Tag Archives: Craft Business

Craft Business Plan: Business License Information and Bookkeeping

Starting a craft business does not require as much upfront capital as a regular small business. That is the good news. The other news is that it does take some capital. Here are some tips for acquiring the proper license and ways to keep good records for your new business.

Should I Get a Loan?

It is suggested that you do not start your craft business with acquiring a loan. A loan is something you will have to commit to and getting those monthly reminders can be quite a hassle. Simplify your business. Don’t get into debt over this venture. You can simply fund your business with your own money. Raise some money first by having a yard sale (or selling “stuff” on eBay). Take that extra money to fund your business.

Obtaining Proper Licenses

While a craft business can be lots of fun and hard work, the hard work is not over yet. It is imperative that you are properly licensed to sell your crafts. You will need to contact your State Business Licensing Department to get the details on how to get a business license. It usually costs nothing or next-to-nothing to obtain such a license and can be done very easily. You will need to charge and report sales tax on a quarterly or monthly basis to the proper taxation authorities. They will usually automatically send you proper tax forms to be completed. In fact, most taxation departments allow you to make payments on-line, if that is your kind of thing. Please take the time to do this part right. You don’t want to have the hassles of backtracking and searching for records if something is asked of you. Make sure you file properly with the IRS, as well. You will want to use Form 1040-ES to file quarterly. Visit the Small Business and Self-Employed One-Stop Resource for all the information you need to file properly.

Bookkeeping Information

You can find terrific bookkeeping software at great prices, if you look for sales. It will keep track of all your expenses and income for you and you don’t have to worry about manually keeping track of those things. Quicken is a good program for bookkeeping needs, but there are many, many other brand names, too. Of course, you can do the work manually. There is really nothing wrong with that approach.

Get a separate checking account for your business. It just keeps your business separate and makes the bookkeeping easier. Most banks offer free checking, so that makes it even more attractive to do this.

You will want to itemize your expenses by materials, craft show table costs, advertising costs, etc. As well, you will want to itemize your income as eBay income, craft show income, in-home parties income, etc. All this requires is a little note in the memo section of your checkbook. That is one reason why you should use a software program for bookkeeping because it is so easy to sort your itemized assets and liabilities. This way you will know where you are making and spending the most money. You can always allocate funds from one place to another, but at least you will know where money is coming and going from. And, if you use your craft business income as extra income for the family, personal needs, etc., you can transfer funds to your regular checking account.

Advertising Your Craft Business: Approaches to Getting Your Name in Front of People

Advertising is a big commitment and takes a lot of work on its own. Putting crafts together is time-consuming. Advertising is another facet all on its own. No one will ever know you are selling crafts, if they don’t know about you. You need to be aggressive when it comes to advertising.

Approach 1

Advertise your crafting business using eBay. It offers you a way to get your crafts on an on-line with little cost. You will want to charge what you honestly believe the craft is worth. Even if you don’t sell something one week, it doesn’t mean you won’t get 10 bids the next week. Make your auctions come alive by learning simple HTML coding. Pictures are a must on eBay. People want to see what they are buying before they will bid on most items.

Approach 2

Advertise your craft business in a local newspaper. Let people in your community know that they can find you. You might say that you are selling crafts and to call you for an in-house party. Maybe you can even advertise in your church newspaper or other organizational newspapers of things you are involved in. You could advertise in your metropolitan area newspaper, but that costs quite a bit more.

In-house party ideas: In-house parties are fun and moms love to get out of their houses to have a good time with other moms. When starting your own business, it is probably best to have an in-house party at your house first. The hope is that once you have a party, you will book some parties at other people’s houses, and then book parties from their party, and so on and so on! Here are some tips for a successful in-house party:

  • List of attendees and send out postcards announcing your party.
  • Say when, where, and what the party is about. Don’t give too much information away on your mailing, but just enough to pique their interest.
  • Serve light refreshments and have prize drawings, as well.
  • Before the party you will need to make your own order form or purchase one.
  • You will want to display your crafts in an attractive way, so the ladies can browse and see what wonderful items you are selling.
  • Take a few minutes to talk to the ladies and tell them about your crafts. Let them know what inspired you to make these crafts and then explain each craft individually, passing them around while you are talking.
  • Come up with some games for the ladies to play and give away small prizes.
  • Don’t forget to let them know the expected delivery date of their products.

Approach 3

Business cards are professional and easy to make. If you have a computer program that allows you to make your own business cards that is a great way to get your name out there. Post business cards at your local grocery store. Give out business cards to all of your friends and family. Craft business cards don’t have to be serious. They should look fun and inviting! Crafting is a representation of fun and imagination. Your business cards should be fun and imaginative, too! Small copy stores offer inexpensive alternatives to printing business cards, as well.

Approach 4

Every e-mail you send to someone should have a signature line. Use this on all of your outgoing e-mails always! It does not matter who the e-mail is going to…they should be directed right to your eBay store or other on-line store.

Approach 5

Flyers are another good way to advertise. You can go gong-ho on a flyer! Say what you want with as much space as you need. Flyers can be distributed to neighborhoods, churches, schools, etc. This is probably the most creative way you can advertise your business. And, it really doesn’t cost very much at all (mostly your time).

There are other ways to advertise, but this will definitely get you started. Word of mouth is good, too. Don’t be afraid to tell someone about your business. They may really be interested and if you don’t say something, they will never know.