How to start a small craft business online
There are many reasons why you might be looking into how to start a small craft business online. It could be because you fancy a change of career. Perhaps it’s because you need a second job, well it is popular in the news at the moment! Maybe you are simply looking to make ends meet and have skills in a certain area of the craft world. How do you begin? Where can you sell? What do you need to do before you launch? Let’s have a look at how to start a small craft business online.
Figure out your craft
Firstly, when you are looking at how to start a small craft business online, you need to figure out your craft. What exactly will you be making? What products will your customers be buying? There are hundreds of different craft business ideas out there, some similar, some much different, and others where you could combine multiple disciplines. Will you be making your own items or buying products to sell on? Do you need an area to make things in, to store goods at and to run the business from? Depending on your craft, this will change what you ned to put in place. How confident are you in this? Are you 100% behind your products? You’re going to have to be to make this a success.
Brand your business
You need a brand for your business that people will buy into. It needs to speak exactly what your business is about, without being too obvious or lacking creativity. It’s well worth getting a professional graphic designer involved and taking your time over this part of your business. You might have a name for the business already but check if it already exists. You’ll need a domain, a logo, a website, and lots more. Probably labels and packaging too. Take your time with this branding, it needs to be spot on. Do your research too. You don’t want to pay for all your branding and printing only to find there is another business trading with that name or that has the domain you wanted.
Find or make your products
When looking at how to start a small craft business online, you need to find or make the products that you want to sell. If you are making your products, how long will it take you to get enough products to start selling with? You don’t want a solo product, when that is sold, any other potential customers won’t be able to buy anything! You need multiple products available, a range of things that your potential customers can look at and then purchase from. This is probably much easier if you are buying in items, however, you will then need to stump up the initial money for the products. The more you buy, the better deal you can probably get on them per item. You need to have products available in order to launch your business.
Figure out your sales pricing
How much are you going to be selling your items for? There are many things to factor into this equation. If you are hand-making your products, you will need to consider the cost of everything involved in making the products, including your time. Remember, you need to make a profit from each product in order to have a successful business. For those that are buying products, you need to consider the price you are paying, along with your profit on top. Of course, you won’t make a profit right away as you’ll have to pay off that initial investment, but by having a decent profit on each item you sell, you will quickly do this and start making more money than you have spent. You need to create a profitable business in order for your business to grow.
You’ll also need to think about postage. Running a business online means you will be sending items out through the post or courier service. Postage varies depending on the size, shape and weight of products. It’s worth getting a weighing scale so you can put the right postage on each product so it doesn’t eat into your profits.
Use platforms that already exist
One of the most important areas of learning how to start a small craft business online is where exactly you will sell. You want your items to be available for sale 24 hours a day. Craft fairs are great because you can engage with an interested audience and actually be the face of your brand. However, if you are launching a business online, people will look at your items and buy at all hours of the day at night. That is great for you. Waking up to an inbox full of sales is a wonderful feeling. You need to have an audience searching for your items and becoming potential purchasers. This is why you should look at using a platform that already exists.
Sure, having your own website is a great idea. But if you can sell on a platform such as eBay or Etsy, you’ll be able to tap into the customers that actively search those websites. You will have to give up a little bit of profit in fees, but you can factor that into your price. Go where the customers are, rather than trying to get them to come to you.
Learn, adapt and grow
Running a business is life-changing, but you should also be prepared to change yourself. Being stubborn and sticking to something that isn’t working will only hinder your process. Smell what sells, see what works and adapt your business accordingly. Business owners are constantly and continuously learning. Be open to change, be open to mixing things up and dropping products that aren’t selling, investing more in those that do. When you learn and adapt, you’ll see your business grow.
Getting to grips with how to start a small craft business online will take time but the success you can have when you get your ducks in a row can be fantastic!