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Predict, Follow and Cash-in on Market Trends

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 17 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Market Research Marketplace Crafts

One of the key aims of many craft businesses is to make the most of market trends. So how can you predict, follow and cash-in on any current or future craft trends?

Whether you’re selling handmade craft items, or selling craft supplies, you could really benefit from predicting and keeping up with market trends. Trends inevitably come and go – some moving on quicker than others, whilst others tend to stay around for longer or come back quicker – and they’re influenced by elements such as fashion, eco-issues, TV programmes, magazines, craft experts and the media.

Getting to know everything that’s going on in the craft arena is already crucial for your business and something you should be doing as a matter of course. But it’s doubly important for helping you to predict and follow craft trends. You can keep up-to-date with what’s hot in crafts by:

  • Reading any relevant trade and consumer publications.
  • Watching relevant craft TV programmes.
  • Seeing what new products are launched.
  • Attending craft trade and consumer events.
  • Finding out what your customers want to buy.
  • Seeing what new craft books are published.
  • Speaking to different age groups to see what they’re into.
  • Keeping on eye on what people are chatting about on craft forums.

Predicting Trends

It can sometimes be a bit tricky to predict exactly what trends may be up-and-coming, especially when you need to make crafts or buy up products to sell in advance. But by keeping up with what’s going on in the crafting world and the wider world, around you, the task is made easier.

One element of craft trends is influenced by the new types of products brought out by craft companies. For example, in the world of papercraft, both vintage and oriental themes have been popular in recent years, thanks to the new products brought out in the public arena. Where certain fabrics or themes have been used in fashion, there have been reflections back into craft products, either picking up the whole of the trend or using an offshoot of it.

Handbag charms and mobile phone charms came into fruition a few years back and were soon picked up by the jewellery making world. It didn’t take too long, for example, for the necessary components to filter into the wholesale offerings of jewellery companies, making it easier for both jewellery crafter to make the products and wholesalers to sell the components to shops.

It’s well worth investigating the Internet and finding relevant craft forums to keep an eye on, as this is a great way of finding out what actual crafters are interested in and can produce some valuable information for helping you cash in on market trends. Another way is to conduct your own form of market research, using your own craft business customer base as a starting point. Knowing what people are interested in and want to buy is crucial for your way forward.

Cashing In on Trends

Once you have identified any potential trends, it’s time to act on it and hopefully, cash in on it. It may involve a certain degree of chance and it’s a good idea not to put all your time and effort into trend prediction, just in case it doesn’t come into fruition. It’s helpful to put aside a percentage of your time and finance to trend prediction. As you get better at it and are more in tune with the market, you may find the task gets a lot easier – and you can reap the profits as a result.

If you’re making products to meet a trend, you may need to enlist extra help in order to take advantage of the moment. Hopefully the extra work you have making them, and subsequently being able to sell things quicker, will help you pay for the extra employment time.

There will always be some crafting trends that stay with us for a while, but the marketplace often sees trends that come and go. As a craft business, you’ll see peaks and troughs in sales, but if you’re prepared to take action and be proactive, you can thoroughly take advantage of the trends as they come and go.

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