Start a basket weaving business by following these 10 steps:
You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your basket weaving business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
- What will you name your business?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a basket weaving business?
The costs required to open a basket weaving business are relatively low compared to other businesses. You will need basket weaving supplies, including reed, cane, and dyes. You will also need to create a website, set up an Etsy store, and pay for booth space at local events like trade shows and farmer’s markets. Fortunately, supplies are fairly cheap, and you can do most of your initial web setup and marketing on your own. Altogether, you can probably start your basket weaving business for under $2,000.
What are the ongoing expenses for a basket weaving business?
The ongoing expenses for a basket weaving business include materials for basket weaving, like reed and cane, along with marketing expenses, website hosting and maintenance, studio space (if not based out of your home), and employee wages if you have employees.
The costs can range widely depending on what you need to keep your business going. In your first year, you may only spend $5,000 for everything to run your business. In later years, especially if you have employees, your operating costs could be $100,000 a year or more.
Who is the target market?
Your target market is anyone interested in handmade crafts, either for collecting, home decorating, souvenirs, or other reasons. The business owners with Etsy shops for handmade crafts are overwhelmingly women — at 87% — and the market buying those crafts is likely to skew female as well. However, you could always buck the trend and design baskets for the more masculine buyer if you have interesting ideas in that area.
How does a basket weaving business make money?
A basket weaving business makes money by selling baskets to customers. There are multiple sales channels you can use depending on your preferences. You can set up an Etsy store, establish your ecommerce store, sell through retailers, sell in person at fairs and farmer’s markets, and so on. To make it a full-time venture, you will most likely need to sell through all of these channels.
How much can you charge customers?
You can charge anywhere between $10 and $300 or more for baskets. The price you charge is generally based on how much work and/or skill went into the finished product. A tiny basket for someone’s desk could cost $10 or $20, while a large basket for blankets in multiple colors could cost $200 or more.
How much profit can a basket weaving business make?
A new basket weaving business is typically the kind of business that provides supplemental income instead of full-time income. You might make a few thousand dollars in your first year. But if you do everything right and are lucky, you could become one of the big earners in the handmade crafts industry. The top earners on Etsy bring in around $300,000 a year.
How can you make your business more profitable?
You can help increase your profits in several ways. The better you get at weaving, the less time and effort it will take to make baskets. That increases your earnings. However, the real way to significantly increase profits is to build a reputation and attract a bigger customer pool. If you have highly-desirable products, you can charge much more for them. And if you double your customers, you can sell a lot more products.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is very important. Read our detailed guide on how to name your business. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your basket weaving business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
- This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank, credit union, business-loan friendly banks, one with many brick-and-mortar locations, and more.
Open net-30 accounts
When it comes to establishing your business credit, net-30 vendors are considered the way to go. The term "net-30," which is popular among vendors, refers to a business credit arrangement where the company pays the vendor within 30 days of receiving goods or services.
Net-30 credit terms are often used for businesses that need to obtain inventory quickly but do not have the cash on hand.
Besides establishing business relationships with vendors, net-30 credit accounts get reported to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended: Read our guide on the best net-30 vendors so you can start building business credit now, so you never have to worry about cash flow in the future. Keep in mind that poor cash flow is the #1 reason businesses fail!
Get a business credit card
- This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
How to promote & market a basket weaving business
Basket weaving businesses tend to market heavily on social media, both for their online stores and for their in-person appearances. It’s helpful to know how to take attractive photos of your products that will appeal to online viewers. For example, the better your pictures look on Pinterest and Instagram, the more likely they are to be shared.
Start by learning how to take advantage of free online marketing options – like social media marketing – before you invest money in advertisements. Once you understand the basics of free online marketing, it will be easier to identify promising angles for paid advertising.
How to keep customers coming back
Sell the best baskets you can make in order to keep customers coming back. If your baskets fall apart once the customer gets home, they are not going to return for another one. Keep honing your craft to ensure that the products you sell are top-notch.
It can also be helpful to collect customer contact info for ongoing marketing efforts. For instance, you can ask visitors to your booth and/or online store to submit reviews or subscribe to your newsletter in exchange for special offers. Later on, you can reach out to let them know about your new creations.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides, the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use.
Recommended: Find the best phone system for your business; check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2021.
Start A Basket Weaving Business In Your State
Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.
Is this Business Right For You?
This business is right for individuals who love crafting, specifically basket weaving. It’s not enough to be a great basket weaver, though. You also have to have a knack for getting the word out about your products and convincing potential buyers that they need those products. Like other businesses that begin with a hobby, basket weaving requires a combination of creativity and business savvy to be successful.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a basket weaving business?
There are two main aspects of a basket weaving business – basket weaving and sales. On some days, you will spend most of your time weaving baskets, which for many is the most enjoyable part. But on other days, you may need to market your products, negotiate deals with other business owners interested in selling your baskets, schedule appearances at events like farmer’s markets, and hang out at those events interacting with customers and selling products.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful basket weaving business?
The most obvious skill you need is basket weaving. If you don’t know how to weave baskets, fortunately, it is something that you can learn with a little practice. But, basket weaving is only a part of what you need to be a successful entrepreneur. You have to sell your products and do so consistently to earn a living from your business. Customer service skills, marketing skills, and bookkeeping skills are all important to keep your business going strong.
What is the growth potential for a basket weaving business?
Basket weaving falls under the umbrella of handicrafts. According to Businesswire, the North American market for handicrafts was $218 billion in 2018. It is projected to reach $400 billion by 2024. They attribute the growth to increased tourism in North America – tourists are willing to pay a premium for local crafts. Additionally, the rise of online platforms like Etsy has allowed craftspeople to reach a bigger market.
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a basket weaving business?
If you want to get your business off of the ground as quickly as possible, become a part of the communities relevant to your business. For example, if you are friendly and helpful at the next trade show with other craftspeople, they will be much more likely to send business your way and tell you about opportunities. The same is true for online communities. The more connections you make, the easier it will be to grow your business.
How and when to build a team
Many basket weaving businesses consist of a single person both weaving and running the business. It can be challenging to start making enough money to justify employees in the handmade crafts business. However, if you find yourself overwhelmed by orders month after month, you may have reached the point where help is necessary. Keep meticulous records of your business affairs so you have the data to determine if you can make more money in the long run by spending some now on an employee.