need a steady income stream from the business...perhaps you should focus on bespoke pieces? I.e work on ideas coming directly from your customer's needs. Try some of the craft makers or jewellery designers forums to see how other creative people have coped with this. If it's not feasible to create pieces on a regular basis, perhaps you could consider, doing this as a business on the side of a regular alternative employment.
StartACraftBusiness - 2-Jan-18 @ 11:21 AM
I have been making jewelry over 7 yrs. My design inspirations come from everyday objects. I love creating a piece of jewelry with no idea how I want it to look. As I lay out my pieces and arrange them, the design pops in my head and I'm off and running. There has been times when nothing inspired me to create a piece. I arrange and rearrange the pieces many times and nothing comes to me for the design layout. I have gone as long as two weeks without a fresh idea. It worries me that If I start the business, I might get a design freeze. Is this something you hearbusiness owners concerned about in the beginning?
None - 24-Dec-17 @ 2:22 AM
Midnight Jinx - Your Question:
I have been doing crafts for over 40 years I know this can work for me it always has been a hobby why not get paid for my crafts.

Our Response:
We hope it goes and well and that you find this website useful.
StartACraftBusiness - 24-May-17 @ 11:39 AM
I have been doing crafts for over 40 years I know this can work for me it always has been a hobby why not get paid for my crafts.
Midnight Jinx - 23-May-17 @ 3:11 AM
I am not sure of the craft market nor do I particularly like to sell things generally but I love making crafts and and feel pretty confident about starting a business based on the information given in this lesson.
Angie - 2-Apr-16 @ 8:21 AM
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