Okay, so, the title says “crochet business truths” so that’s what I’m going to deliver.
Running a crochet business is super special!
Being able to create beauty from scratch then offer it for sale is incredible! You know your items are out there in the world being loved as you put the love into them.
That’s why these crochet business truths I’m sharing will be hard to digest. Please, take them with the love they are delivered and examine where they may be holding you back from the prosperity you deserve.
“Handmade” is not a benefit
“Handmade” isn’t a benefit. What I mean is “handmade” isn’t fulfilling a need for most of your audience. “Handmade” is a feature. I know how hard it is to digest because “handmade” is what we pride ourselves in offering. Unfortunately, it’s not generally what our audience is looking for. Don’t get me wrong, there are people looking for handmade specifically, but that number is probably not large enough for you to make a profit month in and month out? When we can stop looking at our pieces as handmade and as more practical, fulfilling a need for our audience, we’ll sell more.
I mentioned it in “The Shocking Truth about Selling Crochet” but hearing it again will help you understand what it means. When I’m out shopping, I will gladly pay to buy something I’m sure I can’t make, but if I think I can make it, I don’t see myself spending money to buy it ready made. Unless what you’re selling are tools to help crocheters complete projects such as hooks, stitch markers or patterns, your audience is not found in the crochet community. Use the crochet business community for support, networking and giving or getting clients referrals, but don’t believe they are your audience.
Making everything will get you nowhere
I know the great temptation to say “yes, I can make that” when anyone asks you to crochet something. But, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. The more focused your business is to your target audience the more likely you are to be successful. Let’s say your target audience is teenage girls so you make cute trendy hats, wrist warmers, scarves and shrugs that you know they’ll love. Then someone comes along and asks you to make a baby blanket. Sure you CAN make it, but is it in your interest to turn your attention from your target audience and make that blanket? Once you begin to dilute your efforts the more likely your business will suffer. A great thing to do is refer that client to a fellow crochet business owner who specializes in baby items and keep focusing your target business.
Using cheap materials doesn’t create quality products
Would you go to a restaurant that sold food made with old ingredients. If you knew they used “almost bad” ingredients to make their food, you’d steer clear away right? Why? Because you know there’s no way to get the best food from almost bad food! So why would you choose to use cheap materials for everything you make thinking you’ll get a quality finished item? Okay, maybe not you, but I’ve seen it so many times.
There is a yarn for every audience and every price point, but as a crochet business owner you need to be aware of your audience and what they’ll want to buy. I hear a lot of complaining from crochet business owners about how they can’t get the price they want for their items or how expensive the local yarn shop yarn is. That comes down to two things: 1. Who’s your audience?; 2. Are you giving them the quality they expect? If not, reconsider. What if you were to buy a more expensive yarn, create a more upscale product and offer it to a more upscale audience, at a slightly higher price?
Those are just a few, but they can help you to look at what you’re doing and weed out what isn’t working. Remember, in the end, you are the best person to say what is right for your business. Start with one decision at a time and soon you’ll be in a great place.
If you have other ideas I’d love to hear them in the comments. Better yet, I’d love to hear a story where you adjusted one thing in your business and it worked out well. We need more success stories in the crochet community!