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Have you been considering starting a craft business? Did you just start? Or maybe you have been selling for years and already found the success you desired. Whatever your situation, these 10 tips will help you to take a step back and evaluate your current business strategy.

1. Evaluate Your Market Niche

There may be a difference between the type of craft you enjoy making and the type of craft products consumers actually want to buy. Take the initial step of evaluating your market niche by examining your competition and possible opportunities.

Do other sellers in that same niche seem to be successful? Are they selling often? What trends do you see in demand? What are their current price points? Do you seem to have an ability to make profit selling your craft?

Answering these questions will help to lead you down the right path in evaluating the business potential for your crafting niche.

2. Look for Various Venues

Diversifying your selling venues will present you with more opportunities to bring in sales and reach new customers. A good place to start is an online shop on an ecommerce site such as Etsy. Seeking local venues can help to raise awareness of your brand and drive local prospects to your online shop.

Word to mouth is just as potent of a marketing method in person as it is online. Tapping into your social media networks is another good idea. Share new listings, local events you are attending and just fun crafting knowledge with your followers.

Want to look even further, consider attracting local consignment and resale shops to carry your products full time.

3. Work Everyday

This is an important one. As a one person craft business, you have many hats to wear. You are the product manufacturer, customer service representative, marketer, and more! Working everyday is almost a necessity to grow your business. Rather it is scheduling a little bit of dedicated time each day to design new products, picture items to list, or make some phone calls and answer email requests.
When you get into a position to seek outside help, it would be easier to solicit someone to come in part time and help with the administrative tasks so you can focus solely on creating new products to grow your business.

4. Get Involved in your Local Community

Getting involved in your local community can mean anything from volunteering at local craft show events in schools to volunteering at senior homes to share the joy of craft. Not only is this emotionally satisfying to give back to your local community, but is another way of marketing your craft business and letting people know what it is that you do.

5. Have a GREAT Logo/Business Card

Having a great logo is an important aspect of branding your business. Be sure to have plenty of business cards on hand to hand out when someone asks. Logos can be used on your business card, banner and website, as well as product packaging. If you are not digitally savvy, it would be worthwhile to purchasing a unique and one of a kind logo that would be distinctive to your own business and craft style.

6. Take Beautiful Photos

Photos are the main part of marketing your product. Rather these are photos for your online shop or photos you place in a product brochure for local stores, photos can make or break your business.

Using natural light without flash with interesting angles and clear backgrounds can help attract more interest to your products and design. You do not need a brand new expensive camera to make this happen. Just a few setting adjustments can help to create you the foundation you need to create a beautiful photo. A few photo editing adjustments on your computer should do the trick if you cannot achieve the perfect bright photo from the camera.

All you need is a clear photo to start off with and the computer can do the rest. If this is something you are less familiar with, consider outsourcing it to a professional.

7. Consider Reproduction

With most handmade craft businesses, artisans wish to set themselves apart from other sellers by creating unique and one of a kind items. However, there will come a point in time when considering reproduction will help you to maximize the profits of your desired designs and meet demand. Do not shy away from the idea of reproducing designs that people want.

8. Price the Right Way

Most crafters start out their craft business as a way to make extra money in supporting their hobby. By doing this, they tend to price incorrectly and not for profit. As a business, you need to price the right way to ensure you cover your costs and leave room for actual profit that will help towards growing your business.

This is one reason why you do not try to price based on competition. Ever artisan prices to their own level of craftsmanship and expenses towards raw materials. Trends can also dictate your ability to ask more. Pricing the right way is one of the top priorities of any business.

9. Get Social

Today’s style of marketing is all about getting social with social media. Even some of your top commerce sites have social features built into their site for connecting with others. Start off on the right foot with building a social profile for your main sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Use these to connect with other sellers and even buyers.

Promote new products you list and engage your users regularly to keep them interested in your product and brand.

10. Blog and Promote

Blogging is a good way to build a more professional and personal identity on the internet to your prospected customers. When it comes to the craft community, buyers love to see the artist in the making. Share stories of inspiration and new creations. Give out tips for your followers for some of your favorite crafting techniques.

Crystal Ayres, MBA
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