So you want to start a handmade business and be your own boss

Congratulations on your decision to start a handmade business!  Your love of handcrafts and perhaps fiber is about to take you on an exciting and challenging journey as you move from a hobby to a real live handmade business owner!

I’ve had my own business since the mid-1980’s and I just want to warn you that starting and running a business is a LOT of work – don’t let anyone try to tell you differently, because it just isn’t true.  When you tell people that you have your own business they are usually envious and think it’s wonderful.

It’s really two-fold.  Yes, it’s wonderful — BUT it also means a lot of effort and dedication on your part.

If you work from home you are going to have to be extremely focused and to this day my family thinks that just because the office for our software business is located here at home (in a separate building) that “I don’t work”.  They also think that my yarn related business Fanciful Things, LLC isn’t work – because according to them “I enjoy playing with yarn”.

Can any of you identify with that?  I’m betting some of you can —- or will.

There are a LOT of things that we have to think about and do before we start a business.  We just can’t get up in the morning and say “Hey, I’m going to start a business today” and dive in headfirst – well you could, but that’s not really the right way to do it.  You could find yourself over your head pretty quickly.

So here is my list (right off the top of my head), based on my own experience of things you need to think about and do before starting a business.

  • Lay your foundation – what are you going to sell
  • Find your niche
  • Create a business plan
  • Figure out what you need for startup money
  • Get everyone on board (your family especially)
  • Figure out where you are going to sell
  • How will you collect money
  • Business name
  • Business website
  • Business domain name
  • Choose a legal/tax structure
  • Get a FEIN/EIN number
  • Get the State and/or Local business licenses, Permits and Sales Tax stuff
  • Will you need business insurance
  • Do you need Trademarks or Copyrights
  • Bank accounts
  • Bookkeeping
  • Branding – business cards, hang tags, packaging
  • Advertising – social media and an elevator pitch

There’s an awful lot of information out here on the web about starting a handmade business – but I’m not seeing many people talking about the bolded items in my list above or much information for that matter.

I’m going to change that!
Stay tuned 🙂
Nancy