I ran Sara’s Texture Crafts over 11 years, before I sold it back at the end of May 2017 and this was full-time career for me. I enjoyed every minute of this fast paced yarn business and worked hard at making my living from what I loved to create.
At times it seemed effortless and at times it seemed like an uphill battle to sell my wares, but I found my rhythm and made it work for me. So when people ask me; ‘How can I start to take my craft business full time?’ I say that you need 7 things;
- Good work ethic – you are going to need to put in the hours and you are going to have to be available for customers during your stated opening hours. The moment you take your career seriously is the moment that others around you see this as an actual business, and not a hobby.
- Regular research – you need to keep on top of collating the right information that will help you at the points when you feel most stuck. Good research is the key to understanding your product, customer, competitors and what’s happening in the market around you. Here’s how I keep up with mine.
- Solid systems of practise for workflow and marketing – once you understand what work and marketing you need to do on a regular basis I recommend setting up systems that help save you time whilst making you more productive… sounds impossible right? But really it’s not that hard. I use Asana for my scheduling and that helps me keep on top of my day to day, as well as research and marketing tasks and business goals, or special projects. Find out how I use it here. This productivity tool actually allows me time to keep on track of what I’m working on and how to step back and look at the bigger picture of what my business needs next.
- Profit margins that work – To stay in business this is your biggest lesson… you must be able to make enough extra money from your retail price to cover your costs, your time and still have a good chunk left over that you can bank. These profits will allow you to diversify later on when you need to, they will help you switch out products quickly and they will ultimately bring you a sustainable way to stay in business, even through slower times.
- A loyal customer base and knowing how to build one – Good customer relationships are hard work, but worth every minute of effort you put in. Loyal customers will not only buy from you regularly, but they will recommend you to their friends and you can’t buy that kind of ‘trust’ marketing elsewhere. I have some tips for you here.
- A main product/service that your customers want to buy – when you have your research and customer bases up and running you’ll have a greater understanding of how to create products that sell. This is where you can really start to build your business. Learn how to become your customer’s BFF here.
- An idea of how you might diversify (see below)
Here’s what most successful craft businesses won’t tell you;
Craft Products can suffer from the ‘seasonal effect’, meaning that sales tail off at given periods throughout the year. In my own business I suffered this too and it’s really hard to pay your bills if you don’t have regular income!
What bigger businesses will do and indeed what I did was to build a business that made money in a number of different ways, otherwise known as creating ‘multiple revenue streams’, or diversification.
So think about how you can diversify and not kill yourself working lots of extra hours whilst maintaining customer loyalty, trust and increasing sales. Remember your core business must be truly working before you should diversify.
Want To Learn More About How To Create Multiple Revenue Streams?
Imagine... You could make sustainable income year round!
Does this sound like a really cool way to grow your business?
In this 50 minute video workshop I will be taking you through;
- why multiple revenue streams are important for your craft business
- what types of incomes there are
- the big ‘no-no’s’
- 6 steps to deciding what is right for you