Submitted by: Vivian Orr, Communications & Publications Coordinator

“To be prepared is half the victory.”

Let’s face it – professional craftspeople are small business entrepreneurs. To make a living creating fine craft the products have to generate income. To do this efficiently, effectively and economically you need to be prepared – you need a business plan.

Don’t let your eyes glaze over or start tensing your shoulders up to your ears. I do not advocate creating 3-inch thick business plans document (unless you are approaching a bank for a major financial investment/loan).

What I suggest is do the planning you need to run your craft business better. Planning is a powerful tool for driving your business. A road map that keeps you going in the right direction towards your goal but is flexible enough that you can explore opportunities that may appear along the way.

 “…plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”

Questions to answer for yourself:

1) Who you are. Do you identify yourself as a ceramic artist, a blacksmith, a jeweller, a fibre artist? What do you do well, differently, better? What do you like to do? What do you want to do? What sets you apart from the crowd? Think about the other side of the coin: who you are not, what you do not do well, what you do not want to do.

2) Whom you reach. Who is your target market? Can you refine your target so you can answer: how is your target different from the rest? Again think about the flip side: whom do you not reach and why? Do not try to be all things for all people.

3) What you do for your target market. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and answer the age old customer question: what’s in it for me? This question is not about you as the artist, crafts person, creator – it is all about the people who purchase your pieces with their hard earned dollars.

Now that you have given some thought to: what, why, how and who? You need to deal with: how much… How much capital do you need? What is your budget and cash flow? Learn the math involved in setting a price. Consider attending a SCC Pricing your Craft workshop.

Did this wet your appetite for business planning? Then explore some of these links: