7 Reasons Not to Start a Craft Business
Is now the right time to start your own craft business, or should you wait a bit longer?
Starting your own business can be an excellent way to make money from crafting, however there are a few things to be aware of before you get started.
One of the most important things to know is that you are starting a craft business for the right reasons.
It might not be the right time in your life or your crafting journey to start selling your products.
But how do you know if it’s the WRONG time to be setting up your own business?
Below are seven reasons not to start a craft business.
Or at least… not to start a craft business just YET! 🙂
Why you shouldn’t start a craft business
1) You need to make money quickly
If you are in the position where you need to make money quickly then it’s probably not the ideal time to be starting a craft business.
For example, if you have recently lost your job or have a large bill that needs paying off then you should look into alternative ways to generate income.
This is because starting a craft business is not a way to make money quickly.
It might be several months before you start even seeing a profit in your business, and you may incur startup costs which would move you further from your financial targets.
2) You don’t have any money to invest
Most startup businesses require some sort of initial investment and a craft business is no exception.
You might need to purchase expensive machines, build up a stock of materials or invest in equipment such as a digital camera to take photos of your products.
Insurance is another cost which can be expensive, particularly if you are selling face-to-face (public liability insurance) or if you are starting a food-based business.
There are marketing costs to consider: getting a website, business cards, logo, paying for stalls at craft fairs, promoting your products online, etc.
You’ll also need to create your initial product line which might mean spending money on prototyping your products and finessing them until you have something perfect that you are happy to sell.
If you’re determined to start your craft business but don’t have the funds right now, you could always start slowly accumulating things over time until you have built up enough to start.
3) You don’t have much free time
Starting a business is very time consuming. In fact, most people underestimate how much time it takes to run a business.
If you only have a couple of hours a week to spend developing your products then you will run out of stock quite quickly!
I find that it helps to keep a spreadsheet of how long each of your products takes to make, that way you can plan your time a little more efficiently.
You also need to build in time for admin (managing your website or Etsy store, replying to customers, promoting on social media, invoicing, etc.), taking your products to the post office to be posted, buying and sorting new materials, photographing your product line, adding new products to your store and so on.
4) You don’t like interacting with people
Selling handmade products is definitely harder if you aren’t good at dealing with people.
I am a complete introvert, so this is something I struggle with as I’m no good at making small talk and I always stress over what to say to people in emails.
Whether you sell in person or just over the internet, you will have to brush up on your people skills to ensure a positive transaction between you and your customers.
5) You’ve only just started learning your craft
I am a member of several large Facebook groups for crafters and I see posts fairly frequently from people who have just bought a cutting machine or tried a new craft for the first time and are now starting a business to sell them.
Unfortunately, you can often tell from looking at someone’s work if they are inexperienced at their craft.
Now, that’s not always going to be true – you may be lucky and your first attempts might be amazing.
However, it’s more likely that your first attempts will look… well, like someone’s first attempts!
But that’s completely okay – we all need to start somewhere, right?
I strongly recommend taking some time to learn your craft well before deciding whether or not you want to start selling your items.
Try to think about different problems that might come up and how you would overcome them.
For example, if someone wants to order a t-shirt in a size you don’t have, or if they want a different type of personalisation that you would usually offer, or perhaps if your cutting machine malfunctions and you don’t know how to fix it and you’ve got an order deadline looming.
Practice makes perfect, so the more you get to know your craft, the better your items will look and the more chance you have of creating a successful business!
6) You think it will be easy
It sounds like THE dream job, doesn’t it?
Sitting at home having fun crafting all day, then getting paid for your efforts.
Don’t be fooled…
If you think that starting a crafting business will be easy, think again!
There will always be hiccups along the way and obstacles for you to overcome.
You’ll need to get your products standing out from a sea of hundreds of similar businesses, whilst ensuring a good profit return on your sales to allow you to reach your financial or personal goals.
Perseverance is key if you want your business to succeed!
7) You don’t want to learn new skills
Starting a crafting business is unfortunately not all about making pretty things and getting bucket-loads of money for them.
There are a whole plethora of skills that you’ll need to become familiar with in order to run a successful home business.
For example, your products will sell better if you have great quality photos so you might need to invest in a photography course or better equipment.
You’ll need to know how much profit you are making on each item, how much your materials cost and how much your postage materials cost, so maths skills and good record-keeping are advisable.
Learning some simple SEO (search engine optimisation) will help your products get found by more people, as well as Etsy SEO to appear higher when someone looks for your niche on Etsy.
Marketing, copy writing, social media, accountancy and graphic design are some other skills which you may need to look into if you want to take your craft business to the next level.
If you don’t want to learn any of the above, even at a basic level, you may find it hard to turn your craft from a hobby into a thriving business.
Is starting a craft business right for me?
This article might seem a bit doom-and-gloom, but I think it’s important to understand the difficult parts of owning a craft business before you jump in at the deep end.
Going into the amazing journey of entrepreneurship with a good understanding of the level of time, financial and emotional investment that will be needed will help you power through those first couple of months and help you to build the craft business of your dreams.
If you’ve read all of these points and think that a crafting business IS right for you, then check out this list of questions to ask yourself before starting a craft business.