Plan Ahead, Research, and Learn Before You Start
One of the best things you can do before taking the plunge to start making and selling your own handmade items is to research and learn as much as possible. One of the main reasons I wrote my book was to show the lay of the land and outline the possible options. With so many options it is very easy to jump right in only to find out that you chose the wrong direction.
If you know the basics of what is available you can decide what is best for you. Learn about all the types of items that can be handmade, all the ways and places to sell them, the methods of taking payments and shipping, and the tools to run a business before you start.
One of the first things to research is where you will be selling. Decide whether you will be starting your own website or will be setting up a shop on an online marketplace. Learn the pros and cons of each. If you want to set up a shop in a place like Etsy for example, go ahead and read their tutorials so you will know everything you need to do and how to do it. Setting up an online store does not take very long, but getting all your information together to put online can take a while.
Research photography and learn how to take your own photos so when you have your items made you can quickly get the photos done and put online. Learn about photo editing and determine the size photos you will need for the site where you will be selling.
Research shipping rates for your items and calculate your material costs so you can charge properly for shipping. Find places to purchase shipping materials and determine what you will need so you will be ready when you make your first sale.
Learn about SEO, search engine optimization, so you will name your items correctly and use the best keyword phrases for your website or store. It is a lot easier to do this right the first time.
There are a lot of things that you will only figure out as you go but these are just some of the things that you can learn and research before you get started. Knowing the basics up front will help you make better decisions and fewer mistakes in the future.