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Starting an Arts & Crafts Business Think all you need to know is how to knit or paint? Not quite. If you want to start a serious crafts business, you'll have to focus on the business <I>and</I> the craft.

By Laura Tiffany

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It's a common fantasy, and why shouldn't it be? Itsounds amazing: Instead of forcing your crafting time into nookshere and there--after dinner, before the kids wake up, on theweekends--you'll start a business so you eat, sleep, breatheand, most important, live off your hobby.

But such is life that nothing is as easy as it seems. You mayhave the skills to create wonderful handiwork, but starting asuccessful crafts business calls for much more than that."[There's] a separation [between] those who are craftingfor fun and extra money and those who start out with the idea,'I intend to make money from this, so I'm going to do itright,'" says Barbara Brabec, a homebased business expert andauthor of Make It Profitable! "And I'vealways said in all my books that the people who succeed are thosewho have a financial reason to do so."

So here's your first step: Decide why you're reallystarting this business. "If you're doing it for love orextra money, that's fine--you can have a lot of fun. You canmake enough to keep yourself in craft supplies for the rest of yourlife, but you're never gonna bring home the groceries,"says Brabec. "If you're in it because you actually need tosupplement your family income, then you need to getserious."