When I heard, over a year ago now that Fiona Pullen of The Sewing Directory was going to be writing a business book, I knew from the start that it would be detailed, comprehensive and packed full of useful information. I wasn’t wrong!
Craft a Creative business is essential reading for anyone with a craft business or anyone thinking about or taking that giant leap from crafting as a hobby, to turning it into a part or full time job.
The book is divided into six colour coded chapters; Where do I Start? Legal Matters, Presentation, Social Media, Selling Online and Selling Offline and includes extensive web links at the end of each chapter; activities and space to make your own notes and reflections. It’s not the type of book to sit pristinely on the shelf, but to become more of a working document; annotated with your own ideas, plans and jottings. Clever!
Where do I Start? Covers the pros and cons of self-employment and how to make a small business work. It talks about the importance of identifying your target market, creating your USP, (unique selling point) writing a business plan and costing your products.
Legal Matters – Fiona tackles this somewhat daunting topic clearly and concisely and includes information on regulations, tax and the law, health and safety, copyright, insurance. There are many web links included so that you can access the latest up to date information.
Presentation – In this chapter there is a wealth of advice, hints and tips on presenting your business, from choosing the right colours, to branding and a strapline. Fiona also shares useful insights into how she branded Craft a Creative Business. There’s an extensive section on visual marketing and photography - and the importance of getting it right!
Social Media – For many, this subject is a minefield. With so many social media platforms available, it can be daunting to know where to begin. Fiona details the main social media sites and the pros and cons of each, some very useful do’s, (and don’ts!) when posting on line and there’s a detailed section on how to set up a Facebook, Twitter, Blog and Pinterest account.
Selling Online – This chapter discusses how to sell on line and the different ways in which you can do it. As well as highlighting legal implications, it covers where and how to sell, payment options, SEO strategy (search engine optimisation) and there’s a detailed guide of considerations when building your own website.
Selling Offline – If you’re planning on selling off line, then there’s lots of useful tips and do’s and don’ts on how to sell at craft fairs, galleries and shops. There’s also advice on how to get featured offline, such as in magazines and newspapers and how to promote yourself and network offline too.
As you can see, there’s a lot in this book! I think the thing I like about it best is it’s really reader friendly, and as you read you feel you get to know Fiona. She does this by including lots of relevant personal examples of her own experiences of setting up a business. She is frank, honest and realistic! Although throughout the book are case studies of small businesses, which really brings the book to life, and proves that people really do set up successful creative businesses. With activities to complete in each chapter and the space to write notes, this really is so much more than a book – it’s a manual that you will refer to time and time again.