Crafter to Crafter
Advice on your small business
Running a small craft business can be a minefield, there are so many ways that you can waste your time and money. We asked some of our Guild Members what advice they would give a new or struggling business.
Sarah from Spratt's Designs
- Don't get into like for like farming on Etsy or Facebook it doesn't help you in the long run.
- Research, look at people that sell similar items to you, note what you like, photographs, wording, how they communicate, where they promote - don't copy but be inspired.
- Things don't happen overnight. We are all very good at posting positives, so you don't see the tears behind the mask, so don't think that everyone else is a big success and your not, you'll be surprised at how many struggle everyday, even those with lots of sales.
- Register with HMRC especially with the changes coming in April.
- Socialise online in groups like the PCG as you can moan and celebrate with fellow crafters who understand how much hard work your putting in, you don't have to be there alone xx
Ann from AnnBCrafts
- Know your market. If you are selling items aimed at mums don't post them at tea time or early in the morning.
Helen from Helenka White Design
- Don't buy lots of supplies.
- Find a niche
- Don't get obsessed with competitors.
- Invest in your skills ( training) and make sure you have a quality product.
- Don't underprice yourself.
- Don't spend a fortune on branding.
- Be careful with giveaways. They attract mostly people who want things for free. If you do one make sure you have entrants sign up to your mailing list.
Kirsty from Beadie Eyed Edie
- Speak to other crafters/artists/designers!
- Get to know like minded people via social media, fairs, groups. We can learn a lot from each other and I personally have found the majority of people are friendly and happy to offer advice (PCG perfect example).
- I would also say create what you love! Yes look at trends, but the best work is created when you love what you are doing.
Kirsty from K.D Jewellery
- Be legit. Register with HMRC, get insurance and be sure you comply with any regulations that are relevant to your business.
- Work out who your ideal customers are. This makes it so much easier to target your marketing and will save you time and energy in the long run.
- DON'T undervalue your work. Work out your prices correctly (including your overheads, materials, time and profit) right from the start! Your prices will always change over time but at least you won't have to do a complete overhaul if you start out too cheap.
- Branding is important. You don't need to spend a fortune on it but you NEED to have a consistent brand, especially if you are present on a number of different platforms.
- Network the right way. Like for likes etc. May give you a boost but they are no good to anyone in the long run. Good content and interaction are the key!
- Connect with other business owners! Running your own business is lonely sometimes and even if you have support at home, I don't think it's something people understand completely unless they've experienced it.
- Good things come to those who wait! And those who work really hard! Business is NOT going to come to you, you will have to work for it but don't be disheartened if it isn't going anywhere fast - building a business takes time.
- NEVER forget why you started your business in the first place!! This is SO important because if you lose the connection and the passion for what you do it will end up feeling like just another job. You ARE your business so love what you do :) x
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