Start a Crafting Activity Site 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 Crafting Activity Site. 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 Crafting Activity Site?
Because your crafting activity site can be operated out of your home, initial costs are fairly minimal. The following should be considered when writing the “initial costs” section of your business plan:
- Website - The cost for your new website could range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. Whether you decide to complete the build yourself or hire a designer, your site should be secure, user-friendly, and have all the features necessary to conduct your business with ease.
- Computer and internet
- Camera and video recorder
- Supplies - At the very least, you will need enough supplies for yourself so you can lead students through each project. Entrepreneurs who sell craft kits or furnish each student with a class supply kit should partner with a wholesaler for competitive pricing.
- Online education platform - The platform you choose should allow you to collect payments, set up recurring payments, upload printable course materials, and host your video content.
- Insurance and licenses
While you do have the advantage of being able to work from home, it is important that you set up a dedicated workspace. This space should look professional and be free of all outside distractions.
What are the ongoing expenses for a Crafting Activity Site?
Fortunately, overhead costs for this type of business are fairly minimal. Once you have made your initial investment in supplies, you won’t need a lot of funding to keep it going. Your ongoing expense budget should include website maintenance, wholesale supplies, shipping costs, and insurance. Your most valuable investment, which is difficult to put a price on, is time.
Who is the target market?
At its core, your target audience possesses the desire to learn new techniques and build their art skills. This includes adults, school-aged children, and/or families. While this offers you an expansive pool of consumers to choose from, you will need to narrow things down a bit. Asking yourself a few key questions regarding your target market will help you build crafting kits geared towards their interests and skills, write scripts for workshops/classes, and identify the proper marketing tools and strategies to employ.
Details to consider when defining your buyer personas include:
- Age group(s)
- Interests (both inside and outside the artistic community)
How does a Crafting Activity Site make money?
As the owner of a crafting activity site, you can generate money through a variety of channels:
- Online sales of project kits
- Paid online workshops (live class)
- Paid recorded classes
Educators offering a bevy of courses can charge students:
- One-time fee for a specific course
- Monthly subscription fee for access to a variety of classes
- Monthly subscription fee for access to basic courses with the option to pay additional fees for more advanced courses
Consider market demand and where your skill set fits into the equation when defining your business model and determining how your website will generate revenue.
How much can you charge customers?
When setting your prices, you will need to consider your costs - both time and money spent on supplies. Crafting kit prices will vary depending upon the level of difficulty to assemble and supply costs. Online courses range in price from $50 to $199.
How much profit can a Crafting Activity Site make?
Fortunately, creating a sustainable and scalable business in this industry is fairly easy. Assuming you have identified industry needs and carved out a niche based on those needs, you have the potential to earn a significant profit. If you teach a $149 class to five students three days a week, you stand to earn $2,235 in weekly revenue. This results in over $116,000 (minus overhead expenses) in annual profit.
How can you make your business more profitable?
While your initial business model may be fairly limited, you will want to expand the goods and services you offer over time. This will not only increase the business’s profits, it will help solidify your place as a thought leader in the industry. A series of classes and/or crafting kits that build on each learned skill will keep customers coming back for more. Industry leaders also recommend hosting in-person workshops and craft-themed parties, as well as selling your own hand-crafted 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 Crafting Activity Site 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 Crafting Activity Site
Once you have defined your target market(s) and identified how you can best meet their needs, you will need to create a marketing strategy. Online social media platforms such as Etsy, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all offer affordable options for targeting and reaching potential customers. Additionally, industry leaders recommend including YouTube videos as a way to generate leads and convert those into paying customers.
While online advertising helps you reach a broader audience, you’ll also want to consider printed advertising. Approach various small businesses, including art supply stores and bookstores, and ask if they will display your pamphlets.
How to keep customers coming back
The most effective way to ensure repeat clients is through consistent quality products/service and regular addition of new creative projects. Once you have started to connect with your clients online, keep that line of communication open. Email is the most effective and direct way to remind your customers you are here and update them on the latest news.
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 Crafting Activity Site 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?
Are you a crafter that, time and time again, hears “I wish I knew how to make that?” Have you been looking for a way to quit your day job to focus on a career that brings you joy? Are you ready to be more present in your home life? If so, sharing your craft with others through a crafting activity site could be a profitable way to turn your dreams into a reality.
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 Crafting Activity Site?
The specifics of your day are defined by your specific business model. Some activity sites teach students various crafting skills through live and/or recorded classes. Many send out a list of supplies, requiring students to purchase supplies ahead of time; others ship all supplies, ensuring students have everything they need for the workshop. Yet another business model forgoes the online classes, focusing solely on selling crafting kits that provide the client with everything they need to complete a specific project.
Regardless of which business model you choose, your days will be spent working with supply wholesalers, planning new classes and projects, shipping out supplies, addressing client questions and concerns, and marketing your new business. If you decide you want to take things a step further and add workshops and/or recorded classes to your services, part of each day will be dedicated to performing class-related tasks.
What is the growth potential for a Crafting Activity Site?
At the very least, you will need a background in crafting and a firm understanding of basic art skills and concepts, including color mediums, shapes, and lines. If you plan to offer online classes and workshops, communication and teaching skills should be a part of your skill set. Industry leaders recommend CreativeLive’s Master the Art of Teaching video for aspiring educators who have never taught before. Additionally, the annual conference, Craftcation, is an excellent way to hone your craft, network, and support the art community.
TRUiC's YouTube Channel
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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 Crafting Activity Site?
For many, the idea of teaching their craft to others is intimidating. If you fall in this category, preparation is key. Start preparing for each class months in advance, and practice several times before going live. It also helps to know your audience and their skill level.
The beautiful thing about art is that there is always room to grow. Once you master one skill, technique, or style, strive to learn more. This will not only make you a better artist, it will give you new course material and ideas for crafting kits.
How and when to build a team
To maximize profits, you will likely choose to launch your business as the sole operator. Once your business starts to grow, you may need help managing your workload. An employee hired to perform administrative duties would free your schedule, allowing you to focus on the creative tasks. The addition of artists skilled in other art forms will help you carve out a niche in other areas, thus expanding your target market. Choose what works best for you and your business model; just make sure each new hire is professional and adds value.