So you’re ready to start! Now what? An important step to talking that big leap into starting your own business, whether it is a home based crafts business or any other, is to research your market.
Questions to ask yourself when researching your niche:
- How do you plan to sell your product (crafts fair, store, online, etc.)?
- Is your idea unique? If not, how can you differentiate your product?
- Who is your competition (everywhere)?
- Is your product an item that is already mass produced and available at low cost?
- How much would it cost in materials to product your product?
- How long would each item take to produce?
- Would you be able to compete in price and still make a decent profit?
- Would you make the items yourself?
- Would your product sell well online (check out sites like Etsy and Ebay)?
- What kind of licenses would you need in your area to start a business?
- What age group will your product be directed at?
- Does your product fit into a current trend?
- Where would you purchase your supplies?
- Is it your passion?
If you are thinking about selling your products at local arts and crafts fairs, I would highly suggest that you visit as many of the fairs in your area as you can. Make note of anyone selling similar items and talk to them. Many crafters are happy to talk about their business and you can get some great tips on the business. Visit the booths a number of times and take note of how much interest there is from customers, how many sales they are getting, etc. How can you do it better?
Fairs and festivals are definitely not all created equal! There are some great publications that help you sort out the duds from the standouts. In general, the fairs that you need to “jury” into will draw higher quality items and hopefully, a following of clientele who come to spend money. Those without the “jury” process tend to be full of imports, and low quality crafts. To “jury” into a crafts fair means that you submit slides and an application and will receive a letter letting you know if you are accepted.