Making Your Hobby Your Livelihood: When it’s Time for the Big Leap

Many crafters who make an item that’s popular at craft fairs and farmer’s markets hear all the time what a great idea they have.  They are urged to start a business and really put their product out there because, you know, people would buy it.  It makes you wonder, at what point do you go from being a hobbyist to a business owner?  If you have a craft business you operate from home, is investing in all the things you need worth taking it to the city to get registered?  The are many ways to look at it, but here are some things to consider.

Setting up a business is time consuming and can be quite expensive.  If you are trying to quit your day job and are counting on the sock puppets that the public finds so adorable they are sure you can make a living at it, that’s great, but how many do you really need to sell to do so.  And how many are they going to buy to help you.  It can be hard to keep your product in the public’s eye.  There are tons of Shopify, Etsy, eBay or other online shops that tank merely because the owners got tired of waiting for the orders to pour in.  Or got tired of bending over backward, or in any direction to make a sale.

Well, the goal should be to work smarter, not harder according to some advisors.  Having clear and realistic goals is key.  They suggest having an action plan that helps you focus on where you want to be seen and how much you want to sell.  Keeping those goals on your radar will prevent you from diverting your attention to less productive activities.

Making smart choices about your business means using every available means of saving money on supplies and shopping online at stores like JC Penney should be a part of that strategy.  Shopping Penney’s through Groupon might be the first thing you’d think of as a smart business choice, but you can save as much as 65% off sale items, and even more on clearance items when you use Groupons.  You can order the things you need for yourself and your family, have them delivered, many times for free, and devote the time you would have diverted to shopping to getting ready for the next craft fair or meeting with prospective buyers.