There are many ways to make money from your hobby.
You could take the direct route and sell the finished products, or you could think bigger!
We’ve been fortunate to enjoy success with our little crafts business, and in this post we share what we’ve learned about growing a ‘hobby business‘.
A hobby business may be a Painter who sells their paintings. A jeweller who sells bracelets and necklaces. A seamstress who sells dresses.
These hobbyists may be great at what they do, but some can find it difficult to stand out in a saturated market.
They can also be limited by a relatively small target audience. That is, people who like their finished product. The number of items they can physically make, would also provide a limitation on potential earnings.
Let’s start thinking outside of the box and explore the ways anyone can grow their craft business.
Disclosure: Based on personal opinion, not to be taken as advice. Seek a professional if required.
Expanding A Crafts Business
If you want to keep crafting and selling your wares, you can easily add value to your brand by offering customisation.
It can be difficult to get the exposure you require, and half the effort is promoting your product. When you actually do attract potential customers, we need them to decide that they like a product enough to buy it.
If you offer customisation, you’ll not only target people who appreciate handcrafted goods, but also those who like to add a personal touch to gifts. In addition, you’ll also attract people seeking bespoke items.
We’ll use our previous hobbyist as examples.
A painter could offer to paint portraits, or other customised art, e.g. creating an artwork around a name, or taking requests for paintings of significant places or subjects.
A jeweller or seamstress could offer custom sizes, colour choices, or maybe add names to their items. Or they could fine tune their niche to offer more specialised items, e.g. wedding items.
This is a step towards growing a business if you want to keep hold of the hobby aspect. Although, you will still be limited by how many items you can make.
Crafts Business Expansion
Think about things you can sell which don’t take as much time as your other products. Maybe you could add smaller items to your range, or quickly replicate what you have.
For example, a painter could offer prints of their original paintings and make more revenue from the one piece. This would also open up a new audience who have a lower budget.
A jeweller could apply their skills making smaller items, that are quick to make, e.g. key-rings and bookmarks. This may provide a new audience of people who were not necessarily looking for jewellery.
A seamstress could also make smaller items, e.g. headbands, bags, or purses. This would extend their range to general items or gifts, instead of just clothing.
Maybe you’re passionate about your hobby, but would like to step back from the crafting table. The idea here is to work smarter, rather than harder.
Let’s continue to explore the possibilities.
Crafts Business Supplies
Think about selling the craft supplies for your field.
This will make the hobby business owners your potential customers, plus you’ll have actual hobbyists also within your customer base.
As a bonus, you can also keep the previous hobby business on the side with the added incentive that you’ll be getting your supplies at wholesale prices!
A good place to start is searching the the internet for the manufacturers of the supplies you’ve been using. Look on their website or make contact to find out how you can become a retailer.
You have built up a knowledge of everything you’ll need for your craft. Use this information to offer your customers a great service. You could even make up hobby packs with starter kits and instructions.
Nearly Passive Income
Consider applying your craft skills to a passive income business model. Try creating something that you only need to make once, but can sell over and over again with minimal additional efforts.
For a painter, this would be taking the ‘prints’ concept further. They could digitise original paintings and apply the images to other products.
They could get greeting cards printed, or have the images printed onto t-shirts or other merchandise.
This would create many different products from the one painting. There are even ‘drop-ship’ printers available online, so you wouldn’t have to deal with the actual printing and shipping yourself.
A jeweller could perhaps write an eBook, sharing tips and tricks based on their success or experiences. Or create an instructional guide for a unique design they have made.
A seamstress could take up designing and selling sewing patterns, creating a PDF download which could be sold to hobbyists and craft businesses alike.
You could choose to blog about your craft. Express your passion, teach others, and build an online resource for your field.
You can walk them through the basics, provide information on the tools and supplies needed, or create step by step tutorials.
You can then start to monetise your blog with advertisements, and/or affiliate links. Your craft blog could soon generate a steady income from minimal or no actual crafting!
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