Want to work from home but not sure what you can do? The Hot Home Business Directory helps you find a businesses to run out of your home, lists the skills you need to do it and tells how to get started and where to get more information. Read on to find out if this Hot Home Biz is for you!
What You'll Do:
Create and market crafts in one or more specialties (for example, quilting, candle or soap making, ceramics, decoupage, jewelry, basketry) or represent other craftspeople on a commission basis.
Skills You'll Need:
Talent at your particular craft, creative marketing ideas, confidence to push your goods.
Equipment You'll Need:
- Supplies for your particular craft
- Packaging materials (shopping bags, tissue paper, boxes, cartons and so on)
- Letterhead, envelopes and business cards
- A computer and printer to make fliers, invoices, labels and similar materials
- A Website if you plan to market your crafts online
About $500 up to $1,000 (excluding the cost of a computer) to cover initial supplies and marketing materials (business cards, letterhead, fliers, classified ads).
How much can you make?
Price crafts to make a profit. The general rule of thumb for figuring out pricing is to add up your material costs for each item and mark it up three times for retail sale and two times for wholesale vendors.
Take into account the time you spend getting supplies, creating the crafts, packaging them and shipping. To make sure you're pricing your items competitively, shop around and compare prices in stores, at craft fairs and with online vendors.
How to Break In:
- Surf the Web for suppliers, crafters malls, online crafting communities, craft fairs and marketing ideas. (See resources below).
- Develop a small inventory of "samples" to have on hand and show around. Take photos of your samples to use in promotional materials such as brochures and fliers or to scan for use on the Web.
- Decide where to target your sales. Crafters have a range of options, including:
- Home parties (like Pampered Chef or Tupperware parties): These can be arranged in private homes, retirement communities, schools, trailer parks and offices.
- Flea markets and festivals: These usually require a low entrance fee and are especially popular during the spring, summer and fall.
- Fairs and shows: Outdoors or indoors, these usually demand a higher entrance fee but attract better goods and bigger spenders.
- Internet marketing: You can build your own Website, join an online crafters mall or Web ring (iVillage has those) or have an online retailer sell your items. At Creativity Zone, a work-from-home mom represents several skilled artisans and crafters.
- Brick-and-mortar stores: Shops that specialize in gifts or handcrafts, museum stores and florists are just a few possibilities. You sell to them wholesale or on consignment.
- Apply for a sales tax number from the tax department in your state. This number is necessary to sell at craft shows and other venues and will allow you to purchase supplies wholesale. You may also want to apply for a merchant credit card.
Resources: iVillage's Crafter's Home Business message board Crafter.com: wholesale source for supplies, information on shows and articles Crafters Network: 100 top crafter sites and free classified ads for crafters Crafts Search: resource for fairs, supplies, crafters communities, Websites and more Craftville.com: listing of fairs all over the U.S. TargetCrafts: free classified ads for crafters and banner exchanges on crafts sites
Interested in other home businesses? Browse the hottest ones right now!
Find companies that are looking for work-from-homers on the Home Business Opportunities board.
Watch out for home business scams.
Then get a jump on your business with help from other iVillagers on the Getting Started board.