So, you have a talent for making handbags, or you created your own line of natural soaps; the products are great and people seem to love them.
You think you could really make a business out of doing what you love, but where do you find the people who want to buy what you are selling?
If you have handmade products that you hope to sell to the masses, here are some sales tips, both online and off.
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Focus on Target Market at Shows
If you plan on displaying your items at shows, choose your events carefully. While it may be tempting to attend every one and try to widen your customer base as much as possible, it can be a wasted effort. Think carefully about your target market and concentrate on events that you will put you in touch with them, the people most likely to buy your products.
Keep Displays Clean
We humans are very visual creatures, and reeling us in on that first look upon your products is key. A display that is distracting in any way will definitely hurt your sales since the focus will be off your items. Make sure your design showcases and enhances the products, not crowds them out. Again, think of the target market and design accordingly. In most cases, less is more.
Show Your Passion
People will always be more interested in a product that seems to genuinely interest the seller of said product. A perfect example is MLM—those who do best in this game are not only skilled at sales and marketing, they truly believe and love the products they sell. Whether you are trying to sell your products at a craft fair or on a website, make sure your passion for the product shines through. It can be infectious.
Have a Business Card
A good business card is key for selling your homemade products. They allow you to provide some very valuable information to prospective customers, such as your website or store address. You might print a coupon out on the other side of it to be redeemed at your place of business, or a coupon code to use at your online store.
Considerations for Online Marketing
The internet can be a boon for your handmade products. You can showcase your wares on sites like Etsy, Folksy or Ebay. If you do go the online route, however, having your own website is most important. Quality pictures of your items is a must — bad pictures can make even the best products look unattractive. Make sure to include appropriate descriptions. If you are selling soap or another personal care product, it is important to list all the ingredients. If someone has an allergy or is looking to avoid certain ingredients,she wants that information now. It is unlikely she will take the time to email you about it, and likely she will continue her search elsewhere. Make sure all policies are clearly outlined, such as returns, days products are shipped and related information.
Getting the Best Prices for Materials
This tip is a bit different than the rest, but just as important for running a successful business. You want to get the best prices for your raw materials that you can without sacrificing quality. If your volume begins increasing, try to negotiate lower prices for the higher volume of orders. If you make bags, for example, checking out a provider of wholesale purse handles may net you big savings compared to your current buying patterns. If current providers are not offering the best prices, bring this to their attention and see if you can get a better deal. But, with all the attention on saving money, do not forget about quality.