6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Craft Business

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Congratulations on deciding to start your own craft cutting business with your Silhouette or Cricut! But, before you start, did you know that Bloomberg estimates that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs that start a business fail in the first 18 months? Those are alarming statistics – so let’s get started with a checklist and see if you are ready to start your own cutting business.

What to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Craft Business

1) Do I really know how to use my machine and troubleshoot problems that might come up? Unfortunately, I see this all the time. A new Silhouette or Cricut owner gets their machine, makes a thing or two and a friend asks them to make a product for them – and they will pay for it! Suddenly, the new cutting machine owner is ready to set up shop. Then, the new cutting machine owner runs into a problem with their machine that they don’t know how to fix – or commits to create an item for a customer that they don’t have the experience to make. The problems and frustrations just start snowballing from there, and the business never gets going. So, please, get to know your machine well before going into business.

2) Do I have enough money to pay for start up costs? Starting a business costs money. Make sure you have ample funding for items you’ll need including: a camera, supplies, advertising materials, packaging materials, website registration, logo design, and website hosting. Here’s a list of common start up expenses.

3) Do I have the time to invest in a business? Have you considered when you will create items? Ask yourself these questions: Are you available during the day to make items? Will you be working a part time or full time job and creating in your free time? Do you have small children and will be creating items when they are sleeping? Do you usually spend time with a significant other in the time that you will now be creating products? How will your significant other feel about you using this time for something else? Don’t forget, in addition to creating items – you’ll also need time to advertise yourself, complete paperwork, answer customer questions, photograph and list items (if selling online), and ship the finished items.

4) Do I have space to store my supplies and work? Where will you create? Is there space in your garage, basement, office, kitchen table? Where will you keep your supplies? Need some creative storage solutions? Check our these tips.

5) Is there a demand for the types of products I want to sell? Let’s take an example: I’m starting a new business and I mainly make personalized tumbler cups and cutting boards. I’ve made several personalized tumbler cups locally and landed a large order with a local cheer team. But, I also plan to sell online through Etsy.com. After researching online, I’ve found that there are eight other local cheer teams that I plan to contact about personalized tumbler team orders. When I typed “personalized tumbler” and “vinyl cutting board” into Etsy, I found over 14,000 personalized tumblers already listed, but only about 1000 personalized cutting boards and many were a style that I don’t create. Based on my quick research, I’m likely to get more sales if I promote personalized tumbler cups locally and focus on personalized cutting board designs on Etsy.

6) Do I enjoy working with people? In my opinion, customer service is what keeps small businesses running. Customers expect prompt, courteous communication on everything from getting details for a custom order to handling a lost package. Expect to dedicate time each day to handling customer inquiries and problems that arise.

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6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Craft Business - Silhouette Portrait or Cameo and Cricut Explore or Maker - by cuttingforbusiness.com

12 thoughts on “6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Craft Business”

  1. Hi! I’m interested in trying to sell vinyl wall decals on Etsy. I have no cutting machine or cutting machine experience. I found your blog as I began researching how to use a cutting machine, but I’m really more excited about the design aspect. What is the best (and most cost effective) way to find someone to produce my designs? Thanks.

  2. Hey been looking at your information I’ve recently got a cricut and a qe6000. Want to open a business need good tips. And help learning all this its new to me. I recently left full time job to be home.

  3. Also my cricut is explorer one what difference between it and other machines what can others do that it can’t do. Where do I get fonts and how can I save images to cut off Internet. I have a heat press as well. How to get good images for shirts etc?

  4. Great pointers!
    The TIME is the biggest thing! Before you know it, orders are pouring in and ALL your time is spent making stuff, weekends, days offs, etc…

  5. Shannon K Wilder

    Good Morning Christine,
    I am new to Cricut Maker and buying svg’s. My husband keeps saying that if I use items with logo’s such as Disney or Harley Davidson and others and sell the products that it is a copyright infringement and would have to pay royalities. Is this true? How do I know what I can use without getting into trouble?
    Thank You

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