Money-Making Hobbies — Are You Ready to Create a Business from Your Craft?

Posted by on Sep 28, 2014

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knit hat
Rachel Gillett

Perhaps you are a painter, a writer or a scrapbooker. Maybe you sew beautiful quilts, knit awesome hats or lovingly hand-carve wood furniture. 

Whatever your passion, you can turn it into a business with a little work ... and here’s the good news: there are many roads to travel, so you can create a unique business and run it just the way you want. 

And the not-that-bad news is that there's lots and lots of information about starting a business that can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! 

craft fair checklist
N. Gladstone
Whatever you create, there’s probably a market out there for it. The first questions to ask yourself are:

 - Who is the ideal buyer for my product or service? 
 - What is the market price for a similar product or service? 

How can you find answers to these questions? Talk about it with your friends and family, do an online survey, or put a table out at a local craft fair or church social and see who shows interest.

Research similar products/services online to see the prices and how well it is selling. The better you know what you're selling and who it’s perfect for, the more confident you can be in your ability to sell it. This confidence can directly translate into a successful business. 

Your next issue to address is whether you want (or need?) to make this a full-time business or a part-time venture. The answer to this question will tell you how to structure your business. Think about how much time and effort you're willing to put into your business. If you feel like you really don’t have time, that’s cool — you can still run a business. Selling via an online handmade marketplace like CraftFoxes might be your answer. Once your profile and items for sale are set up, there’s very little maintenance required. 

craft fair selling
If you're ready to invest some time in developing your business, first create a simple business plan. Like a roadmap, a business plan will help keep you on your path. Your plan needs to be flexible enough to guide you as things change, but solid enough to keep your eyes on the big picture. 

Here are a few questions that your plan needs to answer:

 - How do I want to run my business? 
 - How much money do I want to make? 
 - How can I get people to buy what I sell?
 - What are my city's rules for running a business? 

These are pretty in-depth questions, and even if you’d rather get back to your crafting instead of researching, the time you spend answering these questions will create the foundation for your business and help you know what to do next. Also, with a little help from a creative virtual assistant like me, turning your hobby into a business can be such a fantastic adventure and you'll learn so much about yourself along the way. 

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