The Selling Your Crochet series is designed for anyone who wants to start, or already owns, their own crochet business. Whether you are just starting out or need to improve sales for a business you already have, this is the guide for you. This series will be broken down into many parts. I will create actions steps for you to follow to help you start and grow your crochet business. If any information you are looking for hasn’t been covered or you need more clarification on any subject please comment below and I will be sure to answer any questions you may have.
This is the first part of the Selling Your Crochet Series. This will be a weekly series with a new topic being published every Monday!
Deciding WHAT to Sell
Before you can decide what to charge for your items, where to sell them or anything else related to your crochet business you must first decide what you want to make and what type crochet business you want to have. There are three different ways you run your business and sell your items.
In order to be successful this question needs to be answered or decided right away. It will save you time and energy as well as money. If you already own a business and are not finding the success you wish to have I would strongly encourage you to start over at square one and follow this guide from the beginning. You must have a strong and solid foundation in order for your business to succeed and grow.
I have broken this step down old school, with a basic outline, to keep the information from becoming overwhelming.
First Step- Decide what you want to sell
1- Ready Made Crochet Items
i- You dictate what you want to make, in what colors, what sizes, etc
ii- You can make your stock on your own time with no deadlines
iii- For your comfort level you can make only what you are already familiar with
iv- You will need to have a LOT of merchandise in stock in order to serve everyone’s needs and make a lot of sales
v- Less incentive to learn new designs and skills. You may grow stagnant
vi- You can make the best use of sales on yarn and other supplies to create your stock
vii- No need to close shop if you are going out of town for a few days. Just leave a note on your shop stating that you will be shipping out all orders on the date you return
i- You’ll need to follow trends to gauge what is popular
ii- You may easily get bored making the same things over and over again
iii- You must have GOOD photos in order to sell your work effectively
iv- A lot of time must be invested in listing your items
v- You’ll need an online store such as Etsy, or your own website
C- Who this option is good for
i- Someone who has a lot of vision and is very creative
ii- Someone who has their fingers on the pulse of what is popular
iii- Someone who has a lot of time to crochet- better for someone who will be doing this business full time
iv- Someone who doesn’t mind repetition
v- Someone who likes to take their time crocheting and grows bored with working on one thing at a time. Someone who likes to bounce from project to project
vi- Also good for a novice. As your skills improve so will your stock
vii- Someone who has good photography skills or knows a photographer they can barter with
2- Make commissioned items only
i- You will only need to crochet when an order is received
ii- You will not need to carry stock
iii- Less thinking involved you don’t have to know what people like, they will tell you what they want
iv- You can constantly make new things and learn new skills, less likely to get bored
v- You will not need to have an online store, though it can still be helpful. You can probably get away with having just a facebook page and by word of mouth
i- You will need to observe deadlines
ii- You’ll need to have MANY colors and types of yarn in stock or be willing to do frequent shopping in order to fulfill requests
iii- You must be very skilled in crochet, or risk having to turn down many requests
iv- You need to be on someone else’s schedule. They will dictate what they want and when they need it by
v- You’ll need to close your shop when you are on vacation or during busy times in your life when you are unable to fulfill custom orders
vi- You may be asked to make something you don’t know how to make or just plain don’t like
vii- You will need to search out patterns and possibly pay for them if you cannot design them yourself
viii- You can easily get bored or feel stifled by having to make what other people want
C- Who is this option good for
i- Someone who does not have that much time or will be doing this business part time
ii- Someone who can follow any pattern or create their own designs
iii- Someone who feels creativity is not their strongest skill
iv- Someone who works fast and can get orders out in a timely fashion
3- A Hybrid of Both
Each pro and con for both options needs to be considered
A- Additional Pros
i- You can satisfy both sides of the spectrum
ii- Only need to make every item you carry in ONE size and ONE color- clients can choose how they want to customize their items
B- Additional Cons
i- Twice the work as doing just one or the other
C- Who is this option good for?
i- This is a great option for someone who wants to be able to sell them items they create themselves but doesn’t want to lose any customers who want custom work
ii- You must love to crochet, have plenty of time but also enjoy creating custom work
Now that you have read the pros and cons of each side you need to figure out what appeals most to you. If you need help deciding you can ask yourself the following questions.
1- Do I have a lot of time to invest?
2- Would I rather make what I like but risk no one else will want to buy it, than only make what people want?
3- Do I like making the same things over and over again?
4- Am I just starting out with crochet?
If you answered yes to these questions than selling what you want to create may be the way to go for you. If you answered no to any, or even all of them, then ask yourself these questions.
1- Can I dedicate the time to make sure I can complete commissions in a timely fashion?
2- Do I prefer to make something new every time I crochet?
3- Do I only have enough time to do this part time?
4- Can I afford to keep a lot of yarn and supplies in stock, or have the time to take frequent trips to the store?
5- Do I know many different stitches and have many skills with crochet?
If you answered yes to these questions than doing only custom work may be your best bet.
If you answered yes from both sets of questions than you may want to do a hybrid of both.
Additional homework for those who have chosen to sell stock from what they want to make…. Make a list of the items you like to make to get an idea of what direction your shop may take. This step will be important further along in the series.
If you need help making your list or have any questions please comment below and I will happily help you out.
Part 2 of the Selling Your Crochet Series- How to Price Your Crochet will be posted on Monday 07/22/13.
If you like this series and want more like it… PIN IT!
Have fun and as always…