Before you make the leap into a business selling your handmade crafts, take a look at some of these common mistakes made. Even if you're already into selling your wares, reading this article might be beneficial. 10 Common Mistakes: 1. Pricing too cheaply and not making a profit. Take into account the time it takes you to make your product. If you don't factor in your time and "pay yourself", then you're pricing too cheaply and you'll always be racing to make enough money to live on. 2. Not marketing. It's good to make an amazing doodad, but you're absolutely wasting your time if you don't take steps to get the eyeballs of potential customers to it. There is a lot of competition out there. You need to tag your products with good search terms for those online organic searches (think people searching on Google). In addition, have a plan to be everywhere in your community like at craft shows. 3. Not using social media. Social media is your friend! It's free and it levels the playing field with your competitor with deep pockets. It can be a time suck, so have a plan and stick with it. Have a new listing? Tweet about it, post on your Facebook page about it, put a picture on Pinterest, etc. 4. Not connecting with other crafters. There are those who have been at it a lot longer than you have. They can give you lots of invaluable tips, and also be your crafting friend. 5. Not spending enough time daily. Oh yeah, this needs to be your full time job, even though you're working in your pajamas at home. You're the boss and as hard as it might be sometimes, you need to crack your own whip at your own self. TV off, Facebook off, texting off. Save those for short breaks or after work hours. 6. Not making it legal. Take the proper steps to set up a legal business entity with the proper paperwork. It might be a little scary, but it's required and might also help protect you personally in some cases. Know the laws too; if you're selling food products there are all sorts of hoops to jump through to be able to legally sell. Liability insurance is encouraged. 7. Not treating it like a business. When you are a hobbyist, you can tinker around and spend as much time as you'd like making something. When it becomes the way you earn a living, a lot of things need to change. If you change your mindset - this is a business, and start treating it as such, you're on your way. Take it seriously and become confident as a business person. 8. Burn out. If you don't watch out, you could spend 14 hours a day on your projects. This is fine at first because you're just getting started and you need to build up inventory, but it's not something sustainable. One day you wake up and you're so burned out you're ready to walk away from it all. Take steps to get a life, set an alarm that signals the end of your work day and don't accept more orders than you can handle. If you're working that hard to make a living, consider raising your prices instead. 9. Loneliness. Don't be a one-man island of creativity. That's no fun. Make friends with others who work at home, and make sure to take time for your social life. 10. Not streamlining the processes or making templates. Working faster without compromising the quality of your work is key to making more profit. Create systems that cut down on your time from beginning to finish. There you have 10 common mistakes of handmade craft businesses. Take care to do the right things in the beginning or at least iron out the kinks as you go.
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