Home based ventures are becoming a fast growing business sector in the economy. Many people now convert their creative talents/hobbies into profitable businesses. Do you have an extraordinary talent to create craft items? Are you looking for a way to pursue a venture of your own?
The following checklist will assist you to take your hobby one step further and start your own craft business.
1. Market Research and Defining Your Products
Before starting off you should first conduct some research and analyze the existing market. Identify which products are in demand. What type of items do customers sought after? What are the latest trends and designs? This will help you to understand the existing market and also realize the existing opportunities in the market. Now that you have had a feel of the market decide on what type of product you will craft in order to sell. Your products need to be unique, useful and easy to make. Also make sure that it is something that you enjoy doing.
2. Organize Your Work Area
Even though you are working from your own home, it is recommended that you have a separate area or room to carry out all your work. This will ensure that you are able to work without getting disturbed. Keep all your equipment, raw materials, stationary and other supplies which you may require for your business, organized in your work area. Also schedule your work in such a way that routine house work will not interfere with your business work.
3. Business Plan
No matter how small your venture may be it is always good to have a business plan. This will help you to stay focused on the service which you are offering as well as manage enhancements in your business. This should contain a brief introduction regarding your business along with the company plan, marketing plan and the financial plan. You can refer to library books or surf the web to find guides on how to write a business plan.
4. Licensing And Taxes
The licensing process and the taxes which may be applicable to your venture will differ according to the state you reside in. It is recommended that you visit your local county clerk's office and get the information needed regarding the paperwork due before starting your venture. You can even consult a lawyer and get advice concerning the licensing and taxes involved with your business.
5. Fixing The Correct Price
This is a vital step in your business. If you overprice you would be driving your customers to your competitors. If you under price you would be running your venture at a loss. Always consider the costs you have endured for your product. These may be raw material costs, time and effort, overhead costs, shipping costs, etc. Your fixed price should be able to cover all the costs as well as leave you with a decent profit. Check out the prices of your competitors as well. This would give you a fair idea of the current rates in the market.
6. Setting Up Your Website And Domain Name
When selecting the business name ensure that it is a unique, simple, short and memorable name in order to enable the customers to easily remember it and refer it to their friends and family. Since you would be selling your products online, your website will act as your store. It is advisable that you create a professional looking website. It should be able to attract and retain the customers' attention as well as be on par with your competitors websites. When uploading pictures of your products ensure they are clear pictures which contain quick download times. Display the correct prices as well as all your contact information. Enabling online payments through credit cards, debit cards, etc. would be advantageous since many online shoppers prefer these kinds of payment schemes.
7. Marketing Your Website
In order to attract clients you need to market/ advertise your website. You can utilize online marketing techniques as well as offline marketing techniques to spread the word. Sign up your website with search engines, online directories, online auction sites and online communities. You can utilize flyers, posters, banners, advertisements, business cards, etc. to pass the news offline. Ensure that you state your web address on all of them. Word of mouth is also a very effective marketing tool. Spread the word to your friends, family members and neighbors, and ask them to pass the message onto their loved ones as well.
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