Craft Business Plan

The craft business plan changes as your business changes. So why write a business plan? To give you direction, that's why. If you lack direction you won't stay on course and sink like a rock. You don't want that. And in this world of ever changing technology and customer demands you need to plan ahead.

When you write a business plan start with a cover page that lists your business name, your name, address, phone number, fax number and web site if you have one. You don't need anything fancy for now.

Then write a mission statement and a jewelry artist statement for your business plan. These could be combined or two separate things. It doesn't matter. Just write what your hopes and dreams for your business are. What inspires you? What type of customer do you make jewelry for? What unique qualities do you offer that are different from other types of jewelry artist. What special materials do you incorporate into your products?

The next page of your simple business plan describes your business. What type of entity are you? A sole proprietor, a partnership, or a corporation. List the business licenses and permits you have. If you don't have them yet list the ones you still need and set yourself a deadline date. This will get you moving.

Describe your jewelry in this section of your business plan. What materials do you use? What is your specialty or focus? What are the features of your jewelry line and why will it appeal to your customers. What customer service do you offer? Do you create commissioned pieces? Do you have jewelry pieces in a range of prices. Do you specialize in selling very expensive pieces with precious metals?

Describe your target market as you write a business plan. Who is your customer? Don't say everyone who wears jewelry because that's not true. Not everyone will like your style. Sit and visualize what type of person will wear your pieces. Get a good clear picture. How big is this market? Where do these people live? What is the age group? What do they do for a living? What prices will they pay? What is your pricing strategy? Where will you advertise? Where will you meet your customers? Are they collectors? Do they shop online? What magazines do they read? Where do they vacation?

This section of your business plan describes your competition. Who are your major competitors? This depends on how you market your jewelry. Are you only selling to a local market or have you gone global? What advantages do you offer over your competitors? How long have they been doing business? What have you learned from their advertising? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How does your product differ from theirs? Have you met them?

A craft business plan may not include information on employees at this time. But what are your plans for employees? Will you need an office gal or someone who can help you at shows and parties? Are you going to be crafting all the jewelry or will you need help? It's something to think about.

The financial section of your business plan comes next. What accounting and inventory control system or software will you use? How will you generate monthly financial statements? Now is a good time to create a monthly budget. How much will you spend on supplies every month? What are your expected earnings? Will you seek funding or a start up loan? Will you finance the start up on personal funds? Who will generate the monthly financial statements? Have you talked to your accountant?

Simple business plans should be just that. Simple. Keep the wording simple. Keep it short. Don't feel that you have to impress anyone. At this stage of the game this plan is more for your benefit than anyone else's. It forces you to really think about some important issues like your customer, how you will market to them and price points. It helps you get your ducks in a row and going in the same direction.