Crafts Report Part 2: Local Business Ideas
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Community involvement is very crucial to any small business, especially when you are first starting out.
When you start out your new home business you will want to explore every local avenue you can to get your name out. In my second crafts report article I will show you ways to promote your products with local business ideas that you will be able to do on a small budget.
One of the most rewarding things that my husband and I did when we first starting out with our craft business was to become involved with local area fund raisers. If the community you live in has an advertised fund raiser and is looking for donated items for a silent auction, don’t be afraid to step up and contribute a few of your own hand crafted items.
By donating to a charity or fundraiser you are presenting yourself as a contributing member of the community or town you live in. Be sure to always add a label to every donated item with your logo, business name and contact information. This way the lucky recipient knows who made the item, plus when they show it off to friends and family everyone will know where it came from and how to purchase more.
Selling your products locally might entail attending craft shows at schools, churches and event centers as well as flea markets, art galleries or bazaars. Local flea markets and craft fairs are a great place to sell your hand crafted products, plus you will be among like minded people and it is a lot of fun. Take the time to watch successful vendors, they are the ones who always have people around their booth.
Local Marketing at Flea Markets, Fairs & Consignment Shops
There is a lot of hard work involved when you attend a flea market or fair. You have to find out when and where one is being held in your area and if it’s appropriate for your business to attend. It depends on the products you sell. It makes no sense spending time and money setting up at a fair if the target audience isn’t interested in the products you are trying to sell. FestivalNet.com is a website providing event details where you can search for upcoming craft shows in the US and Canada.
Items you should bring when setting up a booth at a flea market or craft fair:
Download a free copy of this Craft Booth Supply List here.
✔ Table and chair(s)
✔ Table covering and a cushion for your chair
✔ Clothespins, clips and weights
✔ Banner and hand out materials like cards or brochures
✔ Your hand crafted items, bring more than you intend to sell
✔ Scissors, pens, a marker and calculator
✔ Price stickers
✔ Packing material, boxes, tissue paper and tape
✔ Shopping bags
✔ Locking money box
✔ Bring plenty of change (write down your starting amount)
✔ Credit card reader and extension cord if needed
✔ Sales slips
✔ Clipboard with sign up sheets for email newsletters
✔ Any required licenses and permits
✔ Sunglasses, sunscreen, glasses, water and snacks
✔ Camera and your phone
If you’re lucky, and sometimes you can ask for it, you will get a spot right near the entrance to set up your booth. This is the prime area since everyone entering and leaving is bound to see your display. Another high traffic area is anywhere close to the concession stands.
It always helps to change things up on your table or in your booth from time to time, especially if you attend the same venue on a regular basis. Move some of your hot selling items from the front to a little further back to get visitors to step further into your booth. Having a bowl of candy strategically placed among your products never hurts to drawn in people as well.
Finding a consignment shop that will allow you to display your crafts can be a great way to increase sales. When I talk about consignment shops I don’t necessarily mean second hand stores. Many small boutiques and main street galleries will take hand crafted items on consignment. What this mean is you will supply a shop, the consignee, with goods that their customers can purchase. Once the sale is made you will receive a portion of the payment.
Talk to the shop or gallery owner and be sure you understand the consignment agreement and relationship. Ask questions when in doubt! It is also a good idea to get in contact with other craft makers working in different craft professions to get additional information about your local consignment shops.
Having your crafts prominently displayed to a group of people who are locally searching for what it is that you offer it too good to pass up. Most importantly you are gaining exposure.
Spread the word about who you are and what it is that you do. You can implement the same strategy that they tell people who are looking for a job. Let everybody know about the different products you make and your chances of coming up in conversation will be much more likely. In my craft marketing book I will give you more insights on how to sell your products locally. Turn your hobby into a money making business!
In the next part of the Crafts Report Series we will look more closely into creating an internet marketing strategy and finding ways to market your crafts online.
Have you market your products locally? What has worked best for you? Leave me a comment below.
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