I turned my hobby into a business for two reasons:
- I wanted to create an income that would give me spending money
- I became a mom of a special needs kid and working out of the home wasn’t a great option for us.
For me creating art has become a way of life and even though I still love to give gifts freely, having people purchase my work also brings me joy.
Creating a business around your art isn’t easy and requires a bit of grift, courage and commitment. And because of technological advances there are plenty of places to sell online – and even without the online space there are venues offline where you can connect with potential customers.
Online venues are a great way to reach customers all over the world. Before making the plunge into selling your crafts, be sure to take the time and do some research beforehand.
Keep the following questions in mind as you dive into turning your hobby into a business:
Do I have a product that people would want to buy?
This is the most important question you have to ask yourself. If there is no target market for your products, you will have a hard time selling your creations and not because your items are not nice, but they may not be in demand.
Who is my potential target market?
This is a continuation of the question above because you need to know who to advertise to and how to successfully draw your target market to your items. It would be a waste of time trying to sell baby clothes, for example, to those who do not have children.
What will I charge for my creations?
Pricing is an important strategy. All too often, people undercharge for their creations forgetting to take into consideration the time and materials that go into a product. Make sure you account for both the cost of the materials as well as the time and effort you put forth to create your goods. Also be sure not to overcharge. You may find that your items do not sell because they are over priced.
Where will I sell my items?
Online websites are plentiful when it comes to selling handmade goods. You can choose from online market places or build your own website. Be aware when choosing an online market place, that you will be competing with other artists and crafters.
If you choose to sell locally, try finding a store that will sell your items on consignment or sign up to exhibit at a local craft show. Both will be good for exposure. If you choose to go the consignment route, be sure to get everything in writing. Otherwise you run the risk of having your items kept and not paid for.
It is very possible in today’s day and age to make some spending money selling your crafts. Be sure to do your research and follow through your plan by keeping the above questions in mind.
Once you have your plan in mind, go ahead and take the plunge. But know that you will have to work on some business aspects that don’t sound like fun but are necessary like admin and marketing.
And yet, just think about the freedom you are creating for yourself – that in itself could be worthwhile to turn your hobby into a business.