If you are involved in the crafts business, and are profitable, you are among the rare breed who have successfully combined art with business. If, however, you still have yet to show a profit (or enough profit) after a show, this article may get you going in the right direction.
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Are You Making Money At Craft Shows?

If you are involved in the crafts business, and are profitable, you are among the rare breed who have successfully combined art with business. If, however, you still have yet to show a profit (or enough profit) after a show, this article may get you going in the right direction.

Whatever reason you have to enter the craft show business world, you probably will have a big wake-up call when set your intention to move from pastime to profits. Because you may not make a profit initially (it could take as long as two years to be in the black) make sure you love the business, that is, producing your craft product as well as selling it.

“ Your display booth is like a portable store ”

You need to give yourself a realistic amount of time to establish your business as well as learn the industry too. Start out slowly to avoid debt, and use your profits to learn and grow your craft show business.

An online survey revealed several major issues affecting professional crafters:

- Finding Time 28 percent
- New Ideas 14 percent
- Slow Sales 14 percent
- Finding Supplies 10 percent
- Pricing 9 percent
- Misc. 7 percent
- Display 2 percent

Although craft shows are not the only place an artisan can sell wares, it is generally the best starting place, as it is fairly easy and inexpensive to get into small local shows to begin, and then build from there.

Craft Shows offer a short-term commitment of time and money, (you also won't incur any travel expenses) and you can easily assess your results quickly - before you commit to larger, more expensive craft shows. You'll be able to change prices, spruce up displays and add inventory based on the outcome of each show and customer feedback.

Your display booth is like a portable store you pack up and take with you. But because you have less inventory than a typical retail store, you are far more flexible. You can make adjustments more readily. You can test new products without having to manufacture large quantities. You can experiment with different prices and signage. You can ask your customers what they like and what they are looking for. And you can see what is selling at other booths.

By selling directly to your customer, without a distributor, you get to keep the full profit minus supplies, overhead and show costs. Since most craft shows are on weekends, you have full control of your time and the freedom to create your products when you wish.

You can also involve your whole family in the business as is common in husband and wife teams. Often the children help with production chores or at weekend craft shows. It's a great opportunity to spend time together and teach children business skills.

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