A friend came to me the other day and informed me that she was going to start a craft business with the doll clothes she knits and crochets. She was gushing about being able to work when she wanted, and going to work in her bath robe.
So of course the first thing I asked her was "Do you have a business plan?"
Her answer "Why, I'm not trying to get a loan or anything."
"How much do you have in savings, will it support you for 18 months?" was my next question.
I of course got the blank, deer in the headlights stare I always get when someone asks for advice on starting a home based business, whether its in crafts, or selling antiques and collectibles (my other business). So I thought I'd take a few minutes to list a few questions you need to ask yourself before starting out on the self-employment path. (these are just the ones I consider to be the most important)
1. Do you have a business plan?
2. How long can you survive on your savings?
3. Have you researched the business you want to start?
4. What will you do, or offer that others in the business you are planing on starting don't?
5. Have you actually sat down and made a complete list of all your monthly and annual expenses, break (including that morning donut and cup of coffee, the newspaper you pick up daily, health insurance, food, etc)?
6. If your current employer provides health insurance will you be able to keep it, or will you have to buy your own at a higher rate?
7. What happens if you are faced with a medical emergency either your own or a loved ones that you must take care of?
8. What condition is your current vehicle in, and how long do you think it will continue to get you from point a - b without layouts for major repairs (and did you include oil changes, lube jobs, and tires in your monthly and annual expenses)?
9. If you are currently living in a rental home or apartment will your rent remain the same or is it due to increase in the near future?
10. If you own your own home how much are the yearly taxes, and monthly mortgage payments?
11. Do you foresee any major home repairs such as a furnace, roof, burst pipe etc?
These questions all need to be answered before you jump feet first into a new full time business of your own. Work on getting at least 18 months of expenses money into a savings account before quitting your day job. In the meantime do the necessary research on the business you want to start. There is no rule that says you cannot start a part-time business while working full time. Then when your ready to go full time you'll have a bit of a safety net to catch you, and you'll have the confidence and hopefully loyal following ready to help you succeed.
I am linking a few books that have helped me along the way, as well as a couple I wish I had found before I started.
Good luck in starting your own craft business.