So, you’ve started to dabble with making your own handmade products from home, and are toying with the idea of maybe selling them in the near future… that’s awesome!!
Though there are a few loopholes to jump through once you’re ready to launch (see this blog post for skincare biz specifics), selling your handmade goods is a super easy and fun way to create a little income on the side, or can serve as a full-time career pursuit!
Before you get to the point of launching your business though, there are a few things to consider first to make sure you’re on the right track…
We’ve grouped them into the following acronym:
C - Customer
O - Offer and Product
S - Strategy
Y - You
Let’s break these all down…
Who are you planning to sell your products to? Saying ‘all women in my town’ is a little vague and when you sell to everyone, you’re really selling to no one. Tell me, which one of these speaks to you more:
Products for women
Products for women who love to spend time outdoors in the garden and get their hands dirty
Which one better captures a customer's avatar and resonates with the person whose attention you’re trying to get?
Take some time to brainstorm your niche, your ideal customer, or if you already make products, who those products could best serve!
You can even test it out by speaking with people in your niche and getting their feedback!
Once you know who you’re planning to sell to, find out what they want and like. Make products that you know they will go crazy for!
Trial and error is the key here… try a product, ask for feedback, and either tweak or start from scratch to make a line-up of products that speak to your customer.
Experimenting with different products, recipes, and variations is all part of the fun! Learn as much as you can about the process so that you can switch up your recipes or products with no sweat.
Strategy and Numbers
This is all the business, math-related stuff that’s maybe not your favorite, but is super important.
If your business is not making money, then how will it survive? And how will you get paid?
Paying attention to the numbers as early as possible is key if you want to reach the break-even and profitable points more quickly.
Take the time to calculate your COGS (cost of goods sold) including all raw materials, packaging, overhead, and personnel costs so you know how much to sell your products for (and actually make a profit!)
This also includes keeping batch records, taking notes, and keeping your finances in order. (Tip: hire a bookkeeper if this is not your strong point!)
Knowing how much you have to spend, and what you’ll spend the money on when it’s coming in is all part of your growth plan going forward.
‘You’ consists of looking at your goals, dreams, strengths, weaknesses, and why!
A couple of questions to consider are:
Why do you want to start a handmade business?
Does it fit in with your long term (5-10yr) dreams and goals?
Are you ready to become an entrepreneur?
Does it fit with your core values?
Are you going to stick to it when things get tough?
Basically, taking a moment before we jump in to slow down and look longer term to make sure this venture is a good fit!
Hiring a business coach, joining a mastermind, or finding an accountability partner can be super helpful in keeping you on track.
So those are the top tips we have for brand new hobby makers, and even those who have just started their handmade businesses… you have to slow down to speed up, so take a moment to brainstorm the 4 points we chatted about above, and make sure you have a plan in place to implement them in the near future!
If you want more info on our 4 step process, join the waitlist for our Makers Blueprint class that goes in depth on the COSY method here.
Enjoyed this article and want a handy checklist of the points with journaling prompts? Just click below to grab ours for free:
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