I am a mother of four children and I started my own craft business, but I don’t make any money. Do you have any advice? DAVE’S BANK responds
- I have created a craft business, but I still don’t make any money.
- How can I get funds to help me get the equipment to make more products?
- Do you have any questions for our commercial doctor? email@example.com
Dave Fishwick is the business doctor for This Is Money
I am the mother of four children and I started my own craft business.
I’m not doing very well on my website and I haven’t sold much, and I’m not making any money.
Do you have any advice? How would I go about getting funds to help me get the equipment I need to make more products?
Dave Fishwick, Business Physician for This Is Money responds: It would be great, particularly in your position, to earn some extra money to cover the higher cost of food, energy and household expenses and perhaps to afford a few luxuries for yourself and the children.
Before you invest in equipment or take on overhead, I think what you need to see here is proof of concept.
You need to prove to yourself that profit can be made from the products you have been making up to now.
You can start with friends and family and ask for their honest opinions on whether they would buy the products rather than just whether they like them and how much they think they would sell for. Although, maybe save the hard sell for business clients.
However, it is necessary to know if they have a commercial value. It can be hard to listen to any criticism.
It’s a creative outlet for you to craft products as you put your personality into them, but you need to know if you’re on the right track or if you need to change direction.
My advice would be to try to sell at craft fairs. Many of them advertise online and are located all over the UK. I have given loans and advice to many craft businesses.
One in particular was a business that sold handmade wooden puzzles. I advised him to try craft fairs, which were very successful, and it went from strength to strength.
As with any business, you need to get your products seen by as many people as possible for as little cost as possible.
A website by itself will not necessarily bring any business, since no one will visit it without promotion.
You can pay search engines to promote your site, but I would not recommend it in your case, as it can be expensive.
A better way is to write about your products, including keywords that customers of your products might be searching for online. Let your creativity run wild here because the more you paint a picture of the journey involved in making products, the more desirable they should be.
Social media would be a great way to get started without costing you. If you haven’t already, create accounts and upload photos and descriptions of your product to the various platforms, including the hugely popular TikTok.
You’ll get a good idea of which products have the best potential from the reach and response you receive.
Once you understand which products are the most marketable, you can take them to stores in your area that sell comparable products or are able to.
They may be reluctant to invest your money in stocks, but you can ask them if they will display your products and take orders from them.
Of course, they’ll want to make a profit, so you probably won’t get as much as selling outright.
Everyone has different tastes, so another option might be to accept commissions for custom creations instead of producing products and hoping they sell.
Ask people what products they would buy and have them order. Perhaps you will find more opportunities to teach people to make products than to sell them.
I have helped and loaned money to a florist business, which has started charging for flower arranging classes. That has become a popular sideline and now helps pay for a substantial amount of his overhead in the business.
If you were considering borrowing through financing, you would first prove to yourself and others that future sales will comfortably cover repayments.
Once you have done this write me and maybe Burnley Savings and Loans can help you.