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How To Write a Business Plan for Handmade Craft Business in 9 Steps: Checklist

By alex ryzhkov, resources on handmade craft.

  • Financial Model
  • Business Plan
  • Value Proposition
  • One-Page Business Plan
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Business Model
  • Marketing Plan

Are you passionate about creating unique, handmade crafts? Do you dream of turning your hobby into a profitable business? If so, you're in the right place! In this blog post, we'll walk you through the essential steps to write a business plan for your handmade craft business in just 9 steps. But before we dive into the details, let's take a look at some eye-opening statistics about the industry and its remarkable growth.

Statistical information about the industry:

  • The handmade craft industry is booming, with a market value of over $40 billion in the United States alone.
  • According to a recent survey, 72% of consumers prefer handcrafted items over mass-produced alternatives.
  • The global handmade craft market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% from 2021 to 2026.
  • Online marketplaces for handmade crafts, such as Etsy, have experienced significant growth, with over 81 million active buyers worldwide.

Now that you're aware of the tremendous potential of the handmade craft industry, it's time to start creating your business plan. By following the 9 steps we'll outline in this blog post, you'll be well-prepared to launch and grow a successful handmade craft business.

Research The Market And Identify Target Customers

Before starting a handmade craft business, it is crucial to conduct thorough market research to understand your potential customers and their needs. This step will help you identify your target audience and allow you to tailor your products and marketing strategies accordingly.

Here are some important factors to consider:

  • Demographics: Determine the age range, gender, location, and income level of your target customers. This information will help you create products and marketing campaigns that align with their preferences and purchasing power.
  • Market Trends: Stay updated on current trends in the handmade craft industry. This includes popular materials, techniques, and design styles. Understanding the market trends will enable you to create unique and relevant products that appeal to your target customers.
  • Competitor Analysis: Identify your competitors and analyze their business strategies, products, and pricing. This will help you differentiate your handmade craft business and identify gaps in the market that you can target.
  • Customer Feedback: Collect feedback from potential customers to gain insights into their preferences, expectations, and pain points. This can be done through surveys, online forums, or by engaging with similar businesses' social media pages. Understanding customer feedback will allow you to refine your product offerings and marketing messages.

Tips for researching the market and identifying target customers:

  • Utilize online tools and platforms to gather market data, such as Google Analytics, social media analytics, and industry reports.
  • Attend craft fairs, exhibitions, and trade shows to observe customer behavior, trends, and competitors firsthand.
  • Consider using focus groups or conducting interviews with potential customers to gain more in-depth insights.
  • Stay open to adapting your products and strategies based on market research findings to meet the evolving needs and preferences of your target customers.

By thoroughly researching the market and identifying your target customers, you will be able to align your handmade craft business with market demands and effectively cater to your customers' preferences, ultimately increasing your chances of success.

Define The Unique Selling Proposition And Competitive Advantage

In order to stand out in the crowded market of handmade crafts, it is crucial to define your unique selling proposition (USP) and competitive advantage. These factors will set your business apart from competitors and attract customers to choose your products over others.

The first step in defining your USP is to identify what makes your handmade craft business different from others. Look for distinctive features, such as the materials you use, the techniques you employ, or the design aesthetic you showcase. Highlight these unique aspects and incorporate them into your marketing messages and branding.

Your competitive advantage refers to the specific strengths and advantages your business has over competitors. This could include factors like your expertise in a particular craft, your ability to offer customization options, or your commitment to using sustainable materials. Clearly articulating these advantages will help appeal to customers who are seeking high-quality, personalized, or environmentally-friendly products.

Tips for Defining Your USP and Competitive Advantage:

  • Conduct market research to understand your target customers’ needs and preferences.
  • Analyze your competitors to identify gaps in the market that you can fill with your unique offerings.
  • Consider conducting customer surveys or focus groups to gather feedback on what sets your products apart.
  • Focus on the benefits your products offer, rather than just the features. Emphasize how they can enhance customers’ lives or solve a problem they may have.
  • Stay true to your brand values and let them shine through in your products. This authenticity will resonate with customers.

By defining your USP and competitive advantage, you will have a clear direction for your handmade craft business, which will help attract customers who value and appreciate the unique qualities of your products. This strategic positioning will also guide your marketing efforts, ensuring that you effectively communicate the distinctiveness of your offerings to your target audience.

Conduct A SWOT Analysis

Conducting a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is a crucial step in developing a business plan for your handmade craft business. It enables you to gain a comprehensive understanding of your business's internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats in the market.

An effective SWOT analysis helps you assess your business's current position, identify areas of improvement, and capitalize on potential opportunities. Here are the key steps to conducting a SWOT analysis for your handmade craft business:

  • Identify your strengths: Consider what sets your handmade craft business apart from competitors. Are you skilled in a specific craft technique? Do you offer unique designs or use high-quality materials? Understanding your strengths helps you capitalize on them and differentiate your business.
  • Recognize weaknesses: Be honest about the aspects of your business that need improvement. Are there any operational inefficiencies or skill gaps? Identifying weaknesses allows you to address them and strive for continuous improvement.
  • Explore opportunities: Research the market and industry trends to uncover potential opportunities for growth. Are there untapped customer segments or emerging trends you can leverage? Identifying opportunities helps you align your business strategy with the market demands.
  • Assess threats: Understand the potential challenges and threats your handmade craft business may face. Consider factors like increasing competition, changing consumer preferences, or economic downturns. Being aware of threats allows you to proactively plan and mitigate risks.

An effective SWOT analysis provides valuable insights, allowing you to make informed decisions and develop strategies that capitalize on your strengths, improve upon weaknesses, seize opportunities, and effectively manage potential threats. Taking the time to conduct a thorough SWOT analysis will set you on the path to creating a strong and successful business plan for your handmade craft business.

Determine The Legal Structure Of The Business

When starting a handmade craft business, it's important to determine the legal structure of your business. The legal structure affects the way your business operates, its ownership, and how it is taxed. Here are some important considerations when determining the legal structure of your business:

  • Identify the options: Research and understand the different legal structures available for small businesses, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it's crucial to choose the one that best fits your business needs and goals.
  • Evaluate personal liability: Consider the level of personal liability protection you desire. For example, if you want to separate your personal assets from your business liabilities, forming an LLC or corporation may be a suitable choice, as they provide limited liability protection.
  • Consider tax implications: Consult with a tax professional to understand the tax implications associated with each legal structure. Sole proprietors and partnerships face different taxation requirements than LLCs and corporations. Understanding the tax obligations can help you make an informed decision.
  • Research licensing and permits: Different legal structures may have varying licensing and permit requirements. Research the specific permits and licenses needed for your chosen legal structure and ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Consult with a business attorney or legal professional to get expert advice tailored to your specific business needs.
  • Evaluate the long-term growth potential of your business and choose a legal structure that accommodates scalability.
  • Consider future partnerships or ownership changes and select a legal structure that allows for flexibility in these areas.

Choosing the right legal structure for your handmade craft business is crucial to ensure legal compliance, protect your personal assets, and set a solid foundation for your business operations. Take the time to research, evaluate, and seek professional advice before making a decision.

Assess The Financial Requirements And Resources

When starting a handmade craft business, it is crucial to assess the financial requirements and resources needed to establish and sustain the venture. This step will help determine the financial feasibility of the business and ensure that you have the necessary funds and resources to support its growth and operations.

1. Identify Start-Up Costs: Begin by identifying all the start-up costs associated with your handmade craft business. This could include expenses such as equipment, materials, initial inventory, website development, branding, marketing, and legal fees. Make a comprehensive list of these costs and estimate their total to have a clear picture of the financial investment required.

2. Determine Funding Sources: Consider the various funding options available to you, such as personal savings, loans from family and friends, crowdfunding platforms, small business grants, or even seeking investors. Assess your capacity to contribute financially and explore external funding opportunities to cover any shortfall.

3. Create a Budget: Develop a detailed budget that outlines your expected income and expenses for the first year of operation. This will help you ascertain the amount of revenue required to cover costs and achieve profitability. Include overhead costs, production expenses, marketing expenses, and any other relevant expenditures.

4. Analyze Cash Flow: It is essential to have a solid understanding of your expected cash flow. Determine when money will be coming in and going out, and ensure you have enough working capital to cover ongoing expenses and emergencies. This analysis will assist in planning and managing your finances effectively.

  • Consider seeking advice from a financial professional or accountant to ensure accuracy and reliability when assessing financial requirements and resources.
  • Regularly review and monitor your financial statements and adjust your budget and financial plans accordingly to stay on track.
  • Explore cost-saving measures such as bulk-buying materials, negotiating favorable terms with suppliers, or utilizing efficient production techniques to optimize your financial resources.

By carefully assessing the financial requirements and resources of your handmade craft business, you will be better equipped to make informed decisions, secure adequate funding, and manage your finances effectively. This step will contribute to the overall financial stability and success of your business, allowing you to focus on creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces for your customers.

Define The Pricing Strategy

When starting a handmade craft business, it is crucial to carefully consider your pricing strategy. This step involves determining the appropriate price for your unique, handcrafted items that not only covers your costs but also ensures profitability. Here are some essential factors to consider when defining your pricing strategy:

  • Cost of materials and supplies: Calculate the cost of the materials and supplies used to create each item. This includes everything from yarn and beads to clay and metals. Consider both the direct cost of materials and any indirect costs, such as shipping or packaging materials.
  • Time and labor: Determine how much time it takes to create each item, including the design, production, and finishing touches. Assign a reasonable value to your time and labor. This will depend on factors such as your skill level, expertise, and the complexity of the item.
  • Overhead expenses: Take into account any recurring expenses associated with running your business, such as rent for a physical shop or fees for an online platform. These overhead expenses should be allocated to each item to ensure they are covered by your pricing.
  • Market research: Research the market to understand the pricing of similar handmade craft items. This will help you determine a competitive price range for your products. Consider factors such as the quality, uniqueness, and brand reputation when comparing prices.
  • Profit margin: Define the level of profit you aim to achieve with each sale. This will depend on your business goals and the market demand for your products. A healthy profit margin will ensure sustainability and growth of your handmade craft business.
  • Consider offering different price points to cater to a wider range of customers. This could include a range of items at various price levels, from affordable options to higher-end, luxury pieces.
  • Regularly review and evaluate your pricing strategy to ensure it remains competitive and aligned with market trends. Make adjustments as needed based on customer feedback, cost fluctuations, or changes in demand.
  • Communicate the value and unique selling points of your handmade craft items to justify the pricing to your customers. Highlight the quality, craftsmanship, and personalization options, which set your products apart from mass-produced alternatives.

Defining a pricing strategy that takes into account all these factors will enable you to set fair prices for your handmade craft items while ensuring profitability and sustainable growth for your business.

Develop A Marketing And Sales Plan

Developing a robust marketing and sales plan is essential for the success of your handmade craft business. It will help you identify your target audience, reach out to potential customers, and ultimately drive sales. Here are some important steps to consider:

  • Identify your target customers: Conduct market research to understand the demographics, interests, and buying behaviors of your potential customers. This will help you tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right audience.
  • Create a compelling brand identity: Develop a unique brand identity that resonates with your target customers. This includes designing a logo, choosing a color scheme, and creating a consistent visual identity across all your marketing materials.
  • Build an online presence: Create a professional website and establish a strong online presence through social media platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Showcase high-quality images of your handmade crafts and engage with your audience through regular content updates.
  • Implement effective SEO strategies: Optimize your website and online content using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to improve your visibility in search engine results. Use relevant keywords, meta tags, and backlinks to increase organic traffic to your website.
  • Utilize email marketing: Collect email addresses from your customers and potential leads to build a subscriber list. Send regular newsletters, updates, and exclusive promotions to keep them engaged and interested in your handmade crafts.
  • Collaborate with influencers and bloggers: Reach out to influencers and popular bloggers in the crafting industry to showcase your products. Partnering with influential individuals can help increase brand awareness and drive sales.
  • Participate in craft fairs and events: Book stalls at local craft fairs, exhibitions, and events to showcase your handmade crafts. This will give you an opportunity to directly interact with potential customers and gain valuable feedback.

Tips for a successful marketing and sales plan:

  • Offer discounts and promotions to attract new customers and encourage repeat purchases.
  • Invest in professional product photography to highlight the quality and uniqueness of your craft items.
  • Engage with your audience on social media by responding to comments, messages, and inquiries in a timely manner.
  • Collaborate with complementary businesses to cross-promote each other's products or offer joint promotions.

By developing a comprehensive marketing and sales plan, you can effectively promote your handmade craft business and reach out to your target customers. Remember to regularly review and adapt your strategies based on customer feedback and market trends to stay ahead in the competitive crafting industry.

Create An Operational Plan

Creating an operational plan for your handmade craft business is essential for ensuring smooth and efficient day-to-day operations. It outlines the specific tasks, processes, and procedures that will be followed to produce and deliver your unique, handcrafted items.

1. Define the production process: Start by identifying the steps involved in creating your handmade crafts. This may include gathering materials, designing the item, manufacturing, quality control, packaging, and shipping. Clearly outline each step and the resources required.

2. Determine production capacity: Assess the amount of products you can create within a given timeframe. Consider factors like the number of hours you can dedicate to crafting, the availability of raw materials, and the level of demand from customers. This will help you set realistic production goals and manage your inventory effectively.

3. Establish quality control measures: Ensure that each item meets your high standards of craftsmanship. Develop a process to inspect and verify the quality of your products before they are packaged and delivered to customers.

4. Set up inventory management: Implement a system to track and manage your inventory, including raw materials and finished products. This will help you avoid shortages, identify popular items, and manage stock levels more efficiently.

5. Plan for resource allocation: Consider the availability of resources like workspace, tools, and equipment. Determine how these resources will be allocated and ensure they are well-maintained to support smooth operations.

6. Develop a fulfillment strategy: Decide how you will fulfill customer orders, whether through shipping or in-person pick-ups. Determine the packaging requirements, shipping carriers, and delivery timeframes to provide a seamless customer experience.

Tips for Creating an Operational Plan:

  • Consider outsourcing certain tasks or collaborating with other crafters to manage peak demand periods.
  • Document standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each step of the production process to ensure consistency and minimize errors.
  • Regularly review and update your operational plan to adapt to changing market conditions, customer preferences, and business growth.

Conduct A Feasibility Study

Conducting a feasibility study is crucial to determine the viability of your handmade craft business. The study involves assessing various factors that can affect the success of your business, such as market demand, competition, resources, and financial projections.

During the feasibility study, it is important to gather information and analyze it objectively . Start by researching the market size, trends, and potential growth for handmade craft products. Identify your target customers and understand their preferences and buying behavior.

Assess the level of competition in the market . Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and identify opportunities to differentiate your business through unique product offerings or innovative marketing strategies.

Next, evaluate your resources and financial requirements . Determine the cost of materials, equipment, and labor needed to produce your handmade crafts. Consider the potential revenue streams, such as online sales, custom orders, or partnering with local retailers.

Develop a financial projection that includes estimated sales, expenses, and profitability over a specific period. This will help you assess the financial viability of your business and make informed decisions regarding pricing strategies, marketing investments, and resource allocation.

Consider conducting a market test or pilot project to validate your assumptions and gauge customer interest in your products. This can help you refine your offerings and marketing strategies before launching your business on a larger scale.

Feasibility Study Tips:

  • Engage with potential customers through surveys or focus groups to gather feedback on your product ideas.
  • Network with other craft business owners or industry professionals to gain insights and learn from their experiences.
  • Consider seeking advice from a business mentor or consultant who specializes in the handmade craft industry.
  • Continuously review and update your feasibility study as market conditions and customer preferences may change over time.

Writing a business plan for a handmade craft business requires thorough research, thoughtful planning, and careful consideration of the market and resources available. By following these 9 steps, you can ensure that your business is well-prepared for success. From identifying your target customers to developing a marketing and sales plan, each step is crucial in creating a solid foundation for your business. Remember to regularly assess and adapt your plan as your business grows and evolves. With a well-structured business plan, you can confidently launch and manage your handmade craft business.

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The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Craft Business

Click a heading below to jump to that section of the guide.

What you need to know about starting a craft business Creating a business plan How long will staring a craft business take How much will it cost to start a craft business Understanding legalities and insurance for your craft business Marketing your craft business Where to sell your craft products How to promote your craft products

how to write a business plan for a craft business

Starting a craft business can be an exciting and rewarding adventure. You can start completely from scratch and learn new skills with the potential outcome of creating a viable business. If you already have a crafty hobby or particularly enjoy a craft, then you can perfect these skills and start selling!

Our ultimate guide talks you through what you need to know before starting your craft business and how you can improve your craft and create your brand. We discuss the legal aspects of starting a craft business and help breakdown the costs that are often involved.

What you need to know about starting a craft business?

Starting a craft business yourself is not a simple process, but if you do your research and put the time and effort needed in, it can be made far easier!

Understanding the market and product demand is a key first step, as well as researching your potential customers and what will be, your current competition. The more knowledge you have behind you before you start, the better!

A fairly important step to make at the start of your craft business journey is understanding product demand. If you are starting from scratch and are unsure what products you’d like to make and sell, search for the latest trends and see what’s currently popular. Try to focus on what you’re interested in.

If you already know what products you’re going to sell, research is still important. Look into trends by season or holiday, so you have a potential plan on how to market and adapt your product according to sales figures. You could also tweak your products to fit the current demand, which will in turn help increase sales.

Without customers, you don’t have a business. Your customers are what drive your sales, your social media accounts and your brand identity. Pay close attention to what your potential customers want from you or from businesses similar to yours.

Following the latest trends will give you a better idea of what your customers want, especially when it comes to colour, pattern and design. It could be useful to search for products similar to yours and see what questions are being asked about them. This will provide insight into what your potential customers will be looking for and how you can cater to their needs.


Researching your competition is a good strategy that helps you understand what you could be doing better for your business. Keep track of businesses of a similar brand to yours and those who sell similar products.

Following their social media pages can provide useful insight into how they run their business and what works for them. Some businesses may be using a new product to help them in their craft, such as a physical tool or online software. That product could possibly be useful to you! Seeing what other small businesses use to help them craft is a great way to gain ideas for your own business and to enhance your skills.

Remember, researching your competitors is not to be used to copy ideas, but to merely keep an eye on what they are up to and what strategies are working for them.

Creating a business plan

A hugely formal business plan may not be necessary when starting a small craft business, but it is a great way to plan out your business strategies and create yourself a clear pathway. There are plenty of tools and templates online that can help you write an effective business plan- utilize these to ensure that you have a plan that can keep your business on track.

Having a business plan from the beginning not only helps you to organize your business better, but it also serves as a great document to outline your business to future investors or other involved parties.

A basic business plan should include:

  • A detailed summary of your business, products/services and brand
  • Target market and analysis
  • Financial plan
  • Future projections

You should refer back to your business plan for guidance when starting and running your craft business. Also, look into updating your business plan in the future when your company has changed and expanded.

how to write a business plan for a craft business

How long will starting a craft business take?

This can vary massively. You have to factor in how long it takes you to make your products and whether, due to the nature of your goods, you can create surplus stock or have to create on-demand. If your products are reproducible, you may be set up quicker than someone who’s products are one-of-a-kind.

You shouldn’t feel pressure to have your craft business set up in a certain amount of time- focusing on making quality products is more important.

Allocate yourself time to create products, market and promote them and eventually ship them once you’ve made a sale. The only time limits you should stick to, are any times you have informed your customers of regarding product creation and shipping.

How long will it take before I start making a profit?

Again, this is dependent on many factors. Some of those factors include:

  • How quickly you can make products
  • How quickly you can sell products
  • How many products you sell
  • The price of your products compared to the price of materials

It is better to prepare for not making a profit for a while, than be caught out of pocket. You never know when your craft business will take off- take necessary precautions to ensure that you don’t go into any debt, but trust in yourself and your craft. Value your items fairly and don’t buy what you can’t afford- you can’t guarantee sales.

How much will it cost to start a craft business?

Here we break down some of the costs that are typically associated with starting a craft business and explain how these elements can be crucial to your success.

Insurance is an important factor to consider when starting a craft business. There are many incidents that could occur, even for a small business, that could be seriously financially damaging.

A few problems that a small business may run into include:

  • Stock damage
  • Equipment damage
  • Injury or damage caused as a result of your product

These are problems that could be fatal to a new craft business. It is necessary to look into the differing insurance types to see what fits your business best.

CraftCover offers various types of insurance with prices that suit both you and your business. If you are wanting your craft business to grow, there will be added responsibilities that would be better protected by insurance.

Types of craft insurance:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Product Liability Insurance
  • Craft Fair Insurance
  • Craft Show Insurance
  • Craft Stall Insurance
  • Arts & Crafts Insurance
  • Demonstration and Tuition

Each of these types of insurance cover different aspects of your craft business. If you are considering craft fairs and shows, you are usually required to have Public Liability Insurance before you can take part. Arts & Craft insurance can also be tailored to your specific craft.

Do I need insurance if I am only selling online?

Although you may not be attending craft events just yet, having public and product liability insurance is still essential to your small business. Your products affecting your customers can still cause a legal, public dispute and damages to your stock at home may not always be covered by home insurance. You may also want to cover your computer that enables you to sell online.

CraftCover can help you choose the right insurance plan for your business. Contact us now for further help. Materials

Buying materials for your crafts requires more thought than often allocated. You may be considering having a stock room with enough materials to cover an influx of sales. This may be an expense that you are not ready for- having minimal stock whilst starting a craft business is both acceptable and sensible. Keeping track of your average sales is a good way to understand what stock levels you may need.

Once your business shows an increase in sales, expanding your stock is helpful in ensuring that your products are always available to customers. This can be done easily through bulk buying the necessary craft materials that you require for your products. It usually works out cheaper to bulk buy as long as your sales reflect, or will reflect in the near future, this decision.

If you are just starting out in your craft business, then the chances are you will be based at home. This is a cost-effective approach you can take when you are beginning to create your brand. Once you are making a healthy profit, you may consider renting an office/work space, warehouse space or even renting specialist equipment that you can go and use. This is a large investment and should only be considered once you are sure that you can afford it.

In the meantime, whilst based at home, making an effective work space is key to improving productivity and a healthy work-life balance. Try to separate your craft work from your rest spaces, so that you can alternate between the two easily. Increased focus will result in you producing higher quality products.

Profit Margins

The price of your items could be the deciding factor in whether you make a sale, so you need to think carefully about how much you are going to charge. You should try to avoid extortionate prices but also shouldn’t sacrifice the quality of your crafts so that you can sell them cheaper.

Researching businesses that sell similar crafts to your own will help you to understand what customers are willing to pay. You could even conduct your own market research to gauge product prices. Don’t worry if you don’t get this right straight away, you can always adjust your prices once you are up and running.

Understanding shipping costs massively depends on the product you are selling. Factors that need to be included when deciding shipping costs include:

  • Size of your product, therefore parcel size
  • Weight of your product, therefore parcel weight
  • Materials and their breakability
  • Shipping location (locally and/or internationally)
  • Shipping speed

These factors will each alter the price of shipping costs. You will need to take an average for each point and use those combined average parcel specifications, to calculate the right price to offer for shipping.

Alternatively, you can offer shipping that’s tailored to each order, making it easier to charge the correct price.

how to write a business plan for a craft business

Understanding the legalities of starting a craft business

Figures from the Royal Bank of Scotland suggest that 1 in 5 adults in the UK are ‘hidden entrepreneurs’. This term applies to anyone that earns an extra income in their spare time, which includes selling your handmade crafts . Any exchange, whereby you receive money for your products or services, should be declared to HM Revenue.

If you have realised that your business should be paying tax, you need to give HMRC your income details as soon as possible. By voluntarily declaring your income you will still have to pay the tax that is owed, but fines will likely be reduced. To let HM Revenue know about your second income, you can fill out this online notification form.

Planning for the future of your craft business

Registering as a sole trader:

  • Tell HM Revenue in advance of you starting your business
  • Fill out a Self-Assessment Tax Return Form with your income details
  • You will be personally liable for any problems or losses that affect your business in the future (hence why insurance is necessary)
  • Cheaper in the short term

Registering as a company:

  • Register with HMRC who will offer some protection – Offers structure in regards to responsibilities and ownership.
  • More complex and requires more paperwork

No matter how small your business is, branding is a crucial element to success. Creating that brand identity for your handmade products can be one of the most successful marketing assets. What do I call my craft business?

Think about why you want to start your business, who inspired you and how you are going to do it. A lot of brand names have deep rooted meanings related to their backgrounds or their specific products.

Before finalising your chosen name, it may be helpful to see if it has been taken, or not, online by using a name checking website such as Remember, the name you choose doesn’t have a lot of meaning until you give it a meaning and visual identity.

The design element of your brand is a hugely important factor when starting a craft business. Your branding is one of the first things a customer sees when looking at your social media pages, website or craft stall; alongside your products. Getting this right from the beginning will benefit your business greatly when you start selling.

Your logo will determine your customer’s initial reaction to your brand, so it is worth taking time out to create your ideal logo. Research your favourite brands and think about why you like them.

Also, think about how your logo will appear in situ, for example, what it will look like on price tags. You can design a logo yourself if you are confident enough- alternatively, there are many small brands and designers out there who you can commission.

Tone of voice

Do your products portray a cheeky or joking personality, or are they quite formal and sensible? Make sure the brand reflects the products. Remember, your brand voice isn’t always your own voice.

Tone of voice can also be enhanced by fonts and colours. If you’re innovative, maybe an edgy, sans serif font might work best. If you’re a happy, chirpy type of brand, think bold, bright colours.

One thing that many craft business owners overlook is just how important it is to take professional photos of products. You need to have images that capture visitors and give them a reason to purchase from you. You could hire a photographer or take pictures yourself using a high quality camera and good lighting.

All of that hard work into developing your brand’s identity would go to waste, should you not use it consistently. Be sure to follow strict guidelines so that you portray the same image on websites and business cards as to what is used on the business’s social media.

Where will I sell my products?

There are many places where you can sell your handmade goods- choosing the right places is an important factor to consider for your business. Selling your products can be done successfully both in-person and online.

Exhibiting your crafts

Craft fairs and shows are a great way to sell products and promote your brand. There are usually great exposure opportunities and chances to be invited to other, more exclusive craft events. If you are confident in your craft, have an established brand and the necessary insurance, you are ready to start exhibiting!

There are plenty of sites that notify you of upcoming craft events. Take note of all the events you would like to attend in good time, and look into their application processes for participating.

Check out our quick tips on exhibiting your crafts here!

Selling your crafts online

Selling online not only gives you the chance to sell to people all over the world, but is also a cost effective way of marketing your company. It’s important to check that your insurance policy provides cover for selling into foreign countries, particularly the US and Canada.

If you choose to sell products on your own website, you will need to have one that not only looks good, but is also functional for users. This means ensuring that your customers can find what they want on the website with minimum hassle.

There are a variety of sites that can help you sell your products. These fall into different categories:

Your own pages such as a website, a Facebook page or an Instagram page. These pages aren’t specifically for selling, but you alter them to suit your business. These are the pages that you can typically get most creative with, and have most freedom with in regards to content.

Online Marketplaces

These are sites or apps whereby you create an account for your business and upload your items ready to sell. Marketplaces such as Etsy, Folksy, Ebay, Depop, Facebook Marketplace and Amazon Handmade are all free to list on- though some take a percentage of your sales.

These options are great starting points for small businesses as they are easy to set up and maintain, and are popular sites where you could generate lots of sales.

Print-on-demand Marketplaces

These marketplaces are slightly different to the ones listed above. Not every craft will work on these sites. Sites like Redbubble, Zazzle and Amazon Marketplace take your designs and print them on the customers desired product (such as t-shirts, posters or mugs).

This works well for designers, as there is little to no work to be done once the design is created and uploaded.

How do I promote my products?

Promoting your own products is crucial to the success of your small craft business. When your brand name isn’t widely known (yet!), it can be difficult to be seen over larger companies. Promoting your products in-person and online through many different formats will help to spread the word about your products.

There are a few ways in which you can do this:

Establishes you as a reputable brand and allows you to sell away from third-party sites. Setting up a website is not always that simple however, and can require help from a professional. You may want to look into this once you feel as though your business is more established.

A wonderful tool that promotes your brand and allows you to express your feelings and opinions on crafting. If you have the time for it, starting a blog can be simple and effective. You can promote your goods, promote other craft businesses you like and offer tips to other crafters. Blogs may not generate lots of sales but they can establish a loyal customer base and can potentially get picked up by larger bloggers or journalists.

There are plenty of online guides that can help you set up an email list. If you send follow-up emails to your customers after a purchase, or send those customers future emails regarding your business, offers you have or events you are attending, you can potentially find that many of these customers return. The added personalisation is often favourable to customers, especially when buying from a small brand.

Not all of these elements are necessary or suitable for your business. You need to decide what will work best for you, and go for it!

Utilizing social media

Social media is a vital source of communication between you and your customers. Billions of people use social media each day, which is why more and more businesses are utilising it as a marketing tool.

Your following won’t grow over night and you will have to put time into making social media work for your business, but it is definitely worthwhile for any craft business that wants to maximise their sales.

With around 1.35 billion monthly active users, Facebook is great for showing off your products, linking them to your website and getting involved with ‘Facebook Groups’, which are, in essence, communities. There’s a lot to explore on Facebook, including targeted advertising options at an additional fee.

Twitter should be kept quite chatty and requires the most amount of posts per day in order to get interaction. However, it’s a great site to see what your competitors are up to and gain insight into how you can appeal to your target audience.

Pinterest is great for sharing tips and inspiration with the occasional product image- just be sure to use your product selling platform’s link when uploading images.

Instagram is good for humanising your brand. Topics such as ‘behind the scenes’ and close-ups of products tend to go down a treat with audiences on Instagram. It’s worth spending time typing out hashtags in the description to allow people to find your pictures and increase your following.

Get your craft business started!

Now you should have all the knowledge, skills and support to start your own craft business. Be brave, have faith in your products and abilities and get started! We’d love to hear all about your business and how you are getting on, so let us know!

If you would like some extra support in your new craft business venture, take a look at our Business Advice section where we provide guidance relating to craft businesses, insurance and products. We also have a business news section that could reveal important information to you about the craft business industry.

If you are looking for support for your craft business, Craft Cover provides specialist insurance for handmade businesses throughout the UK. If you want to ensure your goods from theft, loss and damage, we can help!

Please call 0345 463 3003 or email [email protected] to speak to one of our friendly experts.

Using our fully automated service you could get your free no obligation quote today. Click the link below and take the first step towards bespoke coverage tailored to the unique needs of your business.

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DIY Craft Corner

How to Start a Handmade Craft Business

  • Time to read: 20 min.

how to write a business plan for a craft business

Welcome to the exciting world of crafting and entrepreneurship! Starting a handmade craft business allows you to transform your creative passion into a successful venture. 

This guide will help you understand the important steps involved in building your handmade craft business. From choosing your craft niche to creating a business plan, establishing an online presence, and providing excellent customer experiences, you’ll learn everything you need to know. 

Get ready to combine your love for crafting with the joy of running a profitable business.

Understanding the Craft Market

Envision the craft market as an expansive landscape. It’s ever-changing and filled with opportunities. Each year, the craft world introduces new trends and products. Keeping a close eye on these changes is key to your success.

Research is essential in this journey. Attend craft fairs and explore popular online platforms. Look for what’s trending and selling well. Don’t forget to examine the customers too. Who’s buying what can offer you great insights.

Also, study your competitors. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses can help you stand out. All this knowledge will guide you in crafting a successful business. The deeper your understanding, the better your chances of thriving in this creative arena.

Identify Your Unique Crafts

Dive into your pool of creativity and evaluate what you can create. Unleashing your unique skills is crucial in the vibrant world of crafts. Here’s a list of popular handmade crafts you might consider:

  • Handmade Jewelry: Be it delicate earrings, statement necklaces, or custom bracelets, jewelry always finds a spot in the market.
  • Knit and Crochet Items: Warm blankets, stylish scarves, cute amigurumi toys – the possibilities are endless with a pair of needles or a hook.
  • Ceramic Pottery: Beautiful and functional, pottery items like mugs, plates, or vases can be a hit.
  • Handmade Candles: Scented, decorative, or themed candles can light up someone’s day.
  • Woodwork: From furniture to intricate carvings, woodwork is an attractive craft area.
  • Bath and Body Products: Think organic soaps, bath bombs, lotions, or lip balms that offer a touch of luxury.
  • Paper Crafts: Custom cards, scrapbooks, or origami art pieces cater to the paper-loving audience.
  • Leather Goods: Wallets, belts, or stylish handbags made of leather can be sought after.
  • Sewing and Embroidery: Quilts, embroidered art, custom clothing, or even plush toys could be your forte.
  • Glass Art: Stained glass decor, fused glass jewelry, or hand-blown glassware are eye-catching craft options.

Take time to explore your talents. Which of these crafts do you enjoy making? Where does your craft stand out? Does it fill a particular niche? By asking these questions, you can focus your craft business in the right direction.

Writing a Handmade Craft Business Plan

Setting up a handmade craft business demands a well-thought-out business plan. This crucial document will act as a roadmap, guiding your actions and decisions as you establish and grow your business. 

Follow these detailed steps to create your business plan:

Step 1: Executive Summary: Write a concise overview of your business. Include your business name, the type of crafts you’ll sell, and your business objectives.

Step 2: Business Description: Outline your business in more detail. Describe your products, your target market, and your unique selling proposition – what sets your crafts apart?

Step 3: Market Analysis: Detail your understanding of the craft market. Who are your competitors? What trends are impacting the industry? Use your research on the craft market here.

Step 4: Organization and Structure: Define your business structure. Are you a sole proprietor, or are you entering a partnership? Describe your role and any key partners or employees.

Step 5: Services and Products: Describe the crafts you’ll sell. How are they made? What value do they bring to customers?

Step 6: Marketing and Sales Strategy: Outline your plans for attracting and retaining customers. Will you use social media, craft fairs, or online marketplaces?

Step 7: Funding Request and Use: If you seek external funding, specify how much you need and how it will be used. If you’re bootstrapping, detail your financial plan.

Step 8: Financial Projections: Provide projections for future sales, expenses, and profits. This section is crucial, especially if you’re seeking external funding.

Building a Realistic Product Pricing Strategy

A sound pricing strategy ensures your business is profitable without alienating potential customers. 

Here’s a step-by-step process using real numbers:

Step 1: Calculate Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): This includes the cost of all the materials used to make a product. For example, if you’re creating a handmade necklace, you might spend $10 on beads, $2 on string, and $3 on a clasp, totalling to $15.

Step 2: Determine Your Time Cost: Estimate how much time it takes you to create one product. Let’s say it takes you 1 hour to make the necklace, and you value your time at $15 per hour.

Step 3: Add Overhead Costs: These are the indirect costs of making your products. For example, utilities, rent, marketing expenses, etc. Assume that overhead costs amount to $5 per product.

Step 4: Calculate Total Cost: Add up the numbers from Steps 1-3. For the necklace, your total cost would be $35 ($15 for materials + $15 for your time + $5 for overhead).

Step 5: Set a Profit Margin: Profit margins can vary, but a common margin for handmade crafts is around 50%. So, if your total cost is $35, your selling price would be $52.5 ($35 + 50% of $35).

Step 6: Research Competitor Pricing: Look at what similar products sell for. If similar necklaces sell for $60, your price is competitive. If they sell for $40, you may need to adjust your costs, pricing, or profit margin.

Remember, pricing is a delicate balance. It should cover your costs, provide a profit, and reflect the value to the customer.

Legal Aspects to Consider

Delving into the world of crafts comes with its share of legal considerations. They may seem daunting, but they are a vital part of setting up a business.

Here are some key legal aspects you should consider:

Permits and Licenses

Depending on your location and the nature of your craft business, you may need certain permits or licenses. These could be a general business license, a sales tax permit, or a home occupation permit if you’re operating from home. Check with your local and state government offices to find out what you need. They can provide guidance on the required paperwork.

Liability Protection

If your craft product accidentally causes harm or injury to a customer, you could face a lawsuit. Therefore, you should consider product liability insurance. It helps protect your business in such scenarios. Consulting with an insurance advisor can help you understand the coverage you need.

Tax Requirements

Running a craft business comes with tax obligations. You’ll likely need to pay income tax, self-employment tax, and sales tax. Keep detailed records of your income and expenses to make tax time easier. Hiring a tax professional is a wise move, especially when you’re starting. They can help ensure you meet all tax requirements and even find deductions to save you money.

Labeling Requirements

Depending on your craft products, there may be labeling regulations you need to follow. For example, if you’re selling homemade candles, you might need to include warning labels. If you’re selling clothes, you may need to list the materials used. Check with the relevant federal agencies or a legal advisor to ensure your labels are compliant.

Copyright and Intellectual Property

If your designs are original, consider protecting them with a copyright or patent. Also, respect the intellectual property rights of others. You can’t sell crafts that infringe on someone else’s copyright.

Legal compliance is not an area to neglect. It’s much easier to set up everything correctly from the start than to untangle legal issues later. If you’re unsure about any aspect, seek help from a professional. Lawyers, accountants, and business advisors can guide you through the process, ensuring you’re on the right track.

Choosing Your Handmade Craft Business Name

The process of picking your business name is an exciting journey. It’s a creative endeavor that demands careful thought as it significantly impacts your brand identity. Here’s a detailed guide on how to come up with an unforgettable and unique name:

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas

Start by brainstorming words related to your craft and the feelings you want your brand to evoke. Is it about elegance, quirkiness, nostalgia, or whimsy? Write all these words down. Don’t censor yourself in this initial stage; let your creativity flow.

Step 2: Combine and Play with Words

Now, look at your list and start playing with combinations. Mix and match words, look for rhymes, or even invent new words. For example, if you’re making knitted goods and want to evoke a sense of comfort and coziness, you might combine words like “Cozy,” “Knit,” and “Haven” to create “CozyKnitHaven.”

Step 3: Keep It Simple

While being creative, remember that your business name should be easy to pronounce, spell, and remember. A name that’s too complicated or long might confuse potential customers.

Step 4: Reflect Your Craft

Ideally, your business name should give some clue about the nature of your craft. A name like “EcoWoodCreations” instantly informs customers that you work with wood and have an eco-friendly approach.

Step 5: Check for Uniqueness

Once you have a list of potential names, it’s time to check if they’re available. A quick online search can help you see if there are other businesses with the same name. You can also check on domain registration sites to ensure the website domain for your name is available.

Step 6: Get Feedback

Share your top choices with close friends, family, or potential customers. Their feedback can provide invaluable insights. They might see connections or connotations that you missed.

Step 7: Legal Registration

After you’ve chosen your business name, it’s crucial to register it. Depending on your business structure, this might be as simple as filing a “Doing Business As” (DBA) statement with your local government, or it could involve trademarking the name.

Your business name is more than just a name; it’s the first interaction a potential customer has with your brand. Take the time to create a name that resonates with your vision for your craft business.

Crafting Your Digital Storefront

A robust online presence is a critical component for any successful craft business today. It’s your digital storefront where customers can browse, appreciate, and purchase your handmade crafts. 

Here’s a detailed guide on creating your online shop using platforms like Shopify, WordPress with WooCommerce, or other similar storefronts:

Step 1: Choose the Right Platform: Decide which e-commerce platform fits your needs. Shopify is a user-friendly option with a range of features, including various themes, secure payment options, and marketing tools. WordPress with WooCommerce, on the other hand, offers extensive customization and flexibility, perfect for those with more technical knowledge.

Step 2: Create Your Website: Once you’ve chosen a platform, it’s time to build your site. Choose a theme that aligns with your brand image. Make sure it’s clean, appealing, and easy to navigate. Use high-quality images of your crafts and provide detailed product descriptions.

Step 3: Showcase Your Craft: Create a compelling product portfolio. Include clear, well-lit photos from different angles. Incorporate videos where possible. For each product, provide details like size, materials used, and care instructions. Also, share the story behind each craft – this adds a personal touch and connects with customers.

Step 4: Craft Your Story: Don’t forget the ‘About’ page. Tell your story. How did you start crafting? What inspires you? This connection can turn visitors into customers and even loyal fans.

Step 5: Set Up Payment and Shipping: Ensure your website has secure payment gateways. Options can include credit/debit cards, PayPal, or Apple Pay. Also, outline clear shipping and return policies.

Step 6: Optimize for Search Engines: Implement SEO practices to increase your site’s visibility on search engines. Use relevant keywords in your product descriptions, meta descriptions, and headers. Create a blog to share crafting tips or behind-the-scenes content. This can help attract traffic to your site and boost your rankings.

Step 7: Launch and Promote: Once your site is ready, launch it and promote it across social media platforms, email newsletters, and craft forums. Regular updates and promotions can keep your customers engaged and coming back for more.

Your online store is an extension of your craft business. It should reflect the love, care, and creativity that go into each handmade craft you create. With a well-crafted digital storefront, you can reach a wider audience and turn your craft passion into a thriving business.

Elevating Your Craft Business with SEO

In the vast digital landscape, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is your compass to guide potential customers to your craft business. Let’s delve into the basics of SEO and how it can enhance your online visibility:

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing various elements on your website to improve its search engine rankings. It starts with identifying relevant keywords related to your craft business. These keywords are the words and phrases that people commonly search for when looking for crafts online. Incorporate these keywords naturally into your website content, including product descriptions, blog posts, and page titles. This enables search engines to better understand the relevance of your content and increases your chances of appearing higher in search results.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO refers to activities performed outside of your website that can positively impact your search rankings. One crucial aspect of off-page SEO is building high-quality backlinks to your website. Backlinks are links from other reputable websites that direct users to your site. Search engines view backlinks as a vote of confidence and credibility, which can improve your rankings. Engaging in guest blogging, reaching out to influencers, and promoting your crafts on social media can help attract backlinks and amplify your online presence.

Social Signals

Social signals play a role in SEO by influencing search engine rankings. These signals are indicators of your website’s popularity and authority on social media platforms. The number of likes, shares, comments, and overall engagement your craft business receives on social media can have an impact on your search rankings. Cultivating an active and engaged social media presence can enhance your brand visibility, attract more visitors to your website, and potentially boost your search rankings.

Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous optimization and adaptation. Stay updated on the latest SEO practices, monitor your website’s performance using analytics tools, and make adjustments accordingly. By harnessing the power of SEO, you can attract a larger audience to your craft business and showcase your creations to those who are actively seeking them online.

Social Media and Promoting Your Craft Business

In the digital landscape, social media is a vital catalyst to drive traffic and generate sales for your craft business. 

Let’s explore some of the most influential social media platforms and how they can propel your craft business forward:

With its visual focus, Pinterest is a haven for crafters and DIY enthusiasts. It allows you to create captivating boards and showcase your crafts through high-quality images. Crafters often turn to Pinterest for inspiration, making it an ideal platform to reach your target audience. Create eye-catching pins, optimize them with relevant keywords, and link them back to your website. Engage with the Pinterest community, join group boards, and establish your presence as an authority in your craft niche.

As a visual-centric platform, Instagram provides a seamless way to display your crafts to a wide audience. Utilize the power of striking visuals, thoughtful captions, and relevant hashtags to attract attention. Showcase your products through enticing images and videos, share behind-the-scenes peeks, and tell engaging stories through Instagram Stories and IGTV. Cultivate an active presence, engage with your followers by responding to comments and direct messages, and leverage influencer collaborations to expand your reach.

TikTok’s short-form video format has gained immense popularity, especially among younger audiences. It offers a unique opportunity to showcase your creativity and craft skills through engaging and entertaining videos. Share tutorials, process videos, and fun behind-the-scenes clips. Leverage popular craft-related hashtags and participate in trending challenges to increase your visibility. As TikTok’s algorithm favors discoverability, there is potential for your craft business to gain significant exposure.

YouTube is an excellent platform for in-depth tutorials, craft demonstrations, and DIY projects. Create high-quality videos showcasing your craft techniques, step-by-step guides, or even vlogs documenting your craft journey. Optimize your videos with relevant titles, descriptions, and tags to increase their visibility in search results. Engage with your audience through comments and encourage them to subscribe for future updates.

While Facebook may not be as visual-centric as Instagram or Pinterest, it still provides a vast audience reach and valuable marketing opportunities. Create a Facebook business page to share updates, promotions, and engage with your audience. Join relevant craft communities and groups to connect with like-minded individuals and potential customers. Consider utilizing Facebook ads to target specific demographics and expand your reach further.

Remember, social media platforms offer tremendous potential to connect with customers, showcase your craft products, and foster brand loyalty. 

Select platforms that align with your target audience’s preferences and invest time and effort in engaging and building relationships with your followers. By leveraging the power of social media, you can create a thriving community around your craft business and drive traffic to your website for increased sales and brand recognition.

Selling Crafts on Online Marketplaces

In the digital realm, online marketplaces open up a world of opportunities for craft businesses. These platforms, including Etsy, Amazon Handmade, and eBay, provide access to a vast customer base and streamline various aspects of selling. Here’s an in-depth look at the benefits and considerations of selling on online marketplaces:

Etsy is renowned as a go-to marketplace for handmade crafts, artisanal products, and vintage items. It attracts a community of craft enthusiasts actively seeking unique, handcrafted goods. By setting up a shop on Etsy, you tap into a targeted customer base that appreciates the value of handmade creations. The platform offers seller tools, such as listing optimization features, promotional opportunities, and analytics to help you track performance. Keep in mind that Etsy charges listing fees, transaction fees, and other expenses, so carefully calculate your pricing to account for these costs.

Amazon Handmade

Amazon Handmade is a dedicated section within the vast Amazon marketplace that showcases handcrafted products. As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon provides unparalleled visibility and access to a massive customer base. Listing your crafts on Amazon Handmade exposes your products to millions of potential buyers, boosting your chances of sales. The platform offers fulfillment options like FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) or FBM (Fulfillment by Merchant) to handle warehousing, shipping, and customer service. Be aware that there are referral fees and other associated costs when selling on Amazon Handmade.

eBay is a well-established online marketplace known for its broad reach and diverse range of products. It caters to both new and vintage items, making it suitable for craft businesses that incorporate vintage elements or offer unique collectibles. eBay provides tools for sellers to create listings, manage inventory, and engage with buyers. However, it’s essential to be mindful of the competition and ensure your products stand out through compelling listings and competitive pricing. eBay charges listing fees and final value fees based on the selling price.

When considering online marketplaces, evaluate which platforms align best with your craft business and target audience. Research the fees, policies, and seller requirements of each marketplace to determine the most suitable fit. 

Additionally, consider the specific features and tools each platform provides to support your craft business, such as promotional opportunities, advertising options, and customer support.

Keep in mind that while online marketplaces offer convenient logistics and access to potential customers, it’s still vital to establish your brand identity and promote your craft business through effective marketing strategies. 

A balanced approach that combines selling on online marketplaces with building your independent online presence can maximize your reach and sales potential in the craft market.

Building a Strong Brand

In the bustling world of craft businesses, building a strong brand is essential to stand out from the competition and forge meaningful connections with customers. 

Here’s a detailed exploration of the key elements that contribute to a robust brand:

Mission, Vision, and Values

Define your craft business’s purpose, vision for the future, and the core values that guide your operations. Your mission encapsulates the impact you aim to create through your crafts, while your vision paints a vivid picture of where you aspire to be. 

Your values reflect the principles that govern your decisions and interactions. Crafting a clear and compelling mission, vision, and set of values will provide a solid foundation for your brand.

Aesthetics and Visual Identity

Your brand’s visual elements, such as your logo, color palette, typography, and overall design, contribute to the aesthetics of your craft business. Consistency across these visual elements establishes a cohesive and recognizable brand identity. 

Consider how your brand’s aesthetics align with your crafts’ style, values, and target audience, as they play a vital role in evoking emotions and conveying your brand message.

Packaging as a Brand Extension

Packaging serves as the first tangible touchpoint with your customers. It not only protects your crafts but also provides an opportunity to leave a lasting impression. Thoughtfully design your packaging to align with your brand’s visual identity and evoke the desired emotions. 

Consider eco-friendly options, personalized notes, or creative touches that enhance the unboxing experience and leave customers excited about your brand.

Customer Loyalty and Differentiation

Strong brands cultivate loyal customers who not only make repeat purchases but also become advocates for your craft business. Deliver exceptional customer service, go above and beyond to meet customer needs, and create a memorable experience at every touchpoint. By nurturing customer loyalty, you establish a solid foundation for your brand’s growth. 

Additionally, identify what sets your crafts apart from competitors and highlight these unique selling points. Whether it’s superior craftsmanship, innovative designs, or a distinctive style, emphasize what makes your crafts special to create a distinct market position.

Building a strong brand requires time, consistency, and a deep understanding of your craft business’s essence. Dedicate resources to carefully craft and nurture your brand identity. 

When done effectively, a compelling brand will attract loyal customers, differentiate you in the market, and contribute to the long-term success of your craft business.

Customer Service in Your Craft Business

Customers hold the key to the success of your craft business. To build lasting relationships and foster loyalty, exceptional customer service is paramount. 

Consider these essential practices:

Responsive Communication

Promptly respond to customer inquiries, whether through email, social media, or your website’s contact form. Provide helpful and informative responses that address their questions or concerns. 

Clear and timely communication builds trust and demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction.

Issue Resolution

Inevitably, issues or concerns may arise. Approach them with empathy and a genuine desire to find a solution. Resolve problems promptly, striving for a win-win outcome. 

Actively listen to your customers’ feedback, taking it as an opportunity to improve your products or processes. By demonstrating responsiveness and a proactive approach to resolving issues, you can turn potentially dissatisfied customers into loyal advocates.

Word-of-Mouth Power

Satisfied customers can become invaluable brand ambassadors. Positive experiences with your craft business can prompt customers to recommend you to friends, family, or online communities. 

Encourage word-of-mouth marketing by consistently delivering exceptional customer service and providing a remarkable overall experience. 

Foster positive relationships, and remember that every customer interaction is an opportunity to make a lasting impression.

Packaging and Shipping Your Products

Packaging and shipping play pivotal roles in enhancing the overall customer experience. Consider the following tips:

Thoughtful Packaging

Design packaging that aligns with your brand’s aesthetics and reinforces your craft’s value. Ensure it provides adequate protection to prevent damage during transit. Consider adding personalized touches, such as branded stickers or handwritten notes, to create a memorable unboxing experience. Reflect your commitment to sustainability by using eco-friendly packaging materials whenever possible.

Shipping Efficiency

Research various shipping options to identify the best balance of cost, reliability, and speed for your craft business. Consider partnering with shipping carriers that offer competitive rates, tracking capabilities, and reliable delivery services. Streamline your shipping process by utilizing shipping software or services that help automate label creation, package tracking, and order fulfillment.

Shipping Costs and Pricing

Factor in shipping costs when determining your product pricing. You can choose to offer free shipping by incorporating the shipping costs into the product price or set separate shipping fees. Conduct a cost analysis to ensure your pricing remains competitive while covering the expenses associated with packaging and shipping.

By prioritizing thoughtful packaging and efficient shipping, you demonstrate your commitment to delivering a delightful experience to customers. 

When their orders arrive promptly and in pristine condition, it enhances their overall satisfaction and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases and positive reviews.

Prioritizing Self-Care

As a craft business owner, it’s crucial to remember that taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your business. 

Here are some essential self-care practices to incorporate into your routine:

Rest and Relaxation

Running a business can be demanding, so make sure to schedule regular downtime. Set aside time for relaxation, whether it’s through meditation, reading, or pursuing a hobby. Allow yourself to recharge and rejuvenate, as this will contribute to your overall well-being and prevent burnout.

Maintaining Connections

Don’t let the busyness of your craft business overshadow your personal relationships. Stay connected with friends and family. Carve out time for social activities and meaningful conversations. Nurturing these connections provides support, balance, and a sense of belonging outside of your entrepreneurial endeavors.

Pursuing Hobbies and Interests

Your craft business is an extension of your passion, but remember to cultivate other interests as well. Engaging in hobbies unrelated to your business allows you to explore new areas, unwind, and find inspiration from diverse sources. It helps maintain a well-rounded life and stimulates creativity in unexpected ways.

Wellbeing and Creativity

Prioritizing your wellbeing has a direct impact on your creativity and productivity. When you prioritize self-care, you allow your mind to rest, recharge, and access its creative potential. Regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and a balanced diet are vital components that contribute to your overall well-being and foster a clear and focused mind.

Embracing Innovation and Staying Relevant

In the dynamic craft industry, staying current and continuously innovating is crucial for the long-term success of your craft business. Consider these strategies to keep your craft business fresh and exciting:

Keeping Up with Trends

Stay informed about the latest trends and shifts in the craft market. Follow industry blogs, attend trade shows, and engage with craft communities both online and offline. Keeping your finger on the pulse of emerging trends allows you to adapt and cater to evolving customer preferences.

Exploring New Techniques

Continuously challenge yourself by exploring new techniques and experimenting with different materials. Attend workshops, take online courses, or join local craft groups to expand your skill set. Embracing new techniques can infuse freshness and uniqueness into your crafts, captivating customers with your innovation.

Lifelong Learning

Cultivate a growth mindset and embrace learning as a lifelong journey. Stay curious and seek inspiration from various sources such as art exhibitions, nature, travel, or even other creative fields. Continuous learning broadens your perspectives, enriches your creative process, and keeps your craft business dynamic.

Taking Calculated Risks

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and take calculated risks in your craft business. Introduce new product lines, explore different marketing strategies, or experiment with collaborations. This willingness to take risks can open doors to new opportunities and set your craft business apart from the competition.

Remember, the essence of your craft business lies in your passion and creativity. Nurture these qualities as your craft business grows by prioritizing innovation, embracing change, and maintaining a sense of wonder and exploration. Adaptability and the courage to try new things will position your craft business for continued success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Popular online marketplaces for selling handmade crafts include Etsy, Amazon Handmade, eBay, and Shopify. Each platform offers different features, reach, and fees, so consider your target audience and business needs when selecting a marketplace.

Social media platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok can benefit a craft business by providing a platform to showcase crafts, engage with customers, build brand awareness, and drive traffic to your website or online marketplace.

Customer service is vital in a craft business as it builds trust, fosters customer loyalty, and generates positive word-of-mouth referrals. Promptly addressing customer inquiries, resolving issues, and providing a memorable experience contribute to the success and growth of your business.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can benefit a craft business by improving its visibility in search engine results. Optimizing website content with relevant keywords, implementing on-page SEO strategies, and building backlinks can drive organic traffic to your website or online store.

Staying current in the craft business is crucial to remain relevant and competitive. Monitoring trends, exploring new techniques, continuously learning, and seeking inspiration help keep your crafts fresh, innovative, and appealing to evolving customer preferences.

In conclusion, starting a handmade craft business requires careful planning, creativity, and a deep understanding of various aspects such as market research, business planning, pricing strategies, legal considerations, online presence, customer service, packaging, and self-care. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive article, you can lay a strong foundation for your craft business’s success.

Crafting a successful business from your passion requires dedication, perseverance, and a continuous thirst for growth and improvement. Embrace the challenges and enjoy the fulfilling journey of sharing your unique crafts with the world.

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Candles have lit our world for centuries, providing warmth, ambiance, and lately, a lucrative business opportunity. Today, with the global candle market worth billions, crafting candles has emerged as a promising venture. In this article, we will look at the…

how to write a business plan for a craft business

How to Start a Craft Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

Feeling crafty? It’s time to learn how to start a craft business. 

The world is full of artistic people who stitch, paint and print their way through life. Crafting is an excellent way to relax, unwind, and allow your creative side to shine through. 

What if we told you that crafting could be more than just a hobby?

According to Statista, the crafts market worldwide should reach a value of around $50.9 billion by 2024. With the online world now making it easier than ever to launch a craft store, there’s nothing stopping you from taking your crafting skills to the next level. 

Building an online craft business allows you to leverage your passion and turn it into something that makes money. Later, you can decide whether you want to work on it full-time or treat it as a side hustle that makes you extra income . 

So, how do you begin? Here’s a 9-step checklist to help you set up your own craft business. 

What Do I Need to Start a Craft Business?

1. identify a gap in the market.

The first step in starting a crafts business is deciding what you’re going to sell. Your decision of what to “craft” will partially depend on what you love making. However, it’s also important to research the market and see what could sell for your company. 

Examine your industry and ask yourself what kind of products you could offer through your brand to make customers more likely to buy from you. For instance, you might be great at making your own soap, but there are tons of other creators like you out there. How are you going to stand out? Maybe you could promise soap that’s completely organic and made with special ingredients?

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Stock up on secondary market research from groups like ,  Nielsen ,  and NPD  to get an idea of what’s trending. Some options might include:

  • Custom art : People love commissioning pieces specially tailored to their needs. You could sell portraits of your customers or their pets or design art based on the unique things your clients love, like a certain book or video game. 
  • Gift baskets : Many people struggle to find the perfect present for someone they care about. Why not remove the stress for your audience by giving them pre-made gift baskets specially designed for a certain occasion? 
  • Skincare and beauty:  This is a big industry on its own. You can combine your love of beauty with your passion for creation by selling perfumes, soaps, bath bombs, and other popular indulgence items.
  • Jewelry:  Make your own double pearl earrings. Or try your hand at a DIY necklace idea. Jewelry is always a no-brainer when it comes to easy crafts that sell. If you find that people love your designs, maybe you could start a jewelry business to turn your passion into profit.  

For extra inspiration, use  Google Trends  to find out what people are talking about in your industry. Alternatively, try asking your friends what they would love to buy. 

how to find a craft niche

A lot of people are searching for a hat box these days, so this can be something you could offer through your craft store. 

2. Get to Know Your Audience Better

For those learning how to start a craft business, there’s good news: the crafts industry is a pretty diverse place. Selling in this industry means you can target various demographics and consumer segments based on the products you sell.

If you’re selling home essentials like key hooks and blanket covers, you may focus on older consumers who can afford to buy items for their homes. If you’re selling handmade friendship bracelets and bath bombs, you can probably target a slightly younger audience. 

To  identify your target audience , consider which people are most likely to fall in love with your products. If you’re starting a small craft business selling baby blankets, your primary customer may be new parents. However, you could also appeal to relatives who want to buy baby shower gifts. 

When researching your audience, think about their:

  • Primary goals for buying your product
  • Pressing pain points
  • Likes and dislikes
  • Age, gender, and location
  • Behavior (where they browse online)

You can find extra data about customers on things like the  U.S. Census Bureau website ,  Nielsen , and even by checking the  Facebook Audience Insights  tools for better social media targeting. 

audience research facebook

3. Create a Business Plan

When you’re learning how to start selling crafts online, you’re likely to get carried away with things like planning which products you’re going to sell and finding your target audience. Pump the breaks for a second, though – it’s important to do some planning first. 

Creating a craft business plan is a must-have. Think of it as the compass for your business, keeping you moving in the right direction, no matter what happens in your industry. 

Business plans remind you of your mission and vision statement . These documents are also extra useful when you’re trying to get business funding from a bank or investor. Here are some of the points your plan should include:

  • An executive summary
  • A description of what your craft business does
  • Competitive and market analysis
  • SWOT analysis 
  • Marketing and sales plan
  • Company management team
  • Financial projections

If you’re still feeling uncertain about business plans when learning how to start a craft business, you can find some handy video tutorials online that can help you to write your business plan . Or just use a business plan template to get going. You can modify the information there to reflect the nature and vision of your business. 

4. Get Crafting

  Now it’s time to have some fun! 

In this step, you’re going to develop a plan for how you’re going to make your crafts. There are plenty of ways to jump into this process. For instance, you could explore some lessons or webinars online to teach you how to hone skills you already have. For instance, if you love making jewelry, you could learn how to make chains or design your own earrings. Try:

  • Online workshops:  There are various sites out there,  like CreativeBug , where you can learn about knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, and so much more. You may even find videos on YouTube and Facebook to help you. 
  • Experimenting with ideas:  Make a list of the crafting you enjoy most and start there. You might like the idea of making your own soap, in which case it might be worth looking into the kind of ingredients you can buy online. If you’re thinking of starting a pottery business, invest in the tools you need to make amazing ceramics.
  • Create the right space at home : If you’re learning how to start a craft business at home, then you’ll need to ensure that you’re properly prepared. Set up space where you can work on things like furniture upcycling or knitting blankets for your customers. Make sure that you have all the tools you need and plenty of storage space. 

5. Find a Manufacturer or Supplier

It’s difficult to scale a business when you’re the only person working on crafting your creations. As your business grows, there’s a good chance you’ll need some help to achieve  a work-life balance . Finding a manufacturer who can make your designs for you could make it easier for you to manage your business. 

You will probably also need to look for a supplier who can give you the raw materials you need to make your items. This could include paying for special types of wool or threads for your embroidery company. Think about:

  • The quality of the crafts : While crafts with a handmade essence to them can be very endearing, you don’t want your creations to seem cheap. Investing in the right supplies will ensure you have a great impact on your audience. 
  • Samples : If you’re thinking of working with a supplier long-term, get samples of the materials first to make sure they work for your business plan. Once you find supplies you like, consider drawing up contract terms that keep you fully stocked all year round. 
  • Location : It’s a good idea to find someone as close to you as possible to supply and manufacture your goods. An overseas manufacturer might seem like a good way to save money, but this could also leave you waiting for long to get the items you need. Working with a local vendor could lead to faster shipping and better product quality. 

For beginners learning how to set up a craft business, it may be worth choosing a more affordable business model,  like dropshipping . This allows you to set up a craft store and list products on your site. When someone buys an item from your online store, a third-party supplier manages the fulfillment process – from packaging it to delivering it to the customer’s doorstep. You don’t keep an inventory, so you save on warehousing costs… and time. Dropshipping is an ideal business model for aspiring craft entrepreneurs who want to focus on marketing their business rather than worrying about inventory management .

6. Develop Your Brand

Branding is one of the most important things you can do for a craft business. Because people buy from companies they know, like, and trust, you need to present them with a brand that leaves a great lasting impression. Good branding involves everything from a memorable company name to an attractive logo, a meaningful color palette, and even a unique tone of voice. 

Creating a brand is easier than you’d think, thanks to some great online tools out there. For instance, Shopify offers a:

  • Logo maker  
  • Video maker
  • Domain name generator
  • Business name generator
  • Slogan maker

These tools make building a memorable business as simple as possible. For instance, you just have to add relevant keywords, like “ceramics” or “knitting,” in the slogan maker, and it will generate a bunch of great slogans for you to consider. 

Shopify slogan maker

If you’re struggling to design everything on your own, you can also work with professionals from places like Fiverr, Upwork, and DesignCrowd. 

7. Fulfill Your Legal and Logistics Requirements

Part of your checklist for starting a craft business should include ensuring that everything in your company is set up correctly from a legal and logistics perspective. Just because you’re running a simple company selling handmade scarves doesn’t mean you don’t have to register your business , for instance. 

If you’re unsure how to set up a craft business legally, you can find plenty of information online or talk to a tax professional. Some points to consider include:

  • Business registration, permits, and licenses
  • SKUs for your product line
  • Shipping costs and weight
  • Shipping restrictions for your products
  • Production overhead and costs
  • Sales and business taxes
  • Copyright, trademark, and patent requests

If you’re nervous that you might not have the paperwork you need, or you don’t know what certain documents mean, then you might need to talk to a professional just for peace of mind. 

8. Build Your Online Craft Store

Like creating your beloved crafts, designing an online store is a lot of fun. 

It’s your opportunity to combine various aspects, like your chosen brand colors, logo, and product pages, so that you have an entire storefront online. With an ecommerce platform like Shopify , creating a professional-looking website is a breeze – you could build an ecommerce site in under 30 minutes . 

If you’re keen to take advantage of the time and money-saving benefits of dropshipping, you can also access DSers – which is the AliExpress import app for Shopify. 

  You can work with an expert or designer on your website for some extra help. 

Some of the most important points to consider include:

  • Inspiring and engaging product descriptions for your crafts
  • Stunning pictures of your crafted items
  • Landing pages that encourage people to build a relationship with your company
  • Privacy policies, terms and conditions, return policy, and shipping policies
  • Rates and zones for shipping
  • Checkout pages and payment gateways.

The cool thing about Shopify is that you can adjust various elements, from your templates and themes to your resources and other tools, that can help you to make your store unique. 

9. Start Marketing Your Crafts

One of the more challenging aspects of learning how to start a craft business involves figuring out how to attract customers to your store. Marketing is a crucial component of selling crafts. The amount you spend on promotion will depend heavily on your budget and the strategies you use. 

For instance:

  • Email marketing is an excellent way to develop relationships with your customers and encourage them to keep purchasing from your brand long-term. Make sure you segment your audience based on the crafts they like to keep messages relevant.
  • Social media marketing is a great way to connect with your customers every day. You can show customers how you make your products through YouTube tutorials, snap pictures for Instagram, and design boards on Pinterest. 
  • Influencer marketing is a great way to give your new brand a boost reputation-wise. You can work with well-known professionals in your space to improve your chances of finding the right customers. Influencers exist on every platform, from TikTok to Clubhouse to Facebook and more.

Online Craft Store Examples

Still need ideas on how to start a craft business? Here are some examples of successful craft brands to inspire you. 

1. Artisaire

best online craft store

A wonderful example of a crafts company, the Artisaire brand offers customers a wide selection of wax sealing stamps and supplies. You can get everything from customized stamps for your letters to stunning waxes here. This is a great example of how crafts companies can go niche with their choice of products and appeal to a great audience in the process. 

Artisaire makes all of its own products in a factory from Canada; the business is family-run by the Thomsens. 

2. The Honeybunch Shop

The Honeybunch Shop

The Honeybunch shop created by Lisa Jolly is a business built entirely on passion. The founder, Lisa, believes in building stunning soaps and bath products with natural ingredients. Lisa started her career in retail and has launched other businesses before she began the Honeybunch Shop. 

According to Jolly, she didn’t know anything about making soaps when she first came up with the idea for her online store, but she quickly became an expert. 

3. Cedar and Sail  

Cedar and Sail 

The story of Cedar and Sail proves that anyone can learn how to start a craft business and pursue their passions in their spare time. The company came from an idea to create unique designs and accessories for homes using 3D printers and other modern techniques. The brand has a vast portfolio of small but attractive items to offer today, including candles, planters, and coasters. 

Cedar and Sail started as a simple project for someone who wanted to do more of what they loved in their spare time. Today, the company is a roaring success. 

Time to Get Crafty!

Hopefully, this article has shown you that learning how to start a craft business isn’t always as complicated as it seems. Once you’ve built an idea for your business on your passions, and you know there’s a market out there willing to buy your products, you’re already halfway there. 

Add the right sales tools into the mix, like an ecommerce website and a dropshipping service, and you’ll be running a successful crafts business in no time.

Summary: How to Start a Craft Business in 2021

  • Find a market opportunity
  • Get familiar with your audience 
  • Write a business plan
  • Make some crafts
  • Find a manufacturer or supplier
  • Build a brand
  • Fulfill legal and logistics requirements
  • Set up an online craft store
  • Market your business

What types of crafts are you interested in selling? Let us know in the comments section below. 

Want to Learn More?

  • How to Pick the Best Shopify Theme for Your Online Store
  • The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Commerce
  • 10 Online Stores to Use as Inspiration for Your First Store
  • Top 14 Free Shopify Apps You Need to Install

how to write a business plan for a craft business

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Step-by-Step Sample of a Craft Business Plan

  • Mary Rajotte
  • Categories : Entrepreneurs , Business
  • Tags : Office entrepreneurs topics business planning

Step-by-Step Sample of a Craft Business Plan

Reality Check

Having a passion for arts and crafts is a great place to start, but that does not mean you should completely overlook the importance of having a solid plan to back up your interests.

While being passionate about your product is a great place to start, you need to put a plan into place that will help you to start, build and grow your business. That is where this sample of a craft business plan can help you to focus on your goal of being a small business owner.

After putting all the pieces into place, implementing them is much easier, and your excitement for your passion project will translate into a passion that is reciprocated by your customers.

Photo: Melodi2

Creating a business plan will provide you with a solid basis from which to start your craft business. Generally, most business plans follow a similar format , and this sample of a craft business plan includes the following areas:

Executive Summary

Mission statement.

  • Product/Service Descriptions
  • Marketing Plan

Financial Information

The Executive Summary pinpoints the main bulletpoints of your business, offering a quick glance at the most important aspects of your small business and what you hope to achieve. These can include:

  • contact information for your business
  • a brief description of you & your business
  • your objectives & how you will achieve them

Sparkle Jewelry Designs is a handcrafted jewelry business with a focus on modern styles with an edge.

Our ideal customers are females between the ages of 20 to 40. Our clients pride themselves on wearing fashions that express their individuality and they choose our designs for their creative styles that are both fashion-forward and can be worn for years to come.

The Mission Statement should include your intentions for your company

  • trends and how you fit into the marketplace
  • be specific with your goals & think beyond simply being a success in your target market

Our clients love fashion but they are not satisfied with mass-produced, cookie-cutter accessories. They seek out our brand for our attention to detail, custom designs, and the personal touch that comes with our handcrafed designs.

Product/Service Description

This section should include information on what makes your product special.

  • What is your unique selling point?
  • How is your product different than what is currently available in the marketplace?
  • Do you do something faster, better or in a way that is innovative when compared to your competition?
  • What benefit does your product have for your customers? Does it solve a problem or fill a hole in the marketplace? How does your product uniquely enhance their life?

Each piece in the Sparkle Jewelry Designs line is handcrafted in limited edition batches.

This provides a much sought-after appeal to our pieces, while offering unique designs that are handcrafted to the highest standards specifically for our customers.

This also allows us to apply the highest level of craftmanship to every piece in the Sparkle Jewelry Designs line.

Marketing Plan: Reaching Your Target Market

This section should be completed following a market analysis that will determine the three main components of your marketing plan.

• your target market

• your competition and how you plan to compete

• marketing expenses & how you will market your crafts

A Happy Shopper

Sparkle Jewelry Designs are currently sold via our online website, which receives traffic flow from our various social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

We plan to market our jewelry via these online spaces, as well as through various blogs that our shoppers read. Our sales will be tracked online via Paypal, which we will use to collect payment, as well as run & print monthly reports of all sales & expenses.

Sparkle Jewelry Designs is located in downtown Toronto, which gives us access to various crafts shows, artisan markets and trade shows where we rent space to sell our wares .

Our clients love fashion but they are not satisfied with mass-produced, cookie-cutter accessories. They seek out our brand for our attention to detail, custom designs, and the personal touch that comes with our handcrafted designs.

Photo: Andres Rodriguez

This section should include information on sales, expenses and cash flow expectations .

  • what start-up costs will you have?
  • how will you source supplies?

Since Sparkle Jewelry Designs will be run from our home, our start-up expenses will be minimal. Our expenses will be web hosting, domain registration and minimal advertising costs. We will also need to purchase packaging materials for our orders, and to pay a minimal fee for each sale by using Paypal as our payment processor.

We expect our cash flow to be more lucrative during Fall (for holiday shoppers) and Spring, with a slow-down in Summer months, as online traffic and shopping in general seems to slow down in those periods.

Final Thoughts

While your aim is to make your business plan as professional as possible, don’t think that you cannot be creative with your business plan. Creating a small craft business plan will allow you to see your entire business laid out before you, and give you a snapshot of how you can live your dream and make money doing so.

Inserting your personality and the passion you have for your craft business idea will translate into a compelling document that will help you propel your business forward.

  • How to Write a Simple Business Plan
  • Best Craft Business Ideas
  • Top 5 Work-from-Home Arts & Crafts Jobs

how to write a business plan for a craft business

Craft Business Plan Template & Guidebook

The creation of a detailed and comprehensive business plan is essential to the success of any craft business. The #1 Craft Business Plan Template & Guidebook provides aspiring entrepreneurs with all the necessary resources they need to make informed decisions and realize their dream of starting a business. This guide provides a detailed template along with helpful advice and guidance to help artisans plan the perfect craft business.


Get worry-free services and support to launch your business starting at $0 plus state fees.

  • How to Start a Profitable Craft Business [11 Steps]
  • 10+ Best & Profitable Craft Business Ideas [2023]
  • 25 Catchy Craft Business Names:

How to Write a Craft Business Plan in 7 Steps:

1. describe the purpose of your craft business..

The first step to writing your business plan is to describe the purpose of your craft business. This includes describing why you are starting this type of business, and what problems it will solve for customers. This is a quick way to get your mind thinking about the customers’ problems. It also helps you identify what makes your business different from others in its industry.

It also helps to include a vision statement so that readers can understand what type of company you want to build.

Here is an example of a purpose mission statement for a craft business:

Our mission at [Business Name] is to provide our customers with a unique and highly personalized crafting experience. We strive to make our products and services accessible to everyone, while being dedicated to furthering the craft movement and inspiring imagination through creativity. We will accomplish this by offering a wide selection of quality materials, knowledgeable staff, instructional classes, and friendly customer service.

Image of Zenbusiness business formation

2. Products & Services Offered by Your Craft Business.

The next step is to outline your products and services for your craft business. 

When you think about the products and services that you offer, it's helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my business?
  • What are the products and/or services that I offer?
  • Why am I offering these particular products and/or services?
  • How do I differentiate myself from competitors with similar offerings?
  • How will I market my products and services?

You may want to do a comparison of your business plan against those of other competitors in the area, or even with online reviews. This way, you can find out what people like about them and what they don’t like, so that you can either improve upon their offerings or avoid doing so altogether.

Image of Zenbusiness business formation

3. Build a Creative Marketing Stratgey.

If you don't have a marketing plan for your craft business, it's time to write one. Your marketing plan should be part of your business plan and be a roadmap to your goals. 

A good marketing plan for your craft business includes the following elements:

Target market

  • Who is your target market?
  • What do these customers have in common?
  • How many of them are there?
  • How can you best reach them with your message or product?

Customer base 

  • Who are your current customers? 
  • Where did they come from (i.e., referrals)?
  • How can their experience with your craft business help make them repeat customers, consumers, visitors, subscribers, or advocates for other people in their network or industry who might also benefit from using this service, product, or brand?

Product or service description

  • How does it work, what features does it have, and what are its benefits?
  • Can anyone use this product or service regardless of age or gender?
  • Can anyone visually see themselves using this product or service?
  • How will they feel when they do so? If so, how long will the feeling last after purchasing (or trying) the product/service for the first time?

Competitive analysis

  • Which companies are competing with yours today (and why)? 
  • Which ones may enter into competition with yours tomorrow if they find out about it now through word-of-mouth advertising; social media networks; friends' recommendations; etc.)
  • What specific advantages does each competitor offer over yours currently?

Marketing channels

  • Which marketing channel do you intend to leverage to attract new customers?
  • What is your estimated marketing budget needed?
  • What is the projected cost to acquire a new customer?
  • How many of your customers do you instead will return?

Form an LLC in your state!

how to write a business plan for a craft business

4. Write Your Operational Plan.

Next, you'll need to build your operational plan. This section describes the type of business you'll be running, and includes the steps involved in your operations. 

In it, you should list:

  • The equipment and facilities needed
  • Who will be involved in the business (employees, contractors)
  • Financial requirements for each step
  • Milestones & KPIs
  • Location of your business
  • Zoning & permits required for the business

What equipment, supplies, or permits are needed to run a craft business?

  • Computer and software
  • Printing equipment and supplies
  • Tools and materials for crafting (brush, cutter, glue, etc.)
  • Marketing materials such as brochures and business cards
  • Tax identification number or business license as required by local laws

5. Management & Organization of Your Craft Business.

The second part of your craft business plan is to develop a management and organization section.

This section will cover all of the following:

  • How many employees you need in order to run your craft business. This should include the roles they will play (for example, one person may be responsible for managing administrative duties while another might be in charge of customer service).
  • The structure of your management team. The higher-ups like yourself should be able to delegate tasks through lower-level managers who are directly responsible for their given department (inventory and sales, etc.).
  • How you’re going to make sure that everyone on board is doing their job well. You’ll want check-ins with employees regularly so they have time to ask questions or voice concerns if needed; this also gives you time to offer support where necessary while staying informed on how things are going within individual departments too!

6. Craft Business Startup Expenses & Captial Needed.

This section should be broken down by month and year. If you are still in the planning stage of your business, it may be helpful to estimate how much money will be needed each month until you reach profitability.

Typically, expenses for your business can be broken into a few basic categories:

Startup Costs

Startup costs are typically the first expenses you will incur when beginning an enterprise. These include legal fees, accounting expenses, and other costs associated with getting your business off the ground. The amount of money needed to start a craft business varies based on many different variables, but below are a few different types of startup costs for a craft business.

Running & Operating Costs

Running costs refer to ongoing expenses related directly with operating your business over time like electricity bills or salaries paid out each month. These types of expenses will vary greatly depending on multiple variables such as location, team size, utility costs, etc.

Marketing & Sales Expenses

You should include any costs associated with marketing and sales, such as advertising and promotions, website design or maintenance. Also, consider any additional expenses that may be incurred if you decide to launch a new product or service line. For example, if your craft business has an existing website that needs an upgrade in order to sell more products or services, then this should be listed here.

7. Financial Plan & Projections

A financial plan is an important part of any business plan, as it outlines how the business will generate revenue and profit, and how it will use that profit to grow and sustain itself. To devise a financial plan for your craft business, you will need to consider a number of factors, including your start-up costs, operating costs, projected revenue, and expenses. 

Here are some steps you can follow to devise a financial plan for your craft business plan:

  • Determine your start-up costs: This will include the cost of purchasing or leasing the space where you will operate your business, as well as the cost of buying or leasing any equipment or supplies that you need to start the business.
  • Estimate your operating costs: Operating costs will include utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water, as well as labor costs for employees, if any, and the cost of purchasing any materials or supplies that you will need to run your business.
  • Project your revenue: To project your revenue, you will need to consider the number of customers you expect to have and the average amount they will spend on each visit. You can use this information to estimate how much money you will make from selling your products or services.
  • Estimate your expenses: In addition to your operating costs, you will need to consider other expenses, such as insurance, marketing, and maintenance. You will also need to set aside money for taxes and other fees.
  • Create a budget: Once you have estimated your start-up costs, operating costs, revenue, and expenses, you can use this information to create a budget for your business. This will help you to see how much money you will need to start the business, and how much profit you can expect to make.
  • Develop a plan for using your profit: Finally, you will need to decide how you will use your profit to grow and sustain your business. This might include investing in new equipment, expanding the business, or saving for a rainy day.

how to write a business plan for a craft business

Frequently Asked Questions About Craft Business Plans:

Why do you need a business plan for a craft business.

A business plan is important for any craft business, as it provides a clear roadmap for the future of your business, outlines goal-setting strategies, and helps you to identify potential sources of financing. It can also help you to gain insight into the marketplace and competitors, and provide you with an action plan for achieving your goals. Additionally, a well-constructed business plan can help you stay organized and focused throughout your business launch and growth stages.

Who should you ask for help with your craft business plan?

You may wish to consult with a business consultant or accountant, or you may consider seeking advice from an expert in the craft industry. Additionally, there are many resources online and in libraries to help guide you through creating a business plan for your craft business.

Can you write a craft business plan yourself?

Yes, it is possible to write a craft business plan yourself. You should start by researching the craft industry and market you plan to enter, determining a sales strategy, developing a budget and marketing plan, and outlining goals for the business. Additionally, you will need to devise a pricing strategy, determine your target audience and develop a system for tracking sales. After completing your research and creating an outline of the different elements of your business plan, you can begin writing it out in more detail. Depending on your resources and needs, it may be beneficial to consult with an accountant or attorney to help ensure accuracy and provide additional guidance.

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I'm Nick, co-founder of, dedicated to helping aspiring entrepreneurs succeed. As a small business owner with over five years of experience, I have garnered valuable knowledge and insights across a diverse range of industries. My passion for entrepreneurship drives me to share my expertise with aspiring entrepreneurs, empowering them to turn their business dreams into reality.

Through meticulous research and firsthand experience, I uncover the essential steps, software, tools, and costs associated with launching and maintaining a successful business. By demystifying the complexities of entrepreneurship, I provide the guidance and support needed for others to embark on their journey with confidence.

From assessing market viability and formulating business plans to selecting the right technology and navigating the financial landscape, I am dedicated to helping fellow entrepreneurs overcome challenges and unlock their full potential. As a steadfast advocate for small business success, my mission is to pave the way for a new generation of innovative and driven entrepreneurs who are ready to make their mark on the world.

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How to Start a Craft Business

start a craft business

Starting a craft business can be very profitable. With proper planning, execution and hard work, you can enjoy great success. Below you will learn the keys to launching a successful craft business.

Importantly, a critical step in starting a craft business is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here .

Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here

14 Steps To Start a Craft Business :

  • Choose the Name for Your Craft Business
  • Develop Your Craft Business Plan
  • Choose the Legal Structure for Your Craft Business
  • Secure Startup Funding for Your Craft Business (If Needed)
  • Secure a Location for Your Business
  • Register Your Craft Business with the IRS
  • Open a Business Bank Account
  • Get a Business Credit Card
  • Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits
  • Get Business Insurance for Your Craft Business
  • Buy or Lease the Right Craft Business Equipment
  • Develop Your Craft Business Marketing Materials
  • Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Craft Business
  • Open for Business

1. Choose the Name for Your Craft Business

The first step to starting a craft business is to choose your business’ name.  

This is a very important choice since your company name is your brand identity and will last for the lifetime of your business. Ideally you choose a name that is meaningful and memorable. Here are some tips for choosing a name for your own craft business:

  • Make sure the name is available . Check your desired name against trademark databases and your state’s list of registered business names to see if it’s available. Also check to see if a suitable domain name is available.
  • Keep it simple . The best names are usually ones that are easy to remember, pronounce and spell.
  • Think about marketing . Come up with a name that reflects the desired brand and/or focus of your craft business.

2. Develop Your Craft Business Plan

One of the most important steps in starting a craft business is to develop your business plan . The process of creating your plan ensures that you fully understand your market and your business strategy. The plan also provides you with a roadmap to follow and if needed, to present to funding sources to raise capital for your business.

Your business plan should include the following sections:

  • Executive Summary – this section should summarize your entire business plan so readers can quickly understand the key details of your craft business.
  • Company Overview – this section tells the reader about the history of your craft business and what type of craft business you operate. For example, are you a craft supply store, boutique, gallery, or an online craft business?
  • Industry Analysis – here you will document key information about the craft industry. Conduct market research and document how big the industry is and what trends are affecting it.
  • Customer Analysis – in this section, you will document who your ideal or target customers are and their demographics. For example, how old are they? Where do they live? What do they find important when purchasing products like the ones you will offer?
  • Competitive Analysis – here you will document the key direct and indirect competitors you will face and how you will build competitive advantage.
  • Marketing Plan – your marketing plan should address the 4Ps: Product, Price, Promotions and Place.
  • Product : Determine and document what products/services you will offer 
  • Prices : Document the prices of your products/services
  • Place : Where will your business be located and how will that location help you increase sales?
  • Promotions : What promotional methods will you use to attract customers to your craft business? For example, you might decide to use pay-per-click advertising, public relations, search engine optimization and/or social media marketing.
  • Operations Plan – here you will determine the key processes you will need to run your day-to-day operations. You will also determine your staffing needs. Finally, in this section of your plan, you will create a projected growth timeline showing the milestones you hope to achieve in the coming years.
  • Management Team – this section details the background of your company’s management team.
  • Financial Plan – finally, the financial plan answers questions including the following:
  • What startup costs will you incur?
  • How will your craft business make money?
  • What are your projected sales and expenses for the next five years?
  • Do you need to raise funding to launch your business?

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3. choose the legal structure for your craft business.

Next you need to choose a legal structure for your craft business and register it and your business name with the Secretary of State in each state where you operate your business.

Below are the five most common legal structures:

1) Sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a business entity in which the craft business owner and the business are the same legal person. The owner of a sole proprietorship is responsible for all debts and obligations of the business. There are no formalities required to establish a sole proprietorship, and it is easy to set up and operate. The main advantage of a sole proprietorship is that it is simple and inexpensive to establish. The main disadvantage is that the owner is liable for all debts and obligations of the business.

2) Partnerships

A partnership is a legal structure that is popular among small business owners. It is an agreement between two or more people who want to start a craft business together. The partners share in the profits and losses of the business. 

The advantages of a partnership are that it is easy to set up, and the partners share in the profits and losses of the business. The disadvantages of a partnership are that the partners are jointly liable for the debts of the business, and disagreements between partners can be difficult to resolve.

3) Limited Liability Company (LLC)

A limited liability company, or LLC, is a type of business entity that provides limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners of an LLC are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The advantages of an LLC for a craft business include flexibility in management, pass-through taxation (avoids double taxation as explained below), and limited personal liability. The disadvantages of an LLC include lack of availability in some states and self-employment taxes.

4) C Corporation

A C Corporation is a business entity that is separate from its owners. It has its own tax ID and can have shareholders. The main advantage of a C Corporation for a craft business is that it offers limited liability to its owners. This means that the owners are not personally responsible for the debts and liabilities of the business. The disadvantage is that C Corporations are subject to double taxation. This means that the corporation pays taxes on its profits, and the shareholders also pay taxes on their dividends.

5) S Corporation

An S Corporation is a type of corporation that provides its owners with limited liability protection and allows them to pass their business income through to their personal income tax returns, thus avoiding double taxation. There are several limitations on S Corporations including the number of shareholders they can have among others.

Once you register your craft business, your state will send you your official “Articles of Incorporation.” You will need this among other documentation when establishing your banking account (see below). We recommend that you consult an attorney in determining which legal structure is best suited for your company.

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4. Secure Startup Funding for Your Craft Business (If Needed)

In developing your craft business plan, you might have determined that you need to raise funding to launch your business. 

If so, the main sources of funding for a craft business to consider are personal savings, family and friends, credit card financing, bank loans, crowdfunding and angel investors. Angel investors are individuals who provide capital to early-stage businesses. Angel investors typically will invest in a craft business that they believe has high potential for growth.

5. Secure a Location for Your Business

When starting a craft business, you will need to find the right location for your shop. There are a few things to consider when choosing a location. First, think about what type of craft you want to sell. You will want to find a location that is convenient for your customers. You should also consider the cost of rent and other expenses, such as utilities and marketing. You also need to make sure that the location is zoned for commercial use.

6. Register Your Craft Business with the IRS

Next, you need to register your business with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) which will result in the IRS issuing you an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

Most banks will require you to have an EIN in order to open up an account. In addition, in order to hire employees, you will need an EIN since that is how the IRS tracks your payroll tax payments.

Note that if you are a sole proprietor without employees, you generally do not need to get an EIN. Rather, you would use your social security number (instead of your EIN) as your taxpayer identification number.

7. Open a Business Bank Account

It is important to establish a bank account in your craft business’ name. This process is fairly simple and involves the following steps:

  • Identify and contact the bank you want to use
  • Gather and present the required documents (generally include your company’s Articles of Incorporation, driver’s license or passport, and proof of address)
  • Complete the bank’s application form and provide all relevant information
  • Meet with a banker to discuss your business needs and establish a relationship with them

8. Get a Business Credit Card

You should get a business credit card for your craft business to help you separate personal and business expenses.

You can either apply for a business credit card through your bank or apply for one through a credit card company.

When you’re applying for a business credit card, you’ll need to provide some information about your business. This includes the name of your business, the address of your business, and the type of business you’re running. You’ll also need to provide some information about yourself, including your name, Social Security number, and date of birth.

Once you’ve been approved for a business credit card, you’ll be able to use it to make purchases for your business. You can also use it to build your credit history which could be very important in securing loans and getting credit lines for your business in the future.

9. Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits

To start a craft business, you will need a business license and a sales tax permit. You may also need other permits, depending on the type of business you plan to run. Check with your local government to find out what licenses and permits are required for your business.

10. Get Business Insurance for Your Craft Business

The type of insurance you’ll need to operate a craft business will vary depending on the scope of your operations. 

Some business insurance policies you should consider for your craft business include:

  • General liability insurance : This covers accidents and injuries that occur on your property. It also covers damages caused by your employees or products.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance : If you have employees, this type of policy works with your general liability policy to protect against workplace injuries and accidents. It also covers medical expenses and lost wages.
  • Commercial property insurance : This covers damage to your property caused by fire, theft, or vandalism.
  • Business interruption insurance : This covers lost income and expenses if your business is forced to close due to a covered event.
  • Professional liability insurance : This protects your business against claims of professional negligence.

Find an insurance agent, tell them about your business and its needs, and they will recommend policies that fit those needs. 

11. Buy or Lease the Right Craft Business Equipment

In order to run a craft business, you will need some basic equipment. This includes items such as a sewing machine, fabric, and scissors. You may also need a computer to create digital designs, and a printer to print your designs. Additionally, you will need to purchase any materials or craft supplies that you will be using to make your products. 

12. Develop Your Craft Business Marketing Materials

Marketing materials will be required to attract and retain customers to your craft business.

The key marketing materials you will need are as follows:

  • Logo : Spend some time developing a good logo for your craft business. Your logo will be printed on company stationery, business cards, marketing materials and so forth. The right logo can increase customer trust and awareness of your brand.
  • Website : Likewise, a professional craft business website provides potential customers with information about the products you offer, your company’s history, and contact information. Importantly, remember that the look and feel of your website will affect how customers perceive you.
  • Social Media Accounts : establish social media accounts in your company’s name. Accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or other social media networks will help customers and others find and interact with your craft business.

13. Purchase and Setup the Software Needed to Run Your Craft Business

To start a craft business, you will need some basic software, including a word processing program and a spreadsheet program. You may also want to consider using a customer relationship management (CRM) program to help you keep track of your customers and orders.  Additionally, you may want to use a graphic design program to create your marketing materials and product designs.

14. Open for Business

You are now ready to open your craft business. If you followed the steps above, you should be in a great position to build a successful business. Below are answers to frequently asked questions that might further help you.

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How to Start a Craft Business FAQs

Is it hard to start a craft business.

No, it is not hard to start a craft business. There are some things you will need to do in order to get started. The most important thing is to have a clear idea of what you want your business to be and how you plan to manage it. You will also need to create a formal business plan and register your business with the state.

How can I start a craft business with no experience?

There are a few things you can do to start a craft business with no experience. First, you can do some research on the internet or in books to learn about the basics of starting a business. You can also attend craft shows, workshops, and classes to expand your skill set and prepare to open your business. You can also try to find a mentor who can help you get started in the craft business.

What type of craft business is most profitable?

The type of craft business that is most profitable is one that specializes in making and selling high-end crafts. These businesses often make crafts from expensive materials, such as gold and silver, and they typically sell their crafts for a high price.

Another profitable type of craft business is an online store. A successful online craft business can be profitable because it will typically have lower overhead costs than brick-and-mortar stores. Additionally, online stores can reach a larger audience than brick-and-mortar stores.

How much does it cost to start a craft business?

The amount of money you'll need to start a craft business varies depending on the type of business you want to start, the products you plan to sell, and your overhead costs. You may need as little as $100 or as much as $10,000 to get started.

What are the ongoing expenses for a craft business?

The ongoing expenses for a crafting business can vary depending on the size and scope of the business. However, some of the most common expenses include material, marketing, and shipping costs. It is important to track these costs carefully in order to stay on budget and maintain profitability.

How does a craft business make money?

Craft shop owners make money by selling their products to the public. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as through selling online, on consignment shops, flea markets, or at craft fairs. In addition, a handmade business may also offer custom orders or design work.

Is owning a craft business profitable?

Yes, it is a profitable business because a craft business offers unique products that people cannot find at big box stores. Customers appreciate the personal touch that craft businesses offer, and they love being able to support local businesses. In addition, craft businesses often have lower overhead costs than other types of businesses, which leads to greater profitability potential.

Why do craft businesses fail?

There are many reasons why other crafters fail, but the most common reasons are a lack of planning, marketing, and financial knowledge. Other factors may include not having a clear vision for the business, poor customer service, and not being able to produce a high-quality product.

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Simple steps how to start a craft business

8 Simple Steps How to Start a Craft Business

Creators of custom hats and other handmade accessories have now found a ready market in millennials looking for unique items to round out wardrobes and make a personal style statement.

How to Start a Craft Business

1. study the market demand, 2. write a business plan for handmade crafts, 3. decide where you will sell your crafts, 4. use quality materials, 5. choose a name with strong brand potential, 6. choose a business entity, 7. find funding for small businesses, 8. get the right permits, licenses, and insurance, other major business services for craft business.

Wise Business Plans is offering design entrepreneurs the quality business plan for handmade crafts and services necessary to garner funding from investors and banking institutions, map a path for long-term goals solutions, and boost earnings.

Often, hobbies become businesses. If you’ve ever thought about selling your crafts or turning your love of crafting into a business, here are some things you need to know about starting a craft business.

To start a craft business, make sure there is a demand. Will people love your craft as a gift? Will people buy it?

The following are two ways to research a craft business. Attend a craft show or Browse online marketplaces such as Etsy and Handmade at Amazon.

Find out what’s already available. See if your products are already marketed (there’s probably demand), but make sure there aren’t a gazillion sellers selling the same items (too much competition).

Recommended Resources: Find out the 30 best gift ideas for entrepreneurs .

Crafting and planning go hand in hand. Your business should be planned in the same way that you plan your perfect craft. To do this, you need a business plan .

Having a business plan for handmade crafts is a great way to stay on track and plan your craft business, as well as prove you are worth the investment to any potential investors. You should still create a firm craft business plan even if you’ve already started your company.

Furthermore, a craft business plan is not only crucial for any business owner but also if you decide to seek funding to launch or expand your business.

Do You Need a Craft Business Plan?

Here’s the good news: you can minimize the time it takes to write a business plan by hiring wise business plans who have over a decade of experience writing business plans, spanning over 400 industries. Hire a business plan writer now!

Your goods are ready to sell, but where will you sell them? Local arts and crafts fairs and farmers’ markets are great ways to gauge customer interest.

You can also take your products to local boutiques and consignment shops before opening a store. There’s also always the option to create an eCommerce website or sell on a marketplace, such as:

  • Etsy (the best online craft market)

The platforms help craft businesses reach a large audience and make it easy for customers to buy products. The flip side of this is that digital marketplaces may charge fees for using their platforms, which can add up over time.

Crafting for fun is different from making products. You’ll need many materials from a reliable source. You can get discounts from brands like Darice and Warehouse Craft Supplies.

At first, you may want to visit a retail craft store until your bulk supply purchases can be justified. Make sure you know how much your materials will cost.

Choose a business name that appeals to buyers and communicates what you sell. Don’t be too obscure. Choose something with meaning and strong brand potential — catchy is good. Make sure the name is available. A business attorney can guide you through the legal process.

You must also decide how your business will be structured in your Business Plan for Handmade Crafts. It is imperative to decide the legal structure of your business, whether you are a solo entrepreneur or have a team behind you.

Choosing the right entity for your craft business can be a challenge if you haven’t decided yet. For your business structure, you might consider a sole proprietorship , general partnership, limited liability company (LLC) , or corporation.

Need to Register a Business Entity?

Registered agents at Wise Business Plans offer you a wide range of business formation services to make it simple for you to incorporate a business and allow you to focus on other important tasks.

Register Your Craft with Our Business Formation Services

Taking your crafts to a larger scale may mean you need financial assistance. Small or large, your business is up to you. However, if you struggle to raise the funds you need to start your business, you might want to consider a small business loan.

Today, there are many choices available. Keep in mind that what works for one craft business may not necessarily work for yours.

  • Business loans: A new business owner may have difficulty obtaining certain loans, such as SBA loans, but if you’ve run your craft business for a while, you might be eligible for secured loans.
  • Business lines of credit: It is more flexible than a standard business loan. A business line of credit gives you a set amount of money you can use to cover business expenses.
  • Business credit cards: Those who are just starting out or who have little business experience should consider getting a business credit card. This could be a more accessible option for you.
  • Equipment financing: Consider equipment financing if you need equipment to produce your crafts, such as sewing machines. This type of financing involves a lender lending you money exclusively for equipment purchases. This type of loan will have collateral, so it may be easier to qualify.
  • Startup funding: Start-up funding is an option for new businesses. SBA microloans and business grants may be available to you. Today, crowdfunding plays a more important role in startup funding , especially for companies with fun products (like craft businesses).

After you have funding, expenses, or income, it is important to keep your personal and business expenses separate. Open a business bank account to do this.

Funding is a Problem for You?

Are you ready to get your hands dirty and do some paperwork? To start your craft business legally, you will need the necessary licenses, permits , and insurance.

License requirements vary by location, business structure , and type of business. There could even be multiple license requirements at the federal, state, and local levels.

When starting a craft business from home, you’ll need to look into home business licensing and restrictions and online seller licensing if your business involves selling crafts online.

If you plan to hire some employees to help with your craft business, you will also need an employer identification number (EIN) . Among other things, you need an EIN for tax purposes. Although you don’t think you’ll hire workers anytime soon, getting an EIN offers other benefits that are worth considering.

Last but not least, you should obtain business insurance. This is always a good idea, especially if you have employees.

Do you need a Business License for Craft Business?

Wise business plans have eased the process to obtain a business license for craft, which is generally needed to operate a craft business.

Let Wise Help you to Get your Business License for Craft

Business Plan For Handmade Crafts by Wise Business Plans

“Most people enjoy having a few one-of-a-kind items in their wardrobe and being able to corroborate on the details of a special hat or accessory while it is being created,” said Joseph Ferriolo, Director of Wise Business Plans.

“At Wise, when crafting a business plan for handmade crafts , we consult with the client every step of the way to make sure that all details are correct and the interests and unique ideas of that client are included.”

SBA Business Plan

Wise Business Plans specializes in helping small businesses present an SBA plan to raise capital, define specific business goals, and guide owners in meeting market demands, including the tools needed to manage a thriving business. Each unique millinery business plan  is offered at an affordable price, with an option for a free revision.

Business Plan For Handmade Items

“Partnering with Wise Business Plans to create a business plan for handmade items that leads to sustained future profits and ensures a quality long-term business life can allow millinery entrepreneurs to relax and enjoy the creative side of their business,” said Ferriolo.

Looking for business plan samples? You can use our sample business plans to create a plan that looks just as good as our real-world business plan examples .

Wise Business PlansWise Business Plans (, staffed with professional MBA Business Plan writers , researchers, and financial experts, is a trusted partner for businesses across a broad spectrum of products and services.

Our mission is to empower our clients to make the best possible business decisions, boost company performance and facilitate their funding success by laying the groundwork for strong businesses that excite, inspire and retain talented and exceptional employees.

Do you want to start a craft business? As a client of Wise Business Plans, you’ll receive both a quick and easy guide for starting your craft business and assistance for every step along the way, including funding, registering or licensing a business entity, branding, and marketing.  Following are our main services

  • Business Marketing
  • Small business loan
  • Logo Business Branding
  • Business Entity

Wise business plans also offer a  net 30 account application . A Net-30 account allows you 30 days to pay the bill in full after you have purchased products. Managing your business finances is also easier with Net 30 accounts.  Apply for your net 30 business accounts now

Access our free business plan examples now!

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To start a craft business, begin by identifying your niche and target market, creating a business plan, determining your pricing and costs, setting up an online presence, and developing a marketing strategy. It’s also essential to comply with any legal and licensing requirements.

While having a particular skill or talent in crafting can be advantageous, it’s not always necessary. You can start a craft business by exploring various crafts, learning new skills, or collaborating with artisans who possess the skills you need.

The capital required to start a craft business can vary depending on factors such as the type of craft, scale of operations, and your business goals. It’s important to create a budget and estimate the costs of materials, tools, marketing, and other expenses to determine your initial investment.

Selling crafts online offers a wider reach and potential customer base, while physical stores provide opportunities for local sales and direct interaction with customers. It’s beneficial to consider a multi-channel approach by having both an online presence and exploring local retail partnerships or craft markets.

To stand out from competitors, focus on creating unique and high-quality crafts, offering personalized or customized options, providing excellent customer service, and leveraging effective branding and marketing strategies. Find your unique selling proposition and showcase it to attract customers.

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Handicraft Business Plan


If you are planning to start a new handicraft business, the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample business plan created using Upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.

Before you start writing your business plan for your new handicraft business, spend as much time as you can reading through some examples of retail store-related business plans .

Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. Also, it will show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample for you to get a good idea about how perfect a handicraft business plan should look and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Handicraft Business Plan Outline

This is the standard business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

  • Business Overview
  • Mission & Vision Statement
  • Business Model
  • Non-Financial Objectives
  • Financial Objectives
  • Our Corporate Social Responsibility In Action
  • Our Core Values
  • Keys To Success
  • Guiding Principles
  • 3 Year profit forecast
  • Company Conceptualization
  • Registered Name and Corporate Structure
  • Company Ownership
  • Company Location And Resources
  • Startup cost
  • Handicrafts
  • The United States Market
  • Model Types Insights
  • SWOT Analysis
  • The Threat Of New Entry
  • Competitive Rivalry
  • Buyer Power
  • Supplier Power
  • Threat Of Substitution
  • Marketing Plans
  • Growth Plan
  • Important Assumptions
  • Brake-even Analysis
  • Profit Yearly
  • Gross Margin Yearly
  • Projected Cash Flow
  • Projected Balance Sheet
  • Business Ratios

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After getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this sample business plan into your business plan to modify the required information, and download your handicraft business plan pdf and doc file. It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

Download a sample handicraft business plan

Need help writing your business plan from scratch? Here you go;  download our free handicraft business plan pdf  to start.

It’s a modern business plan template specifically designed for your handicraft business. Use the example business plan as a guide for writing your own.

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About the Author

how to write a business plan for a craft business

Upmetrics Team

Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more

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Not convinced about the importance of business planning for creative entrepreneurs? Here's why writing a good plan is worth your time. Plus, how to get started on your own craft business plan.

A craft business plan can help you get your new business off to a stolid start whether you're opening a small, part time business from home, or you're launching a larger venture and taking on more risk. In creating your plan, you'll examine all of the strengths that will help your business succeed and the challenges that you'll need to overcome. You'll create a financial plan that will help you to see your likely expenses over time, and you'll create a road map for building your business.

The thought of writing a business plan may feel overwhelming, but with the right resources and some good, focused work, you can get your business off to the right start with a practical craft business plan.

Do you have a business plan, or did you jump into your new venture without a road map?

A lot of people jump in without planning.

One of the beauties of starting a craft business is that you can do it with a small degree of commitment and risk. Many craft businesses get started from home, on a small budget, and as a side project or an extension of a hobby. For the most part, new craft professionals are not out applying for hefty business start-up loans, renting commercial space, or hiring full time staff.

Craft Business Plan - Create an effective plan to grow your business.

Because it's possible to slide into a craft business without a huge commitment of expense, and there's often no need to justify your business to outside funders or landlords, there's also often little to no business planning in the beginning. As time passes, if you're lucky, you get busy, and then it feels like there's no time for planning.

But craft professionals can definitely benefit from some smart business planning. You probably don't need to validate your business idea to outsiders; however, you are committing your own precious resources - your time, and your money - to grow this business. Isn't it worthwhile to asses and validate your plan for yourself before you make that commitment?

My First Craft Business PLan

Back in 2006, when I launched my own business, I wrote a traditional business plan because I was forced to write one.

I wrote my plan without fully buying into the process. I only did it because I had to.

I was very lucky to be a part of a small business development program that provided me with business-building resources, training, mentors, and some funding. One of the requirements of the program was to write a business plan.

I got some benefit from writing my first craft business plan, but I would have gotten a lot more out of it if I had approached it as a project I was doing for myself and for the good of my business, as opposed to a document I had to write in order to satisfy someone else's requirement.

How I Benefitted from Writing a craft Business Plan

Recognizing Opportunities

I planned out a full year of goals and sales strategies. At the time, there weren't as many opportunities for selling crafts online (I also knew nothing about promoting an online business back then), so my craft business plan hinged primarily on selling at home parties and craft shows.

You have to plan far in advance to sell at craft shows. Applications are due many months before the actual show. It makes sense once you think it through, but if you've never thought about selling at craft shows , the amount of advance planning required can come as a surprise. 

Creating a business plan ensured that I researched shows in my area, determined the ones I wanted to apply to, submitted applications on time, and also attended shows with application deadlines that I had already missed to see what I could learn from watching other craft professionals in action. Applying to sell at craft shows is a time-sensitive task, and good planning helped me avoid missed opportunities.

During my business planning, I realized that because of the time of year I started my business, it would be nine or ten months before I might be able to sell at any larger shows. That fact caused me to research and experiment with alternatives such as smaller shows, home parties, consignment, and online sales.

Another fact about craft shows that seems obvious now but was a big surprise starting out was the fact that you have to pay for your booth space many months before the actual show. If you're accepted to a few juried shows, you'll probably see several hundred dollars in booth fees coming out of your bank account in the spring, long before you've had a chance to sell your product.

Writing a craft business plan forced me to predict my cash flow over the course of the first year of my business, so I was prepared for those costs. Without planning, the timing of those expenses could have come as a big, unpleasant surprise.

Assessing Competition

In writing my business plan, I had to assess competition. I'm grateful that I was required to do this research because I might have otherwise avoided it out of some misguided sense of honor. Craft professionals are frequently warned away from looking at people with similar businesses, as if it's unethical.

Assessing your competition is a necessary part of planning a business strategy.

Certainly, you don't ever want to outright copy someone else, but looking at what others do well, and where they are missing opportunities is an important step in developing your business. It will help you to determine what unique value you can bring to your niche that others do not.

I earn a commission for purchases made through links on this page. To learn more, please see my disclosure .

Where I Failed in My Business Plan Writing

Predicting Income

When your business is new, it is immensely tough to predict your income. You just don't have the data you need to make accurate predictions, and it's not something you can easily research online. 

Woman writing business plan on laptop. Text - Craft Business Plan. Create an Effective plan for your craft business.

I had no clue what was reasonable. 

I was so drawn to the idea of selling at juried shows, I didn't realize that, in the early days, home parties would be my best source of income. I also hadn't considered the real possibility that you can sell at a show and just break even, or even lose money.

Thinking through and trying to predict my income potential was worthwhile, but I was wildly off base. It's fairly typical for new business owners to have a hard time accurately predicting income in the first year. You just don't have the data to back up your assumptions. Once your business has been up and running for a while, it's generally much easier to predict what you'll make from month to month.

Luckily, my business mentors knew my predictions were way off base. "Optimistic" was the word they used. I think they were trying to be kind, but, with their input, I knew I shouldn't depend on the amount of income I had predicted for that first year.

Predicting Startup Time

Everything takes so much longer than you realize when you do it all yourself. That's one of the lessons I've learned with self employment, and I still have to remind myself of that fact.

When all of the tasks are done by you, and you are starting everything from scratch, and often learning as you go, it all takes time. My predictions for reaching certain milestones were way off base in my first year in business.

Not Focusing on the Right Things

I looked at my craft business plan as a document I had to write to satisfy someone else's requirements, not a road map to help me think through and plan for my first year in business. I got caught up in fulfilling someone else's requirements instead of focusing on the overall purpose of writing the plan in the first plan. I was completely focused on wondering what the heck is an executive summary, and how am I supposed to do a market analysis. My focus was on just creating the document, when it should have been on creating a plan that would guide my first year of business.

Write a Plan for Yourself

You probably don't need to write a business plan to satisfy others. That kind of business plan is really only necessary if you're seeking funding to launch your business.

That's great news. It means you can create a plan for yourself.

You can benefit immensely from creating a craft business plan solely for your own needs. It can improve your chances for success because the process will ensure you think through your:

  • available opportunities, so you don't miss out on important events
  • skills and resources, so you'll know what special qualities you bring to your business and identify anything that's missing that you'll have to source out
  • strategies for promoting your business, so you'll have sketched out a plan to ensure potential customers find you 
  • product quality, benefits, marketability, and value, so you can create the best, most marketable product possible
  • projected business-related costs to determine whether you can afford the business you'd like to build
  • business' fundamental requirements, so you'll have thought through the factors truly required to build your business and can determine whether you are willing and able to do the work required

A well-written business plan will require you to look at your business idea in enough depth to determine if it has a good chance of success. It can also help you to envision the future of your business to determine if it is truly the business and life you want to build.

How to Write Your Own Craft Business plan

I mentioned earlier, I had the benefit of business mentors to help me get my business launched. Not everyone has that luxury, but there are plenty of resources available for new business owners. A visit to your closest US Small Business Association (SBA) is a smart place to start (For readers outside the US, look for a small business development organization or Chamber of Commerce in your area.). They also have some fantastic resources online to  help you develop your own business plan .

In addition to working with business mentors, I also used The Successful Business Plan by Rhonda Abrams to guide me through everything I needed to know when I wrote my first business plan.

The book has been updated since I first used it and now includes new information about social media and technology related to business development.

This book is immensely thorough. If it's related to business planning, and you need to know it, it's in this book.

The Successful Business Plan is written in clear, easy to understand language, but it is extremely detailed. That means, it will take time to work through everything that's relevant to your business, but the task is achievable.

Developing a craft business plan that is a well-researched, functional road map for your business will take time. This is not a quick, afternoon project, but if done well, it will repay your time spent many times over. A good plan can prevent you from making mistakes, help you avoid ill-advised business strategies, and ensure you don't miss out on important opportunities.

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How to Write a Business Plan, Step by Step

Rosalie Murphy

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

What is a business plan?

1. write an executive summary, 2. describe your company, 3. state your business goals, 4. describe your products and services, 5. do your market research, 6. outline your marketing and sales plan, 7. perform a business financial analysis, 8. make financial projections, 9. summarize how your company operates, 10. add any additional information to an appendix, business plan tips and resources.

A business plan outlines your business’s financial goals and explains how you’ll achieve them over the next three to five years. Here’s a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan that will offer a strong, detailed road map for your business.



A business plan is a document that explains what your business does, how it makes money and who its customers are. Internally, writing a business plan should help you clarify your vision and organize your operations. Externally, you can share it with potential lenders and investors to show them you’re on the right track.

Business plans are living documents; it’s OK for them to change over time. Startups may update their business plans often as they figure out who their customers are and what products and services fit them best. Mature companies might only revisit their business plan every few years. Regardless of your business’s age, brush up this document before you apply for a business loan .

» Need help writing? Learn about the best business plan software .

This is your elevator pitch. It should include a mission statement, a brief description of the products or services your business offers and a broad summary of your financial growth plans.

Though the executive summary is the first thing your investors will read, it can be easier to write it last. That way, you can highlight information you’ve identified while writing other sections that go into more detail.

» MORE: How to write an executive summary in 6 steps

Next up is your company description. This should contain basic information like:

Your business’s registered name.

Address of your business location .

Names of key people in the business. Make sure to highlight unique skills or technical expertise among members of your team.

Your company description should also define your business structure — such as a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation — and include the percent ownership that each owner has and the extent of each owner’s involvement in the company.

Lastly, write a little about the history of your company and the nature of your business now. This prepares the reader to learn about your goals in the next section.

» MORE: How to write a company overview for a business plan

how to write a business plan for a craft business

The third part of a business plan is an objective statement. This section spells out what you’d like to accomplish, both in the near term and over the coming years.

If you’re looking for a business loan or outside investment, you can use this section to explain how the financing will help your business grow and how you plan to achieve those growth targets. The key is to provide a clear explanation of the opportunity your business presents to the lender.

For example, if your business is launching a second product line, you might explain how the loan will help your company launch that new product and how much you think sales will increase over the next three years as a result.

» MORE: How to write a successful business plan for a loan

In this section, go into detail about the products or services you offer or plan to offer.

You should include the following:

An explanation of how your product or service works.

The pricing model for your product or service.

The typical customers you serve.

Your supply chain and order fulfillment strategy.

You can also discuss current or pending trademarks and patents associated with your product or service.

Lenders and investors will want to know what sets your product apart from your competition. In your market analysis section , explain who your competitors are. Discuss what they do well, and point out what you can do better. If you’re serving a different or underserved market, explain that.

Here, you can address how you plan to persuade customers to buy your products or services, or how you will develop customer loyalty that will lead to repeat business.

Include details about your sales and distribution strategies, including the costs involved in selling each product .

» MORE: R e a d our complete guide to small business marketing

If you’re a startup, you may not have much information on your business financials yet. However, if you’re an existing business, you’ll want to include income or profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet that lists your assets and debts, and a cash flow statement that shows how cash comes into and goes out of the company.

Accounting software may be able to generate these reports for you. It may also help you calculate metrics such as:

Net profit margin: the percentage of revenue you keep as net income.

Current ratio: the measurement of your liquidity and ability to repay debts.

Accounts receivable turnover ratio: a measurement of how frequently you collect on receivables per year.

This is a great place to include charts and graphs that make it easy for those reading your plan to understand the financial health of your business.

This is a critical part of your business plan if you’re seeking financing or investors. It outlines how your business will generate enough profit to repay the loan or how you will earn a decent return for investors.

Here, you’ll provide your business’s monthly or quarterly sales, expenses and profit estimates over at least a three-year period — with the future numbers assuming you’ve obtained a new loan.

Accuracy is key, so carefully analyze your past financial statements before giving projections. Your goals may be aggressive, but they should also be realistic.

NerdWallet’s picks for setting up your business finances:

The best business checking accounts .

The best business credit cards .

The best accounting software .

Before the end of your business plan, summarize how your business is structured and outline each team’s responsibilities. This will help your readers understand who performs each of the functions you’ve described above — making and selling your products or services — and how much each of those functions cost.

If any of your employees have exceptional skills, you may want to include their resumes to help explain the competitive advantage they give you.

Finally, attach any supporting information or additional materials that you couldn’t fit in elsewhere. That might include:

Licenses and permits.

Equipment leases.

Bank statements.

Details of your personal and business credit history, if you’re seeking financing.

If the appendix is long, you may want to consider adding a table of contents at the beginning of this section.

How much do you need?

with Fundera by NerdWallet

We’ll start with a brief questionnaire to better understand the unique needs of your business.

Once we uncover your personalized matches, our team will consult you on the process moving forward.

Here are some tips to write a detailed, convincing business plan:

Avoid over-optimism: If you’re applying for a business bank loan or professional investment, someone will be reading your business plan closely. Providing unreasonable sales estimates can hurt your chances of approval.

Proofread: Spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors can jump off the page and turn off lenders and prospective investors. If writing and editing aren't your strong suit, you may want to hire a professional business plan writer, copy editor or proofreader.

Use free resources: SCORE is a nonprofit association that offers a large network of volunteer business mentors and experts who can help you write or edit your business plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Centers , which provide free business consulting and help with business plan development, can also be a resource.

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How to Start a Business From Scratch in 6 Easy Steps

Kody Wirth

10 min. read

Updated April 30, 2024

Did you know that most of the world’s new businesses are bootstrapped ? 

That’s right, most business owners do not launch with loans or outside investment but instead use their personal resources and savings to get up and running. They start from scratch and reinvest in the business as it gains traction.

And you can do the same. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Start with an idea that uses your experience, knowledge, or passion.
  • Determine if there’s a need for your product or service.
  • Create a plan and financial forecasts.
  • Treat it like a side hustle until you get traction.
  • What does it mean to start from scratch?

“Starting a business from scratch” does not mean:

  • Using no money to launch your business.
  • Getting no outside assistance.
  • Inventing a business idea no one has done before.

Starting from scratch is about building a business from the ground up, using personal resources and minimal external financial support. The goal is to establish a sustainable business you control that satisfies a need in the market. 

  • Why start a business from scratch?

Here’s why starting from scratch might be the right approach for you:

  • Risk reduction: Control your initial investment and expenses and scale gradually, allowing you to avoid overspending.
  • Full control: With no outside investment or stakeholders to please, you can shape your business how you see fit.
  • Proves your idea has real customers: Test your concept with customers early to help refine your offering and validate market demand.
  • Fast decision-making: Quickly pivot to meet changing market demands without the red tape of larger organizations.
  • Potentially makes future funding easier: You take the time to prove your business model and profitability before seeking funding. Your track record reduces investor and lender risk and can lead to better funding terms.

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  • 6 steps to start a new business from scratch

For this article, we will focus on the steps that take you from a budding business idea to generating sales. 

For additional resources, check out our starting a business guide .

1. Start with an idea

Do some self-reflection and choose an idea you’re passionate about or one that uses your existing skills and experience. 

This will make it far easier to execute and often requires less research, training, and upfront investment to get up and running than an idea completely new to you.

For example, service-based businesses, like accounting or consulting, often need just your time and expertise. If any cash is needed, it should be a small enough amount to fund yourself, giving you full control over the speed at which you grow your business.

As you explore possible ideas, create a one-page business plan to document how it could work. 

It doesn’t have to be an official plan at this stage; just fill in what you can, mark any assumptions, and keep adding details throughout the rest of this process.

What businesses can you typically start from scratch?

While not an exhaustive list, here are a few potential ideas that can be started from scratch:

  • Freelance Writing or Content Creation: Offer writing skills to businesses and online publications.
  • Consulting Services: Share your professional management, marketing, or tech expertise.
  • Handmade Crafts and Art: Sell your unique creations on platforms like Etsy or at local fairs.
  • Tutoring: Offer either in-person or online.
  • Web Design and Development: Build websites for small businesses or individuals.
  • Virtual Assistant: Provide administrative support to businesses remotely.
  • Landscaping and Gardening Services: Turn your love of plants into a business with basic gardening tools.

For more business options and a process to generate ideas, check out our guide on developing good business ideas .

2. Find product-market fit

Landing on an idea is not enough to create a viable business. You need to determine if you have initial product-market fit—that your business satisfies and is demanded by a large enough group of people. 

This involves identifying your potential customers, understanding their motivations and needs, and determining whether they are willing to pay for your product or service. Additionally, spend time researching the market and understand who your competitors are. 

At this stage, you don’t need a fully fleshed-out business. You just need enough of an idea to start speaking to potential customers.  

This is where your one-page plan can be incredibly useful, as it helps you formalize enough information to have the working framework of a business. You can even add notes from your customer interviews to help adapt your plan.

Your goal, in this instance, is to:

  • Hone in on pain points your potential customers have
  • Verify that you can solve them
  • Identify any gaps or issues with your idea
  • (Bonus) Make initial sales 

Keep in mind that you may find none of that. Your solution may not be needed or is missing key components. You may even be targeting the wrong audience and need to change course.

That’s completely okay! Most businesses don’t get things right the first time. Be willing to refine and iterate on your initial idea. Verify what works and what doesn’t, and make the right adjustments to create a sustainable business that customers really want.

3. Examine your resources

While I have this as the third step, you’ll likely be doing this throughout every stage of starting a business.

Start by evaluating your funding sources. Personal savings are ideal as they keep you in full control of your business. If needed, consider asking friends and family for small contributions, as they’ll likely be much more flexible about repayment than traditional lenders.

Next, consider if a partner could benefit your venture. Do they bring complementary skills, share the workload, or offer additional resources? 

The right partner can fill crucial roles – like marketing or operations – allowing you to focus on your core strengths. They may even fill a necessary gap to get customers in the door.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of your network. Reach out to former colleagues, industry peers, and mentors for advice, services, or referrals.

Why you need to know your available resources

Taking stock of your resources is the first step in understanding what is feasible for your business. It helps you determine whether you have enough cash, expertise, and support to meet your customers’ expectations.

For example, let’s say you want to launch an eCommerce website and have enough cash on hand to fulfill orders but require customers to pay for shipping. If you’re competing with similar businesses that offer free shipping, your lack of it could turn customers away.

Similarly, you have a solid understanding of product development and have already gotten pre-orders. But you have no idea how to set up an eCommerce site , keep track of orders, and ensure they actually ship.

In both circumstances, your resources fall short of the needs of your customers. You may have to explore funding ( it doesn’t have to be a loan ) and find a partner with the right skill set to get your site up and running. 

4. Write a business plan and develop financial forecasts

At this point, you need to finalize your business plan and create initial forecasts . 

If you’ve been using the one-page plan throughout the last few steps, then this shouldn’t be a time-consuming process. Your goal at this point is to clearly define:

  • Business Model: Value proposition, customer segments, distribution channels, and revenue streams.
  • Milestones: Set realistic goals (landing your first customer, scaling, etc.) with specific timelines and action steps to track progress.

For your forecasts, start by estimating your:

  • Startup costs and ongoing expenses
  • Revenue in the first year of operation
  • Cash flow — how much money will be moving in and out of your business each month as you collect revenue and pay expenses

These numbers do not have to be perfect. You’ll likely be making educated guesses or using industry estimates. The point is to have something that you believe represents your business. It will help you maintain a healthy cash flow and understand what it will take to be profitable.

Remember, you don’t need to create an overly lengthy plan or complex financial statements. They’re your tools, so focus on usability – they should be flexible and evolve with your business, helping you make informed decisions.

Dedicate time ( at least monthly or quarterly) to reviewing and updating your plan and forecasts as you gather data to ensure your strategy aligns with real-world performance.

5. Protect your business

As a business owner, you must make your business legal and guard against liabilities. To keep things simple, we’ll assume you’re starting as a sole proprietorship for this article.

Check out our full guide to learn more about the specifics of each legal structure .

Necessary legal components for a simple startup:

  • Business Registration: As a sole proprietor, you may not need to register your business with the state government if you do business under your legal name. However, if you operate under a name that’s not yours, you must file for a “Doing Business As” (DBA) name. This is often required to set up a business bank account.
  • Licenses & Permits: Research local requirements for your specific business type. You may need a general business license, professional licenses, or specific permits (e.g., health and safety). Contact your city or county business office for details.
  • Tax Registration: Report business income on your personal tax return. If you plan to hire employees, you’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. Even without employees, an EIN can protect your personal information and may streamline certain business transactions. Check if you need to register for state sales tax collections.
  • Insurance : Consider general liability insurance for accidents and negligence claims. Get professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance if you offer professional services.
  • Contracts: Use written agreements for business partners and supplier or contractor transactions. This clarifies expectations, prevents disputes, and protects both parties. Contact a lawyer to review or help you write this documentation if needed.

6. Promote and run your business

At this point, you just need to run your business. You don’t need to go all in, either. Launch it as a side hustle until you hit the point where it can become your full-time focus.

Don’t overcomplicate it: Set up a simple website, payment system, and essential operational tools. You want to serve customers immediately and learn from real-world experience.

But unless you locked in pre-orders earlier in this process, you’ll need to market your business to do it. 

Select marketing channels you believe will reach your target customers. Start small — you want to avoid overspending while you determine the right mix of marketing tactics. If you’re unsure where to start, paid social media ads (Facebook and Instagram), email campaigns, and local partnerships can be inexpensive options.

Stick to the budget you created, run small, easily measured marketing tests, and look for a positive return on investment (i.e., bringing in more revenue from sales than you spent on advertising). 

Only consider increasing spending after you start bringing in customers.

  • Continue to review and revise

You are on your way to running a sustainable business and may even have your first customers already! 

Just don’t get too far ahead of yourself. You’re still proving that there is traction that can be repeated with multiple customers. 

As you operate, review your plan and forecasts. Pay close attention to your cash flow and be willing to pivot if things aren’t working. 

That’s the benefit of starting from scratch: You are in full control and can scale and spend at a pace that improves your chances of success.

If you haven’t yet, download a free one-page business plan template to document your idea. The earlier you begin developing the plan, the more useful it will be throughout the startup process.

Clarify your ideas and understand how to start your business with LivePlan

Content Author: Kody Wirth

Kody Wirth is a content writer and SEO specialist for Palo Alto Software—the creator's of Bplans and LivePlan. He has 3+ years experience covering small business topics and runs a part-time content writing service in his spare time.

Start your business plan with the #1 plan writing software. Create your plan with Liveplan today.

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How to write a business plan for a craft beer bar?

craft beer bar business plan

Writing a business plan for a craft beer bar can be an intimidating task, especially for those just starting.

This in-depth guide is designed to help entrepreneurs like you understand how to create a comprehensive business plan so that you can approach the exercise with method and confidence.

We'll cover: why writing a craft beer bar business plan is so important - both when starting up, and when running and growing the business - what information you need to include in your plan, how it should be structured, and what tools you can use to get the job done efficiently.

Let's get started!

In this guide:

Why write a business plan for a craft beer bar?

  • What information is needed to create a business plan for a craft beer bar?
  • What goes in the financial forecast for a craft beer bar?
  • What goes in the written part of a craft beer bar business plan?
  • What tool can I use to write my craft beer bar business plan?

Being clear on the scope and goals of the document will make it easier to understand its structure and content. So before diving into the actual content of the plan, let's have a quick look at the main reasons why you would want to write a craft beer bar business plan in the first place.

To have a clear roadmap to grow the business

Small businesses rarely experience a constant and predictable environment. Economic cycles go up and down, while the business landscape is mutating constantly with new regulations, technologies, competitors, and consumer behaviours emerging when we least expect it.

In this dynamic context, it's essential to have a clear roadmap for your craft beer bar. Otherwise, you are navigating in the dark which is dangerous given that - as a business owner - your capital is at risk.

That's why crafting a well-thought-out business plan is crucial to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of your venture.

To create an effective business plan, you'll need to take a step-by-step approach. First, you'll have to assess your current position (if you're already in business), and then identify where you'd like your craft beer bar to be in the next three to five years.

Once you have a clear destination for your craft beer bar, you'll focus on three key areas:

  • Resources: you'll determine the human, equipment, and capital resources needed to reach your goals successfully.
  • Speed: you'll establish the optimal pace at which your business needs to grow if it is to meet its objectives within the desired timeframe.
  • Risks: you'll identify and address potential risks you might encounter along the way.

By going through this process regularly, you'll be able to make informed decisions about resource allocation, paving the way for the long-term success of your business.

To get visibility on future cash flows

If your small craft beer bar runs out of cash: it's game over. That's why we often say "cash is king", and it's crucial to have a clear view of your craft beer bar's future cash flows.

So, how can you achieve this? It's simple - you need to have an up-to-date financial forecast.

The good news is that your craft beer bar business plan already includes a financial forecast (which we'll discuss further in this guide). Your task is to ensure it stays current.

To accomplish this, it's essential to regularly compare your actual financial performance with what was planned in your financial forecast. Based on your business's current trajectory, you can make adjustments to the forecast.

By diligently monitoring your craft beer bar's financial health, you'll be able to spot potential financial issues, like unexpected cash shortfalls, early on and take corrective actions. Moreover, this practice will enable you to recognize and capitalize on growth opportunities, such as excess cash flow enabling you to expand to new locations.

To secure financing

Crafting a comprehensive business plan for your craft beer bar, whether you're starting up or already established, is paramount when you're seeking financing from banks or investors.

Given how fragile small businesses are, financiers will want to ensure that you have a clear roadmap in place as well as command and control of your future cash flows before entertaining the idea of funding you.

For banks, the information in your business plan will be used to assess your borrowing capacity - which is defined as the maximum amount of debt your business can afford alongside your ability to repay the loan. This evaluation helps them decide whether to extend credit to your business and under what terms (interest rate, duration, repayment options, collateral, etc.).

Similarly, investors will thoroughly review your plan to determine if their investment can yield an attractive return. They'll be looking for evidence that your craft beer bar has the potential for healthy growth, profitability, and consistent cash flow generation over time.

Now that you understand the importance of creating a business plan for your craft beer bar, let's delve into the necessary information needed to craft an effective plan.

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Information needed to create a business plan for a craft beer bar

Drafting a craft beer bar business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast, and convince the reader that there is a viable commercial opportunity to be seized.

Below, we'll focus on three critical pieces of information you should gather before starting to write your plan.

Carrying out market research for a craft beer bar

Carrying out market research before writing a business plan for a craft beer bar is essential to ensure that the financial projections are accurate and realistic.

Market research helps you gain insight into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies and other key factors which can have an impact on the commercial success of your business.

In particular, it is useful in forecasting revenue as it provides valuable data regarding potential customers’ spending habits and preferences.

You could discover that craft beer lovers may be looking for unique beer styles or new brewing techniques. Additionally, market research might reveal that customers might be interested in a wide range of beer-related events, such as beer tastings and beer dinners.

This information can then be used to create more accurate financial projections which will help investors make informed decisions about investing in your craft beer bar.

Developing the sales and marketing plan for a craft beer bar

As you embark on creating your craft beer bar business plan, it is crucial to budget sales and marketing expenses beforehand.

A well-defined sales and marketing plan should include precise projections of the actions required to acquire and retain customers. It will also outline the necessary workforce to execute these initiatives and the budget required for promotions, advertising, and other marketing efforts.

This approach ensures that the appropriate amount of resources is allocated to these activities, aligning with the sales and growth objectives outlined in your business plan.

The staffing and equipment needs of a craft beer bar

As you embark on starting or expanding your craft beer bar, having a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) is essential for ensuring your business's success.

Both the recruitment and investment plans must align with the timing and level of growth projected in your forecast, and they require appropriate funding.

A craft beer bar might incur costs such as hiring a full-time bartender and barback, purchasing glasses, kegs, taps, and other equipment, and paying for electricity, water and other utilities. Additionally, the bar may need to hire a part-time cleaning staff and purchase cleaning supplies and other materials.

To create a realistic financial forecast, you also need to consider other operating expenses associated with the day-to-day running of your business, such as insurance and bookkeeping.

With all the necessary information at hand, you are ready to begin crafting your business plan and developing your financial forecast.

What goes into your craft beer bar's financial forecast?

The financial forecast of your craft beer bar's business plan will enable you to assess the growth, profitability, funding requirements, and cash generation potential of your business in the coming years.

The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a craft beer bar are:

  • The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
  • The projected balance sheet ,
  • The cash flow forecast ,
  • And the sources and uses table .

Let's look at each of these in a bit more detail.

The projected P&L statement

Your craft beer bar forecasted P&L statement enables the reader of your business plan to get an idea of how much revenue and profits your business is expected to make in the near future.

forecasted profit and loss statement in a craft beer bar business plan

Ideally, your reader will want to see:

  • Growth above the inflation level
  • Expanding profit margins
  • Positive net profit throughout the plan

Expectations for an established craft beer bar will of course be different than for a startup. Existing businesses which have reached their cruising altitude might have slower growth and higher margins than ventures just being started.

The projected balance sheet of your craft beer bar

The balance sheet for a craft beer bar is a financial document that provides a snapshot of your business’s financial health at a given point in time.

It shows three main components: assets, liabilities and equity:

  • Assets: are resources owned by the business, such as cash, equipment, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
  • Liabilities: are debts owed to creditors and other entities, such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers) and loans.
  • Equity: includes the sums invested by the shareholders or business owners and the cumulative profits and losses of the business to date (called retained earnings). It is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.

example of projected balance sheet in a craft beer bar business plan

Examining the balance sheet is important for lenders, investors, or other stakeholders who are interested in assessing your craft beer bar's liquidity and solvency:

  • Liquidity: assesses whether or not your business has sufficient cash and short-term assets to honour its liabilities due over the next 12 months. It is a short-term focus.
  • Solvency: assesses whether or not your business has the capacity to repay its debt over the medium-term.

Looking at the balance sheet can also provide insights into your craft beer bar's investment and financing policies.

In particular, stakeholders can compare the value of equity to the value of the outstanding financial debt to assess how the business is funded and what level of financial risk has been taken by the owners (financial debt is riskier because it has to be repaid, while equity doesn't need to be repaid).

The projected cash flow statement

A cash flow forecast for a craft beer bar shows how much cash the business is projected to generate or consume.

example of cash flow forecast in a craft beer bar business plan

The cash flow statement is divided into 3 main areas:

  • The operating cash flow shows how much cash is generated or consumed by the operations (running the business)
  • The investing cash flow shows how much cash is being invested in capital expenditure (equipment, real estate, etc.)
  • The financing cash flow shows how much cash is raised or distributed to investors and lenders

Looking at the cash flow forecast helps you to ensure that your business has enough cash to keep running, and can help you anticipate potential cash shortfalls.

It is also a best practice to include a monthly cash flow statement in the appendices of your craft beer bar business plan so that the readers can view the impact of seasonality on your business cash position and generation.

The initial financing plan

The sources and uses table or initial financing plan is a key component of your business plan when starting a craft beer bar.

It shows where the capital needed to set up the business will come from (sources) and how it will be spent (uses).

sources and uses table in a craft beer bar business plan

This table helps size the investment required to set up the craft beer bar, and understand how risks will be distributed between the business owners, and the financiers.

The sources and uses table also highlights what the starting cash position will be. This is key for startups as the business needs to have sufficient funding to sustain operations until the break-even point is reached.

Now that you have a clear understanding of what will go into the financial forecast of your craft beer bar business plan, let's have a look at the written part of the plan.

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The written part of a craft beer bar business plan

The written part of a craft beer bar business plan is composed of 7 main sections:

  • The executive summary
  • The presentation of the company
  • The products and services
  • The market analysis
  • The strategy
  • The operations
  • The financial plan

Throughout these sections, you will seek to provide the reader with the details and context needed for them to form a view on whether or not your business plan is achievable and your forecast a realistic possibility.

Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!

1. The executive summary

The first section of your craft beer bar's business plan is the executive summary which provides, as its name suggests, an enticing summary of your plan which should hook the reader and make them want to know more about your business.

When writing the executive summary, it is important to provide an overview of the business, the market, the key financials, and what you are asking from the reader.

Start with a brief introduction of the business, its name, concept, location, how long it has been in operation, and what makes it unique. Mention any services or products you plan to offer and who you sell to.

Then you should follow with an overview of the addressable market for your craft beer bar, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.

You should then include a summary of your key financial figures such as projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.

Finally, you should detail any funding requirements in the ask section.

2. The presentation of the company

In your craft beer bar business plan, the second section should focus on the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.

In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide an overview of the business's legal structure, details about the owners, and their respective investments and ownership shares. This clarity is crucial, especially if you're seeking financing, as it helps the reader understand which legal entity will receive the funds and who controls the business.

Moving on to the location part, you'll offer an overview of the company's premises and their surroundings. Explain why this particular location is of interest, highlighting factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.

When describing the location of your craft beer bar to a potential financier, you could emphasize the potential of the area. You could point to the thriving local craft beer scene and the various events and festivals that take place in the vicinity. You could also highlight the area's potential for growth, citing the demographic trends in the area that might suggest that the craft beer bar could become a popular destination. Additionally, you may mention the area's proximity to other businesses and attractions that could draw in customers. Finally, you could discuss how the area could benefit from the growth of the craft beer industry and the potential for the craft beer bar to become a popular destination.

Finally, you should introduce your management team. Describe each member's role, background, and experience.

Don't forget to emphasize any past successes achieved by the management team and how long they've been working together. Demonstrating their track record and teamwork will help potential lenders or investors gain confidence in their leadership and ability to execute the business plan.

3. The products and services section

The products and services section of your craft beer bar business plan should include a detailed description of what your company sells to its customers. 

For example, your craft beer bar might offer a wide selection of craft beers from local and regional breweries to its customers, as well as an assortment of domestic and imported beers. Additionally, it could provide a full service bar with cocktails, spirits, and wine, as well as snacks and light meals. Lastly, it could offer an array of entertainment options such as live music, trivia nights, games and theme nights, to create a unique and enjoyable atmosphere for customers.

The reader will want to understand what makes your craft beer bar unique from other businesses in this competitive market.

When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the clients you are targeting and the channels that you are targeting them through. 

4. The market analysis

When outlining your market analysis in the craft beer bar business plan, it's essential to include comprehensive details about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and relevant regulations.

The primary aim of this section is to give the reader an understanding of the market size and appeal while demonstrating your expertise in the industry.

To begin, delve into the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your craft beer bar, key marketplace trends, and introducing various customer segments and their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.

Next, shift your focus to the target market subsection, where you can zoom in on the specific customer segments your craft beer bar targets. Explain how your products and services are tailored to meet the unique needs of these customers.

For example, your target market might include young professionals. They likely have higher disposable incomes and want to try something new. They're often looking for bars with a unique atmosphere and craft beer selection.

In the competition subsection, introduce your main competitors and explain what sets your craft beer bar apart from them.

Finally, round off your market analysis by providing an overview of the main regulations that apply to your craft beer bar.

5. The strategy section

When writing the strategy section of a business plan for your craft beer bar, it is essential to include information about your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.

The competitive edge subsection should explain what sets your company apart from its competitors. This part is especially key if you are writing the business plan of a startup, as you have to make a name for yourself in the marketplace against established players.

The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you intend to remain profitable while still offering competitive prices to your customers.

The sales & marketing plan should outline how you intend to reach out and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones with loyalty programs or special offers. 

The milestones subsection should outline what your company has achieved to date, and its main objectives for the years to come - along with dates so that everyone involved has clear expectations of when progress can be expected.

The risks and mitigants subsection should list the main risks that jeopardize the execution of your plan and explain what measures you have taken to minimize these. This is essential in order for investors or lenders to feel secure in investing in your venture.

Your craft beer bar faces a variety of risks. For example, you could be at risk of theft. Burglars may target your bar due to its likely high inventory of alcohol and cash. Additionally, you could be at risk of a lawsuit as a result of someone getting injured on or near your property. People might slip and fall on a wet floor or be harmed due to a faulty machine or structure. It is important to be aware of these risks and take appropriate steps to protect your business.

6. The operations section

The operations of your craft beer bar must be presented in detail in your business plan.

The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).

You should then state the operating hours of your craft beer bar - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.

The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.

You could possess key assets such as a proprietary beer recipe and a unique brand. Your IP may include a distinct logo, a memorable slogan, and a catchy jingle. These assets and IP could help you establish an identity that sets your craft beer bar apart from the competition.

Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).

7. The presentation of the financial plan

The financial plan section is where we will include the financial forecast we discussed earlier in this guide.

Now that you have a clear idea of what goes into a craft beer bar business plan, let's look at some of the tools you can use to create yours efficiently.

What tool should I use to write my craft beer bar's business plan?

There are two main ways of creating your craft beer bar business plan:

  • Using specialized business planning software,
  • Hiring a business plan writer.

Using an online business plan software for your craft beer bar's business plan

The modern and most efficient way to write a craft beer bar business plan is to use business plan software .

There are several advantages to using specialized software:

  • You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
  • You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
  • You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
  • You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
  • You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
  • You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
  • You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
  • You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck

If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .

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Screenshot from The Business Plan Shop's Financial Forecasting Software

Hiring a business plan writer to write your craft beer bar's business plan

Outsourcing your craft beer bar business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.

These writers possess valuable experience in crafting business plans and creating accurate financial forecasts. Additionally, enlisting their services can save you precious time, enabling you to concentrate on the day-to-day operations of your business.

It's important to be mindful, though, that hiring business plan writers comes with a cost. You'll be paying not just for their time but also for the software they use, and their profit margin.

Based on experience, a complete business plan usually requires a budget of at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax, and more if revisions are needed after initial meetings with lenders or investors - changes often arise following these discussions.

When seeking investment, be cautious about spending too much on consulting fees. Investors prefer their funds to contribute directly to business growth. Thus, the amount you spend on business plan writing services and other consulting services should be negligible compared to the amount you raise.

Another aspect to consider is that while you'll receive the output of the business plan, you usually won't own the actual document. It will be saved in the consultant's business plan software, which will make updating the plan challenging without retaining the consultant on a retainer.

Given these factors, it's essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing your craft beer bar business plan to a business plan writer and decide what best suits your business's unique needs.

Why not create your craft beer bar's business plan using Word or Excel?

Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write a craft beer bar business plan is a terrible idea.

For starters, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel (or any spreadsheet) is very technical and requires both a strong grasp of accounting principles and solid skills in financial modelling.

As a result, it is unlikely anyone will trust your numbers unless - like us at The Business Plan Shop - you hold a degree in finance and accounting and have significant financial modelling experience in your past.

The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the 1990s and early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.

And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.

Also, using software makes it easy to compare actuals vs. forecasts and maintain our forecasts up to date to maintain visibility on future cash flows - as we discussed earlier in this guide - whereas this is a pain to do with a spreadsheet.

That's for the forecast, but what about the written part of my craft beer bar business plan?

This part is less error-prone, but here also software brings tremendous gains in productivity:

  • Word processors don't include instructions and examples for each part of your business plan
  • Word processors don't update your numbers automatically when they change in your forecast
  • Word processors don't handle the formatting for you

Overall, while Word or Excel may be viable options for creating a craft beer bar business plan for some entrepreneurs, it is by far not the best or most efficient solution.

  • Using business plan software is a modern and cost-effective way of writing and maintaining business plans.
  • A business plan is not a one-shot exercise as maintaining it current is the only way to keep visibility on your future cash flows.
  • A business plan has 2 main parts: a financial forecast outlining the funding requirements of your craft beer bar and the expected growth, profits and cash flows for the next 3 to 5 years; and a written part which gives the reader the information needed to decide if they believe the forecast is achievable.

We hope that this in-depth guide met your expectations and that you now have a clear understanding of how to write your craft beer bar business plan. Do not hesitate to contact our friendly team if you have questions additional questions we haven't addressed here.

Also on The Business Plan Shop

  • How to write a business plan to secure a bank loan?
  • Key steps to write a business plan?
  • Top mistakes to avoid in your business plan

Do you know entrepreneurs interested in starting or growing a craft beer bar? Share this article with them!

Guillaume Le Brouster

Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd

Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.

Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.

Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.

Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.

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how to write a business plan for a craft business

10 Simple Tips to Write a Successful Business Plan

"The absolute biggest business plan mistake you can make is to not plan at all." So writes Noah Parsons in his helpful blog post 17 Key Business Plan Mistakes to Avoid in 2023 . But how does one pull together all of the necessary components of a cohesive plan? It can feel overwhelming.

Eric Butow, CEO of online marketing ROI improvement firm Butow Communications Group, has teamed up with Entrepreneur Media to update the second edition of our best-selling book Write Your Business Plan to provide you with a simple, step-by-step process for creating a successful business plan. In the following excerpt, he gives ten tips to gather all of the critical information you will need to succeed.

1. Know your competition.

You need to name them and point out what makes you different from (and better than) each of them. But do not disparage your competition.

2. Know your audience.

You may need several versions of your business plan. For example, you may need one for bankers or venture capitalists, one for individual investors, and one for companies that may want to do a joint venture with you rather than fund you.

3. Have proof to back up every claim you make.

If you expect to be the leader in your field in six months, you have to say why you think that is. If you say your product will take the market by storm, you have to support this statement with facts. If you say your management team is fully qualified to make the business a success, be sure staff resumes demonstrate their experience.

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4. Be conservative in all financial estimates and projections.

If you feel certain you'll capture 50 percent of the market in the first year, you can say why you think so and hint at what those numbers may be. But make your financial projections more conservative. For example, a 10 percent market share is much more credible.

5. Be realistic with time and resources available.

If you're working with a big company before you buy a business, you may think things will happen faster than they will once you have to buy the supplies, write the checks, and answer the phones yourself. Being overly optimistic with time and resources is a common error entrepreneurs make. Being realistic is important because it lends credibility to your presentation. Always assume things will take 20 percent longer than you anticipated. Therefore, twenty weeks is now twenty-four weeks.

6. Be logical.

Think like a banker and write what they would want to see.

7. Have a strong management team.

Make sure it has good credentials and expertise. Your team members don't have to have worked in the field. However, you need to draw parallels between what they've done and the skills needed to make your venture succeed. Don't have all the skills you need? Consider adding an advisory board of people skilled in your field and include their resumes.

Write Your Own Business Plan is available now at Entrepreneur Bookstore | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

8. Document why your idea will work.

Have others done something similar that was successful? Have you made a prototype? Include all the variables that can have an impact on the result or outcome of your idea. Show why some of the variables don't apply to your situation or explain how you intend to overcome them or make them better.

9. Describe your facilities and location for performing the work.

That includes equipment you use to create your products and/or services. If you'll need to expand, discuss when, where, and why.

10. Discuss payout options for the investors.

Some investors want a hands-on role. Some want to put associates on your board of directors. Some don't want to be involved in day-to-day activities at all. All investors want to know when they can get their money back and at what rate of return. Most want out within three to five years. Provide a brief description of options for investors, or at least mention that you're ready to discuss options with any serious prospect.

To dig deeper, buy Write Your Own Business Plan and get 1 month of free access to business planning software Liveplan Premium.

10 Simple Tips to Write a Successful Business Plan

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How To Write a Business Plan: A Step-By-Step Guide

April 23, 2024.

creating a business plan

No matter how unique your ideas are, launching a successful business without a well-crafted plan is tough. That’s why learning how to write a business plan is key to seeing success from the start. 

An actionable business plan helps you and potential investors understand exactly where you want to go and how to get there. And if you aren’t trying to secure funding, a lean business plan can summarize the highlights to help you in other areas. Here’s everything you need to write a business plan that clarifies your company’s vision.

Business Plan Basics

A business plan outlines the company’s products or services, how it makes money, and its customers. It should also identify the business’s long-term goals and how it’ll achieve them.

But what does a business plan look like? There’s no singular format, but most contain the following core elements:

  • Executive Summary . The executive summary is a high-level summary of your business plan’s key points. Include this early in the document, but write it last so you can accurately describe what’s in it.
  • Company Description . This section covers your company’s mission, leadership team, and goals. If your business has operated for several years, include a history.
  • Market Analysis . This is where you’ll write out your market research. Gather data on your industry. That includes target customer segments and the current competitive landscape. This info demonstrates the viability of your business idea. 
  • Product and Service Offerings . Describe your company’s offerings and what sets them apart from competitors. This is your unique value proposition.
  • Marketing Plan . Outline your marketing tactics and overall strategy. Mention your plan for pricing, promoting, selling, and distributing your products. This helps investors know you have a strategy in place to grow your business. 
  • Logistics and Operations Plan . After describing your products and how you plan to generate demand, lay out how you intend to drive, accept payment for, and support sales.
  • Management Overview . Potential investors want to know who they’re betting on. This section provides crucial information about who’s in charge. Include their track records of success, relevant expertise, and roles and responsibilities.
  • Financial Analysis and Projections . If you have them, include any historical financial details and performance metrics. This includes assets, liabilities, expenses , projected financial statements, cash flow statements, and anything else offering insights.
  • Appendix . This final section is a catch-all for any miscellaneous but valuable background information. Examples might be licenses or patents.’

RELATED ARTICLE — How to Keep Track of Business Expenses

How To Create a Business Plan


With a clear understanding of these documents, it’s time to learn how to write one. Here’s how to put together a strong business plan for your company:

  • Carry out a Market Analysis on target demographics, competitors, industry trends, and market.
  • In the Company Description and Products and Service Offerings sections, explain what makes your offerings unique.
  • Outline your Marketing Plan and sales strategy. Describe your target market and ideal customer. Include factors like geographic region, age range, and education level.
  • Map out your Financial Analysis and Projections. If you’re an established business, include data like profit-and-loss statements, a balance sheet delineating your assets and liabilities, and cash flow statements or projections. If you’re still in the early stages, focus just on financial projections instead. Mention anticipated startup costs and your current cash flow.
  • Your Logistics and Operations Plan explains how you’ll execute your ideas. Describe any relationships with suppliers, office space, or equipment. Make sure to mention production logistics and any shipping and fulfillment plans. This demonstrates that you understand the day-to-day operations of producing your product.
  • Introduce yourself and/or your Management Team and principal hires. Emphasize past successes in related sectors and any unique expertise your staff has.
  • Regardless of what order you prepare your business plan in, write the Executive Summary last. Do this by turning your market research and value proposition into tangible objectives and key milestones. This section is typically the first your readers see, so it should make them want to read more.

Be sure to get feedback from colleagues, industry contacts, and friends and family. The more eyes you get on your business plan, the less likely you are to make mistakes or leave out details.

RELATED ARTICLE — How to Offer Net 30 Terms  

What Are Business Plans For?

Writing and adhering to a business plan allows you to think through every aspect of your business. This helps you clarify your vision and shows where your ideas aren’t as developed.

But business plans don’t just clarify the company’s mission and direction. Entrepreneurs hope to answer this tough question with a business plan: how to attract investors. A well-written document can instill confidence by showing how supported it is. This is the main reason many business owners create a comprehensive overview.

And investors aren’t the only ones you’re trying to impress. An inspiring business plan attracts top talent in your industry. It proves that your team is organized, knows what it wants, and has ideas for the future.

Exploring Different Types of Business Plans

roadmap business plan

Business plans can be categorized based on type and style. Let’s explore three of the most common types.

A traditional business plan is the most common. This is what lenders and investment funds want to see before making any decisions. Traditional business plans are typically long. That’s because they provide a thorough overview of your company’s abilities, finances, and prospects

If you’re not courting investors, you might prefer a lean business plan. This type of document is shorter, focusing on the highlights instead of completeness. A lean business plan is great for brainstorming or onboarding new team members with reduced time and effort. But, because they’re less comprehensive, lean business plans aren’t ideal for seeking outside investment. Investors might not see how viable your business is without the added details. 

Finally, if your organization is a nonprofit, focus on the impact you hope to make for your chosen cause, not how you’ll grow revenue. But donors may want to see a more detailed business plan before making sizable donations.

RELATED ARTICLE — How to Write an Invoice in 5 Steps

Caveats To Watch Out For

An actionable step-by-step business plan requires a strong understanding of how it will help you reach your company’s goals. Now that you know how to start a business plan, here are some common mistakes to avoid when you start writing:

  • Putting on Rose-colored Glasses . When you believe in your company and its mission, it’s easy to be too optimistic about future prospects. You might also overlook potential roadblocks. Be sure to keep one foot on the ground to avoid misrepresenting your company’s potential.
  • Focusing Too Much on the Details . If your company is new or not yet established, focus on high-level strategy and vision. Save the details for when you’ve generated some actionable data.
  • Setting Fuzzy Goals . Keep milestones concrete and measurable to meaningfully track progress.
  • Overcomplicating . There’s nothing wrong with being comprehensive, but creating an overly intricate strategy makes it harder to execute. Keep it simple.
  • Setting It in Stone . Your business plan won’t be much of a guide if you’re constantly making changes. But it’s important to move on from ineffective strategies or unachievable goals. Striking the right balance between stable ideas and flexible methods ensures your business plan is a help, not a hindrance.

5 Tips for an Effective Business Plan

business plan on table

Now that you know what to avoid, let’s learn some tips for making your business plan as effective as possible:

  • Clearly Articulate Your Value Proposition . What unsolved problem does your company provide the solution for?
  • Don’t Skimp on Market Research . A seemingly great idea won’t sell if no one is interested in buying it.
  • Set Quantifiable Goals You Can Track . It’s difficult to measure progress toward vague, qualitative milestones.
  • Hype up Your Team . Lenders and investors want to see that qualified personnel run your company.
  • Manage Expectations . Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Surpassing your targets is impressive; falling short isn’t.

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Charting Your Course: Crafting a Winning Real Estate Business Plan

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Real Estate Business Plan Template: How to Write a Real Estate Business Plan for Real Estate Agents with Examples

Kristal Sepulveda, CPA

April 30, 2024

how to write a business plan for a craft business

Starting a real estate career opens up a world of opportunities for you to develop a successful and rewarding career. With over 1,162,364 Real Estate Sales & Brokerage businesses operating in the US as of 2023, the industry is vibrant and full of potential.

But the prospect of navigating a competitive market and managing financial uncertainties, such as a commission-based income structure, can be intimidating. What if there's a powerful tool that can transform your real estate journey from fear to fulfillment? You only need a real estate business plan as your guide.

Further Reading: 5 Benefits of Using a Business Plan Templates to Launch Your Dream in 2024

how to write a business plan for a craft business

Market Analysis and Strategic Planning

Target market identification.

Define your target market within the real estate industry, whether you're focusing on first-time homebuyers, luxury real estate markets, or specific geographic locations. Identifying your target market will dictate your marketing strategies and the type of property listings you will focus on.

This step is essential in creating a solid business plan that helps align your business goals with the clients you want to attract, providing a roadmap to success for your real estate business.

Competition and SWOT Analysis

Conduct a thorough analysis of your competitors in the real estate market. Understand their strengths and weaknesses and position your real estate agent business to take advantage of the opportunities and minimize the threats.

This SWOT analysis is a vital component of a well-crafted business plan , helping you to identify opportunities and threats and craft a winning real estate business plan. It’s a strategic approach that supports your business objectives, including financial projections and SMART goals.

Marketing Strategies

Develop comprehensive marketing strategies to generate leads. This could include digital marketing campaigns, leveraging Zillow Premier Agent for increased exposure, or traditional methods such as networking events and real estate listings publications.

Your marketing plan should detail how you plan to attract and serve your clients effectively, which is a fundamental aspect of every real estate agent’s roadmap for success.

This strategic planning is integral to creating a business plan that helps build a successful real estate business, driving results over time and adapting to changes with progress and make adjustments as needed.

Further Reading: Learn How Real Estate Accounting Services Streamline Property Management

Mission and vision statement, defining your mission.

Clearly define your mission for aligning your business activities with your company’s goals. Your realtor business plan should articulate what you aim to achieve in the short term and how you serve your clients' needs.

A well-defined mission statement not only guides your marketing efforts but also ensures that every aspect of your operations helps you achieve your objectives.

This clarity is fundamental in both real estate business plan examples and a sample real estate business plan, providing a foundation for all strategic decisions.

Crafting a Vision Statement

Your vision statement should outline where you see your business in one to five years. It sets the tone for your business growth and provides a clear direction for future aspirations. This vision becomes a pivotal part of your real estate business plan, helping to direct both your current actions and your long-term strategies.

A real estate broker should have a clear vision as it helps in conducting a SWOT analysis, creating a plan, and ensuring that you update it regularly to reflect changes in the business and market. This forward-looking approach is key to not just plan to succeed but also to adapt and grow in the dynamic real estate market.

Financial Planning and Projections

Financial plan section.

Include a detailed financial plan section in your real estate agent business plan. This should cover projected cash flow , expected average sales price of real estate listings, and anticipated revenue. Define key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor business performance and make informed decisions.

Such measures are essential to achieving the real estate business goals outlined in your plan and ensuring that your real estate investment business plan aligns with your company's mission statement. This section provides a clear overview of the real estate market dynamics and your business' financial health aligned to your real estate business plan.

Budgeting and Forecasting

Develop a marketing budget and include projections for lead generation costs. Your financial plan should also detail how you'll manage the balance between personal and business finances, ensuring sustainability and growth.

Effective budgeting and forecasting are instrumental in maintaining the financial stability of your business and are key strategies that help you craft a path toward achieving your goals for future success.

Whether you are buying or selling properties, a well-organized budget supports your business operations and keeps your financial objectives on track, as detailed in your real estate business plan .

Implementation and Operations

Crm and lead generation strategies.

Implement customer relationship management (CRM) systems to enhance client relationships and streamline lead generation. Effective lead generation strategies are vital for maintaining a pipeline of potential clients.

Plan of Action

Your business plan should include a solid plan of action for both agents and brokers. This plan outlines specific steps to take when meeting your goals, from acquiring new clients to closing sales. It should also specify areas to focus on for business development and client satisfaction.

Monitoring and Adapting

Regular updates.

A successful real estate business plan is not static. Revisit your business plan regularly to update it as market conditions change and new opportunities arise. This ongoing revision helps keep you on track and responsive to the dynamic real estate market.

Adaptation Strategies

As the real estate market evolves, so should your strategies. Whether it's adopting new marketing techniques or expanding into real estate development, your business plan should provide a flexible framework that allows for growth and adaptation.

Roles of Accounting and Bookkeeping in Crafting a Real Estate Business Plan

Accurate financial reporting.

Proper accounting ensures that all financial transactions are accurately recorded, providing real-time insights into the business's financial status. This includes tracking income from property sales, rental revenues, commission amounts.

This also includes all associated expenses such as marketing costs, office overhead, and employee salaries. Accurate financial reporting allows real estate businesses to understand their cash flow, profitability, and financial stability for long-term planning.

Effective bookkeeping helps real estate agents and companies prepare for future expenses and revenues by creating detailed budgets and financial forecasts. By analyzing past financial data, businesses can predict future trends, plan out their financial year, and set realistic goals for growth.

Budgeting helps in allocating resources efficiently, ensuring that funds are available for important investments like marketing campaigns, new property listings, and technology upgrades. Forecasting, on the other hand, assists in anticipating market fluctuations, helping businesses to prepare in advance for economic downturns or booms.

Investment Analysis

For real estate investors and developers, accounting and bookkeeping provide the tools needed to analyze the viability of potential property investments. Detailed financial records help in calculating key investment metrics such as the return on investment (ROI), net present value (NPV), and internal rate of return (IRR).

These figures are essential for making informed decisions about where to allocate resources and which properties offer the best potential returns on investment.

Compliance and Regulatory Reporting

Real estate businesses must comply with various regulatory requirements, including tax obligations and financial reporting standards. Good bookkeeping practices ensure that all financial activities are transparent and comply with laws and regulations to avoid legal issues. It also simplifies the process of preparing and submitting necessary documents to government agencies, such as tax returns and annual financial statements, which are often required by law.

Risk Management

Effective accounting and bookkeeping help identify financial risks before they become significant problems. Regular reviews of financial statements allow businesses to spot trends such as decreasing cash flow, increasing debt levels, or overdue receivables that could impact the business' financial health. Addressing these issues promptly can prevent larger financial difficulties in the future.

Supporting Loan Applications

As real estate businesses seek external financing, lenders require detailed business plans and financial reports to assess their creditworthiness. Well-organized financial records that demonstrate profitability and stable financial management can increase the likelihood of obtaining financing. Lenders often look for a clear financial plan with solid projections and evidence of good financial health before they approve loan applications.

A well-structured real estate business plan keeps your strategic objectives on track and outlines clear steps for growth. Also, accessing a free real estate business plan can provide a foundational template to customize and adapt.

This ensures you cover all necessary aspects without incurring initial costs. This approach not only helps in organizing your business model but also in securing potential investments and partners.

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How to Write an Online Business Plan in 2024

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Written by Vanessa Petersen on July 26, 2023 Blog , Sell Online .

You’ve committed to turning your ecommerce or online business idea into something real. You want your small business to produce revenue and change the course of your life, but what’s your first step in realizing your dream? Developing a plan. If you’re not sure about how to write an online business plan, you’ve come to the right place.

One of the most essential tasks involved in starting any kind of business is to write a business plan. An online business plan won’t look that different from a traditional business plan and will include many of the same elements.

In this post, we’ll show you how to write an online business plan, including all the components and sections. We’ll also walk through how WooCommerce can help you put your plan to action and achieve your business goals.

Why write a business plan? 

Starting your own business is a great experience and something that will shape your life, fill you with self-confidence and independence, and inspire other people around you. A new business is also a serious endeavor that will take time, money, sweat, lots of decisions, and a degree of risk.

A traditional business plan template helps you document and keep track of your business goals, challenges, opportunities, and all the steps and processes involved with making your idea work. It will help you conduct thorough market research and set you up for success.

When you write a business plan, it can confirm that you’ve found the best online business to start , or provide clarity about the need to pivot.

woman working on a laptop at a table

It details all the things you will need to do in order to successfully launch and grow your business, and may include revenue projections, timelines for specific goals, concept art for products, and architectural drawings for any brick and mortar aspects of your business. 

Business plans help create a structure for your company’s development and keep you grounded in reality, focused, and not distracted by less important matters. 

If you have more than one person helping run the business, the business plan also keeps everyone unified around the same set of goals and objectives. 

Another reason to write a business plan is for situations where you are presenting your idea to someone else and asking them to invest. In that scenario, your business plan is also a sort of sales document. It makes the argument for why your business idea is so good and well-considered that an investor should want to be a part of it. 

But even if you’re self-funding your entire business — which is more common with online businesses — you still want to write the plan for the reasons given earlier.

The benefits of running an online business

Starting an online business or ecommerce store offers many of the same great benefits as any other business, but without as much risk. If you’re thinking of starting a business, here’s why an online one is a great option:

It has low startup costs

Without a storefront, you eliminate so many costs of running a business. With all the bills that come with having property — like rent, parking, furnishings and decor, etc. — there’s a much higher investment required to start a brick-and-mortar-based business. Online businesses still have startup costs, but they are much lower. 

It gives you freedom over your schedule

With an online business, you have more freedom to set your own hours, because you don’t always have to be open during the usual times. You can build your business to suit the lifestyle you want. Rearrange your time to get things done in the fastest possible way and take time off when you need it. 

You can start small

Once you have a location, it’s yours, and you have to make it work. With an online business, you can start very small, offering just a few products or even just a single service. You can more easily test the waters without making huge commitments with inventory, and other physical investments.

You can more easily pivot

If your online or ecommerce business doesn’t do as well as you expected, it’s easier to pivot and adapt to something new because you haven’t committed so much to making your original idea work. There are many business success stories where the business owner adjusted their idea after gaining some experience, and then it took off. It’s a lot easier to do that when you aren’t tied to a physical location.

But, there’s one thing online businesses have in common with every other type of business: You need a robust business plan to help guide your idea from concept to a successful reality that makes money and fulfills your dreams and goals. 

So, let’s get into business planning. 

two people working at a whiteboard

How do I write my own online business plan?

Most formal business plans and business plan templates include seven sections, plus an executive summary. You’ll need to keep in mind who you’re writing your business plan for. If you are taking this to potential investors or will be seeking a business loan, your business plan needs to sell the idea of your business as a great investment opportunity and communicate the skills, expertise, and commitment you personally bring to the table. 

Here are the key sections of a traditional business plan format:

  • Executive summary
  • Company description
  • Market analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Service and product line
  • Sales and marketing plans
  • Financial projections
  • Funding request (if working with investors or partners)

Here’s a brief look at each step of creating an online business plan:

Draft an executive summary

In the executive summary, the first section of almost every business plan template, you’ll present your vision and focus on building excitement. If the business plan is a sales document, the executive summary is the lead. It gets the reader engaged and excited to hear more. 

Your executive summary should achieve two goals:

  • Deliver the basic facts about your business
  • Motivate the reader to keep going and get them excited about your idea

What facts should you include? Whatever helps the reader understand your business idea. Describe the industry and niche. Mention the target market. Briefly state the needs or problems your products and services will be solving. Touch on the potential for growth in terms of revenue and customers. 

For motivation, describe your mission statement and company values. What will set you apart from the competition? What is your value proposition as a business owner? What makes you different? Again — keep this brief. You’ll elaborate later. 

It might be a good move to write all the other sections first, then finish with the executive summary so it will be the most concise and best version of how you describe your business.

team of women working around a table

Write a company description

Here, you’ll give a brief overview of your company. What are your strengths, skills, and areas of expertise as a business owner that will position you for success? If you have a compelling story behind why you’re starting your business, you can include that too.

Conduct a SWOT analysis 

If you’re not sure where to start, consider doing a SWOT analysis , which is a diagram outlining your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 

It’s a common part of many business plans and will help paint a realistic picture of what your business can achieve, and what stands in the way. You won’t include all of this in the company description, but your strengths and opportunities may fit here. 

Create a mission and vision statement

The company description is also the place to create a mission statement and a vision statement. What’s the difference between these? 

The vision is where you’re going, the mission is how you’ll get there. A vision statement paints a picture of a future reality for your customers and perhaps the world at large, as a result of your company’s influence. A mission statement expresses how you will achieve that.

The company description can elaborate on your vision and mission beyond just a single sentence, and later you can fine-tune what you write into a succinct pair of statements. Feeling some writer’s block? See company description templates by industry for some inspiration.

Include any unique attributes

If your company will involve particular attributes such as manufacturing, supply chains, dropshipping, affiliates, coaching or advising, online courses, or other relevant particulars, include that in your company description, too. 

State your business location, industry, niche, and other details

Also, state the location of your business, even though it’s online. Name your industry and niche target market again, and describe the nature of your company. For example, is it an ecommerce business, a consulting firm, delivery service, wholesale, or ad-based website? These are just some of many types of online business structures. 

You may also want to include whether your business is in any special class of business that might position it for special loan or grant opportunities like women-owned businesses or veteran-owned businesses.

After reading your description, readers should have a good understanding of what your business is about, why it exists, and how it works. Here’s a detailed look at company descriptions , with an example.

Perform a market analysis

A market analysis uses industry research to assess the scope of your business’s target market and describe the current competition in your industry. It can help you estimate the potential for success and prepare for the challenges you may face when you launch your online business or ecommerce shop.

Doing this research, and including it your business plan, can also help you:

  • Identify industry trends
  • Pinpoint opportunities 
  • Diminish risks and reduce costs
  • Generate new ideas for products and services
  • Learn from the failures and shortcomings of your competitors
  • Find ways to stand out from your competitors
  • Discover new markets
  • Refine your marketing plans

Now let’s dig into the elements involved in a thorough market analysis.

Understand your audience

Here, you will explain in detail who your target customers are and why they want or need what you’ll be selling. What problems or needs does your product solve? What will motivate people to buy from you? And why can’t they get it somewhere else just as easily? An ecommerce business competes against other ecommerce businesses as well as brick-and-mortar stores and shopping malls. Stores with omnichannel strategies compete with both. Why would someone choose you?

Share your key customer demographics, psychographics, and interests. Who will you be serving? What drives them? 

What are their values? If your product, service, or personal brand will appeal to a customer segment that also shares particular values, that’s a strength, not a weakness, and you can use that to win them over. 

Perform customer segmentation

Break down different categories of target customers your business plans to serve. One category could be age. Another might be life situations such as retirees, parents, divorcees, or living with older relatives. You could create a segment of people with particular health conditions, or who live certain lifestyles. 

woman hiking with a backpack

But you can also get way more specific than that. Runners are different from hikers, who are different from bikers, yoga enthusiasts, and gym enthusiasts. Different supplements, philosophies about food, motivations for eating various foods — all of these present near endless possibilities for more narrowly defining your customer segments, all under the broad category of ‘health.’ And you might serve multiple segments. 

The more customer segments you know, the more effectively you can market to them. In an online store, good product descriptions call out the various customer segments that product is designed for.

Also, give a sense of the potential size of your target market. How many people need what you’re selling? Show how this market is large enough to justify your business and drive revenue. You might do this by studying revenue reports from other companies in your industry. Or look at specific products related to yours and research their sales and revenue performance. 

You may also perform a survey of some kind, or an online quiz, and use that to express the needs your potential customers have that aren’t currently being met.

Perform a competitive analysis

Study your competition. What are they doing well? What areas are they underserving? Where are they underperforming? Make note of what other companies in your industry are struggling with or failing at so that you can deliver something more valuable and gain a competitive advantage.

It could be product quality, customer service, or selection. Maybe their ecommerce store is badly designed and hard to use. Perhaps there’s a huge industry serving the masses, but customers who have more particular tastes or needs aren’t being well-served by the big companies. Those customers might spend more on something that delivers what they really want. 

Maybe your key competition has been rocked by scandal. Maybe a company went out of business, was sold, or closed down due to retirement and there’s an opening in the market you want to leverage. 

The main point of the competitive analysis is to persuade investors that there’s an underserved market that your business plans to cater to. You must be able to promise something that no one else is currently delivering. Otherwise, why should your business exist? Put them at ease by demonstrating proper market research.

Refer to your SWOT analysis and present any potential threats from the competition here, too.

Outline management and organizational structure

Next, present your management and legal structure. Is your company an LLC, sole proprietorship, S corporation, partnership, or some other arrangement? Who’s in charge of what? If you have different departments, list out the leadership for each one. If relevant, you might even include some information about the expertise of your leaders concerning the areas under their charge and the tasks they’ll be performing.

Remember — if your business plan will be used to persuade investors to help fund your business idea, this sort of information will reassure them that your company has strong and competent leadership. 

If there’s a chain of command, use a diagram or other method for laying out who reports to whom. 

bars of soap lined on a shelf

List your products and services

What are you selling? You’ll touch on this briefly in the earlier sections, but here is where you’ll expand on the details. If you have an array of similar products, such as food flavors or clothing variations, list as many as seem relevant. But focus on the spirit of the business plan — you’re simply communicating what your business is about, not listing every SKU in your projected inventory. 

Also, include information about your products such as quality, durability, expirations, patents, and whatever else will give a clear picture of what you’re selling.

For service businesses and memberships that may include multiple packages, bundles, or tiers, describe each of these so your readers get a sense of how you’ll appeal to different types of customers and price points. 

Develop a sales and marketing strategy

Having products is great, but how do you intend to sell them? How will people find your business? How will anyone know you exist? And once they know, what will motivate them to buy from you and not from your competition? What is your unique value proposition — the thing that sets you apart from your direct competitors?

You’ll need to develop an initial marketing plan to help promote your business, products, and services to your target customers.

And remember, competition isn’t limited just to other businesses. Sometimes, competition is against the customer’s time, or their budget, or mere indifference — the conflict between doing something and doing nothing. Your SWOT analysis should touch on several of these potential barriers to the success of your online business.

Your marketing plan will obviously change over time, but give your readers and potential investors a sense of how you plan to launch and grow your business. 

Google ad for a blue shirt

Discuss media channels you plan to use, such as pay-per-click (PPC) ads , social media , email marketing , affiliate marketing , direct mail, referrals, joint ventures, search engine optimization (SEO), webinars, influencer marketing , and live events. Describe the ones you actually plan to use, and explain the core strategy you’ll begin with and how you will measure success. 

Also, include a sense of your marketing budget. If you will have a dedicated marketing team, or actual sales professionals using a particular process or sales script, discuss that as well. 

For ecommerce businesses, include a discussion of how you plan to leverage platforms like WooCommerce, which features a host of extensions that can help manage your business , engage customers, save money, and promote growth .

charts showing business growth

Make financial projections

You’ve made a lot of claims in your business plan, but how will your investors be convinced of your future success? At some point, you have to show them the money. 

If this is a brand new business with no income, where will your finances come from for the first year? Give realistic financial projections for anticipated profits and losses, as well as growth expectations for the first five years. Include financial documents if you have them, including profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Include costs of employment, manufacturing, and other investments both one-time and ongoing.

Your financial projections should reference your:

  • market analysis 
  • anticipated sales volume 

Investors will feel more confident when they can see your business plan does not rely entirely on just one or two ‘wins.’ For example, if your entire plan hinges on selling on eBay or Amazon , what happens if Amazon suspends your store, changes the terms, or you struggle to get noticed there? 

If your plan depends on winning over a few Instagram influencers, what if they don’t come through? It’s really easy to say what you hope will happen. But actually making it happen is another thing. Business success happens more easily when you apply a multi-channel marketing and sales approach. 

Your financial projections will feel based in reality, when you can demonstrate some prior successes, either in other businesses you’ve already launched, test audiences, local sales you made, prior experience, or data from other businesses. 

Explain your funding request — if applicable

If you intend to ask investors to help fund your business idea, present your request in the final main section of your business plan. If you’ve already secured funding from other sources, include that here as well. An investor will feel better knowing they are not the only one who believes in the potential of your business. 

Will your funding request be for a one-time payment, monthly, annually, or at some other interval? How do you plan to repay their investment? Will you allow them to charge interest? How much ROI can you promise them? 

How WooCommerce can help

WooCommerce can help you build a scalable online business that supports your business plan. No matter what you’re selling, WooCommerce offers a suite of flexible tools that allows you to customize your store to meet your needs and goals. 

WooCommerce homepage launch info

Here are just some of the benefits your business will enjoy when you choose to build your store with WooCommerce:

  • Sell absolutely anything you can imagine . From physical items and digital downloads to subscriptions, memberships, bookings, courses, and affiliate products, WooCommerce provides everything you need. Want to run a wholesale store? You can do that, too!
  • Harness the power of WordPress . Since WooCommerce is a plugin specifically for WordPress, you can take advantage of powerful features like the block editor and blogging capabilities. 
  • Capture payments securely. Choose from a large number of payment gateways, from popular options like PayPal and Stripe, to more niche processors for specific locations and types of regulated products. And with tools like WooPayments , you can keep customers on-site, capture a variety of currencies, and even accept digital wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
  • Customize your shipping options. Offer free shipping, charge based on weight, set fixed prices, or calculate shipping costs based on real-time carrier rates. You can even use extensions like Table Rate Shipping to create complicated shipping rules based on conditions that you set. And with WooCommerce Shipping , you benefit from discounted shipping labels and the ability to print right from your dashboard. 
  • Connect to your social media channels. Use extensions to sync your store with social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can even sell on those platforms alongside your store without having to update inventory and information manually.
  • Integrate with marketing tools. Quickly connect your store to any number of marketing tools, from email platforms like MailPoet to CRMs like Jetpack CRM . You can also implement a number of marketing strategies, from abandoned cart emails to loyalty programs.
  • Keep track of your numbers. Ecommerce accounting is a big part of running an online business. While you can easily view data in your dashboard, you can also sync with tools like QuickBooks to make your accountant’s life a little bit easier.
  • Manage inventory. Update your inventory levels manually or connect to tools like Scanventory to sync with your warehouse. Running low or out of stock? Add a wishlist option so customers get an alert as soon as it’s available.

As you can see, WooCommerce is well-equipped to handle any type of online store and support you as you grow. Here are a few more reasons that WooCommerce should be your go-to choice for implementing the ecommerce side of your online business plan:

WooCommerce itself is free! Many extensions for WooCommerce can also be found for free in the plugins library or on the Woo Marketplace . If you need to start your website with a limited budget, but want to build on a platform that can grow to support a thriving, high-traffic store, WooCommerce is an excellent option.

creating a page with the Block Editor

You have full control over your store

Unlike other ecommerce solutions that are tied to the platform’s own web hosting, WooCommerce is designed to be used with WordPress along with any hosting provider of your choice. You are also free to use whatever payment processor you want without any additional fees from WooCommerce. You can also customize your site’s appearance and functionality more extensively than you can with other ecommerce platforms and with less (or no) coding knowledge.

WooCommerce extension store

Thousands of free and premium extensions

There are over 800 free and premium extensions for WooCommerce on alone and over 1,000 in the plugins library . There are also hundreds of independent developers and agencies that offer premium and custom extensions for WooCommerce so that you can customize your store with the exact features you need. 

WooCommerce documentation

Excellent support and large community of users

WooCommerce is used by over 3.9 million stores — 23% of all online stores worldwide . The support team is available to answer questions and the documentation library is extensive and thorough. There are also plenty of independent resources for learning how to use WordPress and WooCommerce.

Dedicate time and resources to put your online business plan in action

A successful business plan is one that empowers and guides the business owner to launch their online or ecommerce business, and possibly secure funding. But it only works if you use it.

One advantage of starting an ecommerce store or online business is that you aren’t as locked down by deadlines. With a physical location, once you start paying the rent, you better have your business plan ready to put into action. 

But the beauty of being online is that you have more flexibility on the front end. Despite having more wiggle room with your timelines, you still need to keep your momentum going forward. Staying on track with your business projects and goals is one of the keys to reaching profitability sooner and turning your business plan into reality. A few quick tips:

  • Schedule your time. Block out hours and specific days to work on your business.
  • Treat it like a job, not a hobby. Build on your momentum week after week.
  • Always keep learning. Research your industry, competition, target audience, and potential customers. Learn marketing — you can never know too much.
  • Try stuff! Take risks, make calls, create campaigns, write content.

Your business plan template should give you a concrete list of tasks and business objectives. Once you write a business plan, then you can implement it.

Frequently asked questions about writing an online business plan

What are the seven steps of a business plan.

The seven key elements of a business plan are the executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, services and products, marketing plan, and financial projections. If you’re making a funding request, that would be an eighth section.

Where can I find business plan templates?

You can find a free business plan template online, for general business plans as well as for specific industries. However, since each business is different and your plan must be authentic and specific to your company — a business plan template can only get you so far. 

If you need design inspiration for your own custom business plan template or want to start with a pre-designed template that you can customize, you can purchase one for a relatively low cost through a stock resources site like Envato Market or Creative Market .

downloads available from Creative Market

Do I need a business plan if I am already running an online business or ecommerce shop?

Business plans aren’t only for people who are launching new businesses. You can create a business plan at any time to help you maintain or change the direction of your store or just to get a better picture of the health of your business. Below are a few different types of business plans that you might want to consider for your established online business:

  • Operational business plan. Outlines the structure of your business operations, staffing, and logistics.
  • Feasibility plan. Feasibility plans are like mini business plans that cover new business ideas and outline steps for implementation.
  • Growth business plan. This plan is for businesses that want to demonstrate opportunities and plans for growth to attract investors.
  • Maturing business plan. This plan is for businesses looking to merge with or acquire other companies, significantly expand, or go public.
  • Strategic business plan. Any time your business wants to shift strategies regarding products or marketing or any other major changes to your previous business plan, you’ll want to create a new strategic business plan to address your new goals and the steps involved in achieving them.

What software should I use for my online business plan?

Your business plan should include some images, graphs, and graphic elements in the layout, so you’ll want to at least use word processing software to put your business plan together. If you have access to Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Canva, or Adobe Creative Cloud, you’ll have some other options that might lead to a more professional layout.

business plan templates from Canva

Here’s a list of free and paid software that can help you put together your online business plan outline:

What do investors want to see in a business plan?

The most important piece of information to show investors in your business plan is potential for profitability. Investors don’t want to throw money at a sinking ship, no matter how cool and exciting the business sounds. 

Most investors also want to make sure that they’ll see a decent return on their investment in a relatively short time period — probably around 5-7 years. How much of a return they’ll expect will depend on your industry and what kind of investor they are. 

Investors will also want to see that you clearly understand your business, your industry, and that you have concrete, actionable steps for achieving, maintaining, and growing profitability. They’ll want to make sure that the key people on your team also understand your business and the roles they play and they’ll want to see that each person has a good amount of experience in their field and the required skill sets to fulfill their job duties, if not go above and beyond. 

Any details you can include that highlight unique aspects of your business will also be important. Any area where you have a competitive edge, are offering a unique or proprietary solution, have established any celebrity endorsements, have the backing of other investors, or have secured special grants will be of special interest to investors.

Create your plan for success

Now that you understand what goes into creating a formal business plan, it’s time to write one! Take the time to think through and consider each aspect of the list included in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to finding success.

And WooCommerce is here to support your business every step of the way, with powerful and flexible tools that help your business grow. Start selling online today !

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