At the end of each busy season, I find myself taking some time off to rest of course, but then I get right back into preparation for the coming year. Just because the busy craft fair season has come to a halt doesn’t mean you should – quite the opposite in fact.
The craft fair off season provides several unique opportunities you need to take advantage of if you want to keep growing your business and improve your sales next year.
Here are my top 10 craft fair off season tips.
- Research shows for next year. You can start doing this for free and I show you how in my post “How to find local craft fairs free“. Research what other vendors had to say, take stock of shows you participated in this year and see if they measured up to what others said about them. Review some events and you can get free premium access to Eventlister also.
- Think Branding. If you are new to the game – or old at the game and need some new strategies, the off season is a great time to brand, or rebrand your business. You want your booth, packaging and business cards etc. to coordinate. Take this time to draw up or hire someone to create a catchy logo for you.
- Build or strengthen your online presence. You should have a Facebook page for your business and also a personal website. Even if you have an Etsy store, you will still benefit from a custom domain and space on the web. It enhances your professional image and helps people find you and stay in contact.
- Shop sales. If you create crafts for Christmas, shop clearance sales in January, it’s the best time to really clean up. You may also get lucky and find some good fall themed products for sale if you shop in December.
- Update your craft displays. Are you table covers looking a little ratty? Perhaps some of your other booth elements are wearing down as well? This is the time to start sprucing up your displays. You’ll get better deals on canopies, table coverings and other products now when they are least in demand. It’s also a great time to start some DIY craft display projects!
- Do some research. Not only is this a good time to research potential venues and shows for next year; it’s also a good time to start talking to your customers, friends and anyone who will listen about what they’d like to see from you next season. Take that input and run with it.
- Inventory. If you have a jam packed craft room, or a lot of supplies floating around all over your house *ahem* This is the best time to pull everything out and make a list of what you have and what you need. This prevents guess work later on and will save you time, money and precious space!
- Start a craft exchange in your area. This is a great way to get supplies cheap or free. Once you have done number 7, take extra supplies you have that others may need and try to do an exchange. If you have a lot of crafty people in your area, you may be able to start a once a month exchange night. Otherwise look for Facebook groups that do this – you’d be surprised how much you can save and you get to make some like-minded friends in the process.
- Thrift stores and yard sales. Once the cold of winter starts to fade, you’ll find a lot of people host yard sales, rummage sales, and thrift stores get a lot more inventory. This is a great time to keep your eyes peeled for items you can repurpose into displays or even new crafts.
- Taxes. Ugh… the thing we all hate but all must do. I personally use tax software every year for self-employed people. I don’t work outside the home, I run a freelance writing business and sell my crafts so I file as a small business/freelance individual. I found that tax software helps me a great deal. Your situation may be different, but it’s very important that you keep good records and file your income taxes properly!
So there you have it – plenty of ways to stay busy and grow your business year round. If you need help building a website, blog or managing your Facebook page I’d be happy to give you a free consultation. I work as a freelance writer and content developer and I LOVE helping small businesses and those who work as independent creatives.
Stop by my portfolio for a free consult and estimate.