Your Step-By-Step Guide To Starting A Crafting Business In The UK
People can be passionate about their craft hobbies, and in many cases having a talent for what you enjoy can lead to an enriching career. You will have heard the famous saying: “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” If you start your own craft business, this saying will be valid for you!
Starting a craft business is a popular way to earn some income on the side of your regular job, but it can also be built up over time to become your primary source of income when handled correctly.
In this guide, we look at the steps you can take to start your own craft business and allow yourself to launch your unique handmade products into the craft marketplace.
What You Need To Know About Starting Your Own Craft Business
While it is essential to have a passion for what you craft and the creativity to develop new ideas for your range of craft products, you will still need to run your craft business properly if you want to make consistent money from it.
You will need to focus on a wide range of business-related tasks such as:
- Developing new products to add to your range
- Filing essential documents with Companies House and HMRC, such as tax returns, confirmation statements, etc.
- Keeping accurate business records
- Making your products
- Marketing your business and selling your products online and offline
- Negotiating with suppliers and buying essential craft materials at discount prices
- Ensuring your company with the right craft business insurance cover
You will also need to consider your craft business name carefully. To register with Companies House, you must ensure the name isn’t already registered to another craft business.
Even though you may initially start your craft business as a side project, in the eyes of the law, it will still be classed as a business that carries some risks that need to be addressed and obligations that need to be covered.
You will need to register as self-employed with HMRC and either work as a sole trader or register your business and your craft business logo as a company with Companies House to become a limited company. Both options require you to submit statutory paperwork annually and keep up-to-date financial records.
As you create products for sale to consumers, you will also need to ensure you take out the proper business insurance you need for your craft products. There would be nothing more devastating for you or your business to be sued by a customer claiming that your craft product caused them an injury or damage to their property.
This is why you should look into product liability insurance to protect you from risks. Your crafting materials and prepared stock will also need protection from loss or damage, so it makes sense to talk to our team at Brisco Business Insurance so you can have a policy tailored to meet your needs.
Starting A Crafting Business In The UK
You may already have a craft as a hobby that you love spending time doing. It could be anything from jewellery making to woodcrafts or creating soft fabric products such as cushions and hand-woven rugs.
Handcrafted and ‘artisanal’ goods are immensely popular in the UK and overseas. Still, the marketplace is competitive, so you will need to carve out your own niche or fill a gap in the market for something unique that no one else is doing to make your craft products stand out from the crowd.
Some niche craft ideas include:
Not only are upcycling materials fantastic for sustainability, but consumers are also more inclined to buy recycled goods to help cut down their carbon footprint. This is an angle you can capitalise on when marketing your craft products. Think about turning old baby gowns into memory keepsake cushions or upcycling old sideboards into computer desks.
- Gift Baskets
Gift baskets are popular evergreen craft products that are endlessly versatile. You can create seasonal gift baskets to create an all-year-round source of income. You can switch them up to include anything and everything from sweets and other treats to skincare and spa products – the combinations are endless!
Any craft you personalise will be a big hit. People love giving unique gifts that deliver a more personal sentiment than anything off-the-shelf. Offering personalisation will make your craft products utterly unique. Personalising your craft items need not be overly complicated, either. For example, if you make a range of gnome soft toys, you can have your gnomes hold a sign or placard that can be personalised with the customer’s message.
What Are The Most Profitable Crafts to Sell?
Not only will you want to create genuinely unique craft products, but you will also need to consider their profitability. Many handcrafted products are easy to make with a high-profit margin and appear to a broad target audience.
Ideas for profitable crafts include:
- Art and photography products
- Eco-friendly products
- Hand sewn items
- Hand-crafted jewellery
- Homemade soap and candles
It can also help to focus on evergreen sectors that are always popular, such as:
- Beauty and health
- Events like Christmas or Easter
- Pregnancy/new baby
- Weddings and anniversaries
Create A Business Plan
Creating a business plan is one of the most practical tasks to do when starting your craft business. It will act as a guide while starting up, and you can refine and adapt it as your business grows to set yourself new goals to achieve.
It will help to define your target audience and keep you focused on seeking ways to market your craft products to them.
Work Out The Right Legal Structure
As mentioned earlier, you must get your craft business’s legal side sorted out. This starts by defining the legal structure you will use and then implementing it. Most solo entrepreneur craft businesses in the UK are sole traders registered with HMRC to pay your taxes through self-assessment.
However, you can also set yourself up as a limited company with Companies House. Each option has advantages and disadvantages, so you need to consider which would be right for you. It can help to talk to an accountant or business consultant for advice before deciding on your legal structure.
You will also need business insurance that protects you against risks you may be exposed to. Brisco Business Insurance offers a range of coverage and can tailor a perfect policy for your new craft business.
You will need to consider the following insurance cover options:
- Public liability insurance to protect you should a member of the public gets injured because of your business
- Product liability insurance will cover you should a product you make or sell cause injury or a financial loss
- Stock insurance will help protect any stock you’re storing from loss or damage
Find Your Suppliers
You will need to establish good working relationships with several of your material suppliers. The quality and availability of your raw materials are critical if you want to build a solid business reputation.
It can be challenging at first to set up regular orders with new suppliers, and you may need to buy your materials up front. However, over time after your business becomes more established, you may be able to open up a credit line with your suppliers where you are invoiced at the end of the month or quarter for your materials and qualify for bulk-buy discounts.
Know Where to Sell Before You Start Buying
Marketing and selling your craft products is probably the most challenging aspect of running your craft business. Most crafters are creative at heart and love the process of making their products but are not so keen on the marketing and associated tasks needed to keep sales channels open.
Here are three ways to sell your products that you should research before you jump in:
- Selling online
These days, you can easily set up your own website to showcase your craft products and start to grow your profile. It can help to join one of the many craft selling sites online that you can use to promote and sell your products. Etsy is probably the most popular craft marketplace on the Internet, and it is a huge draw for potential customers looking for your goods.
- Craft stalls
Everyone loves browsing craft stalls at markets and events. You can attend plenty of craft fairs and set up a craft stall to sell your products in the UK. Start locally to get yourself recognised in your community and practice your display layouts and selling skills. Get some craft business cards printed to hand out and include with your sales.
- Approach retailers
Many traditional brick-and-mortar retail shops in your local town could be a great source of income. Look out for small independent stores as they will be more open to stocking and selling your products on their shelves.
By starting your own craft business, you are opening yourself up to a world of creative living where you can run your business on your own terms. You can create a stress-free working life doing something you enjoy daily.
We hope our guide helps you on your journey to independence and becoming your own boss with your own craft business. Find the ideal fit for your needs by exploring the various types of business insurance that Brisco Business offers.
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