Running a craft business is much more than just making things and selling them. If you already have a business, you have most likely figured this out by now. Once you make a business of selling your crafts, the actual making becomes the easy part. The hard part is all the extra work that goes into marketing yourself.
Many folks think that when they open a crafts store, people will just flock to it but this is rarely the case. There is actually work involved in telling people about your business and convincing them that your crafts are at least worth looking at. All the networking and advertising that goes into selling is like a job in itself.
One of the ways that you can network with others is by joining some kind of club or association. Since you are involved in the crafts business you have two choices of associations to choose from. First, you can join an association or club that is geared towards people that are involved in craft making. The National Craft Association is an excellent resource for networking with others who are making profits from their crafts.
You might also consider joining an association that is designed for small business owners. Usually you can network with other business owners and find out tips from them on how to market yourself.
You can advertise in complimentary businesses. Many times other business owners will allow you to place cards or flyers in their enterprise. Consider forming an alliance with business owners of establishments that would have your customer base. For example, you might assume that people who like crafts also like coffee. For added (and free) exposure, try to place flyers and brochures about your company in the local coffee shop.
It might be beneficial to place a sample product inside some stores as well. Using the example of the coffee shop, you can donate a handcrafted basket with some mints or other small items inside. Customers who like the basket will inquire about where they can get one from and of course, they will mention your business.
Make good use of the Internet. The Internet is an easy and cost effective way to market and advertise your business. More and more consumers are using the Internet to purchase products. Establish some kind of Internet presence for your crafts business to take advantage of this resource as quickly as possible. There are virtual communities that are geared especially for crafts. By joining one of these neighbourhoods, you have the opportunity to talk with people who buy and sell crafts. This will give you a chance to advertise your products as well.
Online auctions are another way that you can advertise your business. You can sell one or two items at a time or open an online store. A large part of Internet marketing will include the knowledge of the tools and sites that are available to you. Do some research among your crafts association to find out what other business owners are doing to advertise their crafts on the Internet.
Take the time to advertise your business in every situation that you can. When you are in the checkout line, you can start a conversation with the person behind you. While collecting your dry cleaning, talk with the cashier about your products. Perhaps the waitress at the local restaurant will be interested in crafts. You might think that these people will never be interested in the crafts that you are designing, but you will never know until you ask. Every person you encounter is a potential customer. Even if that person is not interested in purchasing, they may know somebody who is. Use every opportunity that you have to advertise your crafts business and network with others.
There are many different ways that you can network with others and advertise your business. When you put in the extra work to market yourself, you will find that your customer base increases and your sales and profits will soon follow.