While it may seem, initially, that quitting work to stay at home might be a great thing, it can easily become mundane. You certainly don’t want to go back to a desk-job that you don’t like, but you do need direction. Starting your own business can give you that direction that you need, as well as the independence and freedom. You can dedicate your time to doing what you love, and you can make a successful business from it. You don’t need to look for another office job to be happy. Instead, use the freedom that having a financially successful partner gives you to transform your passions into a legacy. Similarly, if you do have a job, you can easily turn your side business into a career and do what you love to do full-time.
Starting your own craft business or otherwise making a business that allows you to monetize what you love doing is an excellent way to bring in some extra money. All you need to do is follow these steps:
Before You Start
Before you start a business, you need to ensure that you have enough product to keep you going. If you are a photographer or digital artist, then this will be a lot easier than, say, if you create hand-knitted sweaters. That is why before you start your business you should:
If you have a product that you are going to sell, start making it. The more product you have before you start, the better. That way, you can have a steady stream of income while you create more. This buffer is very important, otherwise you’ll have inconsistent payments that you might come to rely on.
You should also use this time to expand your talents. That way you can offer more variety and, of course, practice. Only the best products should go out, after all.
2. Be Consistent
Once you start creating products for a business, you need to be consistent about it. This means setting aside so many hours in a day to create. The more consistent you are, the more you can accurately predict how many items you can make in a month and adjust your goals accordingly. It is also how you can better price your products. Handmade items will always be more expensive, but if you can cut production time down, then you can bring more money in each month.
3. Keep the Inspiration Going
Working this consistently can be difficult, which is why you need to stay inspired. Do this by doing new things, going to new places, and trying out new flavours. You can even read this blog about how you can change a bad habit into one that can, at the very least, help stimulate your brain through the varying flavors. The more things you try, the more creative you will be.
Starting Your Business
Once you have enough products, it’s time to set up and start your online business:
1. Take Professional Photos
You don’t need to have a multi-thousand dollar DSLR to take great pictures. All you do need, however, is good lighting, a makeshift studio, and a new phone or digital camera. The more effort you put into proper lighting and staging, the better. You are selling, first and foremost, through visuals. That is why you need to take multiple photos of each product, so that people can see what it is, how big it is, and what it looks like in a “normal” setting. Have a variety of photos so that they know what they are buying before they do.
2. Selling Options
Now that you have the products and the product photos, it’s time to get selling. There are two ways you can do this. The first is to go to your local boutiques and gift stores and see if they will sell your products. The second, which allows for greater control, is to set up an online store. This can be done through marketplaces, or through your own website.
3. Customer Service
Regardless of where you sell it online, you will need to put an emphasis on customer service. This means being extremely communicative and fair. The more honest you are upfront, the better you can protect yourself. If you do get a bad review, that’s okay. How you respond to bad reviews is as telling as how many good reviews you have.
Making it Popular
Once you have your online store set up, it’s time to make it popular. You can use these tips to help you sell your items throughout the internet:
1. Social Media
When you craft, you automatically have a great theme and selling point for social media. Take photos and document your process and share this online. Not only will you be able to create a community of craftspeople that you can learn from, you can also grow your followers. People will then buy from you repeatedly, because your social media has sold them on how great your product is.
Regardless of where your product is, you should work on SEO. SEO, or search engine optimization, is what Google uses to rank the results that come from inquiries. If you work on your SEO, then your products might be the first ones that show up when someone searches for, say, “Handmade Red Mittens”. There are many ways to improve your SEO, but make sure the tactics you use adhere to Google’s guidelines.
Last but not least, there is, of course, traditional advertising. Thankfully when you advertise online, you also have the benefit of being able to narrow down your demographic. To help kick-start your online business, you can put all income towards advertising; that way you can gain the necessary good reviews that new buyers need before they buy something.
You can turn your hobby into a side business, be a great parent, and be a good role model. All you need is to be prepared, plan, and be consistent in your work and your service.