Recognising the winds of change in the world of handmade goods
When running a handmade goods business, it makes sense to have a close watch on the seasons. Structuring goods, in regard to their release and production that is centred around the four seasons including the events they bring, is something that owners can capitalise on. With these changing seasons come new challenges as well. In all circumstances you should always consider insurance for selling at craft fairs, to be covered for any of the eventualities that can occur.
You will probably have already planned out the year in terms of what products you are going to launch. For example, your main Christmas range ideas should ideally be completed by September time and then Spring lines, incorporating Valentines and Easter, can then be completed over the late Autumn/Winter months. Amongst all of this there is the need to attend the various craft fairs to sell your handmade items.
As we head into winter, here are some of the challenges you might face with the changing season that we can help you to avoid…
Living in the UK means getting used to weather that is notoriously unpredictable. As we live on an island our climate is regulated by the sea, with the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea determining rainfall and the Gulf Stream warming us in the summer months. Even though our temperate climate means moderate rainfall, spread over the year, and generally mild conditions, we are always susceptible to sudden and extreme changes. Many people remember particularly harsh winters and scorching summers with news and weather reporters using the word ‘unprecedented’ an unprecedented number of times! This lack of predictability means that you need to have some form of protection in place. If a show is cancelled at the last minute or you are unable to get to a planned event you may face a charge for a “no show”. You might also need to consider where equipment that you take with you to events such as gazebos, could become dangerous in high winds. Therefore, insurance for selling at craft fairs should be something that you can look into to cover yourself.
While it is unlikely that you’ll have to miss a show due to snow it is more likely that floods will cause an issue. Despite the recent drought we have experienced, we are told that milder, wetter winters are going to be a more common occurrence. It is a good idea to consider how you will replace lost stock and equipment in the event of a flooding. This also applies to how you store your stock and the materials that you use. Think about whether the structure is sound and regularly check for signs of damp or weaknesses in the roof and walls.
Accidents on the road
Ice is still an issue on our roads. Gritting salt has a shelf life and with the milder winters we are experiencing, its no wonder that local councils are loath to spend too much on buying huge amounts. This means that we can get caught out when the temperature really drops. Ice can be fatal to cars and their ability to grip roads’ surfaces. The same is true when it comes to vans. Therefore, you should make sure that you have insurance cover in place which means that if what you’re taking to sell has been damaged the finance can be provided to cover it. Also, be sure to plan extra time to get to your venues during the colder months and keep a blanket in the back of the car just in case!
Equipment seizing up
Depending on where you work, your equipment is vital to your success. You need to have decent materials and equipment to create the sellable masterpieces that your business produces. However, if you suddenly find that one seizes up in the colder months, what can you do to get back on track? It might be that you should look to getting some insurance for selling at craft fairs to cover yourself in case of sudden breakdown. It will work as a good contingency plan to provide you with the means to rebuild and repair the equipment and tide you over during the period of inactivity. Regularly checking your equipment for wear and tear is also a good idea so you can identify any issues quickly and resolve them. If your equipment or the items you produce require the use of water, make sure that the pipes are insulated to prevent them from freezing.
Becoming more sustainable
The changing seasons do bring challenges and worries but with them come opportunities as well. One such opportunity could be to look at how we can make our businesses become greener and more sustainable. For many businesses this has meant looking at the items that they use in their businesses and finding ways in which they can be more sustainable. Creative arts and crafts has always been ahead of the curve with this and there are many ways that homemade crafts are created from sustainable products or even from old disused items. With more and more people becoming eco-conscious they are looking for alternatives to their everyday items. This is where you can have an impact and, in doing so, even increase your sales. Think about whether there are any items that you make that could be made from more sustainable options. You should also consider your own packaging and whether this can be recycled easily. In some cases there aren’t any obvious changes that can be made and in these instances it’s nice to look at ways you can offset the carbon that is used. There are many organisations that will allow you to plant a tree for every sale you make or every profit milestone that you reach. This information can then be used in your marketing and help to show people that you care and that spending their money on your products is making the right kind of impact.
Consideration for the environment and protecting the future of our planet for future generations is a bit like preparing for seasonal change to protect our businesses and everything we work hard for. Both make a whole lot of sense.