Friday, September 18, 2009

Craft Fair to Craft Business Part 4

In my previous 3 posts I have given you a huge amount of things to think about when starting down the road to selling your creative efforts to the public (in person).

The internet is a new market and sites like ETSY are becoming busy and popular sources for imaginative and unusual items, surely more such sites will follow.

I understand that in the near future cable television will be joining the direct home sales market and you will be able to purchase time on a “virtual” store channel and have your wares beamed into millions of homes in your target market at reasonable costs to you, the artist.

Just a few more thoughts and suggestions in this final chapter of what is rapidly becoming the Gone With The Wind of BLOG posts:

Think, listen, make notes and move slowly and steadily towards you goals-don’t make jumps that will demand more than you can successfully deliver-it’s a sure road to depression and failure.

Believe in yourself and listen to your instincts-if you have done your homework and have really planned out your course of action you will be fine-exhausted but fine.

DO NOT start out in business so deep in debt that you can’t ever climb out and NEVER jeopardize your home, family or personal security for the sake of an art show.

If you aren’t making a profit set a date when you must give up the idea of doing craft or art fairs for now-you can go back to the idea later. DO NOT continue to lose money or start charging up your credit cards thinking things will get better.
Be sure to read my section on keeping your business finances and personal finances separate-this is very important!!! Keep good records and every receipt that you get-even if they go in a large manila envelope-you will need them for the tax preparer and they should be kept for 7 to 10 years after you have settled your taxes.

If you start doing the Art thing as a full time business be sure to pay into Social Security-the tax preparer has forms you send in quarterly-I didn’t keep up with this and now I’m sorry-I will be retiring far further in the future than I might have wanted.

You CAN NOT make a business producing products with supplies you purchase retail with the exception of ART (paintings, drawings etc) and even then there are many ways to improve your profits by buying wholesale or from discounters.

Be careful of overbuying-wholesale buying is like dancing it requires agility and balance-think before you start investing in grosses of items unless you know that it is a component you will use in several ways or are regularly selling out of.

Wholesale buying is a drug and frequently buying a half gross saves over buying a dozen and buying a full gross saves over buying a half gross-then you start getting into master packs and all sorts of other levels-next thing you know you own ten thousand of something and you saved a lot off the wholesale price but what are you going to do with them?

THINK…CONSIDER…then move-your instincts are better than you might think and they will become honed with time.

I have known kind, meek, mild people who become ferocious monsters when it comes to negotiating purchases.

Start small but think big- GOOD ENOUGH is not GOOD ENOUGH: Your name will be on your work make sure you are proud of what you produce and how it is presented-always be professional in manner, grooming and appearance…ALWAYS!

MEN especially can become very sloppy when they are hot and tired and are doing a show out in the sun in mid-august---that doesn’t explain why you didn’t wash your hair this morning or clean your nails-and you can carry an extra clean t shirt so if you get sweaty setting up you can change into a clean shirt to sell-they have travel size everything so toothpaste a toothbrush and deodorant can go into your tool box.
I think I have labored my point long enough-the ART biz can be lots of fun-I enjoyed it for many years and at some point I might find myself doing fairs again-I don’t know.

What I do believe is that the information I have shared with you is solid and based on many things I learned the hard way-with this knowledge I could have been even more successful and much more organized.

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