I wish when I had graduated from my Degree in Jewellery & Silversmithing, way back in 1992 that I'd had guidance and easy access to so much help and information about getting a craft business up and running. I was too scared to go and visit one of the business advice centres that were around, because I didn't even know what kinds of questions I needed to ask. There were certainly no blogs, helpful websites....the world wide web had just been invented and was unknown to most, but today there is so much information for makers and just a small selection was highlighted in my recent email newsletter from the Creative Choices website, so I decided to have a good look, follow links....read some more, follow more links and distill some of it down for you here.
1. Superb, high quality directory from Cockpit Arts excellent "Making It" blog, features their own resources for you to download, including; Resource Directory, Outline Business Plan Worksheet, Marketing Planner, PEST Analysis Template, Worksheet for Calculating your Costs and Budgeting, Worksheet on setting up a Profit & Loss account, Worksheet on Cashflow Forecasting.
2. Internships are explained and useful advice given here along with an outline of the legalities on the Creative Choices website. How do you balance paying the rent with taking on valuable work experience which may...or may not lead you directly into employment. Do the long term benefits outweigh the short term disadvantages?
3. The UK Handmade website is full of simple, straightforward business advice for crafts people, along with plenty of first-hand stories from makers. Check out their Business Resources page which features such topics as How to Sell Online, Creating your own Advertising Materials and much more, then if you like what you see here have a read of their quarterly online magazine, the Spring Edition of which is out now.
4. Finally, Artists in Business is another down-to-earth supplier of resources for crafts people, also featuring a variety of workshops and seminars for you to attend.