If you have an abiding love of crafts (and if you’re reading this blog there’s a good chance you do), it’s likely that you’ll have given at least some thought to selling the fruits of your labors. It’s also likely that you’ve dismissed it as a pipe dream.
Who in their right mind would pay money for something made by your dainty hands? The truth is… A lot of people. In a world where consumer products seem to be increasingly homogenized, there’s a real market for unique and bespoke gifts all year round.
Cash From Crafts: Could Your Hobby Become A Lucrative Side Hustle?
Whether you want to make a little extra money as a side hustle or gradually transition into a brand new full time career, the digital age has made it easier than ever to monetize your talent. If, however, you choose to turn your hobby into a potentially lucrative hustle, here’s some advice to ensure that you minimize your risks and maximize your profits.
Incorporate your business
It’s important to note that even if it’s not your main source of income, the money you make from your crafts will be taxable. Incorporating your crafts as a business will ensure that any expenses you incur in running your business from packaging materials to marketing costs will be tax deductible. This can involve a lot of paperwork, but fortunately Your Company Formations make it quick and easy to incorporate your business. With prices starting at just a few dollars, there’s really nothing to lose.
I cannot tell you how much it changed my business and my life when I decided to make my business an actual legal business. It can be quite confusing so if you lack the knowledge to do it correctly please hire it out. It will be the best decision you may for your business and save you from a total headache later.
Balancing Your Costs
When you craft for pleasure, you probably don’t think about the cost of the materials or ingredients you are using beyond whether they are affordable or not! You probably don’t consider the value of the time you spend doing them either because it’s just a bit of fun.
When you are running a business, you need to factor in every cost, from the cost of the materials you use to the cost of any other equipment you need such as tents with your logo to take to craft fairs or social advertising to boost your sales. Every cost must be accounted for and recorded – if only so that you can see whether your activities are profitable or not!
Understanding the value of your materials and time should influence the price you set for handmade goods to your customers. But you should also factor in your experience and expertise as well as other more mundane costs like postage and packaging! When your costs are balanced, you will be able to set a price that is attractive to customers while making a reasonable profit for yourself.
The bottom line here is, if you can take all the costs associated with your crafts, mark them up and still make money (profit) then it may be worth doing.
Etsy May Not Be The Way to Go
You may think that Etsy is the perfect place for a talented craftswoman to make money from her talent. The trouble is that Etsy can be notoriously hard to break into for new artists. Sure, it’ll let you set up an account and sell your wares, but it’s search algorithms make it very hard for smaller new sellers to be seen. Unless you have an inventory of over 100 items, you may find that it takes a long time to start making sales on the popular platform.
However, those who have experienced frustration with Etsy have has better luck with Shopify. You can see a side-by-side comparison between the two here. While Etsy is a marketplace, Shopify is an online store of your very own. The great news is that you can quickly and easily migrate everything in your Etsy inventory into Shopify by downloading a CSV file which is then uploaded to the platform.
I personally use Shopify to run my online boutique and it is an amazing way to have your own branded store while being able to manage it flawlessly. Besides, it’s perfect for those that don’t have much of a tech background!
Don’t forget that the analogue world also has ample opportunities for you to peddle your wares. Makers markets are usually always on the lookout for new talent! You will likely face stall costs but these are offset by the sheer volume of potential customers to whom you’ll have access.
Every day I’m hustlin’
Finally, if making money from your crafts is to be profitable you need to treat it like a business. That means you need to devote time to it every day. Whether it’s taking the time to craft new items from your inventory, connecting with clients on social media or promoting your wares you can’t afford to be too tired or too apathetic to dedicate some time to it every day.
The best way I’ve found to do this is by delegating my time wisely. I wrote a post talking about how to run a business from home (especially if you are a mom) you can check that out here.