Welcome back to the blog! Today we are going to talk about setting up a handmade business. This is a little series I started last week. If your interested in why I am starting this series go read my last post. When it comes to setting up a handmade business it can be a little overwhelming. So throughout this series I am going to break it down into 10 simple steps to follow.
A handmade business owner usually wears many hats at least when first starting out. When the business becomes more successful they might be able to hire an employee or atleast outsource some work. In order to reach that point it is important to lay a sturdy foundation for the business. This post is going to be all about setting up a handmade business with a good business base.
Before starting anything the biggest decision is deciding what your going to make, how your going to market it, and where you’re going to sell it. These don’t have to be very detailed but having those three things thought out will help guide you in the following decisions.
Deciding what to sell
When thinking about what your going to sell keep in mind this is something you need to really enjoy. Your business will be centered completely around this. You need to believe in your product and trust that you are going to like it in 5 years.
Once you have that figured out next you have to think about the money. How much will your supplies cost? How long will it take you to make? How much can you sell it for? Will anyone buy it? Lastly is there a lot of other people selling it? All of these questions are going to determine your financial start up.
One thing I recommend but is not completely necessary is to open a bank account. Once you have that open put however much money you want to start your business with. This is what you will use to pay for everything to start. All product materials, packaging supplies, business materials, display set up, marketing. At first you will be taking out way more than you will be putting in but when you start making sales you should be able to build up that bank account.
Next you need to name your business. This can be something to do with you, the things you sell, or a unique name all together. My ‘brand’ is Create Lynn. It represents me and what I create. So as time goes on and I might change what I am selling I never have to change my name. Create Lynn is also my blog, YouTube channel, Instagram, Facebook, and handmade business. Before deciding on a name look online, social media, and Etsy to see if there is already accounts, profiles, or companies with that name.
Marketing a Handmade Business
Having a good marketing strategy in place before you have your products made is a good idea. This way as soon as the products are made or even as you are developing them you can start building an audience and brand awareness. If you’r going to spend a lot of time making a product you want someone to know your making it.
First thing to do is start an email account using your brand name. This is what you will use to set up all social accounts. This is also the email you will use for all things pertaining to your business. You don’t want to be giving out your personal email and business email. That creates an easy way to miss something important.
Take advantage of free marketing. There is no reason to spend money on marketing at first. With social media, brands are getting great free recognition. So set up social accounts. Even if you don’t plan on using them all at first it’s still a great idea to set them up so someone else doesn’t start an account with your name. Something very important is to have the same name on all social platforms.
When it comes to posting on social platforms remember you are creating a brand. Keeping your social accounts professional is important. Also making your brand personable is important. This will let your followers and customers know who you are. It will allow them to connect with the owner and feel better knowing more about where their product comes from. So start all your account with an introduction post say something about yourself and maybe give some history about why you decided to start your handmade business.
Selling your Handmade Items
Finally deciding where your going to sell. Starting with local craft shows and vendor fairs is a great option. It allows you to get your product out there and see how the public responds. It also requires a lot of planning and inventory. Selling online provides a wider audience and sales can be made to order.
Doing both of these is a good option as well. This is personally how I am running my handmade business. I work on building inventory for the craft shows and I am able to post everything on Etsy that I dont sell. As this series continues I will talk more about how I prepare for craft shows.
What is Next
By taking the time to really think about all these things and do them well you will create a good base for setting up a handmade business. Starting a handmade business takes time especially if you are already working a fulltime job. Done correctly it could lead to some pretty awesome opportunities. Take your time, do not stress, and enjoy it. A lot of these things you are doing now will only be done once so make sure to take the time and do them exactly the way you want to.
In the next post we will be talking all about creating a product line. Since this is just a mini series I thought I would share as I prepare for craft show season to start I do not have a set posting schedule. My plan is to have a new step out every other or every two days. So come back in a couple day to talk about creating a product line.