Do You Have to Spend Money to Make Money?
People use this phrase all the time, “you have to spend money to make money.” Do you really have to in a craft business? I always recommend starting small and not spending much to get going but when you start getting sales, spending some money can help you make more. Here are some of the ways.
You can spend money on a new computer. A newer computer may not make you any more money directly but it can save you time, and time is money. A new computer will be faster at editing and downloading photos. Opening and editing photos of your crafts in Photoshop will take less time. You will also be able to update and upload photos to your website faster. Newer computers have more internal storage for all your files so you can keep everything on the internal hard-drive without having to use an external drive. Since all your files are on your computer, simply copy and paste them to your external drive and then you have a full backup. With laptops under $400, it can be money well spent.
You can spend money on advertising your craft business. This can directly make you more money by helping you sell more of your handmade items. Online advertising usually means PPC, or Pay Per Click. Google Adwords is an example and it can drive qualified customers to your website. As long as you keep track and make sure enough of those clicks convert into sales, you will be spending money to make more money.
One of the best ways to spend money to make money is to either purchase new specialized equipment or upgrade your current equipment. Upgrading your existing tools will usually save you time and allow you to make more handmade items for the same amount of effort. Purchasing a piece of equipment that can automate one of your processes can not only save you a lot of time, but it could greatly increase the number of items you can make without any extra effort on your part. Examples would be vinyl cutters and electric saws. Repetitive shapes you normally cut out of paper by hand can be done automatically with a vinyl cutter. Depending on what you need cut, electric saws are not only faster at cutting material but some can actually feed their own material when you need hundreds of pieces cut the exact same size. If you can buy a tool that automates a part of your production you can be doing another task while it is doing something repetitive.
You can spend a little more up front to buy your materials in bulk so you can save money on each item you make. Your per item cost will go down so you will be making more profit on each item you sell. This goes for everything you need to make your handmade items, including the shipping materials.
You can spend money to build your own website or upgrade your existing site. If you do not already have a personal website then the small additional monthly cost of starting one will be well worth it. You will save money by not having to pay to list each item and you will be opening your handmade items up to a much larger audience. Paying to upgrade your existing website can increase the likelihood of your visitors purchasing your crafts. A site that is easier to navigate, has a cleaner layout and design, and offers an online shopping cart can definitely make you more money.
If you are currently selling your handmade crafts locally at shows, spending a little money to list them on Etsy as well can definitely make you more money. The added exposure will likely increase your sales and the cost is very minimal compared to selling locally.
As your business grows and you reach the limit of what you can physically make by hand on a daily basis, spending money to hire some help can make sense. Hiring someone to help you with tasks like shipping once a week for a couple hours will give you more time to actually make you crafts. You will then have more items for sale and that can increase the number of sales you receive. Get help with the day to day tasks so you can focus more of your time using your talents and skills on the tasks you have to do yourself.