Is pottery your hobby? And you want to make money by selling pottery? If YES, read this article to learn how to start a home-based pottery business with a small investment.
Pottery making as a hobby in an amateurish way is a completely different thing than starting a commercial business. Statistically, the majority of all small businesses-pottery and otherwise-fail within their first five years of operation. Definitely, the pottery business demands proper business planning and exploring different marketing avenues. However, you can take several steps to ensure that your business succeeds.
If you are already a potter or enjoy clay modeling, then starting this business is just perfect for you. In addition to that, you can consider starting this business both on a part-time or full-time basis. And the most interesting thing is that that business doesn’t demand a lot of capital investment initially.
Pottery Business Market Research & Opportunity
It’s very important to research your market to make sure that there will be a demand for the ceramic products that you intend to make. Much will depend on the nature of the pottery business you have in mind.
You must identify how many other potters there are. What type of pots they produce and what techniques they use. Whether they sell their pots from their studios or workshops. How much they charge for their pieces. Who are their customers? What other goods and services – if any – they offer. These all will help you in crafting your business plan and determining the business model.
Skill Required for Pottery Business
Even if you can produce different attractive pottery of your own then also taking professional courses matters a lot. There’s no formal education required to enter this field, but pottery classes are recommended in order to learn the basics of the craft.
Generally, you can choose undergraduate degree programs in ceramics, but there are also ceramics training workshops run by the community and private organizations.
Actually, undergraduate degree courses provide students with skills-based lessons, such as wheel shaping, hand molding, relief-mold construction and kiln safety. Also, you learn about monitoring clay thickness, making uniform pottery shapes, clay carving skills and glazing techniques.
Apart from this, you can consider other learning resources too. You can consider reading books and ceramic related business magazines and journals. These will also help you in getting a lot of information about the current trend of the industry.
Pottery Business Startup Guide
Craft the Business Plan
Crafting a business plan is a must when you want to make money from your pottery business. And sincerely, your business plan must include how you will going to operate the business. How you will going to sell the products and to which demographics.
Additionally, you must include the financial cost analysis. Decide, whether you will run the business with other employees or not. And calculate an expected ROI and break even.
In some states, you will need proper licenses and permissions for pottery business. Generally, most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide.
If you want to establish a pottery studio, then you will require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws, and government regulations have been met. So, it is always better to talk to a local business consultant before initiating the business.
Ensure the Location
If you want to start and operate the business with a small investment, then it is better to start as home-based. However, a commercial pottery studio has more potential of earning revenue. Even, if you start the business from home, you must determine a space for work and keep the products. In addition to that, you must have a right storage facility for raw materials.
After determining the space, you will need to procure several equipment and tools for operation. Basically, it depends on the specific products that you want to produce. However, some of the basic items are
- Hand tools
- Carving and decorating tools
- Glaze and colorants
- Wheel: ranges from $950 and $1800
- Work table
- Storage and display shelves, including a place to store damp pieces
- Kiln: manual or computerized, ranging from $2,000 to over $10,000
- Pugmill: costs anywhere from $2,300 – $8,400
- Business cards
- Product catalog
You will need to determine what type of product you will produce what at which price you will sell them. Basically, if you plan to set up a craft pottery it is likely that you will produce some or all of the
- mugs, plates, cups and saucers, teapots, jugs, egg cups and so on
- serving bowls, serving plates
- decorative or commemorative plates
- decorative bowls, vases, and pots
- ornaments and objects
- garden pots and planters
Make Money by Selling Pottery
Finally, you will need to explore the marketing avenues for selling the products. Broadly, you can sell the products in two ways. Either in retail or in wholesale. Otherwise, you can explore both the ways. For retail, it is always better to set up a pottery studio.
Also, hiring a tablespace in the craft fair is a good idea for selling the pottery items. Additionally, you can consider online selling. There are several online places where from you can sell your handmade pottery products.
Actually, you must concentrate on online craft selling. Apart from marketplaces, you can set up a small online store of your own. It is not costly these days. Additionally, you can maintain the online store easily. Also, use social media to the fullest for promoting your pottery business.