Small Business on a Budget: Start a Craft Business

Do you make amazing homemade gifts for your family and friends? Sure, you dabble in crafts, but have you thought about selling them? Plenty of women are doing just that and making a pretty profit too. Sites like have opened new avenues for moms looking to sell handcrafted items online. In April 2009 alone, Etsy buyers spent $12.6 million on 786,825 items, according to ABC News.


So, what's your talent? The list of possibilities is endless. Whether you make metal jewelry or vibrant roller blinds, there's a way you can turn your hobby into a business. If you're thinking about venturing onto a site like Etsy, here are a few tips from successful artists using the site:


It's all about the photos

When you're showcasing your wares, take time to get a high quality picture. Try to get creative or show your product in use. For example, a woman who creates tiaras for babies has some great pictures of newborns wearing her products. If you don't have photography skills, hire a professional. The site thrives on visuals, so you'll want to stand out in the crowd. Quality photography is a must.


Refresh your listings

To make sure your products show up in a customer's search results, refresh your pictures often. That means, when you snap some photos of your items, take several pictures so you can change them out.


Keep a competitive price point

Once you've hooked a customer with a stunning image of your craft, seal the deal with a price that has them adding your item to their cart within seconds. Of course, you'll have to do some cost analysis here and make sure the cost to make your product doesn't exceed the cost to sell it. Don't forget, sites like Etsy charge you to post your items. You'll also have to invest time to ship the items out.


Market yourself

You don't need to take out a billboard to advertise your existence, but you should get some other exposure. Blogs are a great place to start. Or, consider doing a giveaway on your social media sites. Again, you'll have to invest some time, but getting your name and product in the public's eye is the best way to drive sales. If you advertise through digital media, you'll be able to track your success. Analytics can tell you exactly how many people were directed to your site through other references.


Give it time

You won't be a success over night. It will take some time for people to find your products. Keep in mind, people will leave feedback too, so treat every customer with respect and take care of their order quickly and promptly. You'll learn as you go and make adjustments as needed.