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How I Started My Small Craft Business

Starting a small business does not have to be a scary endeavor. I started a small business, and realized the right way of doing things, and the wrong way of doing things. I guess it is learning process, but if you can learn from someone else's mistakes-do it. The fact that I was able to look at my first small business and tweak it here and there to make it work for my family and myself was the determining factor that allowed me to have the ambition to continue working on my small business. I have heard it said, and agree that a small business is similar to having a baby; it needs a lot of attention if you want it to succeed.

How I Knew It Was Time To Start A Small Business

Ever since I was very young, I was scheming how to make a buck or two. I was only 10 when I starting making friendship bracelets to every kid in school. I learned early on that I would rather run my own business than work for someone else.

Years down the road I graduated from college, got married and found a job. Basically, I grew up. However, once my workday was done, I would work on different projects at home which were simply hobbies at that time. I did crocheting projects and knitting projects for Christmas presents and what not. Then when I was blessed with an amazing little baby girl, I decided that I was going to stay home.

It didn't take long for me to realize that I wanted to help my husband financially, while still being by my daughter's side. This is when I realized that I needed to take my hobby and turn it into a small business so I could stay home and yet help relive the burden on my husband's shoulders.

What Things I Did That Really Worked For Me

There are many different things that small business owners would say were the determining factors to their business's success. I only know from my experience what worked for me, and what didn't.

  • Set office hours-I needed to have a schedule for both my business and my family. Other wise I was trying to do too many things at once and wasn't able to give either one 100% of myself.
  • I bartered my services to other families to get my business cards, websites and some free babysitting so my start up costs were basically "free". Plus, I was able to get a few customers right away based on the products that I had bartered to them. Repeat customers are the best kind. Be nice to them and they will come back wanting some for everyone they know.
  • Being dedicated to do at least on positive thing for my small business everyday. With my small business there are definitely busier times of the year and then the slow times, but using the slow time of the year to build up my stock so I don't feel so stressed later.
  • I wasn't afraid to think outside of the box, I learned that my products would sell at more locations than just craft shows. Now I am selling them at gas stations, local restaurants and a few hair salons.
  • Make lists-I have tons of lists and try to cross at least one thing off a list every day. I have lists of customers that I want to follow up on and also new leads that I need to look into.

Things That My Small Business Couldn't Survive Without

  • Social networking-There are so many ways to advertise your small business now for free that I hardly spend any money on advertising. I started my own website, Facebook page and tweeter account for my small business. I get at least 1 new customer that finds me each week simply from these free methods of advertising.
  • Supportive family-You need to make sure that everyone who is going to be affected by this small business is on board. My daughter lets me use her as a model; my husband will take her to the park to let me have some work time. I wouldn't want to do this alone, this is affecting my whole family, thus I need to have everyone's support.
  • Excel-You need a way to create invoices, keep track of orders and whether they paid or not, my notebook got messy really quick and I was always wondering who paid and who hadn't, then I figured out excel, life is much easier now.

Mistakes I Made At First, That Taught Me A Lesson

  • Never go to the store for supplies, unless it is an emergency. You most likely can find if cheaper online. Even eBay.
  • Make sure that you have a way to keep track of who paid and who hasn't, you don't want to miss any profit just because you aren't sure who paid.
  • Always check shipping rates, I accidentally sold something to someone in Australia and had to wipe tears away as I left the post office without a profit.
  • Let my small business take over my life. Then my husband sat me down and made me realize that this was a side job, and it was not to consume my life, just my spare time (ha ha ha).

Overall, life is about mistakes as long as you learn from them you should never be afraid to take a risk.

By ashley brill - I am a stay at home mom, who manages the household along with my small business that keeps me happy and helps to support my husband.Another area that I have found I flourish in is fashion and style tips....  

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