Household or cottage industries is a small-scale and decentralized manufacturing business where artisans create products by hand out of a residential space instead of a purpose-built facility. Whether it’s basket weaving or pottery, as long as you have the passion and handicraft skills to make things, your way of launching a cottage industry is your own.
Establishing a cottage industry is a great way to launch your brand out there, making it easier to adapt to small business operations down the line. It’s also a great way to bring income to your community or group and become truly self-sufficient.
Here are tips to help you start a cottage industry with ease.
Have Other People Involved
Have a community help you create artisanal products for sale. Whether it’s a non-profit organization or local packaging supplier that can help personalize your goods regardless of the industry you’re in, having other people involved can make operations smoother. All these allow you to focus more on expanding your cottage industry business.
Choose the Right Product and Market
Most new entrepreneurs’ common mistake when starting a business is creating a product using only factors they like in a product, whether it’s scents or flavors. Although your favorite may entice a couple of people’s interests, you’ll still need to get information regarding the popular trend for your products—and aim to please your target market to succeed.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
Whether it’s a spare room or a small part of the basement, if you’re planning on running your cottage industry with ease, you need to have a dedicated space for work. If you have limited space, consider developing different “modes” for particular rooms. For instance, you can set the kitchen to “home mode” during the morning and business mode throughout the day and return it to home mode during dinner time.
Practice Efficient Branding
Even if you’re only starting as a home-based business, branding will be your cottage industry’s face to the world, making it crucial to your business. Your branding will help you make better decisions and take wiser actions, including developing new goods, what craft shows you should join, and how much online presence you need to have. In essence, your branding presents your vision to the public.
Price Products for a Fair Profit
Although most business owners aim to offer customers a decent bargain, cottage industry owners often place themselves out of the market’s radar because they’re all trying to underprice everyone else. That’s why if you’re planning on bringing your cottage industry far, you need to turn a healthy profit to sustain it, so price your products in a range where you’ll make a profit, even if it’s only a dollar or two.
Follow a Schedule
Although running a cottage industry has its perks as it lets you work freely at home, working in the comfort of your household can make it easy to get distracted. That’s why besides marking areas of your home for business use only, you also need to assign specific times of the day to work. It’s no different from your standard “work from home schedule,” except you get to choose your hours.
Regardless of how your schedule may look, it’s best to make a point to stick to it to help your cottage industry flourish.
Have a Plan to Expand
Although expansion may not happen for a long time, or might not happen at all. However, if the chance of expanding your cottage industry to the point where you need to go beyond home operations is high enough that you want to plan for it, don’t hesitate and do it. After all, you’re only doing the planning stages, and not only this helps you prepare for the future, but it also encourages creative thinking, leading to improvements within existing operations.
Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
Remember that you’re the one who’s ultimately responsible for your business. That’s why expect your cottage industry to have your strengths and weaknesses, meaning you determine its success—or failure over time. Although this can be a daunting realization, if you face your fears of running a business from the start, you’ll be able to move ahead with ease, learning and gathering information that’ll build a successful brand.
Regardless of their experience, every entrepreneur has their doubts, and you need to focus on success to keep your cottage industry business moving in the right direction.
There’s a market for everything, and there’s a marketplace for your business ideas. All you need to do is find the “right market” for your goods and follow the tips mentioned—and you’ll slowly be on your way to becoming a successful entrepreneur.