Crafting has always been my favorite form of expression. It is something I have felt confident and proud of. Turning my passion into a business is something I have worked very hard at and I continue to work hard every single day. It is not something that happens overnight.
Do you want to make personalized items, rustic items, kids items, farmhouse style, etc. Hone in on your specialty and make it your own. I love making fun quotes that make people smile and laugh. I also love inspirational quotes. Whatever you choose to do, make sure it stays consistent with what you love doing. You don’t want to start getting into projects that veer from your passion.
When you feel comfortable enough to turn your passion into a business, start treating it as one. I created a business name that fit the items that I sold and represented my business in a positive way. I also created a Facebook business page that gave me separation between my personal account and my new business.
I filled the new business account with photographs of the items I was trying to selling and staged them in a way that customer’s could image the pieces in their home. Invest some time in taking beautiful photos. Declutter your backgrounds and take them in natural light.
You want to make sure you’re building profit into your pricing. Make a couple projects and time yourself so you can calculate that into your pricing. Purchasing supplies wholesale will help with costs. A big thing I have noticed is that new business owners are worried so much about pricing that they don’t pay themselves. You don’t want to start resenting something that once made you happy and proud because it’s not profitable.
#4: Embrace social media
I’ll admit, when I started out I was promoting my business like crazy. Ideally, the longer you’re in business, the more the customers and the products start doing the advertising. Take advantage of all the free social media sites. Make a business page, make an Instagram page, and you can take it a step further and start a blog. There are many opportunities through these outlets to advertise even further. Join city wide pages. Join local buy/sell/trade sites. I suggest reading the rules on each page. Some can be strict in posting sale ads. Respect the rules. There is a reason they were put in place and there are other resources you can use.
My favorite thing to see as the business grew was the domino effect or web of new customers. One great review can gain 5 new followers. 5 of those great reviews turns into 25 new followers.
#5: Build customer relationships
The biggest piece of advice I can give is to appreciate your customers. Create a great customer relationship with everyone who contacts you whether they are past customers, current customers, or future customers. I have had customers following me from day 1 that have supported me through all of the business changes and additions. Be as transparent as you can and be available for questions. Always hear out concerns and be ready to try and solve any concerns. Never underestimate the power of “word of mouth.” My customers are not just a number to me. I love talking with my customers about why each piece is special to them and really hearing them out. I want them to see that I do care about their purchases and to know that when they are supporting me, that they are supporting a small family business who takes the time to care.
#6: Create a positive, organized workspace
As your business grows, your workspace will need to grow as well. To save yourself some sanity, try and keep your work and passion to one area. Try and stay organized. It can be easy to get overwhelmed with multiple orders. The one thing you will be able to control is the environment where you work. Continue to maintain a clean and efficient workspace that will not add to any overwhelming feelings that may occur.
#7: Always keep your receipts
We actually have a clear box with a slot in it near our front door. Find a way that fits your lifestyle. If keeping them in your wallet works, go for it. If putting them in a shoe box in your work station works, then try that. It may seem very tedious at first but you will develop a habit and you will thank your lucky stars you have that when it comes to tax season. Every dime matters. You may have made a small purchase but a few small purchases can help lead to a much better refund during tax season.
#8: Love what you do
Enjoy your passion. Make each project exciting. An exciting part of what I do is having the creative freedom to design something that makes people smile or adding something to the item they didn’t even realize was possible. Almost 3 years later and I absolutely love what I do. I love the relationships that have grown from customers to friendship, the flexibility I have to be with the people I love, and all while doing something that makes me happy every day.
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My name is Angie. I am the owner of Little Rustic Home. I am a stay at home mom with a boomin’ side gig. I do all of the designing, staining, cutting and creating of the pieces. My husband works full time himself but helps whenever he can with everything. I am the chaos coordinator of 3 absolutely amazing little boys. They are 3, 6, and 7 years old. They are the behind the scenes muscle. Little Rustic Home is not just a local business. It has become our little family business. We love meeting new people and creating items you can’t find in any store and we’d love to help make your house a home!