Starting a small knitting business is easier than you might think
Knitting is a joy regardless, but imagine if you could also make a few extra pennies, or even a living, out of your favourite pastime? Many a knitter has sat back and wondered how they might go about selling their crafts and starting a knitting business, and it’s actually a lot easier than you would think. Read on to find out how to turn those stitches into sterling: where and how to sell your knitted items, what you should be selling, and some top tips for getting started. Who knows where your knitting business could take you?
Is a knitting business profitable?
Yes, a knitting business can be profitable if you do it right, and you can even make a career out of knitting. But even if you don’t end up with a multi-million-pound business, at the very least, you can make a bit of money out of something you love, and would be doing anyway – so it’s a win-win, right?!
Where should I sell my knitted items?
Selling online is the best way to start making money from your projects, and it’s easy! Create an Etsy account, take a few snaps of your products, and you’re away. You can reach millions of potential customers this way and with very little effort on your part.
How do I sell knitted items online?
It’s very straightforward to start selling knitted items on Etsy. Just click here, follow the form and you’re away!
If you have the time, attending regional craft fairs, or even selling in a local shop can be a great way to establish yourself in your area. Craft fairs will be full of like-minded people with an interest in your work, while many towns and cities have shops that specialise in handmade goods from the local area. Try searching on the Small Business Finder to find handmade craft shops near you, and then just walk in and ask!
On your own website
Setting up your own website or opening your own shop are big steps that come with higher costs. However, if you’re already selling well on online marketplaces like Etsy, and you’re starting to make a name for yourself locally, it might be time to make the leap. This way, you’ll have your own space (physical or virtual) where you can have more control.
Which knitted items sell best on Etsy?
So you love to knit, and want to start making money from your crafts. But what should you be selling? The answer to this question is not static, and can change with times and trends. A great way to find out what people are currently looking for online is to follow these simple steps:
Head to etsy.com and type ‘knitted’ into the search bar. Suggestions will show up underneath. These are popular search terms, which means people have been looking for them, and therefore probably want to buy them.
Click on one and see what comes up. This will give you an even better idea of the current trends, so pay attention to the kinds of things that keep cropping up, or sellers that are doing well.
Find a balance between what’s popular and what’s already covered off. You want to be sure that you’re not doing the exact same thing as anyone else, as then you will be competing directly with them to make sales. Through a careful balancing act of seeing what people want, and how readily available it is, you can find your perfect product to make and sell.
10 top tips for making money from knitting
Here’s a list of handy tips to get you off to a great start with your knitting business.
1. Price it right
Getting some sales off the ground initially before you’re established can be tricky – be competitive! It can be a good idea to start low and increase your prices once you’ve established yourself a bit more. For a better idea of how much to charge for hand-knitted items, compare the prices of the best-selling knitted items already available. One good way to do this is by using the ‘Sort by’ function on Etsy and selecting ‘Top Customer Reviews’. These products are obviously popular. Then look out for the little ‘Best-selling’ widget on the results that come up, and compare those products.
2. Perfect packaging
Keep it light to save on postage – shipping is expensive! Use tissue paper or other light materials to protect the products and use the smallest container possible. Pop a handwritten thank you note in too for a personal touch.
Being recognisable and memorable is super important. Choose a consistent colour scheme, font, tone and style that customers will associate with you and your products. Make sure this unifying look characterises everything – your Etsy page, packaging, social media and website if you have one.
4. Track it all
A trusty Excel spreadsheet is a must! Recording absolutely everything – from raw materials to printer ink – will ensure you have an accurate picture of your business – and make sure you’re earning more than you’re spending!
5. Get on the grid
Promoting your business on social media, particularly Instagram, is an excellent way to get noticed, gain more customers, and start building more of a brand. Be active, posting at least once a day to really get the most out of it, and be sure to engage with your followers by asking questions in your posts, replying to comments and encouraging customers to interact with you.
6. Top materials
How you choose to make your goods can have a huge bearing on how successful they are. For example, using good quality yarn will ensure that your products are also of a high calibre. Durable fibres will make sure that they endure use. Now that you’re making for paying customers rather than friends or family, it’s best to use materials that will turn your makes into something a little more ‘luxury’.
You want to choose materials that will appeal to a lot of different people, and suit a lot of requirements. This is particularly important if you’re making things like clothes. For example, ideally your products will be suitable for sensitive skin, they will be created using sustainable materials and they will be available in popular colours schemes.
8. Stock up
It’s important to choose materials and colours that you will continue to be able to get hold of easily. Once you have upped your sales, word of mouth and good reviews may bring customers to your door – but if you can no longer offer what they’ve come for because you’ve run out, you may lose customers and your business will struggle to grow.
9. Quick Knits
While you can of course sell anything you like, if you want to make meaningful amounts of money, knitted projects that you can churn out quickly are a good idea, simply because you’ll be able to make more and charge less for them.
Specialising in something helps to create a brand identity. Rather than having lots of disparate items to sell, meet a specific need so that customers will think of you when they want that thing. It could be that you specialise in knitted bags, or that all your products use organic, local wool. Choose something memorable that defines your business.
Just get started!
It might seem like you need to have everything planned to perfection before you risk taking your first steps into the world of business, but doing and learning can go hand in hand. See what works and what doesn’t and make changes. Of course it wouldn’t be prudent to go full pelt, making hefty investments and putting capital on the line, but if you’ve got the basics – a product to sell and a place to sell it - that’s enough to get going. Take that first step; see where it could take you…