Well, another season has come and gone and now it’s time to start preparing for the year ahead. Here’s a monthly goal list to help you grow your craft fair business throughout the year. If you find you’ve already met these particular goals, feel free to create your own and change things up. Set goals are a great way to make a craft business plan that will lead to long-term success.
Happy New Year!
The beginning of the year is time to take stock – literally and figuratively. You want to analyze your previous years sales, prepare to file taxes, and focus on getting prepared for the coming season.
Consider what worked well, what didn’t and what you may need to improve next year. Here are monthly goals to grow your craft business.
- How did you perform last year? Take note of any surprises (positive and negative) Use this list as a guidepost for the coming year.
- Based on your list, decide what items you will keep and what you might want to drop.
- Go through your supplies and take inventory so you know what you need and won’t overspend later on.
- Prepare your taxes from the previous year.
- Ready to start planning events? Use this time to start researching upcoming events. You can get free premium membership time at EventLister by participating in the community. Review the events you participated in previously, load information for forthcoming events you are aware of etc.
- Get ready for Spring. If you are a crafter who does Spring events, now it’s time to get started again.
- Consider your branding. Are you projecting the right image? Do you need to make some changes? Winter is a great time to focus on logos, design, color schemes etc.
- Expand your knowledge. The world is changing and with progress comes the need to modernize. Learn some new skills – Photoshop, Social Media, Marketing or even how to sell online. Look for sales on Udemy courses, visit blogs or even Youtube – knowledge is power.
- Narrow your niche. If you have too many eggs in your basket, this is a good time to focus on narrowing things down. This can save you time, money and hassle in the long-run. Another option is to split your ideas into more than one business. If you crochet and make soap for example, instead of one blanket name, create two.
- Check your display. If you do outdoor shows in particular, take time this month to check your canopy and do any repairs. Are your table covers looking a little worn? Perhaps it’s time to purchase or make new ones.
- If you do Spring craft fairs, ensure your spots are all reserved, your checks are mailed off and you’re Spring products are ready to go.
- If you received a tax return, you may want to invest a bit into your business now. Have a website created if you don’t already have one or purchase some nice business cards or replace anything that is worn out.
- Start preparing for the Fall season. Make a list of what you’ll be making, the supplies you’ll need and get everything ordered and ready to roll.
- Start preparing those fall goodies now. It’ll be here before you know it.
- If you take the summer off from doing shows, use this time to once again organize your work space.
- Slow months are a great time to once again focus on expanding your horizons – take a course or pick a topic and devote time to learning new skills that will help you.
- Have you considered selling your items in shops? Take some time to search out local stores that may be interested in carrying your items.
- Develop a quick “pitch” for any store where you think your products could sell well. You can sell wholesale, on consignment or rent a space – many options are available.
- Don’t want to sell in a brick and mortar store? Now might be a good time to learn about selling online via Facebook marketplace, Etsy and other venues.
- Start planning Christmas shows now and ordering supplies.
- Go through your Spring sales sheets and make notes on what your best/worst sellers were to gain some insight for next Spring.
- Consider if you need to do some rebranding or new packaging.
- Clean your canopy and other display items that may have been neglected.
- Finish Fall items and package them.
- Consider Autumn themed staging for your booth.
- Ensure all your Fall shows are booked and paid
- Check inventory of supplies like bags, price tags, sales slips and replenish if necessary.
- Start advertising your Fall shows. Post to social media, consider flyers on local event boards, church bulletins etc.
- Consider a Fall giveaway or other fun event.
- Anything Halloween themed should be finished/packaged for this month.
- If you do outdoor events ensure you are prepared for the often much cooler temps. In our area, October can be as unpredictable as Spring.
- Prepare a great sale or package that is holiday themed, like a gift basket of your items or buy 3 get 1 free. This is when people actively look for gifts for multiple people.
- Make sure your Christmas items are finished and ready to go during the first part of the month.
- Consider offering gift wrapping or special packaging for Christmas gifts and make a sign stating you offer that as an option.
- The first two weeks are your big sales time, after that it’s time to close shop for a bit. Push hard with incentives to get people to buy up those Christmas items.
- After the final sale, create an inventory of your items that are left over and go through your sales slips to see what were your best/worst sellers for the holiday season.
- Breathe and enjoy a rest until January!
If you follow these tips and general timeline you should grow your craft business more each year. If you are a first timer, it may take 2 to 3 seasons to really start expanding. Many people give up before giving it a real shot.