If you have been a part of the hobby industry for a while, you will know only too well about the broad range of projects that are posted online by enthusiastic users from around the world. Being able to make arts and crafts from scratch is incredibly rewarding and being able to show off your talents is a great way to make a name for yourself.
Many of us hold the dream of turning our hobbies into a career. The old saying states that if you give a person a job they love, and they’ll never work again. In the continued rise of crafting and hobbies more of us are acquiring specific skills that might translate into products to sell to the public through a retail business. With the ever-changing retail landscape, we are seeing the UK high street undertake a transformation that might make it the ideal breeding ground for more independent craft and hobby businesses.
A Retail Opportunity
In many cities and town centres, we have seen a change to the make-up of the main streets, and a big opportunity has opened up for small independent businesses to buy up retail space that was once occupied by big brands. Many recognisable high street brands have had to close their doors throughout the year; meaning units are crying out for new tenants. New businesses are cropping up all over to occupy these units.
Creating the Right Buzz
Obviously, with the opening of any retailer, there has to be a degree of marketing involved to ensure that people will know about what you’re up to and will see your products on offer. Some social media channels are well suited to promoting hobby type businesses. Instagram is a mostly visual network, so this might be a good place to start when it comes to finding a customer base and building interest with product selections.
Growing a Following
It has been well documented that the loyal customers are those who keep businesses afloat in the long term. If you see the same people coming to visit your shop, it’s essential to engage with this group and establish a rapport that will keep them coming back. By listening to customers and giving them what they want, small businesses can work to build up loyalty on a personal level that is more reactive than what is offered by more established competitors. There is a particular advantage to those in the craft business as the handmade nature of your products will instantly give a layer of personality that might not be as apparent with other companies.
Owning Your Success
As we have seen, there has been a lot of difficulty for larger retail businesses who operate in city centre locations. This doesn’t mean that small, independent retailers will be immune to the same pressures that forced out the larger companies. Knowing what is going on in the broader retail environment is vital for your continued survival. Additionally, knowing where to own the success that has been achieved will help these businesses develop and grow as a business as well.