How can I make money selling things

Selling homemade: this is how you earn money with your hobby

Your advantage: Customers love homemade products

Today we live in a throwaway society. We usually only use things for a short time, then just throw them more or less carefully into the dumpster, thereby creating gigantic mountains of waste. You can buy most of the products cheaply, so you can throw away and replace things that are no longer so nice. Society no longer appreciates the value of a thing or a product. There is often a lot of work, material and creativity behind it. Such “handmade” products are in great demand again by many people because they are of excellent quality, are made of the highest quality materials and, above all, are not “off the peg” goods. Homemade things are a bit of luxury for many and people like to bring them into their homes.

It is no coincidence that more people are looking for homemade things again and are paying more money for it. There is again thought about how much effort goes into a product. Some also appreciate the uniqueness of products that were not mass-produced but were created in loving and painstaking manual work. You can successfully pick up on this trend and sell self-made things.

Selling homemade items using the example of soap and key rings

If you have a talent for handicraft, then first consider which product you could produce and sell with your skills. So the most important thing is to develop an idea for a product. Let's say you enjoy creating soaps or making key rings out of bottle caps. Then you could turn it into a business and sell the soaps or key rings as homemade. Let's just play it through with these two examples. What could a possible process from the idea to the sale of your handicraft look like?

Materials and storage space

Many discover their creative or technical talent more by chance and on the side - while practicing a hobby, renovating their own four walls or doing handicrafts with the children. Usually the idea of ​​turning talent into a business grows spontaneously. The basic idea was born. But in order to be able to sell self-made things, you must first produce them in appropriate quantities. In order to be able to produce a sufficient number of items, you of course need the necessary materials. This is where the first problem arises, because the question arises of where you can get the required quantities of material from and at a price that still allows a profit margin. After all, you want to earn money with it.

When you get the material, you have to store it somewhere, as well as the homemade product later. In addition to the material, you also need a sufficiently large storage space. In addition, a suitable production room is necessary for some products, as you will see later using the example of soap.

Get feedback on the product

While it's nice that you can make something, it's not certain that people would buy too. Therefore, before starting a professionally set up business, it makes sense to first get as much feedback as possible on how others think of what you have made yourself. First make a limited number of soaps or key rings, give them away to family or friends and ask for honest feedback or opinion. Above all, the test subjects should give you feedback on the following topics:

  • materials
  • processing
  • Consistency, feel (e.g. feel when using the soap)
  • Odor (e.g. the soap smells according to the ingredients)
  • Benefit (e.g. how well does the soap clean)
  • Overall impression (is the product recommended)

Such feedback gives you a first, but important, indication of whether you would be successful if you sold your creations as homemade.

Planning of production and number of pieces

If the feedback on your soaps or key rings has been positive, then think about how large the quantity should be that you want or can produce. And: How does the manufacturing process have to be designed so that you can handle larger quantities? It is always a good idea to have a product store with a reserve. Nothing is worse than when a customer wants to buy a product but it can't be delivered because you are out of stock.

So be realistic. See how many soaps or key chains you can make daily, weekly, or monthly without sacrificing quality or motivation. With large online trading centers, you can show the customer on the product detail page how many soaps or key rings are still available. If you have your own online shop, you can usually also place such an advertisement. So you don't get into trouble, you only sell as many parts as you can manufacture and have in stock.

Registration with the control authorities

Above all, you are not allowed to sell self-made soaps just like that, but have to overcome a few hurdles before customers can enjoy your product. A first obstacle is suitable premises for the production. These must be easy to clean and designed in such a way that you can work in them hygienically. The best thing to do is to contact the responsible authority and find out what requirements inspectors place on your "soap kitchen".

Another requirement is that you register with the responsible control authorities (District Office, Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Office and Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety). At the authorities you have to present a so-called safety assessment for every soap creation, which is created by a laboratory. With this evaluation you prove the harmlessness with regard to health.

Documentation of the manufacture of a product is also required, especially for soaps. For each new unit it must be listed which ingredients are contained in which quantities and which work steps have been carried out. Each batch is given a batch number which, in the event of problems, can be used to understand how and from what the product was created.

Further obstacles if you want to sell self-made things can be the requirements for your online shop or tax regulations (trade license, tax number, small business regulation, sales tax yes or no). Definitely deal with all of these things beforehand, it's ultimately part of your business.

A good business plan

In order to be able to sell your self-made things successfully, you have to calculate your expenses and income well, so get yourself a business plan. First of all, you incur costs that you have to include in your planning:

  • material
  • Tools (if needed)
  • working hours
  • Room rental (production facility, warehouse)
  • Additional rental costs (electricity, heating, water)
  • packing material
  • Shipping
  • Staff costs (if needed)

These total costs have to be broken down. You have to calculate the costs per item of the manufactured product for the individual items. In order to earn something in the end, it is important that you divide all expenses into the individual product. The selling price should be so high that you not only cover the costs, but also keep something. This is called the profit margin.

Create a business plan in 10 steps

Step 1: Idea, offer and the target group

In the first chapter you give a first impression of what the concept of your company should look like. What is your basic idea? How can you help others with your idea and what exactly is your goal? You should be able to determine and describe this very precisely. In addition, you should think carefully about who your target group is and also define this specifically. This will make it easier for you to prepare a market analysis in the following chapter.

Step 2: Market and Competition

The point here is to deal intensively with the market and the competition. How big is the market? Is it worth starting a business here? Make yourself aware of which competitors you have. So that you don't have to struggle a lot with these at the beginning of the market entry, you should think about what you can do better. Make the analysis as detailed as possible in order to be perfectly prepared for your start in the business.

Step 3; Determine visions and goals

It is particularly important for you as an entrepreneur and for the rest of your team to define precisely goals and visions that you can work towards together. Only once you have set this goal with your team or your founders is it possible for you to determine the measures that are coordinated with it. They give you a direction in which to build a strategy.

Step 4: your strategy

The strategy also needs to be very well thought out. After all, you need to use her to get to your goals. Above all, you have to consider what benefits your company will bring your customers. And how can you best implement this benefit? In any case, come up with a better strategy than your competitors and see what you can do better than them. Alternative strategies can also be useful, as it is never said that the first strategy works right away.

The strategy also needs to be very well thought out. After all, you need to use her to get to your goals. Above all, you have to consider what benefits your company will bring your customers. And how can you best implement this benefit? In any case, come up with a better strategy than your competitors and see what you can do better than them. Alternative strategies can also be useful, as it is never said that the first strategy works right away.

Step 6: legal form and taxes

A very unpopular, but still very important topic: the choice of the legal form and everything to do with taxes. Here you write down which legal form you have chosen, which permits you need for your company, what your company should be called and everything else that has to do with accounting.

Step 7: founding team and organization

In this chapter you indicate how you are organized as a company. Do you have a partner? Who is everything in your founding team? Here it must be clear who is responsible for what, which structures you still want to set up, who is already active in the company and who will join the company. The milestones that you want to achieve with your company are also entered here.

The finances form the main part of your business plan and must be calculated and checked very carefully. Here you shouldn't allow yourself to make any mistakes if possible. Where are you currently with your company, how much capital do you still need and when is the break-even point planned? - All of these are important questions to be considered in the finance section. Here at the latest it makes sense to have a suitable tool at hand with which everything can be calculated more easily.

The whole numbers are followed by the SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. So here you list the strengths, weaknesses, strengths and risks of your company and explain them. In the next step, measures must then be taken to deal with the results so that the opportunities can be maximized and the risks minimized.

The last chapter is the executive summary, a meaningful summary of your business plan. Here the most important points of your business plan are summarized again in order to give investors and banks a good overview of your company. So here again mention the most important key statements of the business idea, your team, the market analysis, the opportunities and risks and the financing.

In order to be able to sell homemade items as a dealer, you usually have to register a trade and are classified as self-employed. As long as you do the business on the side and also have a permanent job, you don't have to worry about other costs such as health insurance.

As soon as you work full-time as a dealer, however, it is necessary to calculate in such a way that all costs such as apartment rent, telephone, vehicle, taxes and social security contributions are covered by the income. Work out what your total monthly costs are, and then work out how many pieces of your homemade product you have to sell each month to cover these costs and also to keep money for groceries or hobbies.

Find the right sales channels

You have started making your homemade product and have a small supply. Then the next step is to consider the channels through which you want to or can sell your homemade products. You have different options for getting your product to men or women.

Selling in markets or shops

The classic method is selling on creative markets. There you have your own booth and come in direct contact with customers. It is important here that these connect your product with your personality. You are much better able to say something about the idea, the materials and the manufacture of your soaps or key rings, for example. You don't have such a chance when selling on the Internet. If you want to address a wide audience, you can also go to specialty stores and offer your product there. Ideally, you can get the owner enthusiastic about your product, he sells it on a commission basis or on the basis of another agreement.

Online shop and online marketplaces as points of sale

The trend today is towards online shopping. So think about whether you might want to sell your homemade things online. With your own online shop or with a seller account on large online marketplaces such as Amazon or eBay or online marketplaces such as Etsy that specialize in the sale of self-made things.

The biggest advantage is the reach if you sell homemade things on the Internet. You can not only offer your product regionally, but worldwide, because the Internet does not know national borders. However, the use of online marketplaces has its price. There you can list your products and pay a fee to the company for them. You save this fee if you set up your own online shop. This also has the advantage that your own brand - after all, you created it with your product - is more in focus and thus becomes better known. Some well-known marketplaces include:

  • Etsy
  • Amazon
  • ebay
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Crazypatterns
  • ProductsWithLove

Advertise your own products

If you want to sell homemade, it is a very important task for you to promote your product as efficiently as possible. Just creating an online shop and then waiting for customers would be the direct route to failure. You have to arouse people's curiosity about what you laboriously produce. You have to convince them of the quality that they get when they buy your product. And of course you have to inspire them about the benefits of your product. Bring them closer, such as B. caring for your homemade soap and how hip it is to own a key ring made of bottle caps that you have designed. But how do you best advertise your homemade product?

Use social media channels for advertising

You can reach most people today via various social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube. This is exactly where you should promote your product. You can invite your family, friends and acquaintances to like, share or comment on product posts. This in turn allows you to reach their friends and acquaintances and so on. This alone increases the awareness of your self-made product.

Advertise your product via Google and Co.

Of course, you can also use the major search engines to place advertisements there. However, you have to take money into your hands for this, because such advertisements cost money. Google, for example, can be paid by clicks, i. H. You actually only incur costs when someone clicks on your ad. You can also use the good old advertisement in a newspaper or a city magazine to sell your homemade items.

Create product videos as advertising for what you have made yourself

A well-designed advertisement in text or image form is perceived as positive by many customers, but it does not have the effect of an advertisement with the help of a video. Moving, well-staged images simply captivate the viewer the most. With home-made products in particular, it makes sense, for example, to depict the manufacturing process and show how much work and passion has gone into your product.Let the customers experience first hand how your soap or your key ring is created in painstaking and loving work. Something like that inspires and stimulates the purchase.

Simply sell home-made items - trade agencies support you

You can get professional help in case you have the talent to create a product but feel overwhelmed by organizing the sale on your own. There are certain trading agencies that specialize in taking care of your product and taking care of advertising, negotiations with dealers and online marketplaces, product presentation or price calculation. But of course you pay money for such a service.

Conclusion: Selling homemade requires planning

The idea of ​​wanting to sell something homemade is certainly an exciting project. But it takes a lot of time, energy, and money. In order to really make money selling handmade products and to be able to live on the income, you have to approach it professionally. Think very carefully beforehand about what you want to sell, how you make it and where you ultimately want to sell your handicrafts. You need a convincing and sought-after product, a detailed business plan, good advertising and, above all, conviction and perseverance. So you can sell self-made and start a successful business with what you like to do and what you are good at.