Mastering Your Niche: How to Run a Craft Business From Home
To be successful, you have to master marketing yourself too.
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The 21st century is loudly being proclaimed the era of the digital entrepreneur, and it's indisputable that it's easier to run your business from home now than ever before. This has led to a huge surge in craft businesses being operated from the home, as many aspiring artists and clever entrepreneurs understand that they can make impressive livings for themselves by harnessing the power of the internet and modern shipping methods.
Here's how you can run a craft business from your home with success, and the key missteps you should be aware of if you want to make it in the long-term.
It's all about mastering your niche.
First and foremost, you need to understand what it takes to make money in the craft business. Regardless of how talented you are or how impressed some of your friends and family were with your early creations, you can only make it in this industry by finding your niche, honing your talent and marketing like crazy to a select number of consumers who are likely to scoop up your goods in droves. An easy way to get a jumpstart on this process is to start scoping out local craft shows, which provide you with opportunities to show off your goods, network with other creators and entrepreneurs, and even make a quick buck or two depending on how lucky you are.
People who attend craft shows are obviously more likely to scoop up your goodies and services more so than average members of the public, but that doesn't mean you should only be marketing to these people when fairs are going on. At craft shows, be sure you're handing out cards, creating an email list and distributing your website link to customers who display any sort of interest in your stall. If you read that last line and said "well, I don't have a website," then it's time to move on to the next step -- establishing a presence for yourself on the internet.
Running a craft business from home takes commitment, which means you should look into establishing an LLC, which will help you when it comes to paying taxes and give your craft business a formal flair that's sure to lure in more customers. Furthermore, it's easier for you to get a formal website up and running -- and developing a popular fan base -- if you have a legitimate brand to leverage in your favor.
Now that you've set up your own company officially, you'll want an impressive webpage that details your products and helps consumers contact you should they have special request. Taking commissions can be a struggle, but it's a surefire way to bolster your revenue stream while guaranteeing that a happy customer is likely to recommend you to a friend or return for more shopping in the future. As the U.S. Small Business Administration reminds the public, too, craft businesses that know their customers are those which succeed more than others.
Market yourself like crazy.
Once you have a website up and running, you may be tempted to take a break and think you've established yourself on the web, but in truth, you're just getting started. After establishing your website, you'll need a myriad of social media pages that can direct web traffic towards your website and orders page. Having an established presence on today's leading social media platforms will help you advertise, especially when people share your page and creations and spread your image and name around for free on their own time.
Websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were all but purpose-built for craft businesses operated out of the home; they help you show off impressive images of your wares and help you build pages and groups of like-minded individuals online who likely share the same hobbies related to sewing and craft interests. The dizzying world of social media can be downright complex at times, however, and it's understandable that some business owners don't know where to begin when it comes to mastering the intricacies of the digital world.
You should take some time to read up on simplified social media marketing, as this is an area you really can't afford to ignore if you want your craft business from home to be anything other than a part-time hobby. As costly as it may be, it's likely even worth your while to hire a full time social media assistant once your business starts to take off, as they can generate an impressive amount of buzz surrounding your company and niche products. As your team grows, you may even find yourself leaving your home.
Running a craft business from home isn't easy, but it has huge creative and profitable potential, and can be mastered with the right knowhow. Follow the above steps, and your craft business will soon be turning your living room into a veritable stock exchange, so high will your profits be soaring.