CRAFTING BUSINESS CHECKLIST
You are happily making your hand made items and one day someone says "you should sell your things". After thinking about it, you decide that it would be a great way to make a little extra money. You remember seeing an advertisement in the local paper about a craft show so you call the organizer and commit to renting a table at the show. That was easy enough but now you think, "What do I do now? How much product do I need to make for the show?"
First, you will need quantity and variety. How many pieces should you make. This may depend upon the time that you have to make the jewelry. The real answer is that you can never have too many pieces. You can overwhelm people by displaying too many pieces at once, in a cluttered way, but you can always have back stock that you can bring out as things sell. It is also nice when someone asks for something that you don't have on display but you are able to pull it out from behind your table. That does not happen very often, but it is nice when it does.
You may be limited in the amount of stock that you can produce by the amount of money that you have to spend on supplies. Before you make a commitment to sell your items, you will need to have enough supplies to make your initial line. If you are selling something like jewelry, a couple hundred pieces would be a good starting point. If you are selling larger, more expensive objects, a few dozen may be enough. Unless you are extremely lucky you can not expect to sell all of your stock in one show, but with that many pieces you should have enough variety so that you can appeal to a large number of people. Believe it or not, we have exhibited at a show where a man came in and bought the entire contents of two booths. Amazing but true.
Variety is probably one of the biggest keys to success. If your thing is jewelry, make necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. You might even want to make barrettes, anklets, pins, or other more exotic and unusual items. This can set you apart from the other jewelry venders. It will not take long to find out what people in your area are most attracted to if you have a variety of things for them to look at.
It is always a good idea to make sets or offer accessories to your product. Some people will only buy sets while others don't want sets. I prefer to price them separately to accommodate both types of people. Selling related items separately is a very successful strategy. It is easier to sell three $50 items than it is to sell one $150 set.
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