A craft needn’t just be something to fill your spare time – it could be a way of making money whilst doing something you love. Crafts could include anything from knitting to painting to brewing beer. Whilst some talent is required, you don’t have to be an expert at your craft to turn it into a profession – simply by having creativity and a sense of quality control you can produce something that sells. Here are a few ways to turn your craft hobby into a profession.
Find your niche
You’ll only make money out of your craft by meeting a demand. If there are too many people in your area doing what you’re doing, you may have to specify and find your niche. For example, if there are lots of cake bakers in your area, but few doing wedding cakes, you could make you’re your area of focus. Alternatively, you may be catering to an audience that’s too specific – branching out so that you reach a greater audience could be in order. For example, if you make ashtrays out of vinyl records, it could be worth branching out into other DIY ashtrays or making other products out of recycled vinyl such as clocks and placemats.
Invest in the right equipment
Turning a craft into a profession could involve buying more advanced equipment so that can speed up the process. This could involve buying air compressors to make spray painting quicker or by an electric saw for easy cutting. You don’t have to go fully industrial – part of your charm may be the home-made aspect after all. Calculate all the costs of this machinery so that you can determine whether it is financially feasible. You’ll also need to factor in the cost of materials, which you may constantly have to keep stocking up.
Decide where to market your crafts
You’ll next need to decide where to market your crafts. Websites like Etsy are excellent for selling homemade items. Local craft fairs are also a good place for selling these homemade items. If you want to go the extra mile, you could consider selling your items to local stores, setting up a website and potentially a social media page too. All this might allow you to focus in on your audience more. You may even decide to invest in branding and packaging, although this may depend on the nature of your product (bespoke products may not deserve packaging, although you can still create a brand that people can remember you by).
Keep financial records
Any income you make from your craft could be taxable, so keep clear financial records of money you make. This may not necessarily matter if your craft is a small side hustle, however if it turns into a full-scale business and you find yourself making a steady income out of it, you’ll want to start doing some bookkeeping. Remember that any business expenses such as materials and machinery may be tax-deductible.
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Vinh Van Lam & Stuart Horrex
Your Creative Coaches @ CoSydney & ArtSHINE industries