Creative people are often good at making a variety of handmade goods. This is totally fine if you’re doing it as a hobby! But once you make the leap towards running a handmade business you should it narrow down a bit. This doesn’t mean you can’t still make other kinds of projects for fun- just keep it streamlined in your online shop.
For instance, if you love creating crocheted winter hats, scented bath products, and bottle cap jewelry, it’s best to pick one and go from there. Since they are very different in type and material, it would be a bit confusing to have everything in your shop. Once you find your groove and establish a customer base you can then introduce new items that fit the same style and feel. For example, you could eventually add bottle cap necklaces with a crocheted fabric inside to go along with your hats.
Let’s look at a few ways to decide what your handmade business should focus on if you make many products!
Crunch the Numbers
Ultimately, you are running a business. Do some calculations to determine what is possible to create while still covering material costs and making a profit. I used to design and sew clothing and sell it online in addition to my handmade jewelry, but with the time involved and cost of fabric it was not feasible for me to continue. So I switched my focus to just making jewelry and sewn accessories instead. It’s okay to decide that something else you’re interested in is the way to go if it will allow you to have a successful business.
Conduct Comparative Research
Another way to narrow down what you should sell involves conducting research into your competitors in that segment. If you make something that has a very oversaturated market, it might be best to focus on another type of product. This can be done by browsing the sites you want to sell on (including Etsy and other online marketplaces), as well as independent websites.
Identify Your Niche Market
It’s also important to find your niche market- the small segment of the market you can cater to with your products. Ask yourself what needs would your customers have and how you can fulfill those needs. This will allow you to focus on a target market while standing out from the crowd of handmade businesses. Once you’ve identified a niche you can more easily narrow down what you want to sell in your online store.
Do What Makes You Happy
Finally, I suggest selling what makes you the happiest. This still has to balance out with the competition in your field and financial considerations, but if you choose what works in all of these aspects it will be for the best. If you really dread making a product because it causes you frustration or stress (even if it sells well), try to phase it out. Over the long term, this won’t be an item that you’ll be happy creating anyway.
How have you focused on a certain type of item for your online store?
- Five Easy (and Fast) Ways to Improve Your Etsy Shop - February 10, 2018
- Pricing Your Handmade Goods for Craft Shows - October 13, 2017
- 5 Unexpected Items to Use in a Craft Show Display - September 21, 2017