You can't just wake up one morning and decide you're going to start a craft business. Running any type of successful business requires planning. Your first step in the planning process is to figure out exactly what you want to accomplish by starting a crafts business. This reason could be as simple as wanting to get rid of all those spare quilts hanging around the house to quitting your odious day job.
Running a Crafts Business Part Time = Extra Money
The majority of crafters I yak it up with at craft and trade shows started their business on the side to make extra cash doing something they enjoyed. The reasons for this are really varied. Quitting a hated day job (those lottery dreams just didn't pan out!), saving to educate the children or having more financial leverage so that each unexpected cash outlay is not so stressful - to name just a few.
That last one is a biggie. Let's face it, money might not buy happiness, but life sure is a lot more enjoyable when you don't have to worry about how you're going to fix your kid's tooth broken in a skateboarding accident or shutter every time you start your car because you wonder how much that new rattle is going to cost to fix.
Many crafters start their business part time to satisfy immediate cash concerns. Going full time with the craft business can always be an option somewhere down the road. If you're planning to flat out walk away from a regular paycheck working for someone else the amount of planning you'll need to do is immense. For example, you need to figure out how you're going to cover all your personal living expenses without that steady paycheck.
Moms Seeking Home Work
One escalating trend is the stay at home mom (or dad) looking for ways to make extra money. Running a craft business is an ideal home based business. Unless your craft involves some hazardous material, it's as simple as finding a spare corner in your house, garage or basement to set up shop. If your children aren't of school age, part of your planning will involve how you're going to work your business around caring for your children.
A home based craft business is not a substitute for adequate outside childcare. It's just not possible to plop in a Sesame Street DVD and think you're going to get an uninterrupted block of time to work on your crafts. One possible suggestion is arrange with other parents you know to share babysitting duties. That way you can forge out some quality alone time to devote yourself 100% to the craft business. However, if you're the type of parent who doesn't feel comfortable having someone else watch their children, this option will not work for you.
Maybe you were forced into early retirement or are seriously considering taking an early retirement package. While it might seem like the decision to make some extra money by opening a craft business is a logical one - after all you've kind of been forced into it - really think about it and make sure that this is the right business for you.
Ready to Get Started? Ask Yourself These Questions First!
Like all hobbies, sad but true, making crafts turns into a job if you have to do it. Serious intent to make a livable profit is the most important divider between the hobby crafter and those ready to start a craft business. Ask yourself - are you willing to put in the hours and effort needed to create a successful business? Can you be flexible - are you willing to change business methods and operations in order to move towards making a profit?