As is with all other successful business principles, marketing hand-made crafts also involve knowing the market trends and customer needs. But since this is a business that you operate from your home, it is essential to learn the supply and demand equations, to achieve your financial goals.
The supply and chain simply mean knowing what your customers are looking for and supplying the specific items. Given below are five tips on how to assess customer demand and how to supply the right item accordingly.
1. Know customer trends/customer needs. This means that you must know whether what you make is preferred by the customer. If you have your own niche in style and design, you can always keep a good amount of stocks, to last a long time. You can take note of customer trends, not only by observing what they buy but also through many organizations that provide valuable information on various aspects of the handmade craft business. Since trends have a short life-cycle, you should continuously focus on the niche that you have built. Trends will naturally follow these items.
2. Build up extra stocks. There are many ways to know how much you should make and how much you should stock. Taking orders from home or online is simple. If you participate in a handicraft show, keep ready stocks available. Talk to people who have taken part previously and also the organizers of these craft shows, to get a first-hand feel of the purchase patterns. Moreover, always know what items are your bestsellers. If they are seasonal products, make sure that you have enough stock for that particular season. Since customer demand may not remain the same every year, studying the fluctuations over a period of time, gives you a fair idea of the customer choices.
3. Stay ahead. Whatever your niche may be, make sure that you have adequate stocks of items that sell o may not sell. This gives you the advantage of a faster turnaround time when in need. A professional always keeps enough stocks. Especially when potential customers make inquiries about an item that is gaining popularity.
4. Keep a tab on what you sell. To know what stocks you should keep is to know what you are selling. Not only should you do this for your online sales but also all the craft shows you have participated in and the goods which were popular during that time. Since demand for a particular item can grow through word-of-mouth publicity, it is possible that the popular items of last year will become even more popular this year.
5. Get hold of more relevant information. If you are a novice in the handicraft business and not too sure what sells and what does not, you must get in touch with people who do know. There are many organizations as well as individuals who can help you with valuable information on the subject. The other information sources for sales estimates and inventory levels are online, magazines, daily newspapers, etc., which can throw more light on the matter of handicraft business.
Irrespective of which handicraft you decide to business in, which niche of the market you wish to capture, where you wish to sell your products, the most critical element is to maintain adequate stocks of your products at all times so that there is never a stock out situation. If you can assess the market trends and customer preferences and make products accordingly, you will soon become a successful professional in the field.