There are so many business books out these days and so little time to read them all. Afterall, between crafting, listing things in your Etsy store and shipping out packages when are you supposed to read about business? Well you should try and find the time because currently there are tons of great books on the market not just about running a small business, but specifically geared at running a crafty business. I’m gonna give you the run down on 4 that have come across my desk in the last year and also we are giving away a copy of the The Savvy Crafter’s Guide to Success: Turn Your Crafts Into a Career.
Did you know that Female entrepreneurs start businesses at twice the rate of their male counterparts? That is exactly why you need to get your hot little hands on a copy of The Boss of You. 15 chapters chocked full of useful information in easy to digest terms is exactly what you will get and exactly what I want with a business book. Skip the bells and whistles and explain to me about developing marketing materials and hiring assistants. This book with a woman run business angle is very informative and thorough, not to mention realistic. Some books can bog you down with so much information it seems too scary and daunting to ever get your business started in the first place. This book strikes the fine balance between telling you what you need to know to get started but not overloading you with too much information. I also love small informative blurbs and this book is peppered with several of them. Another added bonus: look for suggestions and stories from women who already are the boss throughout the book.
A quick flip through The Creative Entrepreneur and you might be confused as to whether you are looking at a book about business or about art journaling. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Author Lisa Sonora Beam is a business and marketing strategist as well as a visual artist so she knows a lot about both. The book is filled with instructional advice about running a business but more than anything it seems to be series of exercises to help you brainstorm about your business in journal form. The book reminds me of after school tutoring I took in high school weekly for ADD. One of the skills I learned was to incorporate colors into my study habits to help make it more interesting and eye catching for me. The Creative Entrepreneur seems to take a similar approach. Artists struggling to turn their passion into a business might find this more colorful approach to business helpful, I just worry that some will get to caught up in the journaling and not focus enough on the business side of things. If you are looking for information about starting your business, marketing your business and taking your business to the next level this book will help you artistically brainstorm ideas on the topic, but another book might be a better fit if you are looking for a more straightforward business guide.
Usually when people ask me questions about running a business I send them over to the Austin Craft Mafia website and suggest they read our individual profile interviews. We answer a lot of questions there. Another more recent suggestion is that they pick up a copy of Craft, Inc by Meg Mateo Ilasco from Chronicle Books. The book claims to be the ultimate guide to turning what you do for fun into what you do for money. You bet your sweet toosh you could be making a living off of your Etsy store, just read the book to figure out how. There are tips on how to handle your first craft fair, wholesale versus consignment, trade show 101 plus interviews with companies like Wool and Hoop, Jonathan Adler, Poppi Jewelry and more. Sure there are tons of books on how to run your small crafty business, but this book has an Indie slant and a layout so pretty it would make the gals over at Decor8 proud! The one downfall is that the book can make the prospect of starting a business seem a bit daunting. Sure there is paperwork to fill out and incorporation structures to ponder, but don’t get so caught up in the minutia that you never get your business off the ground. All the advice is pertinent and important, just take it with a grain of salt and remember you don’t always have to have all your ducks in a row before you take the plunge. I didn’t.
The Savvy Crafters Guide to Success: Turn Your Crafts into a Career
By: Sandra McCall
I’m a sucker for picture books. Even when the pictures are not exactly relevant to the topics at hand. Sandra McCall’s Savvy Crafters Guide to Success is just as pretty to look at as it is interesting to read. The pages are peppered with pictures from some of your favorite mixed media artists like Claudine Hellmuth, Traci Bautista, Sarah Hodson and more. There is also snippets, blurbs and studio pictures of many of these well known artists. This colorful book approaches business in a visually stimulating way which is sometimes exactly what a right brained person needs to be tricked into learning some valuable left brained information. The book is chocked full of information about teaching classes, approaching galleries, what a purchase order looks like and many more useful suggestions and ideas.
Remember this is just 4 books in a sea of a bazillion. There is nothing that says general business and marketing books not geared specifically at craft businesses would not also be useful reads. I love Jay Conrad Levinson’s whole Guerilla Guide series, Santa brought me Punk Marketing last year which I have enjoyed and never underestimate the Dummies and Idiots guides to running small businesses. What are some of your favorite business books? I’m always looking for new ones to add to my collection and as I have mentioned on the blog before I am working on a proposal for a marketing book of my own for crafters. Let me know some of the most helpful things you have read or done for you business whether it be taking class, joining a group of like minded entrepreneurs like an Etsy group or a blog you read regularly and you could win a copy of The Savvy Crafter’s Guide to Success: Turn Your Crafts Into a Career from North Light Books. We will post the winners next Monday!