Starting a craft business can be a great way to make extra income. But, to turn your hobby into a business, you need to be professional.
These five tips will help you be more professional at your first craft show.
Tip One: Be Prepared
Practice setting up your booth before you actually go to the show. Where will everything go? Keep a list of everything you use, so you know you won’t forget anything. Also, take a picture so you won’t forget the layout.
Pretend you are buying something from your booth. What do you need? Be sure you have enough pens, order forms, bags, wrapping, change, etc. Go through the process – actually write the sale and bag your item. You’d be surprised what you might miss or forget.
Be prepared for the unexpected as well. Bring extra tape, display stands, tablecloths, and any duplicate items you may need more of. Sometimes, the layout may be different that you expected, or you may need thumbtacks instead of tape. Bring extras of everything you can.
Tip Two: Promote Your Business
Even if this is your first craft show, you need to look like a professional business. At the very least, you need business cards. If you have a website, include that on your cards.
Even better would be a coupon for a discount on a future purchase. This works particularly well if you have an online store. You may pick up sales after the show.
Give people a way to be notified about your future shows. This could be as simple as a sign up sheet for notifications, or a free newsletter subscription offer. You could also have a customer drawing where you collect their information.
Tip Three: Use Professional Materials
There is a big difference in quality between “professional” crafters, and beginners. Be sure your quality is in the professional category.
That means no glue guns, use professional adhesive for whatever medium you work in. Use quality canvas, quality thread, and professional adhesives. Use stitching whenever possible, instead of glue. Finish edges and seams, cut loose threads, do everything you can to make your craft look as good as possible.
Tip Four: Plan Your Display
Have you ever been to a craft show where there are hand-lettered signs, and stuff is just piled haphazardly? To be professional, you must look professional.
If you have signs, at the very least print them out on a printer. Better yet, have some of your signs made professionally. These signs can include product information, sales policies; sign up sheets and so on.
For your actual display, use tablecloths, display stands, and other professional looking items to organize and display your space. You can group things according to item type, or price, or some artistic display pattern. The key is to plan.
Tip Five: Practice Professional Customer Service
There is nothing worse than going to a craft fair and being ignored. When someone comes into your booth, greet him or her warmly. Let them know you are there to help them decide what they want to buy. Don’t be an artisan snob, you’re working. Make the most of every customer contact.
And, if you can manage it, take credit cards. Even if you use Paypal, you at least have that option.
By Richard Harley
I have farmed most of my life, worked for a John Deere dealer as a mechanic, drove semi trucks for 30 years, worked in a factory, been working on the Internet for 18 years, I love helping others make money on the Internet. I like traveling, camping, good movies, being with good friends and family.