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Profit Tips for Art and Craft Business
by Ann Barber of National Craft Association


The secret to success in your art and craft business is to "Think Profit", not just at the point of a sale, but apply this thinking to everything you do for your business. Profits don't just happen with a sale. They are created by careful planning in every aspect of your business. Plan for profits!


1. Make sure you have the total cost for the item before establishing the selling price. Be sure to include a reasonable labor charge, overhead and fixed expenses to your actual materials and supply cost for each item. If you don't price to cover total cost, you will not make the amount of profit you need to grow your business.


2. Be cost effective. Don't spend 10 hours creating an item that you can only retail for $30. Set a dollar amount for your labor. Design products that keep the time investment low and profit margin high. Evaluate how to be more time efficient with the products you make. Learn to group tasks together to save time. For example you are going to make 2 dozen of one item; cut all the ribbon needed at once, paint all the same color at once, do all the gluing of pieces together at once, etc.


3. Be professional, don't be emotionally tied to your product. If a product is a slow seller, or not cost effective, take it out of your line; or modify and redesign it to meet the consumer demand for your market.


4. Follow market trends, as related to your area. Stay up-dated on color trends, styles and themes. Use the ideas to adapt your products to the "hot" selling trends of the season.


5. Plan a line of compatible products. For example, if you make magnets, napkin holders, tea sets, with a strawberry be sure to tie the design motif into as many products as possible to create a whole family of products; Or in florals make companion pieces like a swag, wreath, or floral bouquet that mix and match. This builds in more multiple sales and repeat business.


6. Provide a variety of price ranges. Use inexpensive items as attention grabbers to stop traffic at your sales area.


7. Think about collectibles. Create one unique design or pattern once or twice a year that is a signed dated edition. This builds repeat business and helps you sell companion products.


8. Got a hot seller, be prepared to ride the wave. Promote & feature your best selling products. Look at what you can make in the family of products to sell that will ride on the coat-tails of your sales leader.


9. Be prepared. Always be on the alert for new items to add to your line. Nothing remains hot forever. Have new items worked into your line on a regular basis or modify an existing product to the current selling trends.


10. Know your numbers. Keep good records that can provide you with information to determine exactly where your actual profits come from. Then you are able to fix the unprofitable areas and put more emphasis in the profit making side of your business. Sell in as many different markets as possible. This way if one market is soft you have alternative sales working to keep your income rolling in. Concentrating your efforts on profits will help you build your business.


Nothing happens until you take action. You can build a profitable business one step-at-a-time. Building profits into your business requires planning, control and action. Take time to evaluate and grow your business. Develop a business plan to guarantee a profitable steady growth pattern.




by gramzgems, posted 03/22/13 12:42:54

Pay particular attention to item 9. Staying current seems to be the key to success. I do feel that sometimes (most of the time) in small towns, it is difficult to charge for your labor. Also, do not let the words "our current economy" fool you. If you make qality items, folks will buy!!
One final note: try to find out our how many artists are in your particular category prior to sending in your hard earned money for craft shows. Currently, most of the shows have from 33-35+ percentage of vendors selling the same items. I sell all hand crafted jewelry designs!! Jewelry is the most competetive!!!
Lynn Walz,

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