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Starting a craft business isn't as hard as it seems. Browse eBay and online shops like Etsy and you'll see all sorts of crafters peddling their wares. You can do it too, but which craft businesses are the best ones to start in 2015?
The best way to evaluate craft business potential is to look at start up costs and potential profit. How much will it cost you to start your business and how much money can you expect to make in your business if you put in a reasonable amount of time? Of course, your third consideration (though not necessarily the least important) are your unique skills and talents. What do you like to do?
You could argue that the best craft business to start is the one that allows you to do what you enjoy doing most. But that's not necessarily true. What if your hobby doesn't have a market?
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Ideally, you want to start a craft business where the following three values intersect:
- Activities you enjoy and are skillful at
- The start up costs are small
- And there is a large market or demand for the craft
You're on your own with that first one, but here are five craft businesses with low start up costs and for which there seems to be a large enough market.
It's not always easy to start a craft business. Some businesses, like craft beers, require licensing and are heavily regulated. The start-up costs are outrageous. On the other hand, there are some craft businesses you can start on a shoestring and which offer a reasonable demand. If you enjoy making these kinds of products, then the market is ripe for your talents.
- Jewelry – The cost of starting a jewelry business includes setting up your business, buying materials for making your jewelry, and your initial marketing materials. You can get started with as little as $500. Depending on the quality of your jewelry, you could earn six figures. Of course, that depends on how aggressive you are at marketing and growing the business. Because crafting jewelry is a creative pursuit, there is a lot of freedom to make your brand unique and drive your demand.
- Craft Book Publishing – This is the age of self-publishing. It seems like everyone is doing it, but most people involved in independent book publishing are fiction and nonfiction writers. There is always room for a specialty craft book brand. Find your niche and there's no ceiling to how much you can make as an author and publisher. But what are the start up costs? It depends on who you choose as your printer. With print-on-demand, you can get started for just a few hundred dollars or less.
- Fashion/Sewing – There are so many ways to build a craft fashion business. Your best bet is to specialize. Some fashion designers specialize in children's clothes while others specialize in women's fashions. Pick your niche and start marketing.
But it's not just about the clothes either. Some fashion designers create the patterns. If you can knit, crochet, sew, make quilts, or make like crafts of any kind, then there may be a future for you in this niche.
You can start a fashion business with the cost of fabric and your business start up, plus what it takes for your initial marketing materials. You can start small with as little as $1,000 out of your pocket. The income potential will depend on your niche, your skills, and your marketing skills, among other things, with the most successful making over $100,000 a year.
- Children's Toys – If you like kids, there are a variety of child-focused businesses you can start. Children's toys can be made of all types of material, but wood and plastic are popular. If you make the toys yourself, you'll save a bundle on startup costs, which can range from $4,000 to $10,000. The income potential is upwards of $50,000-$60,000 per year.
- 3D Printing – Getting in on the ground floor of anything is the best thing you can do for starting a business. 3D printing is still in its infancy. The cost of a printer ranges from $250 to several thousands of dollars. Of course, you'll also have to buy materials and patterns, some of which are free. You can easily get started with $1,000 if you have with a small printer. What can you print? Virtually anything. You can print jewelry, toys and games, knick knacks, and just about anything else you can imagine. If you're good at marketing and choose a craft product that is in high demand, you could be the only person in your local market offering what you have to offer. The income potential would be six figures or more.
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As with any business, the income potential is dependent on your ability to craft products that people want and are willing to pay for, plus your ability to market them. While you have the potential to earn a six figure income with most of these businesses, your low end would realistically be in the $10,000 to $20,000 range. That's not bad if you're working part time out of your garage. To go full time, make great craft products and aggressively market them to a niche audience that really wants them.
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