Ok, so you’re creative, no, really creative, like, obsessed with making what you make. You are excellent too, so good that people are asking you if you could make what you make, for them too. Like, allot of people are asking you to do that. So many people, that this crazy idea of stepping out on your own as a business is tickling the back of your mind. Now, you’ve begun to work through what that might mean, “Can I make these over and over?” or “Am I ok with parting with this thing to someone?” Your answer to all your questions is a stronger and more definite “Yes!” How do you make that move from doing something that is just you being creative to you creating a business?
Iron out your product
You’ve already determined that what you make is something people want, the feedback from those around you is proving that. How many, though, and how many will actually pay, and how many beyond your circles of friends and family? Well, don’t get too far ahead of yourself. If you work at this every day, and every day is about doing your work better than yesterday, things will happen. If they like what you do now, just wait till you are even better at it. Work on it, figure out how to make it better, faster, and for less.
Sort out where you’ll sell it
Up to now, your sales may have been by word of mouth or directly through you. As you grow, as a maker, you reach a point where you have to decide if you are going to market directly or sell through someone else. Direct marketing could look like a booth at an art fair or a website that you build and take care of. With direct marketing, more of the profit goes in your pocket, but you also get to deal with the problems of sales and marketing. Allowing others to sell your product for you will give you greater market representation, but your income will be less. The vendor has to mark up your product, so your price has to be tight for them to sell it at a reasonable price.
Mix it up
You may be excellent at one thing; you may be exceptional at making one of a kind product. The more you grow, the less time you will have to do the one of a kind piece of work. Diversify your lineup by making the smaller dollar; mass produced items that are much less expensive than your one of a kind work. If you have a lineup of products at a range of price points, you will draw buyers to your work, and maybe even get them to buy up.
If you are confident, don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Equipment, material in bulk, and other larger expenditures have to be addressed. If you have to borrow from your home equity or a small business loan, don’t be afraid to, if the business is there to support your investment. Pay off your debts quickly, so you will have your line of credit when you need it again.