Starting a business can be overwhelming, but when it’s doing something you love, there’s more motivation behind you. If you want to start a craft business and sell handmade items, it will take a lot of work to be successful, but it can happen. You might not earn quick money up front, but with persistence, patience, hard work, and a little bit of good luck, you can make it.
The product you make is only part of what will make you successful. It all comes down to the marketing strategy. In fact, the product is part of marketing. The 4 P’s of marketing are product, placement, people, and promotion. We will break down each one of these P’s as part of an online and offline craft business to help you understand how you should set up your own marketing strategy.
The product you make is very important. Because it is a handmade item, it must be top quality and unique. Use your skills to design a product that is unique (one of a kind/can’t buy it anywhere else) so that if they want it, they have to buy it from you. For example, if you want to sell knit sweaters, make up your own design.
Make sure it is excellent quality. If you’re just starting out and your quality isn’t up to par. Practice a bit until you make a product you can be proud of. If you just started knitting sweaters, keep practicing until you make a sweater you will love to wear out and show off. Also learn how to effectively price your product. Don’t sell yourself short, but keep it affordable to the demographic you’re selling to.
Placement is all about where you sell the product and how you package it or set it out. To be an online and offline business, sell at a variety of different venues. Online you can set up your own website and sell directly from there, or you can sell through Etsy.com. Etsy.com is a craft selling site that will help put your product in front of buyers. I suggest doing both, or at least advertising your Etsy.com store at a variety of online places. Ebay is a good site to look into as well.
For offline locations, you have the chance to sell in person. Try places such as the following:
- Craft fairs
- Flea markets
- Consignment shops
- Start your own shop or boutique
Promotion is extremely important. Cross sell with your different venues. Hand out fliers and business cards at fairs and markets with your website on it. Have a blog attached to your website with an up-to-date schedule of what venues you will be at in coming weeks. Encourage customers to check out your blog or website.
The people are those you want to sell to. For online promotion using people, use Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to network and build relationships that can give you a name. More Facebook friends and Facebook ‘likes’ means putting your business in front of more eyes. Tell all your friends and family about your product and ask them to spread the word.
Survey your customers. It’s the customers, the people, that you want to take interest in your business and sell to. Give customer surveys randomly in person and online. Ask them about the product, the sales process, and everything else you can think of to help your business without making the survey too long. Use the information you gather to improve your business.