As creative people, we tend to have this gift of seeing inspiration in so many things. We enjoy trying new hobbies or skills. As a creative, this is probably what brought you to this point.
As a business owner, you now have the task of determining what is going to sell, not just what you enjoy making. If you are going to put the time and effort into owning and operating this business, please do the same with your product.
Don’t throw spaghetti at the wall and hope it sticks – unless you have found an artistic market of selling spaghetti on a canvas or something like that. In which case go to town!
The rest of us, we need more thought. So let’s get into How to decide what to sell for a craft business
1. Research the market – identify what is popular and in demand in order to decide which items to focus on
if you Google craft businesses for 2023, like I did before I recorded this episode – I noticed that some are actually the same list as 2022. So be aware of that. Check on Shopify or a blogger for more authenticity and I will link a couple of the ones I found in the website.
2. Brainstorm a list of items that you can make or create that will fit within your skill set – things you have made in the past.
Have you taken a class on something or are there any available? Do you know enough that you could teach a class? This actually could be what you sell! Are the supplies available? Can you make multiples and still be excited about making them – one of a kind takes a lot of time and effort unless you are strictly going to do personalized items. Then you need to price accordingly
3. Consider pricing when choosing products – Make sure your prices are competitive while still leaving room for a good profit margin, so that your business remains profitable over time.
Can you find the supplies you need at a wholesale price? Are you including your time to create the product as well as buying the supplies and shipping?
4. Determine a target customer base
– What is the advertising plan going to be for those customers to find you?
– Who is going to buy it?
– Where are they most likely going to buy your product – online, virtual craft markets, in-person markets – you also need to take this into consideration when you think about transporting your product. I know a husband and wife team who created a decent business decorating yard boulders. They are really fun to have but the couple wants to sell the business because they have to haul these things everywhere. They do not have any other option than traveling to shows…you can’t ship a boulder very well.
5. Utilize feedback from customers before deciding whether or not to continue selling particular items
Get feedback from customers – Ask current and potential customers to provide input on the types of items they would be interested in buying from you to help you decide what to sell. I would also ask other creatives since we have a tendency to be honest in a kind way. Most of us want the others to succeed – it just looks good for everyone.
6. Location – where are you in the world and what is your local customer base?
Some of you are in metropolitan areas and can find your buyers locally. Others of us are either too remote or live in an area where our skill set is common – I am a seamstress who was taught by my mother who was taught by her mother. Most people around me can do what I do or know someone who can so they are not willing to pay what my products are worth. It’s a saturated market but that’s the benefit of being online.
So there are some ideas on how to decide what to sell in your craft business but also remember that you are not stuck with just one thing. I would say, start with the one thing, do it well and make your niche known. If you do that, more people will be willing to try when you do something different.