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Start a Handmade Business

Lesson 31 of 39

Business Plans

Kari Chapin

Start a Handmade Business

Kari Chapin

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Lesson Info

31. Business Plans

Lesson Info

Business Plans

Is this plans are another one of my favorite things because I like writing things down and figuring figuring them out business planning helps keep you on your path it helps you succeed it's important for your growth and there also just plans so they can change whenever you want him tio just because you have a business plan doesn't mean that you have a set of rules that you're required to follow rather it means you have some guidelines in place and some some milestones that you want to reach and you have something that you're working towards. So when you get confused like what was this the hat business? Why am I considering selling patterns when you have a plan or some sort of guide that you've created? You can make your decisions much, much easier so in our work book we talk a lot about business plans in fact, I like them so much I wrote an entire book about them called grow your handmade business, but business plans don't have to be millions of pages filled with charts and graphs that...

you're going to take to a baker. The first business planet ever wrote was well over one hundred pages and that's when I was going to open a bakery, I learned so much about owning a bakery from that business plan that when I was sitting down with a banker ready to sign for a loan tow open that business I thought you know what I learned from that business plan that I do not want to own a bakery? I would have to be there certain times of the day every day I would have to talk to people every day because hopefully I would have customers I would not be able to wear my day pajamas there that is not the life that I wanna have I don't want to work seven days a week, but I would not have known that without my business plan because when I thought about owning the bakery also I could imagine was I'm going to listen to all the music I really want I'm gonna it's going to be so cute there's going to be parties they're my dogs can come to work like I am you probably don't want to know that I would bring my dogs to work in my bakery, but I would, but it was such a learning experience that I want I don't think that you need a business plan to necessarily make your business successful right now, but what I do think you need is some sort of direction and some sort of grounding materials we're going to make a one page business plan these are the questions we're going to answer for our one page business plan this is going to help us when we're talking to people are marketing our businesses this is going to help us figure out what we're doing when we get a little bit lost on our path or confused we're going to be able to turn to this one page business plan and get back on track so if you have the workbook I'm not sure what page the one page business plan is on but there are lots of places where you can write reflections on this section and so you can use that but I would like somebody from the audience to come up and make a one page business plan with me who's going to pay all right heather everybody you know very okay we are going to make this plan have you been wondering what I keep on my clipboard up here yes yes I keep a bunch of this scribble scrabble no like so heather I want to know what are you in business to d'oh to sell my makes me the art to sell mixed media art ok and prince so you're in this business to make and create art right so you are all that are what are you going to do with your photography is that going to be a separate business I don't know yet okay so what are you going to make? What is this mixed media art it's a story on campus that I use paints found objects toe I liketo up cycle vintage paperwork okay, so it's painting? Yeah, okay so it's something I'm going to hang on my wall it is not a card it is not any other sort of product it's not a wall decals she makes paintings she makes things that you put on your wall is going to buy it hopefully everyone okay I do hope it is I would like to be a little who's my specific class it tends to be women women who are homeowners who are comfortable with their income to spend money on our work so women homeowners do you think they are married? Yes do you think they have children? Yes do they have to have children know do they have to be married? You know do they have to own a home? No. Okay, so women are going to buy your work? What are you going to do to reach these women? Um I like to share my images on the social networks update my website. Okay, so visual imagery I also try to get them out for our walks and galleries so people can see them so they can find them in galleries, huh? So if there's only two options for me if I want to buy your work I need to find it through visual imagery or I need to go to a gallery in your town well, I mean it's online okay, yeah that's a good spot, yeah so the work is online through your website my website. Okay, okay, that there's salisbury dot com how they're salisbury dot com world that's good. And how are you? How are you going to sell it? I mean, I know where you're going to sell it. The how are you going to sell it? What do you mean? Are you going to sell it by having conversations with people? Are you going to sell it through representative? Are you going tio sell it through a licensing deal, are you? Well, currently I sell it through conversation. Okay, people tend to follow me as I'm creating and showing interest and then talk about, you know, I think I'd really like to purchase that when you're done with it. So most the time it is through conversation. Okay. That's really, really good to know and how much they're going to charge. Um, it depends on the size of the painting, but it ranges from two hundred to seventeen hundred. Ok. And do those two those numbers include you paying yourself? Yes. Yeah, I have ah, per square inch price on my work. Very good. Yeah. Ok. And the big question is, how are you going to new if you're successful? Um, how my going? Well, I have ah, goal or an intention tio two every year increase myself by two hundred percent I mean that's a that's a personal goal and in the long run it would be I would feel successful when I no longer have to go to a separate job to pay my bills okay so you know you're successful when you can support yourself from your artwork and you have intentions that you work towards every year tio define what success means for you o tio double my sales is what the success means to me ok that's the minimum requirement you are tough boss that would be a tricky one. Um let's see support self by art work ok, so you've just made a one page business plan basically excellent yeah s so you know it's very clear to me what heather does she sells mixed media arts and prince I mean we could have a whole conversation about this now like your elevator speech all the things that you might want to share with a stranger you just wrapped up and one it's not even a full page and I have big handwriting you know and you've got all of that right there what you make his paintings so if you wanted to go into more detail you could let somebody know that it was mixed media and that you also have prince of them if they don't want to invest and a full painting you would know that you mostly need to talkto women and that it's great. If you can narrow that niece down a little bit more because let's face it. There's a lot of ladies out there that you like women who are your customers, homeowners married, most likely have children. You do this by sharing it through visual imagery and in galleries so people can explore your work through social media, your web site, or by going into a location. You also have an online website, which is heather cells, buried outcome where you can direct people. Um, you sell your work by having conversations with people that means it's, a good idea for you to focus on blogging and social media, and going to shows and events where you can connect with people face to face through conversations. That's, what works for you when it comes to selling your art, you know how much what your price ranges and so that's, really good, you'll be easily able to set your goals, because, you know, your goal is to double it. When you know what your prices are, that makes it a lot easier. You know, your numbers enough to be able to appoint yourself in a specific direction, right off the bat, and, you know, you know, at the end of the day, how to determine when, when you have been doing a good job which is really important and it's something that a lot of us forget to dio as how do we know when we're doing a good job? We're going to talk about that more in section segment for because now that you work for yourself and you don't have a boss or you do and you are really mean boss to yourself it could be hard to tell when you are when you're being successful if you don't define what that means you but you have definitely done that you know that by the time you are able to support yourself one hundred percent with going to your other job that you have reached that level of business where you want to be a manual set new intentions and goals it's not that you will stop working or trying hard and you have a concrete goal very measurable of doubling your sales does that feel better to see things like so it does it doesn't feel but I have a list and I feel like I in my head now that it's on paper it feels more legit know that we've written it down and I can see yeah you should belt buckle I ok hee I can official plan is just beginning fabulous thing yeah it's agree it's a great exercise to do for yourself if you are feeling frustrated with your sales you can look back at this and say well have I really been targeting enough women? I know that that's what works for me I haven't done a gallery show in quite a while and I know that I do really well there am I having good enough conversations about my work that's how I sell it you know I changed my prices recently and I'm not making my goals could this be wide or is the school even realistic if I need to double my sales from last year how many paintings do you need to make up this price or at this price you can find a lot of information about your business by doing this simple quick exercise and you can shut down a lot of the other stuff that happens in your brain by just getting this kind of thing down on paper because I don't know about you but I think a lot about how I define success because it always seems to be changing but sometimes I think who is reading my books it's helpful to think oh yeah this person I figured that out awhile today so it's a brain space saver thank you very much you're welcome are there any questions about our yes the question how will you sell it? I feel like for me it's my photographs so with that be how would I is that through social media and yeah hearing those visual images with people your photographs really help get your message out so how will you sell it? You will sell it with really good visual representation, which means you're putting it online, so you'll sell it through photographs online.

Class Description

Most artists and crafters are easily inspired to create new work, but getting inspired to build a business that shares that work with the world can sound like a much more daunting prospect. Kari Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace and Grow Your Handmade Business, is ready to teach you everything you need to know to break into the online marketplace and share your work with the world.

Kari will help you determine the online sales venue that’s best suited to your handmade goods. You’ll learn about the pros and cons of both selling through an existing online marketplace (like Supermarket or Etsy®) and setting up your own independently-operated website. You’ll also develop the optimal marketing strategy for sharing your products with the world, from social media to blogging to branding and packaging. Kari will cover essential best practices for running a successful crafting business, including confidently setting price points, creating media kids, acting as your own publicist, and much more.

No matter what you make, this course will give you the confidence to see the things you have to offer as uniquely valuable to customers, the inspiration to take your work to new heights, and the foundation you need to ensure your business’s success.



Kari Chapin's course, Start a Handmade Business, was a game-changer for me. Her content was presented in such an accessible, engaging, easy-to-digest, and oftentimes hilarious way. At the same time, she did not sugar-coat things. Having a handmade business is a job and requires work. I love that she emphasized that fact. Not only did she give the nut and bolts of how to start a handmade business but spent a lot of time on the emotional component of being an artist trying to sell her work. Her guests (Skype and in-studio) were well-chosen and showed the rapport she has with her community. This showed that she lives what she teaches. The interaction with the studio audience and online community was integral to the course because it showed real-life examples of business owners at varying stages in their career. (I was so lucky to be one of the studio audience members. I will forever be grateful for this opportunity!) This class was a comprehensive look at handmade businesses that everyone from fledgling businesses to more established businesses can benefit from. I highly recommend this course! Thank you Kari for sharing your mind-blowing wisdom and warm and fuzzy heart with us! And thank you CreativeLive for having this awesome resource for the creative community! --Cathy Pascual,


Well, it's been a few days since the course and I am still pumped. Kari said a few things in particular that I needed to hear and I'm so grateful for that. I have been involved in the facebook group she put together and I am so happy about that. It's an awesome resource and my fellow creatives have been very helpful and encouraging. I totally recommend this course to any creative entrepreneur at any stage in their journey. Plus she is cute, funny and has just the right amount of snarkiness. I so enjoyed it!

a Creativelive Student

I loved this course with Kari Chapin! Her wealth of information delivered with such an honest and funny voice was refreshing and inspiring. I have accomplished things in the last few days that have languished on my to-do list for a year or more, largely due to this class. Kari is very down-to-earth and just plain adorable! I highly recommend this course for anyone creative who has or wants to have their own business.