Ready to make money?
With a craft machine, it is so easy to go from crafter to boss babe (or dude!). There are a few things though that you will want to be aware of when starting a business. In this article, we are going to go over all of those to get you ready for the shift from weekend creator to full-time hustle!
1. Shift Your Mindset
Yep, that’s right, you need to SHIFT your mindset. You are no longer going to treat this as a hobby but as a business. You have to be ready to put in serious work to grow this into something that will create income for you. There will be late nights ahead, you will need to have money invested, and you might even need more Starbucks (is this a punishment though?) but the end results will be worth the time you have to put into creating your business. You need to consider your time VALUABLE. Set a plan – even a loose one – of what you want your business to be. You don’t have to realistic right now, just jot down where you picture yourself. You can no longer focus on things that do not serve you and your end goals.
2. Know Your Suppliers
In order to run your business, no matter how big or small, you need supplies! By doing a little bit of research ahead of time you can find out who has decent prices and how many of each unit you need to order to get those prices. While your local craft store may be convenient, oftentimes you are paying for that convenience. 😉 Take into consideration the costs of shipping and their shipping frames when picking your supplier. Have a few of them at the ready to give you the best prices. Check out some of my favorites and our besties lists here.
3. Understand Licensing
Not all designs are created equal – even if they are FREE. if you are selling your finished projects, you want to make sure you have the proper license. Most often you will see sites refer to their license as personal or commercial use. Personal use, as the name suggests, is personal. It’s just for you to make and use within your home. You’re not making money for your brand/business in any way. Commercial use allows you to make and sell end products. Most often those end products will be physical, however, you are also able to create digital files as well. If you are looking for sites with commercial use be sure to check the link here and also peep these FREE commercial use sites.
4. Research The Market
I am all for jumping in head first because I get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of things that you “should” plan, getting together the PERFECT plan, and ultimately I never finish. If you are like that – *hugs* I am so sorry! With that said, there is something in doing a bit of research before you open shop. (Even after opening up shop, you will want to keep an eye out for trends!) When you think of what you want to sell, take a minute to just consider your prices, what options you will offer to your customers, and if you will take on custom orders. By doing a quick Google search or even peeping at other Etsy shops, you can get an idea of the market prices for items similar to yours. Don’t undercut yourself!
5. Crunch The Numbers
A business won’t succeed if you don’t understand where your money is going. One big thing that you have to know is how much your materials cost!? If you haven’t taken a minute to find your suppliers, seriously, do this now! How much time does it take to create your designs? What do you want to make an hour? Are you spending money on marketing? What are your listing fees on your platform?
For help in understanding what your project costs, you can check out this cool spreadsheet I made to help you break it all down.
6. Making Products
It should go without saying that we need to create our products! I mean, we are here to make money. Creating products will allow you to gain basic vinyl skills that will help you grow your business and create your crafts like knowing how to weed designs, press shirts, and apply decals. These skills and processes will change over time as you find out what works best for you.
Remember practice makes perfect! If you are wanting to make cool glitter tumblers, be sure to visit your local dollar tree and pick up some cheap cups to practice on before committing yourself to that order. By making some products, you can also get an idea of how much time and materials it takes to make your products is. (Now, as time goes on, you will get faster at your craft and supplies have the potential to go down in price – so this might change later.) With that said, you DO NOT have to create a product for every design you plan to offer. You can, in fact, use mockups to stage products and get insight into a product line before you commit time and money (check out this video here).
7. Set Up Shop
So you know your numbers, you have your products, and you are ready to get that money but where do you sell? There are so many amazing places that you can sell your handmade items on. Let’s go over one of the most affordable options – social media! Facebook and Instagram have made it possible to grow as a craft business with the use of swip swap groups and FB pages. By posting finished products or mockups in groups, you can get orders through DMs. Be sure to use payment centers like Paypal for business purposes (it protects you and the buyer). Wanting to go a step further? Check out local craft fairs and flea markets. You can rent out booths for relatively cheap for a weekend.
There are other platforms like Etsy (afl) and Amazon handmade. I love my Etsy shop and it now makes up over half of my monthly income! I do have an Amazon handmade shop, however, it is NOT user-friendly (for me at least) so I haven’t been able to sell on there to give my opinion on their platform. If you are interested in reading my take on Etsy, you can visit the link to learn more. If you are seeking to drive your traffic and do it “your way”, you can also set up your own website. I happen to run my own site(s) that I sell on through WordPress but you can use Shopify for an easier setup. Each platform has its own set of fees so when deciding where to sell, be aware of those numbers.
8. Time To Shine!
You may have heard the saying if you build it they will come but don’t be silly! We are not sitting around waiting for success to come to us – we are goal getting besties and we are here to shine. You are your biggest advocate for your business. No one will hustle for you more than you. Don’t let a day go by without a post on social media. You don’t want to create SELL SELL SELL posts, but keep engaged with your audience is important. Social media can be one of the BIGGEST drivers of traffic. Think about where your target market hangs out and make sure you show up. The latest fun spot to be is TikTok and if you are not already following me, why not?!