An estimated 90 percent of all online businesses close within the first 120 days. If you’ve let facts like this discourage you from opening your own craft business, it is important not to give up on your dream. Thanks to innovative selling platforms, many have gone on to make part and full-time incomes from their online craft stores. For those with a high level of crafting skills, starting an online business often has low start-up costs and minimum risk involved. Talented artisans create and sell many types of products, be it a jewelry business or a home decor business. If you’ve determined that there is a demand for the type of craft item(s) that you plan to sell, make these tips your next steps.
Important Actions to Opening an Online Craft Business
Secure the needed funding to start and run your business
Although the amount is relatively low when compared to starting a traditional business, there are definitely costs involved in bringing your craft business to life. Finding a personal loan for business expenses is a good first step in obtaining funds that are above and beyond what you can currently afford. Before applying for a specific loan amount, create a list of all of your anticipated expenses for the next six months. Find out what fees you will owe for your listings, website, brand logo, and how much it will cost to build inventory of whatever you are selling. If you plan to have this venture be part of your income, don’t forget to include this on your list of considerations as well.
Decide what inventory to offer
After creating a list of the expenses you plan to incur in your first six months of running your business, it is time to make a plan for building your inventory. Ask yourself the following questions: Are you going to make and store physical inventory? If so, what types and quantities of each? Would it be more cost efficient to just make a sample of each item, and encourage customers to place custom orders? These are just some of the questions you will need to answer and act on prior to officially launching your online store. After you’ve created all of the items you plan to feature, consider hiring a professional photographer to take eye-catching images of your products for your future store.
Create a website and marketing plan
Once you have made an inventory for your store, it is time to get into the part of running your own online craft business that is challenging for many: building a website and developing a marketing plan. For those who open this kind of online business, there are multiple options for your eCommerce platform. You can either choose to use Etsy by itself (or another online sales platform), your own website, or both. Listing your items on Etsy is far more effective than selling on a brand new website alone. Because Etsy is a store that already attracts millions of people, your store will have a much better chance of being found in its early days. Despite Etsy's advantages, creating an online craft business website is very important for you business long term while using Etsy as a marketing tool and not as your sole place to sell.
Additionally, create a marketing plan to reach your audience and attract sales. As part of this phase, make all of your social media pages, decide on an email newsletter provider, and consider how you will advertise your new company.
Starting and maintaining a successful online craft business is no easy task. However, with persistence, dedication, and a bit of research, you will have the best chance of succeeding in your endeavor. The good news is that once the website is successful, you can even sell the website for up to 30 times its monthly profit.