Getting Help For Your Arts & Crafts Business

Crafting is usually a one-man show with the crafter doing every aspect of the business. They make, list, market, package, and ship the products. This might be manageable most days, but what happens when they get a huge wholesale order or they get slammed by the holiday buying season? If you have this problem, it might be time to get a little help. First understand that there are only so many hours in the day you can create the products and you can't possibly do it all. Sometimes you can stretch out the time before delivering, but that's not always the best answer. So what do you do? Determine where you could use the help, how many people you need, and for how long. Then find the helpers. If the product is something that others can create too, then use people for that. For example, sewing buttons on pillows or knotting fringes on blankets are something easily done by others without a lot of explanation. If your craft is unique or you're not willing to hand over any facet of it, then have them do the listings, the packaging and/or the shipping. Deciding how many workers you need might be harder. Start with one and see how much they can do per piece or per hour, and then add on accordingly. Sometimes the best help live right on your street or belong to your church. Think stay-at-home moms who'd like to make a little money. Teenagers are good for more than babysitting; they can handle labeling, packaging and shipping. Another idea is to try your local college for students who need part time work. Lastly, hiring a part time intern who wants to learn the ropes of the business can prove beneficial. Paying workers for their services is customary, but make sure they stay independent contractors and don't cross the line to employees. Read up on current federal policies to be clear on that. Another way to "pay" is to barter. You can offer your products in return for their temporary help or some other trade that's agreeable to you both. Perhaps a fellow crafter will help you out during your crunch time and you can return the favor during theirs. Having more business than you can handle isn't necessarily a bad thing - it means your items are in demand and your shop is successful! Since you can't create more hours in the day, get some help when you need it. It's good for your business, your customers, and you.


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