If you have a hobby you love, why not make it earn its keep and boost your income too. ANTONIA CHITTY of Family Friendly Working explains where to begin
This isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme, but plenty of women and men find that they can boost their budget while doing something they enjoy.
If you’ve got a hobby you’re passionate about, that’s a great place to start. You’ll already have some level of expertise and know where you buy your supplies and the best places to get hold of collectibles.
But you need to plan and research before you can turn your hobby into a profitable business.
Find out how often people might buy your product and how much they would pay. Naturally, this will vary, depending upon what you’re offering.
If you want to sell cake decorating supplies, for example, you’ll find lots of people interested in buying one or two items on an infrequent basis, and a few professional cake decorators who might buy more regularly.
Remember that you might want to include items that need replacing regularly – such as icing ingredients and colours in this example – as well as more expensive one-off purchases. Ask as many people as possible and write down what they say.
Work out costs
If you want to sell something that you make, like knitted items or handmade greetings cards, work out how much your product will cost. Factor in materials, equipment, and an hourly rate for your time.
It’s easy to under-price crafts and handmade items, and you don’t want to find that you are selling lots, but making a loss.
Check the regulations
Ask trading standards what laws you might have to comply with. If you are making food, you may need to have your kitchen inspected. Laws are stricter on items such as nightwear and products for children.
Get a quote for insurance: however small your business you’ll need public liability insurance in case someone suffers damage from one of your products.
Next, think about how you can reach out to enough people. You might be able to start by selling to friends and family but you’ll need to go beyond these groups if you want to develop your business.
Make a schedule of shows you might like to attend, find out the cost of a stall, and work out how many items you need to make to have a good display.
Look at setting up a website to allow you to sell your products 24/7 to people across the UK or globally, or join an online craft marketplace like Etsy.
Crafty businesses ideas
Here are just some ideas that have been proven to be successful: