Thursday, 17 April 2014

Craft Business-What have I learnt so far?

I am often approached by new business owners and crafters asking question in regards to how I built my business, after researching a lot myself it is hard to find realistic advice for small business crafters like myself when we are first starting out. So here in a nut shell are some of the things I have learnt. If you would like to blog more in depth about some thing I can give them their own blog post but for the purposes of this post I am just going to skim over everything so it doesn't become one of those long winded boring "business people" talk- you probably haven't even read this and just jumped straight to the bullet points anyway!

  • Learn as you go- don't try and bombard yourself with too much information at once, one thing at a time!
  • Learn about your obligations before diving in- Taxes, insurances and legal obligations can be expensive and even more expensive if you don't know what they are! 
  • Get familiar with the law! Good ones to start with are Consumer Guarantees Act, and any other legislation relating to your particular trade.
  • Start small- Don't put all your eggs in one basket and test the waters first not all ideas are good ideas.
  • Have realistic expectations! You can't expect to start a Facebook page post a photo once a week and make a million dollars in your first year! 
  • Small businesses are hard work! Especially craft businesses because you have to make everything before you can even start to try and sell it! 
  • Take criticism constructively. If someone has something to say about your work don't take it personally, see if there is any substance to what they have said or what they are suggesting. 
  • Let negative comments roll off your shoulders- when I first started my business I had little to no support or enthusiasm from the people around me. Now they are all eating their words :) 
  • Learn! There is always someone out there who knows more than you find those people and grill them for tips! YouTube is great for this because they give the information willingly! 
  • Marketing is everything! There is no use having a great product if no one sees it!
  • Don't give up! I probably would have quit 100 times by now but I am so glad I haven't!
  • Surround yourself with like minded people. Having people to talk to that are in the same boat as you is invaluable! Whether it is face to face, or in Facebook crafting groups.
  • People are going to copy you! That's just a part in parcel of what we do, it's annoying, upsetting and discouraging but try not to let it overwhelm you and steal your joy!
  • Small business and social media are like bread and butter! Embrace them and make use of them! 

So there are a few things I have learnt so far there are probably a billion other things I could have included but to keep it short and sweet we will leave it there! If there is anything else you would like me to write about or go more in depth about leave a comment below and I will make it happen!

All the best with your crafting ventures

Robin x


  1. Great round-up, it's not easy starting out in small business, but can be very rewarding.

    1. Yes it can be very rewarding once you start to see the results from your hard work! :)

  2. Thanks for your advice, Robin. I must say, there really is no easy way to success. It always depends on how you lay down your own path. It’s not enough that one only hears good tips from the experienced business people; they also have to be more passionate and well-driven to achieve their goals.

    Clint Shaff @ Franchise Match

  3. A lot of people tend to dwell on the idea of starting a business more than the actual process of getting it started. For me, starting a business is one of the best risks you can take, if you're really passionate about the product you'll be making and distributing. Anyway, I agree that it's okay to start small, after all, realistic marketing and realistic goals are easier to achieve. Thanks for the tips, Robin! More power to you and your business! :)

    Daryl Cross @ Nahi Gazal

  4. This is great advice. I am just starting a small craft business and am so happy to have found your blog. Finding relevant information for NZ has been a bit difficult. Would you be able to elaborate on the insurance and legal obligations side of the business? I have been trying to find more information regarding this but am coming up short . Thanks for sharing all your knowledge, it really is useful for newbies like myself :-)

    1. Hi Lisa, Thank you for your comment. Legal obligations can vary depending on your industry, if you sell clothing there are labels that are required on garments. If you are in food there are obviously hygiene and food prep licences you will need to acquire. Feel free to find us on our facebook page and I can give you more info :) Also in the way of insurance generally public liability insurance and some kind of business insurance are needed to begin with but an insurance broker is usually the best way to go in this department!


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