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