How to Launch Your Handmade Business
Congratulations on taking the first step towards starting a small business! Making the leap from maker to creative entrepreneur is no easy feat but it's worth every bit of the effort.
It's an exciting time, but it can also be overwhelming to tackle a huge project from scratch. Take a deep breath! We have plenty of tips to help you navigate the world of small business with ease.
Starting a craft business is something you've probably been dreaming about. You want to pursue your passions and achieve financial independence. You want to do what you love and create handmade products with total control over your time and growth potential!
But where do you start? Here are some essential steps to take when launching your small handmade business.
identify your niche
Before you can launch your small business, you have to identify what makes your products stand out from the rest.
Are you using unique ingredients in your handmade items that aren't found in other products? Do you hit on a pain point that no other product alleviates? Are your designs uniquely you -- color palette, texture, size, or fragrance?
These questions will help you identify a number of things as your build your brand. You'll be able to hone in on your target customer and how to speak to them when marketing your products.
create a business plan
Once you've identified your niche, it's time to create a business plan. Your business plan should outline your goals, target market, competition, marketing strategy, and financial projections. This will help you stay on track and measure your progress over time.
You don't have to start with all the answers but getting even a little bit of this information down on paper will give you a starting point that you can continue to build upon.
Starting your business with basic financial planning can also help you stay on track with your expenses. You'll be able to set accurate prices and know when you have the resources to invest in something that will help you grow.
choose a business structure
There are a few different types of businesses to choose from including sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, and a corporation. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it's important to do your research and choose the one that's right for you. Consider your business taxes and how the type you select will affect them.
register your business
Once you've chosen a business structure, you need to register your business. This involves filing the necessary paperwork with your state government and obtaining any necessary business licenses and permits.
You may also want to look into business insurance at this time. Not the most fun part of being an entrepreneur but a necessary step that will feel good to check off the to do list!
build your brand
Now we're getting to the fun part! Your brand is what sets you apart from your competition. It's what makes your handmade business unique and memorable.
Take the time to develop your brand identity, including your logo, color scheme, and messaging. This will help you create a consistent and recognizable brand that resonates with your target market.
You don't have to hire an expensive graphic designer. Utilize free tools like Canva or find design-ready templates on Creative Market or Etsy that you can easily make your own.
build your website
In today's digital age, having a website where you can sell online is essential for any small business. Software like Shopify and Squarespace have made it so easy! You can have a website up and running in just a few hours.
Your website is your online storefront and can help you attract new customers and sell your products. Make sure your website is easy to navigate, visually appealing, and mobile-friendly.
Once you're starting to see your online sales take off, you'll want to make sure you also have an accounting software in place that helps you track sales and expenses and inventory. This article has more tips on the best inventory software for small businesses.
develop a marketing strategy
Marketing is essential for any small business. It's how you get the word out about your business and attract new customers. Develop a marketing strategy that includes social media, email marketing, content marketing, and paid advertising.
Make sure your marketing efforts are targeted to your ideal customer and aligned with your brand messaging.
You may want to start with local pop ups and markets so you can get in person feedback about your products. Start an email list so you can communicate with potential customers and let them know what you're working on.
Build out your strategy a little more each month and you'll notice you get better and faster at marketing your products and growing your sales.
Launching a small business can be challenging, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Being a small business owner means being an accountant, a graphic designer, a sales person, and a maker all at the same time.
With your dedication and perseverance and these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to building a successful and profitable small business.
You got this, maker!