I was so excited when Krystina told me that she would like me to be a contributor on Lollipops. And then I got nervous. I have been blogging for about 3 years now, but somehow being a “contributor” on a blog sounds a lot more official than blogging on your own little blog where no one has to like you.
So I hope you will like me. It will be kind of awkward if Krystina has to redact her offer.
Since Krystina has asked me to be the Handmade Business contributor I guess I better explain to you a little about what qualifies me to talk about Handmade Business.
I own Much Ado About You, a business I started five years ago, after four years of being involved in a Direct Sales company, so I have been my own boss for a long time now. Small Business is something that I am super passionate about. I love helping other women develop, nourish, and grow their businesses. I certainly do not claim to be an expert, and I am so grateful to be able to learn from other women that I have had the pleasure to cross paths with, but anything I can do to promote and encourage the ladies out there that are trying to make their way in this handmade world… I will try.
So let’s start with the beginning… how do you get started in Handmade? Obviously the first thing you need is a product to sell. In my opinion, the best handmade businesses start by accident: someone makes a product for themselves or as a gift, other people see it and want it, and a business is born. That is very much what happened in my business. I made a Day Planner for myself because I could not find the layout I was looking for in stores. Some friends saw it and asked me to make them one. Then their friends saw them and wanted one. Before I knew it I was opening an Etsy shop and calendars were becoming a full-time business.
Do you have a skill, a product, or a hobby that you think might blossom into a business? Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you think about it:
I mean, do you REALLY enjoy making it? Because you might end up making it every day all day long. I’m just saying.
You need to be able to price your product to pay yourself for your materials AND your time. If your materials cost is only $5, but it takes you 17 hours to make your finished product, your price would have to be close to $200 to make it worth your time. Here’s a quick little equation to determine if you are in the right ballpark.
I used $10 because that is how much I made per hour when I worked retail, but use a figure here that would make it worth while to you.
Do YOU love this product, or do PEOPLE love this product?
This is a biggy. If people don’t know you are selling, how will they buy? I will go into much more detail about business promotion in upcoming posts, but for now consider things like social media, handmade boutiques, and blog reviews for some creative and inexpensive options.
Now, get out a notebook and start brainstorming about these questions. If you decide that you are ready to move forward, then join me next time when I’ll be talking about opening an online shop.
If you have any specific questions that you would like me to address, comment here and I will try to include it in my next posting.