This is the third part of Fiona’s Pullen’s series around how to run a successful crafting business. Previously she explored setting up the business and pricing your products. Once you have decided on what you want to make and how much you should be setting your prices at, you need to think sensibly about the selling of them. In her own words …
If you read the first two parts of this series you should have done your research, established that your business has potential, and calculated your pricing. Now you need to think about how you plan to sell your products. There are several options:
1) Offline selling
You can sell in person at craft fairs or events, or through your own shop/premises. Alternatively, you could sell through a gallery, as part of a craft collective or through someone else’s shop. Just remember if someone else is handling the selling for you they will either expect to pay a wholesale price for your items or will take a commission on sales.
2) Online selling
You can sell through your own website, whether that involves an online shop – or a showcase of your work with contact details so people can commission you. You may wish to sell through and online selling platform like Etsy, or some people sell solely on social media – quite often via a Facebook page.
You don’t have to just pick one option, many businesses take a multi-faceted approach to selling in order to generate as many sales as possible. Some key points to consider when choosing how to sell are the required money and time investments.
For example, it might be cheaper to set up your own website than to sell through an online selling platform. But you will need to invest quite a lot of time in both setting up and maintaining the website and in generating traffic – directing people to your site.
Selling at craft fairs can be a great way to allow people to see a large range of your products, and to get out and meet people. However, they take quite a lot of time. Not just the day(s) itself of the fair, but the preparation in advance and the follow up afterwards.
You also need to think about what works best for your personality and lifestyle. For example, I set up my online business The Sewing Directory, whilst on maternity leave to enable me to stay at home with my son. I had no childcare so couldn’t work out of the house and needed something flexible which allowed me to look after him whilst working.
If you really hate selling then perhaps getting a gallery or shop to sell your products for you is the best thing for you. If you go stir crazy working at home then maybe having a shop or selling in person at fairs and events would suit you best.
Take the time to think about what works best for you, and then look at the costs and time involved with each to help you choose the best-selling method(s) for your business.
Come back next week to learn about promoting your business.
Fiona is the author of the bestselling Craft a Creative Business, the newly released Making & Marketing a Successful Art & Crafts Business and the founder of The Sewing Directory.