How to start earning from your hobby
How to earn money from your hobby is easier than you think! All types of leisure activities can be turned into a viable business should you decide to make it an income earning venture.
With the current climate (Covid 19) many people are out of work and are looking to create an income from other sources. And there is a surge in creative folk starting business ventures during this time.
With this in mind, anyone wanting to venture into the business field utilising their arts and crafts hobby, should be well equipped with the various dos and don’ts of doing basic business.
All crafts can and usually are categorized into a few major areas, which include paper crafts, textile based crafts, decorative crafts, and fashion focused crafts and crafts that also serve as functional piece.
Besides these more obvious areas there are also other lesser known yet fairly popular arts and crafts styles. Basically, anything that has some features of being handmade can be classified under these categories.
It may be satisfying to know that the handmade sector has become a high income churner, so if you have the right product, you may well create a new successful career for yourself.
If your new craft business is to make an impact and produce the desired revenue that you require, then you should put a plan in place to eventually bring this to reality.
In normal circumstances, starting on a part time basis is a better option than going into it full time. But with so many people currently out of work, and without the prospect of finding new jobs in their industry, going straight into starting and running your new craft business full time would be totally acceptable, if not compulsory.
If it has been years since you were creative or you’re just not feeling confident enough, then take some lessons to fine tune your capabilities before starting your business. These classes (there are plenty online!) will help you re-ignite your skills, thus creating the opportunity for you to be savvier when it comes to your business.
Part of the process for planning the business should also include:
Research your competition! Sounds a bit stalker-like, but it is important to know how they are doing in your niche.
Armed with this knowledge you will be able to decide if the choice you have made is the right one.
The arts and crafts field is quite vast and diversified, but it can be broken down into a few main areas based on the materials being used to create the intended item.
With this said, if you are contemplating venturing into the arts and crafts business platform, some knowledge on the different types of crafts should be understood.
Let’s Take A Quick Look
The following is a short description of the main different areas that are usually associated with crafts:
Textile crafts –
This type of craft would include the use of fabrics, yarn and any type of surface design which may include knitting, weaving, dyeing, embroidery and appliqué. Although some of these end products can also be regarded as fashion crafts in it still basically textile based.
Examples: Embroidered linen (above image), crocheted booties for babies, or knitted beanies for winter, appliqued tee-shirts or embroidery tapestries for the wall. The ideas and lists are endless.
Paper crafts –
As the name implies, the basis of this craft is the use of paper to make the items. This is a very basic style craft and is usually introduced at a very young age which is usually as part of a classroom project.
It is mainly a favorite for children’s’ projects to be made as gifts and mementos.
As for the more experienced creations the paper crafts would include paper mache, calligraphy and paper making. Certain wood engravings are sometimes categorized as paper crafts too.
Examples: wedding invitations, card-making, making handmade paper, watercolour painted wall mounts.
Decorative crafts –
This particular category does not really focus on the use of any particular material and is basically just creations that are meant to be appreciated as decorative items.
Anything from furniture to stained glass fixtures come under this very creative category, which normally requires a high amount of skilled labour.
Examples: Many crafts in this category are home interior orientated such as stained glass windows, handmade furniture, pottery, beaded chandeliers….
Fashion crafts –
For some, this is the most popular and rewarding category to venture into as it involved the “dressing or decorating” of the human body. This area knows no bounds in the name of creativity and individualism. It is also the most highly featured and prized category in fashion.
Examples: handmade clothing for babies, infants, children, teens, adults – casual wear, tailored clothing, bridal wear, stage costumes, dress-up costumes, underwear, special occasion wear…this list too, is endless.
Creating a Concept
The creation of concepts requires a little planning and thought. Previously, the idea of creating a concept was usually done when the services of an advertising company was sought.
However, anyone and everyone intending to go into business, where the visibility element is pivotal, while maintaining the recognition in individualism, the idea of concept creation becomes a vital.
The following are some ideas on the issue of concepts:
Below are processes carried out by large business organisations, which you don’t have to follow. However, you can use the same concept of choosing your products more carefully by following their guide.
Concept ideas in the form of proposals –
This is mostly where the consumer’s view is taken into consideration and any adjustments made to the business, products or service is very much dictated by the customer’s input.
This information can be got through various different levels of the business engine and not necessarily only from the consumer. Example: questionaires, or surveys. Any feedback that can be enlightening is highly valued.
Concept ideas selection process –
Various ideas are discussed and categorized according to their merits and then the process of elimination begins. Once all other concepts are eliminated, the remaining one is imagined to be the best concept to go with.
This exercise usually involves the powers that be and all others who have important contributing thoughts on the eventual pick made.
Concept marketing strategy –
At this point the concept becomes more detailed and a lot more thought and planning is exercised. Mistakes made at this stage would not bear well on the overall success of the business. This planning stage is the backbone of eventual promotions tagged to the business engine.
Concept physical development and testing –
This stage requires the actual reaching out process where the target customer base is used as a guideline to gauge the eventual reception the business, product or service will receive. This exercise is usually carried out as a launching pad for the business.
Supplies and Skills
Every business requires certain basic elements in order to ensure its success, and supplies and skills usually rank quite highly on the requirements platform.
Therefore, before you even decide to actually get into the serious procedures of starting up a business based on your hobby, there should be some basic understanding of the needs and importance of these two elements.
Supplies will be the basis of the business at the start and without the supplies there really is no business to speak of.
Getting all the information such as what is required and how this requirement can be fulfilled in a professional and timely manner is important to the eventual smooth running of the business engine.
There is also the need to look into the kind of supplies needed and whether there are any major costs or legal implications tagged to the use of such items.
If there is a need to get legal approval to use the item then the necessary documentations should be filed with the relevant governing bodies before they can be included for use in making your product.
If it is not possible to use such items based on the rejections of the governing bodies than immediate steps would be taken to find suitable alternative which are both acceptable and easy to acquire.
Skills are also another very important element that should get serious consideration when starting up the business endeavour.
Arts and crafts is nothing without the ever important presence of the skills element.
Not just anyone can churn out such items without the knowledge and skill it would have taken to master such production.
Often this is taken for granted and when a business starts to earn serious revenue, there is often a need to expand.
Not having the skilled labour to produce the required numbers to meet the demands, will jeopardize your business, resulting in a loss of customers.
Marketing for an arts and crafts business is quite similar to marketing any other product with only a few distinctive differences. These differences are due to the fact that the market for such items are quite niche and such items cannot be successfully touted by the masses.
The following are some recommendations on how to understand and plan the marketing tactics for arts and crafts businesses:
Doing some research is the first thing to exercise to understand the market requirements and the general likes and dislikes of the intended customer base.
With this in mind, you will be able to gauge if your product is suitable as a revenue earning tool or if there is a need to redesign or rethink the entire concept.
Read my post on Starting a Sewing Website – this post explains how to find your niche market and perfect customer.
Correct and compatible pricing is very important to ensure that the available market for the product is actually induced to making the product a relative revenue earning platform.
Marketing Strategies –
Marketing strategies that direct focus to the ideal pricing for the product will successfully garner the desired interests. This will lead to the desired projected earnings. Here, the use of social media is paramount and will help you to gain exposure.
Read my post on How to Elevate Your Social Media Presence
Building a strong mailing list is also another effective marketing strategy when it comes to creating visibility and bringing the product to the customer.
Making the customer aware of the existence of your product and creating the platform for easy and quick purchases to be made will encourage your intended customer base to excitedly make purchases!
Here’s another post for you to read on How to Make Money Blogging – it gives you basic advise on how to sell things from your blog and how to create a newsletter for email marketing.
Arts and Crafts Fairs
The main idea behind the arts and crafts fair is the attention the products get.
However, with the Corona Virus and lockdown rules throughout the world, craft fairs are not a preferred platform for the foreseeable future. This doesn’t mean that there is nowhere to promote your product. There are many online platforms dedicated to handmade products, where you can promote, market and sell your craft.
Online platforms are convenient – even more convenient than the craft fair. You can make samples, and produce goods on order.
You will need to learn the basics of the platform you are selling on, like taking photographs and describing your items accurately and truthfully. Plus, you need to consider shipping costs if you are selling globally – and during this time, the how-to’s of posting parcels etc.
Product exposure – There is no doubt that craft fairs are a splendid platform for exposure, but this is far outweighed by online exposure. You just need to make your product and marketing technique that bit better than the next, to get noticed!
Buying opportunities – Your exposure on these handmade selling platforms could also function as a displaying platform for future business opportunities. It is not uncommon for established business owners to browse through such platforms looking for opportunities to further expand their already successfully pre-existing businesses.
Forming new partnerships and expansion programs can be quite common online, by reaching out to other like-minded creative people. Remember to patent your product first before teaming up with others to produce and market your product.
Successful business mindset
The following are some tips on the successful business mindset that is well worth following in order to generate successful revenue earning possibilities:
Perhaps the most effective and motivating tool would be to actually visualize your business and its definite accompanying success. This is different from simply visualizing the possibilities, as this exercise requires the actual visualization of the already successful entity.
Keeping this visual picture prominent in your mind’s eye will help to ensure there are enough motivational thoughts and actions that will eventually contribute to your business success becoming a reality and no longer just a vision.
Maintaining a successful business mindset also requires the actual conscious effort made on your part.
You should avoid all contact with negative thinking people – by avoiding pessimistic people you will effectively keep unnecessary negative thoughts at bay.
These negative elements can sometimes cause even the strongest and focused mindsets to stumble, thus avoidance is better than having to struggle with mostly unfounded doubts.
You also need to be willing to make sacrifices when necessary and this should be well understood to make a successful business.
Most successful entrepreneurs have attested to the fact that all initial sacrifices have proven to be well worth it in the long run.
This will help you refrain from feeling bitter when having to make such sacrifices. It will also help others around you better understand the reasons for such commitment.
Starting any business usually has the same common goal. To make the business into a money making endeavour. Therefore, in order to ensure this ideal scenario becomes a reality, there is a need to have the accompanying skillset and mindset that will keep you focused towards your end goal of creating a successful arts and crafts business.
Hope this advise has been of some help to you today!
If you would like to read another post about How to Avoid Looking Like a New Blogger, then just head on over!
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