We had a great time during our latest Crochet Business Chat Live with Kathy and Lorene! Don’t miss the next one on Monday, November 3rd at 11 am CST in the ELK Studio Crocheter’s Group! Be prepared with your questions!
Let’s get started with the notes listed below!
1. How do I figure out how to price my crochet projects?
- Lorene has a great blog post on just this topic. You can click HERE for more information!
2. I would really love to have mostly a RTS (ready to ship) shop because of the time involved and the stress of finishing a custom order, Is Etsy the best site to use for RTS?
- If you sell on Etsy, make sure your store is complete with a banner and all the policies are in place. Make sure the “about” section is filled out too. Tell people who you are and what you are selling and most importantly…..why they would want to buy from you!
- If you are marketing your RTS (ready to ship) products, you can use Facebook (but make sure it’s a business page and not your personal page because Facebook will shut down your personal page for selling items).
- Another great place to sell your crochet products is your local retail boutiques. Be prepared by having a good selection with some of your best items and/or portfolio of your products. You should have a business card, dress professionally and have a listing of your items and their prices readily available. (Remember, this is your business so play the part!)
- When you market your products on-line, you have to be ready for that person that requests a custom order too! It can generate some really good income.
- Katie from KT and the Squid sold for a while on Etsy before she started designing and says that you need to have all your RTS items ready before Christmas. A lot of last minute shoppers are willing to pay more for something that is ready since many shops will be too busy doing custom orders.
3. How does everyone sell their items from a Facebook page? How do people pay when requesting you to make your items on Facebook?
- You can check out Lorene’s Crochet Business tips HERE.
- You need to have a few ways your clients can pay you. For many people selling on Facebook, their customers can be local so cash may be an option, but you should always have other options too. You can easily set up PayPal and send your customer an invoice. It’s so easy to use and a great way to keep up with your sales.
4. My main question is: Time management! Where do you get started in the day, since we have soooo many hats to wear. Any suggestions what is effective to manage our time wisely, effective and efficient?
- Let me say first that YOU know YOU better than anyone and have to figure out what works best for you. Don’t compare yourself to what other people are doing and think that is the key to success. I know Lorene and feel pretty sure we may do some things the same way, but we also work differently from each other. It doesn’t make it wrong, it’s just different.
- Do you work better creating a list and checking it off or do you need to set up a calendar with the entire day scheduled, or maybe you thrive from some other type of work list?
- For me, I’m so creative in my mind that having a set structure that’s written down to follow usually doesn’t work, and when I can’t follow it, I always end up feeling like a failure. I quit doing lists a long time ago just for that reason. I do know people that thrive from lists and can’t function any other way. Having said all that, there are certain days where I know when I need to do computer work and when I can actually crochet. In order to be successful, consistency to any type of “structure” that works for you is crucial.
- Managing social media, blogging and crochet is a BUSINESS. Don’t sell yourself short or let anyone else tell you that it isn’t. I probably work around 60+ hours a week, and I’m sure Lorene works just as much. Is it worth it? That’s really for you to decide but with hard work and dedication, you can do it. Remember….consistency is the key. Don’t publish on your FB page a ton one day and nothing for the next couple of days. That won’t work at all. Your fans and potential clients will expect more. People by nature are very habit forming and expect you to be the same way and if you aren’t….well, they are likely to fall off and leave you. Not to mention, if you want to have good reach on Facebook, you better keep in contact with your people or they won’t even show your fans your posts anymore (That’s another topic entirely).
5. When doing a custom order, do you have the customer pay before you begin the project?
Lorene and I have two different opinions on this but both of them is at least making the customer make an investment in the project.
- Lorene recommends charging half up front as a non-refundable deposit, to cover the cost of yarn and your time.
- I say get the whole amount up front and would only consider half up front if it were a very large project like maybe a blanket. Otherwise, I’m all for getting it up front.
- I want to take a minute to talk about the business relationship with your customer. If you have someone that doesn’t understand why you require payment up front, it’s so easy for us to think in our minds, “You can’t go to any store and get something and pay for it later, so why should I let you?” We want to convey that message to them for sure but do it only in your head. Respectfully explain to the customer that your business policy is to receive the monies up front and you really can’t make any exceptions to the rule then tell them why they would want to pay for it up front.
- Excellent customer service
- Your turn around time (and state what it is) will always be kept without any issue barring any unforeseen problems and if so they can expect a full refund. (yes….if you can’t meet your own deadline, why wouldn’t you offer a refund?)
- Quality products each and every time.
- Customer satisfaction is guaranteed. (That doesn’t mean if she decides she doesn’t like the color it can be returned).
- I would probably have some type of business policies already in place and written down that’s easily accessible for your customers so they know going in what they can expect.
- One thing that came up in conversation was what if the customer purchased the yarn. Okay, let’s talk about that for just a second. If you want control of your business, don’t let the customer have too much say so in their crochet item as far as buying the yarn for you. Let them tell you what they want (blanket, hat, scarf, etc.) and then have a list ready of what yarn works best for that particular project and maybe a color wheel of the colors you already have in stock or can easily access. If you let them buy the yarn for a blanket, what if they buy a yarn that really isn’t designed for blankets or they don’t buy enough and here’s the best one yet….they don’t think they should pay you as much because “all you did was crochet”. What are you going to do then?
- Also remember, if your customer requests a luxury yarn….price accordingly. Quoting a price of a blanket using Red Heart Super Saver isn’t going to be the same if you were to use a more luxurious yarn right?
7. Is less variety of items to sell better? I make mostly props and hats but there are so many different designs/projects on my wish list!
- If making props and hats is what you are good at then you should stick with it. When you start to diverse too much, you really aren’t developing your brand. Plus, what if you don’t like making baby items (which I don’t) and then that’s what you end up doing ALL THE TIME to meet customer demand? Don’t be in fear that someone else that makes those baby items are going to take away from you because they won’t. I make adult accessories most of the time and that’s what I’m good at but more importantly….it’s what I love. You have to make things that give you a big ole’ smile when you’ve finished or else what good are you doing? I’m not saying to not ever make something different at all because even I make a few things out of the ordinary sometimes like a rug….. but Burger King is known for the whopper and not seafood just like I’m known for adult accessories and not infant crochet items. Be comfortable with who you are and embrace it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Chat Live notes and will keep coming back for more! In order to utilize our Crochet Business Chat Live time wisely, I’m asking you to review the previous chat notes too so that we won’t have repeat questions during our session!
Have a great day. Be blessed!