Running a handmade craft business requires a lot of discipline and dedication- both creatively and financially. Effectively managing your expenses is so important for success because every little bit adds up. Not only should you watch the cost of supplies you buy for your business, but time is also as valuable as money (you know the old saying!). Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years…
1. Reduce Material Costs
The more money you save on craft materials, the more you have to invest in things like marketing, booth fees, and other essentials. Buying your materials and packaging supplies in bulk can save your business a lot of money in the long run. Once you’ve decided which items you will use most frequently, start buying them in larger quantities at a discount. Shop around and compare prices online, in catalogs, and at wholesale shows, and don’t be afraid to tell one company that you’ve found a lower price elsewhere. Some suppliers are willing to negotiate, especially if you place a large order.
Extra tip: Many companies will even give you better rates if you call and get ask to get assigned a rep. They can often quote you lower prices for the supplies you purchase regularly.
2. Cancel Unused Subscriptions and Services
Go through your credit card statements and see where your business expenses are piling up with little monetary return. For example, I recently had to make a hard decision. Canceling my email newsletter service wasn’t something I wanted to do, but it was necessary to save a few hundred dollars a year. I’ve had the subscription for several years and had only sent out a handful of emails during that time. Many small businesses have success with email marketing, but my business saw very few clicks or interactions. Go with what works for you and your company.
3. Learn to Say No
This may sound like an odd way to save your business money, but learning to say no to projects that will not be profitable is important. If the profit margins of an order are too narrow or it will cause you undue stress, sometimes it is better to politely decline. Your time can be better spent on a job that is less frustrating, time-consuming, or complicated. Trust your instincts in this type of situation!
Extra tip: If you have to say no to a job but know of another artist who can do it, refer them. You never know- they might send you a customer in the future!