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The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business
SECRET #9 Educate Yourself !  Read - Read - Read!!!

By Karen Booy, as excerpted from
 Crafting the American Dream and the CRAFTLINK Newsletter Newsletter

Here is the latest installment in The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Business.  Now is the time to be doing research and product design for exciting new ideas for fall  Create a fresh approach and watch your profits soar....

The 12 Secrets:

C - Craft a Plan
R - Really Focus
A - Act Like You Believe
F - Fake it Till You Make It!
T - Transform Your Product

A - Ability -- Be Creative

D - Do What You do Best
R - Realize Opportunities
E - Educate Yourself
A - Attitudes
M - Maintain Good Records

! - Enthusiasm

Secret #9. Educate Yourself!

Read - Read - Read!!!

If you don't have a library card, run don't walk, and get yourself one!!!  You will want to check out every book you can on your craft medium.  You will be amazed at the amount of information available in your local library.  Don't judge a book by the year it was published.  Crafts are very cyclical and things never really go out of style, they just keep bringing the same thing out with small changes in colour and design.

After you have found out what is available at the library, start investing in a reference library.  Yes, that means that you actually purchase books that you can use as a reference for your business.  I often take the book out of the library, read it and if I find it of value, I purchase a copy for my reference.  By searching your specific medium you can become a self-taught expert.

TAKE CLASSES

Find out about who are the experts in your type of business.  If you are a quilter, a potter, a fabric artist, what ever your medium, learn who are the experts.  It is no coincidence that the experts in the fields are often the most sought after teachers.  Budget some of your money and attend as many classes from the best teachers that you can possibly afford.  The money spent on a good course will pay back big time in improved skills and satisfaction.  You will learn short cuts and techniques to improve your craft and this should result in saving time and increasing profits.

Once you have taken enough classes, you will soon be recognized as a local expert.  See how long it is before you are approached to teach!   Don't say I didn't warn you....

ATTEND TRADE SHOWS

Find out what the industry trade shows are for your type of crafts.  Today there seems to be a trade show for every type of business.   The following are the top shows related to crafts, however there are shows that are specific to flowers, jewelry, home decor, franchises, you name it and there is probably a trade show on it.

HIA - Hobby Industry Association
ACCI - The Craft and Creative Marketplace
Quilt Market
(see our Calendar of Events for more information on Trade Shows)

NETWORK

In order to keep your business fresh and creative you need to get out and network with other business owners.  It can get very comfortable staying in your craft room all day working in your pajamas, but for the sake of your business you occasionally need to get out and circulate.

By building a network of other craft business owners you can stay motivated and charged about what you are doing.  I love the creative exchange I get when I am with other people who love what they do and are doing what they love.  Sometimes it can get a little lonely and depressing if things aren't working out like you had expected and having the support of fellow crafter can ease out the bumps along the road to success. 

Build relationships with other crafters that foster growth and encourage you to reach your full potential.  If you find you are doing all the giving, look around for someone who is willing to be mutually supportive.

LEARN TO LISTEN

One of the greatest ways to improve your product and business is to listen.  Yes, you heard me, listen.  Are you sure your are listening?  Show your product and then sit back and see what people say.  The best place to do this is at a craft show.  You can get wonderful ideas from people walking by.  You will have to learn how to separate the positive comments from the rude ones.  Thick skin is an important aspect to market surveys!  Keep learning about your craft.  Get involved in your local craft association. Venture off and attend an international trade show or conference.   Become a perpetual student.   Never be content that you know it all. 

As you become an expert, take the time to help and teach others.  Share your knowledge and experience and you are sure to experience wealth.

Are you interested in receiving the other 11 Secrets? Crafting the American Dream will help you get started and keep going! In addition to the half hour audio, The 12 Secrets, you will receive five booklets, and a one hour video. On the Internet? You can receive on-line help via the Internet by joining our Professional Crafters discussion group. Crafting the American Dream is written by Canadian -- Karen Booy! Send $59.95 to CRAFTLINK 35410 Anderson Ave. Matsqui, BC V3G 1N4.

All the 12 Secrets are available on audio cassette in the Crafting the American Dream business opportunity kit.

The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business Part I

The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business Part II

The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business, Part III

The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business, Part IV

The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business, Part V

The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business. Part VI

The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business. Part VII

The 12 Secrets to Starting a Home-based Craft Business. Part VIII

 More information on Crafting the American Dream


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