Friday, 5 January 2018

How to start your crafting business from home - a complete beginner's guide

Hello and welcome to 2018!!!

I am sitting here in my craft corner, planning my year, and the next few weeks...and I just thought of how I started my crafting business when I became a full time mum.

So today I have a different kind of crafty post for you. I think it might be of interest for some of you.

Are you crafty, like me? Do you enjoy making cards or any other crafts?
You have probably thought of turning it into your home business. But is it worth it? Is it too much hassle? There are so many crafters out there, do I have a chance for a success?

1. YES, it is worth it. you will not know if you can be successful until you try it.
2. No, it's pretty easy to set up your business. You just need to do some planning and organising.
3. YES, you definitely have a chance for a success. Everyone is different, everyone has a different skill, different ideas, even when using the same 'tools', and also, each customer will like something different. So there is a big chance someone will love what you have to offer!!

Still interested in turning your crafty hobby into a business?

there are few steps you need to take in order to set up your business. These steps are based on my personal experience, I am no expert, but it worked for me so I hope you find it useful.





STEP 1.

THIK OF WHAT IS IT EXACTLY THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO

Is it wedding stationery and greeting cards like me? or baby clothes? Knitted blankets? Cakes? Scented candles?  ...etc. the list is huge.
I suggest you focus on just one or a few particular items first. You can always add more products later, as you grow your business.

THINK OF A NAME FOR YOUR BUSINESS

Mazzy's Craft Corner was just something simple I came up with, that included my name. You can use  something catchy, easy to remember, or to include your name. It's worth doing some research on internet and ask your family and friends before deciding.




STEP 2.

SET UP A BUDGET AND GET SOME SUPPLIES TO START WITH.

I spent about £200 to start with. I got myself a die cutting machine, a few dies, embossing folder, papers and envelopes. That got me started. I was able to create few projects to show them off.

You can set up any budget you want for your business. There is no point of spending lots of many on supplies, tools, business tools etc as your targeted customers need to now you and your products first. Also you don't now how fast your business will grow, no point of stocking up your bedroom up to the celling, as you might even decide after a while that you don't want to set up a business anymore for whatever reason...




STEP 3.

JOIN THE WILD WORLD WEB - INTERNET.

These days almost everyone runs their business using internet. Even if you are not computer literate it is worth setting up your Fanpage on facebook for start, and email address. you can ask someone to help you

If you know your way around the computer and internet, apart from creating your email address and account on Facebook I would also suggest to create an account on Instagram, Pinterest, and even creating a free blog!!!

This is where you will be showing off your products - handmade items, getting customers to know you, share their opinion and possibly collecting some orders.

I have a blog, that I must say do not visit too often. I am also active on Instagram and Facebook. And on Pinterest I pin pictures of every single thing I make. I get lots of viewers and pins, I always include my blog address, email or Facebook page for my potential customers to be able to find me.




STEP 4.

MAKE FEW PRODUCTS TO SHOW THEM OFF

Whatever craft it is that you are good at, make few examples, samples, ready products and show them off. Start with your family and friends. ask for opinion. Take some good photos and show them online. It is worth joining some Facebook crafty groups where you can share your crafts.
You can think of attending a craft fair! Great way to make some sales and get noticed.

When I first started my business, I made quite few cards and 1 wedding invitation sample. Started showing them off, a few sold. then I got a big order for wedding invitations. This is how I discovered what was in demand and decided what exactly I wanted to focus on.




STEP 5.

SET UP A SHOP, payment and shipping methods *

Ebay and etsy are the easiest and most likely to get you started. It's quite easy to set up your account/shop. I list my products both, on Ebay and Etsy, and both bring me lots of viewers, potential buyers, and customers.

You can try and list a few items that you made and see how much interest you get. It is worth doing some research first regarding pricing and shipping costs. Compare similar products already listed by other crafters. At least that is what I did. It did help me a lot.

You can also find useful pins on Pinterest on How to price your handmade items etc.

When listing your handmade crafts make sure you attach some really good pictures that show off your product and catch the eye. That's half of the success!!

* REMEMBER - You have 3 months to check the market, see how your business is growing, and to see if this is really what you want to do. After 3 months you need to register your business with HMRC for self-assessment at the end of tax year. I would wait with setting up a shop until your are a registered business.


AND YOU ARE GOOD TO GO!!!

After I had the big order for Wedding Invitations I designed another one and listed it as well, then another one etc... Now I have few designs of Wedding Stationery, but I also make lots of greeting cards, even though I do not list them much. Apart from Etsy and Ebay I get lots of queries and orders via my Facebook page and email.
A  lot of them come  through recommendations, so make sure you provide an excellent customer service!!!!!! Always be polite, communicate, ship on time... I like to attach a little gift with every order.

There are many more steps but you will learn them as you go. Even more when you are setting up a company... Make sure you do your research.

I really hope this little guide has encouraged you to think of opening your own business. I am a full time mum, and I know how important it is to be able to work from home - to combine your hobby with earning money while doing the most important job in the world - being a mum.

Do not be afraid and do not listen to all the 'no no's'. Do what you love and see for yourself if it can bring you some money.

Feel free to leave a comment. I would love to see what you make of my beginners guide, or maybe you have any more tips, based on your experience? Share them here.

I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST WITH YOUR CRAFTING BUSINESS

Mazzy xxx




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