One of the greatest things about the Internet is that it provides a level playing field for talented entrepreneurs that want to start a craft business but don’t have a ton of capital to do so.
But with so much opportunity, how does one even begin to start an online craft business?
After all, the formula for success in traditional business is quite easy to figure out if not simple to pull off. You need to have a compelling product, a great brand that encapsulates it, and the ability to market it and push it to consumers.
If you dream of making a livable income from selling your crafts, this article is for YOU!
Handmade crafts are the type of items that people can’t get elsewhere, and that not only means that they command a fair price, but it also gives you a competitive advantage over major retailers and companies.
Whether you create a unique product or have a passion for starting your own business, you’ve probably thought about taking things to the next level.
Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will discuss the steps to starting your craft business as well as selling your product online.
This article should prepare you to start your own crafts business online with a compelling product and a buttoned-up message that will put you ahead of the competition.
How much does it cost to start a craft business?
Probably one of the biggest questions that entrepreneurs have about starting a craft business online is the cost.
It is difficult to answer this question from a material and logistics standpoint, thus giving you an accurate cost figure is difficult, as it is largely based on what type of craft business you want to start. That said, we can give you some general tips on how to estimate what the cost of getting started will be.
Here are some items that can contribute to the costs of starting a craft business:
- Craft materials
- Shipping costs
- Product or materials storage
- Creating a company logo
- Hiring an accountant or attorney
- Hiring employees
- Online research or automation tools
- Business website – Hosting fees, website themes, website builders or hiring of web designers.
- Office equipment & supplies
- Business cards, stationary, flyers, etc.
- Photography – Equipment, stock photos
- Marketing & advertising
Be sure to separate your initial costs into recurring and one-time expenses. Recurring expenses are things you will have to pay on a regular basis while one-time expenses typically involve the cost of setting up your business and are unique, one-time or rare charges you will encounter.
How can I start a craft business on a budget?
To start a craft business on a budget, you will need early financial planning and intense discipline once the business is up and running. What does this mean exactly? You need to expense everything before you get started. Write it all down, categorize the expenses, and have an immediately accessible big picture view of the situation.
You also need to make sure that you factor in some wiggle room for extra money as well. This will be needed to deal with incidentals and things as they come up. Starting a crafting business online with a tight budget is not impossible, but it does require a few more extra skills and preparatory measures to make it work.
Some things you can do to start a craft business on a budget is:
- Focus on 1 product at a time
- Find ways to get materials cheaper
- Market yourself on one platform or social media channel in the beginning
- List items for sale on free platforms such as Facebook Flea Market Groups
What are the Top-selling Crafts?
Naturally, when starting any business, you want to have a product that sells well. Again, we implore you to do some research here before you dedicate yourself to one platform or the other. Some products sell better than others, that’s just the way it is.
Some of the most profitable and popular products include craft soaps, candles, and apparel. Soaps and candles, in particular, tend to be a favorite starting point for people looking to break into the crafts business on the Internet.
Other items such as blankets, and even wooden furniture are also popular, but tend to require a lot of labor and material to bring to market. The key to figuring out your niche begins with what you are good at and ends with what you are both good at and can replicate easily and at a reasonable cost.
What are Top Crafts to Make and Sell Online?
- Bath Bombs
- String Art
- Pet products
- Custom beauty products
- Planners and organizers
- Crochet and Knitted Products
- Holiday-Themed Decor
- Handmade kids clothes
- Handmade costumes
- Wedding products
- Custom woodwork
- Custom Home Decor
- Cell Phone cases
Tips for running a craft business
When you finally have settled on your product and you’ve figured out how you want to proceed, there are some tips on how you can run a craft business that will help make it more likely for you to succeed. First, you need to track everything. This includes expenses, sales, orders, everything. Don’t leave anything unturned.
Next, you need to have everything organized and you need a coherent, scalable system. It also needs to be understandable to employees, if and when you decide to bring on some help. After that, you need to look at your inventory and project how long it will last. If you have hard numbers that can help guide this analysis, use those, if not, go with your gut.
You need to have plans for plans, basically. Get everything organized and in line and you will be amazed at how much more clarity you have on any given situation. Entrepreneurs often like to make it out so that their situation is so much more unique or complex than any anyone has encountered before. This is never the case and, if you’re worried you fall into that category and you have your head in the weeds, then know this: If there is only one piece of advice for any business owner in any field it is that organization leads to success, disorganization leads to failure.
How to market your craft business
Creating a promotional strategy for your craft business is very important if you want your craft business to be successful. Here are some promotional methods that you can use that won’t break the bank:
- Start a blog
- Use social media
- Sell on online marketplaces
- Sell at local craft fairs and shows
- Create a guest post on another website
- Start building an email list
- Advertise in craft forums
- List your craft business in online directories
- Connect with other craft sellers
For a list of websites where you can sell your crafts, check out our post on 48 Websites Where You Can Sell Your Crafts Online.
Do I need a business license to sell crafts?
As your business grows, it will be regarded less as a hobby and more like a real business.
You don’t want to encounter any problems down the road selling at shows or online which is why we recommend that people formalize their business to the greatest extent possible.
You will likely need to register and pay fees to craft show organizers, but it is rare that you are required to have a business license to attend and sell goods.
What crafts sell well on Etsy?
Etsy is the go-to place for all things handmade and customized. If you are looking for something that cannot be found anywhere else, Etsy is the place to go.
The top selling items on Etsy:
- Handmade items
- Party supplies
- Wedding items
- Vintage products
- Beauty products
- Home decor
What crafts sell well on Shopify?
Shopify is a platform where you can build your own online store, as opposed to Etsy which is an online marketplace. Shopify has all of the tools to build your online store. Shopify offers better E-commerce tools as well as tools for shipping and store design. You can also sell whatever products you like, without any restrictions.
Some of the products you can sell on Shopify are:
- Travel accessories
- Home Decor
- Phone accessories
- Fitness apparel
- Baby care supplies and safety products
- Health care supplies
- Beauty products
We hope this article gives you the foundational knowledge you need to start your craft business online. If you have any suggestions not mentioned in this article please comment below!