So, you’ve decided to give up the rat race and start working from home running a craft business. The idea of working for yourself, creating your own hours and having a much more flexible lifestyle, is appealing to many people. But have you considered how much money you will need to make for this new career choice to really work for you?
A lot of people starting new businesses assume that making enough money to make ends meet will not be that difficult. But in order to pay your bills, buy food and afford any of life’s little luxuries, you will need to make a reasonable salary from your business. How much you need to make will depend on a lot of things, such as the cost of your rent and whether or not you have any dependants living under your roof.
Making money selling crafts is not an easy job. It often requires long hours that you would never have to work if you had a 9-5 office job. Many new craft business owners don’t even last a year before they decide that they can’t make a living this way.
So, how much money can you make with a craft business?
The answer to this question is not simple. But if I could quantify it, I would say that you get out of your business what you put in. In other words, if you are willing to work hard, dedicate yourself to long hours and give up other time consuming tasks and hobbies that may interfere, you can make enough to live on.
It may not be a lot. In fact, it will probably be less than what you would make at most other jobs, especially for the first year or two. I’m not going to lie to you–in my first year of business, I only made around $100. But I wasn’t dedicating myself to the task and putting in the work that I could have. It can be done.
Here’s how to make enough money to live off your craft business.
1. Plan ahead.
Know what you’re planning to do and how you’re going to do it. Decide how much you want to make in a year, then break that down to how much you need to make a month, week or even day if that’s easier for you to concentrate on.
You will also need to work out how much you want to make per hour to help you determine prices for your products. Don’t forget to take into account things like the cost of materials and time spent buying materials too.
Once you have priced items, you can figure out how many things you will need to sell in a day in order to make the monthly salary you require for your living expenses and bills. Knowing how many items you need to sell in a day can also help you to plan your productivity levels, because you will also need to make a certain number of items a day in order to keep your shop, Web site, or craft table well stocked.
2. Make a schedule.
One of the hardest things about working for yourself is staying motivated. Being your own boss is not always easy. Getting up early in the morning can seem unnecessary since you’re already at your place of work. Getting dressed can seem pointless too. Why make an effort when no one is going to see you?
This is why scheduling is so important. If you don’t plan out your work day, or at the very least plan a rough schedule for the week, you will find it difficult to get anything done. You, and only you, are responsible for every single aspect of this craft business and if you seriously want to make enough money to live on, you will absolutely need to whip yourself into shape.
One way to make a schedule is to choose certain days for certain tasks. For instance, you could reserve Monday to Thursday for creating new stock, Friday for listing that stock online, Saturday for going to the post office and Sunday for marketing your business. This is just one example of how you can schedule your week. There are infinite options, of course, and you should choose whatever works best for you.
3. Eliminate distractions.
Along with a schedule, you’ll also want a quiet place to work where you won’t easily be distracted or often interrupted. You don’t have to have an office but it helps if you can dedicate a specific area of your home to work.
Work in an area where you won’t be distracted by things like the TV, the phone, music or even computer games or social media. If you use social media, E-mail and Web sites for your business, try to dedicate a specific day, or time of day, to computer use so that you aren’t constantly switching back and forth between crafting and browsing the Internet.
Make sure you tell those you live with what your schedule is and that you expect that to be respected, as it would be with any other job. If you make this a priority from the beginning, family members and friends will be less likely to bother you during work hours.
4. Be professional.
Professionalism is vital to the success of your craft business. You need to present a professional image to your potential customers at all times. This means you need to be professional in your communication, your photography, your product descriptions and your finances.
Good communication with your customers is key. How you talk to them can make the difference between a one-time purchaser and a regular, repeat customer. Make sure that you respond to questions in a timely manner. Always be polite and helpful. Customers will come back if they feel like they’ve been treated well and with individual care.
Put these tactics into practice when running your craft business and you will more than likely be able to make enough money to live on. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few months, or even a year, to work up to a sales level that brings in enough. Keep putting the time and effort in and eventually you will succeed.