Today is a very special day, as I’ve been featured in the current issue of Homemaker Magazine as their Reader Maker. Issue 40 is out for sale today and is absolutely wonderful. Friday has surely got to be the most perfect day for any magazine of this kind to come out, right? An entire weekend ahead dedicated to stitching, knitting, crochet and patchwork? Yes please!
Reading the article this morning really got me thinking about how much I’ve achieved with Paper Doily since setting it up in 2014. It’s easy to get caught up in day to day living without taking the time to look back and appreciate the milestones you’ve made along the way.
I’ve received a lot questions lately about what advice I have for crafters starting out on a similar business path. I feel the above article really sums a lot of these questions up, whilst hopefully inspiring others, giving them the confidence they need to get going. Having faith in yourself and your work throughout the good times and the bad times is a fundamental quality in staying on the path to success. There will be absolutely wonderful times ahead where you feel you are on top of the world, followed by the times where life/day to day tasks just get on top of you completely. Keeping your faith, continuing to put in the hard work required and staying motivated are important qualities, and ones which will see you through well!
I thought it would be very helpful to share my top 10 tips for starting your own craft business with you, derived from my experience since starting out almost two years ago.
- Write a business plan and ask yourself what it is about your product/s that potential customers will want. Do you feel your products will be desirable?
- Who are your customers and where will you find them?
- Establish who your competitors are and ask yourself what your business can offer differently. Originality will set you apart from the rest.
- Have a marketing/advertising strategy. You can offer the most amazing products but without making a name for yourself and making others aware of your products, your business just won’t be sustainable long term.
- Spend a reasonable amount of time on pricing your products, it should not be an after thought. Find out what your customers are willing to pay and what other business costs to factor into your pricing model. Ensure you are not operating at a loss and avoid a ‘race to the bottom’ by lowering prices if you are struggling to sell. Instead, assess whether you are reaching the right target market and make adjustments to the product if you feel it is necessary.
- Identify your suppliers and try to make a good/long lasting relationship with them.
- What is your key asset? What is it about your business that will help you win potential customers?
- Stay motivated. There will be times when life just gets in the way of business (as explained above). Have some coping strategies in place. I live in the countryside and tend to take myself off on a long stroll. I’m also a serial list maker, so I tend to break down difficult tasks into small pieces if the task at hand seems too much.
- Stay on top of your accounts. Google drive is very handy for this. It will help you to avoid long amounts of unnecessary work when you could be doing more enjoyable tasks, such as being creative (as you do best!)
- Have fun! Remind yourself why you started your business in the first place and constantly come back to this at moments of struggle. It will keep you motivated and will help you to stay grounded!
I really hope you enjoyed reading. If you have any more questions or comments then please let me know, I’d love to hear from you. Have a lovely weekend and thank you so much for visiting my blog!