Custom Knitted Teddy Bears Are All The Rage!

Forget toy stores and claw machines! Get a teddy bear with a little more heart built into it! Hand-knitted teddy bears are becoming increasingly popular, with many of these adorable crafts adding cuteness to children’s rooms everywhere!

Your New Crafting Business

craftsYou’ve started a new crafting business and are wondering what comes next.

Start with a review of what you’ve already done.  If you’ve missed any of these steps, you should go back and make sure you have everything in place before moving forward.

  • Picked a product that is marketable, has a consistent demand, and is distinctive from other similiar products
  • Priced your product to cover all your expenses (including insurance, tools, distribution, utilities, etc.) and provide you a salary for your time, but is still affordable to your customers.
  • Decided where to sell your products (online, at craft fairs, in local stores, setting up your own store front) and where you will create your products.
  • Obtained enough money or financing for your startup costs and to keep you solvent through the first few months.
  • Registered your business and paid for any required business licenses.
  • Set up bookkeeping, bank accounts, and obtained necessary merchant accounts for accepting credit card payments.

Now you’re ready for the next steps.

Market Your Business

Many crafters use websites such as etsy to sell their work. You may also want to build a standalone website, take advantage of social media sites like Pinterest to share photos of your products, and advertise through online directories or even search engine advertising to get the word out. You can also participate in craft shows, distribute your products through local stores, or use traditional forms of advertising such as leaflets, posters on bulletin boards, or sending out postcards.

Maintain Contact with Customers

It is vital in the crafting business that you collect whatever data you can from customers, including permission to send them notifications about your products from time to time.  This way you can send out an email announcement of appearances at craft fairs, send them notices about sales or new products or identify and reward repeat customers with special discounts or prizes.

Create!

The true joy of a crafting business is that you’re always creating new things. Whether it’s a new color combination or variation of a product or developing an entirely new item, you’re using your imagination and creative muscles to make something beautiful and useful that you can put in the hands of a grateful customer.

Article written by Steve Johnston who is an active Las Vegas blogger in the casino consultants, crafting, and travel industry.

photo by: ~MVI~ (warped)

Craft Businesses Need Software

The rapid changes within technology mean that craft businesses also need updated software that can cater to the needs and demands of their business.

Traditional Craftsmen versus Modern Craftsmen

Traditional craftsmen usually relied on local trade as a means to communicate with their customers and suppliers. However, globalization and large scale craftsmen businesses means that manual systems can no longer be relied as an efficient means to conduct the business. Modern craft businesses not only require software that is able to streamline various processes but they require high quality software that results in an increase in revenue and boosts their profitability.

craft saleTraditional craftsmen were product-based which meant that product was made according to producer’s requirement. However, modern craftsmen are market led which means that they need to maintain constant communication with customers in order to identify market trends whereas they also need to keep updated with costs in order to retain their competitive edge.

Craftsmen software can cater to various demands of the business such as keeping track of inventory, making accounting easy and allowing communication with customers.

Web Building Software

Building and maintaining websites has been identified as an important method of marketing and improving revenue. Modern craft businesses therefore need software that allows them to build and maintain a website that enables them to communicate with customers and target various segments as websites allow for coverage across geographical boundaries.

Traditional craftsmen generally relied on a small segment of customers to generate revenue. However, the increasing competition means that this has become increasingly difficult. Craft businesses now need to incorporate software that is designed to cater to customer management needs. Through this software the business can communicate with customers, gain feedback, send promotional email and answer their queries in an efficient manner. Customer management software would also allow the craftsmen business to distinguish between various customers and target those customers that are frequent purchasers.

Customer Management software would also allow them to provide an efficient after sales service by immediately tracking the order and providing customers with a solution to their problems.

Financial Software

The complex accounting rules and regulations mean that craft businesses can no longer keep manual accounting books. They instead need software that allows them to generate financial data within a matter of minutes. The financial data would then help the craftsmen to identify areas of weakness such as cost inefficiencies and then draft control measures that can allow them to enhance their competitive advantage.

Learn more about customer relationship management software by clicking here.

 

Financing a Craft Store

Do you have a passion for crafts?  Many people do – and it’s a wonderful hobby to have.  However there are a few of us that take it a step further – and make it our life’s work.  Nothing will stop us until we make our passion a reality – and open our own craft store.  If you desire to open your own craft store then follow these steps to get started.

First of all you will need to establish a business plan.  Yes I know this this is far removed from the world of crafts – but its a necessary step that all business owners have to take.  To get started look at similar businesses in the neighborhood that you would like to open your store.  Look for services that you can offer that are not been offered by others.  In the plan you will also need to project the financial costs including start up and operating costs.  Your business should bring in enough revenue to cover these costs and make a profit.

Once you have the plan ready you can approach a bank or other financial institution to seek out a loan – assuming you don’t have the necessary savings.  They will require the business plan and will run a credit check on you.  If this does not work out you may have to find someone with cash that is willing to invest in your business.

Once you arrange the financing you need to hire a realtor and find the perfect location for your store.  Work out how much space you will need in the store, including storage and office space.  You may also want to incorporate a teaching room.  If you are going to buy the property then work with the real estate agent on finding a lending institution that can provide you with a mortgage.  For commercial property you will need a down payment and enough money to cover closing costs.  One option is refinancing your home to get the capital you need.  And remember your mortgage payment should be included in the business plan.

You will also have to find a bookkeeper to handle the finances including tax, insurance and payroll.  Once you have the property you should buy inventory from a wholesaler for the store.  You can use the prices to determine your markup to cover expenses and profit.  You will need to find competent employees to work in your store.  They would hopefully have a passion for crafts.  And finally – marketing is one of the most important aspects to drive customers to your store.   You will need to evaluate advertising, web presence, social media as well as other forms of marketing to get your name out there – and begin selling product.

To learn about personal loans, visit a financial site like http://moneymutualadvertising.com.

Image via Creative Commons

Daydreaming Spaces

When you’re looking for a place to rent, TransGlobe Property Management holds the key to your future.  It’s a fabulously easy way to discover how finding both commercial and residential properties can be.  Your property solutions are right here, and we pride ourselves on our exceptional customer service, offering you all the help you need, when you need it.  In Canada, TransGlobe Property Management is a company you can count on, here for you to meet you where you live.  Our local sensibilities and global vision serve to make your experience delightful.

We have an immensely user-friendly search engine, one where you’ll have an easy time navigating and finding many listings that will suit your needs.  Our properties are spaces that we’re admire, and we stand behind them with appreciation and care.  Helping you find a place to live and work is but one step in the process, although it can be the most exciting.  Looking for a new space is a lot like daydreaming.  The process usually starts out with a completely utilitarian intention, looking for the space that fits certain prerequisites in terms of size and amenities, and our search engine helps make this process very easy.

But after a little while, looking at the wonderful selection of properties, you might start to imagine yourself living and working in the spaces.  Although rooms have set functions, they are also spaces that store memories.  It’s difficult not to imagine life events happening in these lovely spaces, and daydreaming about a future is a fantastic pleasure when looking at new spaces.  Your particular styles and tastes will eventually be reflected in the spaces, and part of the fun in searching is finding the perfect fit for your own sense of design.  You can find it all here, and the searching almost as fun as the actual experience of living and working here.

What To Buy For Your Truck

There are many great tools and gear available today to add to a truck. Some of them look like a good investment others look like they are just designed for additional aesthetic appeal. In any case, you do have options when it comes to truck accessories. When you take the time to invest in a high quality truck accessory, you want to be sure it is the right item for you. For example, if you have a Nissan Frontier, you want to choose accessories that will work well with that truck to complete the look and function of it.

A good place to start is with a truck rack, assuming you have a need for it. Choose a rack that works well with the type of truck that you have, specifically. You may also want to invest in truck bed covers. These fit nicely over the top of your bed, giving anything you put inside of it protection from the elements. It also provides you with a bit of privacy.

Look at how you will use the truck, what you would like to have and the long term value of adding that accessory to the vehicle. You have plenty of options to select from and each offers a different benefit to you.

Students put art skills to work

Don and John Olivieri are sponsoring a contest exclusively for Lincoln-Way East to design a sculpture that incorporates the theme of architecture or environmental awareness to

Ad hoc: artnet AG: artnet AG to start Online Art Aucti.

artnet AG / Miscellaneous business figures, Misc. strategical corporate decisions / artnet AG to start Online Art Auctions Ad hoc announcement according to

Armed robbers steal $100 million worth of art from Zurich museum

The stolen art included works by Monet, van Gogh, C

U.S. Cellular to sponsor Black History art competition

To honor famous black Americans and encourage diversity and creativity among young students, U.S. Cellular is partnering with Moberly public elementary schools to sponsor its fifth annual ?