Starting a Craft Business for the Inexperienced Crafter

Whatever the reason you choose craft as a bussines, you need to manage it wisely. I recommend starting with the preparation of a business plan. However, since your craft business idea is so unformed, I think it’s a better use of your time to approach this from another direction – ending with the business plan instead of starting with it.

To follow are five steps I recommend you follow to move your craft business idea from infancy to fruition:

1. Deciding on a Type of Craft

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Before you go any further, you have to figure out what general area of craft you want to become involved. There are five basic groups: textile, paper, decorative, functional and fashion. Consider if you have any existing knowledge or skill in any of these areas. If so, do you want to pursue that type of craft for your business or do you want to try out a completely different type.

Don’t have any experience in crafts at all? Well, check out the description of each of the five types of crafts so see which one interests you the most. Also – don’t start wandering all over the craft map. Right now, only pick one type of craft to concentrate on.

2. Getting Craft Making Experience

Now that you’ve tentatively decided on a type craft, honestly evaluate your skills in bringing that craft to life. Little to no practical experience or skill in your chosen type of craft? Don’t be discouraged – no arts or crafts business owner just wakes up one day with a complete skill set and knowledge base.

However, it’s impossible to start any type of business successfully unless you have sufficient practical experience in that type of business. This fact isn’t any truer for a dentist or plumber than it is for a craft business. Honing craft techniques is your next step. So, go to the library and check an instructional book out on the topic. Then, buy some cheap raw materials and practice, practice, practice.

3. Evaluate Your Passion for the Craft

Next, step back and honestly decide if you are happy doing this type of craft. Can you see yourself working in this craft medium day after day? There is no point in starting a craft business working in a type of craft that at best you are indifferent to and at worst flat-out hate.

If you’re not content doing this type of craft or have objectively decided that your skills will never advance to the level needed when selling to customers, go back to step one. Is there another type of craft you may be interested in?

4. Finding Supplies, Tools and Materials for Your Craft Business

Finding great, reliable vendors is one of your first steps in starting an arts and crafts business. You can’t decide to make a type of craft until you know you can easily buy the raw materials and supplies needed to make it. Also, you have to know how much your vendors are going to charge you for the art or crafts supplies before you can set a reasonable retail price for your products.

5. Prepare a First Draft of a Business Plan

Writing a business plan is both nerve-racking and exhilarating. It can be stressful to work through each section, dealing with problems and exploring alternative solutions. However, you’ll find that it’s positively thrilling to work through those problems and find out that yes, this is a doable proposition!

Most business plans have the following eight main sections; some also include an appendix. Keep in mind there is no right or wrong way to develop a business plan and your particular type of art or craft will shape its format.

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