Even though my site is fairly new, I have been getting letters from crafters looking for advice on how to get started selling their wares. I thought that this letter and my answer would be of interest to anyone beginning a new home business.
This is an example:
I would like to get started selling crafts to make some extra money, but I don't have a lot of it to spend. I can sew a little. What is the best way I can make some money quickly?
Betsy by e-mail
I have a little bit of bad news for you. Getting started in any business, crafting or otherwise, is not something that can be done quickly or cheaply.
First let's look at the product you want to make. You say you know how to sew, but that really does not give me enough information. But assuming you have good sewing skills, what is it that you plan to make? Is it a hand appliquéd vest or a hand made hot pad.
The truth is that the market for each is vastly different and that some things are worth much more than others. If you are serious about getting a business going, you must start with a quality product that people will pay a nice markup for. Among other things, this means using good quality materials and unique or original ideas.
You can get many patterns for free on the Internet and in magazines, but I believe they are only starting points. The best patterns will not be given away for free. If you are going to start with a free pattern, you have to do something to make it different - to make it your own. You must have something good to sell.
Any business is going to require time and effort to get going. If you're working at home and are surrounded by distractions, this might be harder than it sounds. You must act the same as if you were going out to an office or factory to work. Set aside certain hours that are devoted only to your business. Set aside space just for your business. Buy the tools you need to do quality work.
You need not buy new equipment. Check out what's for sale at eBay or at garage sales and flea markets. Buy your materials when they are on sale or from the clearance bin. Buy online. The same products you see in stores can cost 33% to 50% less. The important thing is not to scrimp. Your customers will know it and your sales will be affected.
You will have to devote some time and expense to advertising of one sort or another. You have to find customers or you are just wasting your time. Local craft shows are a good place to start, as are online auctions at sites such as eBay or Yahoo.
I really can't tell you what your budget should be. It need not be enormous. But this is definitely not something that can be done for free, nor will you get rich quick.
Please go to http://www.theartfulcrafter.com/craft-business.html. Read the articles I wrote and check out some of the resources I recommend. You will be starting out with a lot more ammunition than most.
Good Luck. Let me know how things work out.
About The Author: Eileen Bergen
Your Guide to Fun & Profits from Crafts
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