Making the transition from craft hobby to profitable business

The business leaders among you may feel as though it’s time to make a change to your career.

With the ongoing debate of work-life balance, it’s not just employees that want to get more freedom when it comes to the workplace, so here’s how to turn a hobby into an enterprise.

Show your creations to friends and family and be sure to get their feedback

Most of the time, when a creative finally showcases their work to friends and family the feedback is encouraging and can be inspiring. Use this feedback to motivate yourself to step outside of your circle and meet others. Find out if they’d buy from you and put them to the test.

Seek out local craft markets and place yourself in a position to meet your new audience

Use the internet or ask around for the best markets that your creations will fit into. You will find this to be a fantastic opportunity for growth but be sure to visit a few of these markets before deciding on your first one.

Take a serious look at your presentation materials and packaging. As creatives, we put a lot of love and time into creating our pieces but we often forget to also show love and attention to the packaging.

Ask yourself, how do you want to present your work?

What colours and type of packaging will enhance what you have to offer? Do you have a logo to finish the look? These next steps are worth taking time over as your packaging and your branding are important and will determine how people perceive your brand and products.

Build a website or use a platform that supports the work of creative

Now that you have your look, which includes your chosen colours and a logo, it’s time to build your website or seek help from someone who can help you. It’s even easier these days to build your own website with the help of several platforms that allow you to do minimal work before uploading your creations.

However, if this doesn’t sound like something you’d like to try out initially, why not use platforms that are already established for creatives (i.e Etsy) and upload your work to those? Do your research or speak to your new found circle of creative friends for advice or recommendations.

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Shout it from the rooftops

Let everyone you meet know what you do. Hand out business cards and flyers so that people are reminded of who you are and what you have to offer. Start networking and meet other creatives who you can build professional business relationships with.

Nobody knows that you or your products exist unless you tell them, so blow your own trumpet.

Continue to develop your skills

In order to stay fresh and new it’s important to keep up to date with your skills and also develop new ones. Taking a short college course, an online course or working your way through a do-it-yourself book, are just some of the ways in which you can forge ahead with your learning. What’s new today can quickly turn into old news, so developing your skills gives you that leading creative edge.

Seek out a business coach or mentor

Being in business can sometimes feel lonely, especially when your family and friends don’t truly understand the life of a creative entrepreneur. Having someone who understands your journey and who is walking the walk themselves can be of great support.

When looking for the right coach or mentor, word of mouth is usually the best method but you can also attend seminars and events where you get to hear coaches and mentors speak.

Lastly, you must remember that this journey is just an extension of your natural talent, a gift that you are already passionate about. Take the time to sit down and ask yourself some important questions to decide whether this is the right step for you.

No one else can determine how fast you should take it, that’s entirely up to you and by all means, enjoy each step and stay authentic to who you are.

Before you know it you’ll have turned your hobby into a business that will allow you to generate an income from doing what you love.

Are you fed up with morning blues? Quit the rat race and run your business from a beach.

Nefateri Asantewa is an award-winning business owner, who also runs a craft business.

Image: Shutterstock

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