The business of arts and crafts

Helping you understand your craft business activities

Starting and running a craft business

Many people enjoy making hand crafted products as a hobby and some would like to generate an income by selling what they make.

If you would like to develop a craft hobby into a craft business, it is important to consider whether there is sufficient demand for what you make, if you can sell what you make for a profit and how you are going to find your customers.

This site has been designed to help you find fairs to attend, venues to book, suppliers etc. It is a good idea to sign up as a member and then to list your crafting details.

We have a book that you can either download, read online or buy the as a paperback. Check out Craft your Path to Success on Amazon.

Product choice

Your product choice will depend upon what your craft skills enable, you to make and what people want to buy.

Good places to look for inspiration include craft shops, gift shops, relevant magazines and at craft fairs. Also, you could ask friends and relatives what things they would consider buying. If you attend craft fairs, in addition to seeing the craft work of others, you might make useful contacts in the craft community and find new craft materials suppliers and additional outlets for your work.

You might decide to improve a product that already exists or develop something new, to meet an opening in the market. You could enhance your existing set of skills and expand your product range to meet market demand. Craft courses are very popular and learning something new is always a bonus.


Many products produced by artists and crafts people need to be made to recognised standards. Unfortunately, the details are a little long for this article, so we would recommend that you check whether the items you are making need any certification or approval.

For example, if you were making toys and games you would need to investigate CE marks and if you were making cakes you would need to think about food hygiene standards.

CE Marking Guidance

Food safety and hygiene

It is very important to make sure your products are safe for sale, as none conformity to regulations may result in harm to individuals and fines for you.

Pricing your products

Pricing is one of those subjects that is very hard to pin down. Some people class it more like an art form than a science. To help people come up with a number that works for them, we built the Craftally app, available on the app store.

craftally available on the app store - UKCraftFairs Pricing requires you to include costs such as craft materials, insurance, tools, packaging, distribution, stationery, utility bills and the amount you pay yourself for the time you spend working on the business. You should also take account of any tax that you will have to pay. You can find many of the things you need in the craft supplier section.

Once you have calculated your unit cost and compared it to the going rate for similar craft products, you can decide how much you are going to sell your work for.

For example, it may cost you £10 to make a finished product. You could set your wholesale price at £20 (the price you would sell it to a shop). The retail price may be double your wholesale price, in this example £40. If you were renting a stall at a craft fair and doing the selling yourself, you would sell at the retail price not the wholesale. This would then cover your selling costs.

Too high a price could make you less competitive and reduce sales, whilst too low a price could increase sales but reduce profits and even cause your business to run at a loss. Your aim should be to find the right balance, which provides you with a good cash flow and a healthy profit. By reducing your costs or improving your productivity, you could increase the profits needed to invest in the growth of your business and help with finances during any periods of low sales.

Pricing flexibility

Your prices do not have to be fixed. Large companies use a more flexible pricing matrix. They can often change the price based on the person buying, considering an increasing number of factors. For example, source market pricing - where people coming from one country pay more for the same thing, as someone from another country. For example, car hire pricing at an airport or hotel prices.

With ever more complex web-based strategies some companies can display a different price based on who you are and your previous buying habits. Not something that we feel is fair.

When you are selling at a craft fair, you may need to adjust your pricing up or down. If you are at a large perhaps costly event you may need to increase your pricing to cover your costs. You may be at an event in a poorer area and not be able to sell at full price because people can’t afford it.

The ability to be flexible is important. However, you need to know your numbers. In the example above of your unit cost being £10, trade price being £20 and retail price being £40, your flexibility may be based on volume to a shop (£18 trade on orders over 50, for example) your retail price at a fair could have £5 off for today only – knowing that you are still making a healthy profit.


Despite being a legal requirement as part of a sale, it is very rare to be asked for a receipt at a craft fair. However, this may depend on the cost of the item being sold. You should have a receipt book available, just in case someone does ask for one. It is also an excellent way to get an additional piece of marketing material to a potential repeat customer. The good thing about receipts is that they are often kept for long period of time. If possible, you should also include your details on the item being sold, which may be quicker for you during a busy fair.

What to include on a receipt

As you can see from the list below, if you are not well prepared and you are asked it could be a time-consuming effort.

  • Date and time
  • Number and price of items
  • Name of business and location
  • Any VAT charged
  • Method of payment
  • Returns policy

You could hand write an amount on the back of a business card, with a date and where you are on the day.

Monthly overheads

An overhead is something that is not directly involved in the production or sale of your product. For example, the space you rent. If you use part of your house or flat, or rent a workshop then that cost is an overhead. Let’s call the rent £100 a month. If you sell 100 items per month, you could say that £1 per item covers the rent. If you sell 200, then it is only 50p. If you only sell 20, then it is £5 per item.

It is a good idea to try and make you monthly overheads as low as possible as they do impact your profit. Equally important is to know what they are and not miss any out. Anything that you pay yearly, divide by twelve and put that number into your monthly overheads.

Once you know the number, let’s call it £300. Then it is relatively easy to add the number into your pricing calculator to work out your pricing.

The cheapest or the most expensive

It is important not to think, “I would not pay that”, instead think “what are people happy to pay for this”. You should detach your own opinions and think about the buyers. If you are creating great art then the price is not just the costs, it is about its uniqueness and how it makes people feel.

When an artist is first starting out, their prices will be lower than when they become more established. This is then a very different calculation, based more on supply and demand. The artist can only create so much and if the number of people wanting to purchase their work is high then the price will increase.

In the case of authors pricing is affected by global factors, print on demand, eReaders, publishing houses. Adding a signature to a book during a book signing, should increase its value to the purchasers. Sometimes increasing its value only increases the chance of a sale rather than increasing the sale price. If you are looking to promote an arts or crafts book you have written, check out

Looking at the competition, what is the lowest and highest price for the items you are making. What is the difference between the two, it could be product quality, but it is more likely to be branding. All that stuff around the product, the name the packaging, the shop, the website, the location etc. If you can’t compete with that then your price may not be at the top end. However, with craft it is very unlikely that you can be anywhere near the mass-produced bottom price, so you need to pitch yourself somewhere in the middle.

Market research

Often people start a craft business because it is what they enjoy, or it is based on knowledge they already have. This is good because you will have a passion for what you are producing and be able to demonstrate and discuss your work.

Market research is the process of looking at what people want to buy and in what quantities, to see if you will be able to meet your requirements.

The Internet is probably the best source of information on just about everything. The UKCraftFairs site has many thousands of members and concentrates solely on craft, you could also look in:

  • Libraries
  • Directories
  • Professional bodies guilds and associations
  • The Internet

You can do your market research yourself, popping along to a local craft fair is a very good start as you can talk to people already in the business of selling what they made.


It is often the case that people want or believe that they must raise finance to start a business. However, this may not be the case and you will need to pay back, any money borrowed. This can put a strain on any profits you may be making, and you may find yourself over stretched and working hard for the lender.

If possible, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be". Work within your means and think your way past the need to borrow money. Build your business with hard work, honesty, friendship and loyalty, rather than debt.

If you borrow money from a friend or family member then you may find that the money goes, and you are unable to pay it back and so the friendship goes to, "For loan oft loses both itself and friend, "

Business types

You will need to decide the structure of your business, there are three to choose from:

  • Sole trader
    • Quick and easy, just start and let the Inland Revenue know
  • Partnership
    • If there is more than one of you working together, this is an option
  • Limited company
    • A much more formal company structure with many advantages but more paperwork


You will need to keep good records of all transactions, money in and money out. If you are not great with organising money, make sure you get help and advice from an accountant or book keeper. They should save you more money than you pay them and will leave you free to focus on your work.

Marketing yourself

Effective marketing will make potential customers aware of your work and therefore increases your chance of making future sales.

Many craft people choose to use this site to promote themselves.

  • Other ideas for marketing yourself include:
    • Printing and distributing your leaflets, you can print an A4 leaflet from your listing on this site, that includes your confirmed events list.
    • Putting a postcard in shop windows
    • Selling through local retailers
    • Advertising in newspapers and magazine
    • Selling to large organisations like factories, office etc.
    • Advertise in directories

If you provide work of good quality at a competitive price this could lead to repeat business. Marketing your craft work will be made easier if you have a clearly defined range of products to offer potential customers and a strong brand identity for your business. If you sell your work through retail outlets they will want to position your product line in a section or department and will increase the cost of your products to cover their profits.

Print marketing

Print marketing If you're at an event or want potential customers to learn about your list of events (you will be attending as an exhibitor), you need to be able to list those events and be able to send visitors to the list. Print marketing is often the only way to get memorable information across to them. As part of your membership of this site, you can print out materials based on your listing details. These materials currently include Business cards (54mmx85mm), DL compliment slips, A4 and A5 posters. All you need is a printer, ideally that can print in colour and on thicker paper or card. You would also benefit from having a guillotine to crop your prints.

Website design

One of the first places people look to see if a business or person is genuine is the Internet. It is a quick and easy way for people to find out more about you. Therefore, your listing on the UKCraftFairs site is a great place to get your message across.

However, if in addition to your listing on the UKCraftFairs site you also need to set up a profession website with your own domain name, then we would recommend Sarah Evans . You will need a couple of thousand pounds for this work but if you are serious about growing your business it is the investment worth making.

You can go and make you own website for a relatively low cost using a collection of well know providers that use templates, but you may not be happy with the end result unless you are willing to invest a lot of your time.

Video marketing

To create high quality, engaging video marketing content to help you stand out from the crowd. Event and venue promotion, brand and product marketing, corporate and broadcast. You could create content yourself, hire a friend or relative or go down the professional route. We can recommend Kingsley Creative who are based in our South London office but can work around the UK. You would need a budget of a few thousand for this type of work.

Where to sell

A good place to market and sell what you make is at craft fairs. Fairs have the advantage of enabling you to meet and talk to existing or potential customers and get feedback on your range of products. Look at the Selling at craft fairs section of this page or search for craft fairs in your area.


As with all businesses, you will need to take out insurance, public liability as a minimum.

One of the advantages of starting a craft business is that you can often work from home.

If you dedicate a room in your home to your craft work, you will be able to claim back part of the running costs of your home against your business.

  • Some reasons why people choose to work from home, include:
    • Avoiding the time, stress and cost of commuting
    • It is much cheaper than renting or buying premises
    • The freedom to set your own hours and work at your own pace
    • You can make your work environment comfortable
    • You can see more of your family
    • Parents can have the freedom to work hours that suit the family, whilst bringing in an income and avoiding paying out childcare costs.
  • You may want to think about these things before you start:
    • Check if there are any restrictions from your landlord, mortgage lender or local authority
    • Business insurance
    • Home security

If you can't work from home then many craft people set up a studio, gallery, workshop or shop.

Protecting your business

You promote your business to attract genuine customers or organisations offering you legitimate products or services. These are the people who you want to find you, whether your contact details appear on a website such as this one, or in a printed publication. However, you might also be contacted by people or organisations who intend to mislead or deceive you and they might even wrongly claim to be endorsed by or to be working on behalf of legitimate companies when they are not.

We would advise that you carry out due diligence when considering using products or services offered to you, particularly from organisations you are not familiar with. You could begin by visiting their website or other online presence, looking for comments from some of their existing customers and searching online for information about them.

If you are contacted by cold callers claiming to be from an organisation, take care if they request sensitive financial information. You would be better obtaining the organisations contact details from a trusted source and then you can contact them directly to discuss the matter further.

If you believe that your business has fallen foul of a serious deception, then you could report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or go to or contact the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 040506. By doing so you are helping to protect yourself and others.


"Working for yourself is a rewarding, challenging and exciting pursuit. If you can achieve success by doing what you love, then you may be rewarded with two of the most important things in life; time and the ability to say no."

This is just a guide and you need to make sure you think about what you are doing and research thoroughly in order that you make the right decisions for you. You should take professional advice before spending your hard-earned money on things that may or may not have a positive return.

Producing art to sell at craft and other events is popular with exhibitors and customers.


Artists use a varied palette to produce their work:

  • oils
  • pastels
  • watercolours
  • ink
  • acrylics

Originals or prints

Artists may choose to create prints of their works. This is a good way to create additional revenues from original work. The prints can be created in limited runs and the original kept or sold by the artist.

Prints should ideally be mounted, backed and bagged, so that the purchaser needs to simply purchase a frame. Picking A size (A4, A3, A2 and A1) mounts will help people to keep the cost of framing down. Artists should sign and number their prints.

Artists can also produce gifts and greeting cards from their work. These can be very popular at craft fairs.


Most artists will work from home in a dedicated space, but a significant number will rent an artists studio. The choice is often determined by the size and volume of work produced and the potential benefits of having a studio near to your salary or exhibition space.


Many artists will supply the work framed, others will organise a frame of your choice or sell you the work unframed.

Artists work

The boundaries between craft, art and design are rather blurred. Artists can produce a wide range of saleable items, that could be placed into multiple categories.

Additional incomes from art

Artists need to be pro-actively diverse. For example, if they are working as a studio artist they could run courses during the summer months, or they could teach in colleges or other venues. Alternatively, they could work as illustrators.


Areas of light tone can be balanced by areas of darker tone and small shapes near the edge by larger central ones.

Colour (hue)

The colour wheel has twelve parts and can be used as a guide to contrasting and complementary hues. The wheel uses the primary colours (red, blue and yellow), secondary (green, violet and orange), compounds which are a mixture of the primaries and tertiaries which are between the primary and secondary. Saturated colours contain no white, black or complementaries.


The opposing elements of a design are contrasting. Examples include the hues appearing on opposite sides of the colour wheel and light and dark tones. Contrast disrupts unity in a piece of work and should be used with consideration to the amount of discord required.


The elements in a work of art or design that you chose to emphasize are called dominant.


The illusion of perspective can be created using gradations of tone from light to dark and colour from cool to warm.


The use of similar elements, such as shape and hue, can be used to produce harmony.


The use of related elements which reinforce the theme of a piece of work can help to create a sense of unity.

Keeping business costs down is one of the most important aspects of your daily thought process for running your business. One thing we like to say to ourselves is “for ever pound we spend; we have to earn two”. Keeping your costs down will help with profitability, cash flow and save time. That said you will need to spend some money for your business to grow, the key here is not to go cheap but to buy well. Value for Money (VfM) is name of the game. Never base a purchase decision only on price. This is equally true both for your business and your personal spending (which has a direct impact on what you need to pay yourself).

So you need to make good choices but finding the best value options can be time-consuming and another true quote is “time is money”, so what can you do to help make the best choice and quickly?

Asking friends and associates for advice based on their personal experience, is a good way to go. They may not always be 100% correct but it should point you in the right direction and give you food for thought. You could sign up to an advice service like Which? that do testing and comparisons on products. This sort of service has a relatively high monthly cost, so you need to way up the cost against your savings and increased efficiency.

You could also think about using comparison sites. Please remember that they will not be exhaustive and therefore any company not on the site will not be compared against. So, think of the comparison as a guide, as one of your three competitive quotes. Actively seek alternatives.

When you first start your craft business, you may not have thought in any real detail about how you are going to organise your finances. This is often because it is a hobby or an interest, that you are testing the water with. Perhaps creating enough stock for one craft fair to see how things work out. If things go well, you will want to do more.

Accepting Card Payments Online?

One way to accept card payments online, is to sign up for a PayPal business account. You can start accepting credit and debit card payments instantly. You will also have a range of merchant banking tools to use. As there are no setup fees, it can be a good way to get started.

Accepting cheques

If you are accepting a cheque at a fair, make sure that it is secured. Here is one of the good reasons for having a business account. People can write a cheque in your business name rather than a cheque directly to you.

Where to start?

The basic thing to remember with any business is to spend less than you make. So, keep track of what you are spending and what you have earned. If you don't the numbers will start to blur. Else, where you thought there was profit, may be a loss. This is one place where the business account can really help. If you only use the one business account for all your earning and expenditure, you will automatically have an easy to analyse list.

Having a simple list will help you look back a review your spending. This could really help you increase your profits in the future.

Investing in yourself

If you want to get started how much money do you need? Money for your business can only come from two sources either you or someone else. If you are financing yourself, you can be a little over generous, make sure you are going to be able to give yourself the money back. If you a borrowing from some else, hopefully they will ask you enough questions to make you think about how you are going to pay them back with interest.

There is an art to borrowing money. You need to keep your borrowing at the correct level. Too much and all your profits will be eaten up by interest payments. Too little and you may not be able to function effectively.

Do you need a credit card?

You can use a Visa debit card for example and therefore not need to have a separate credit card. You could have an overdraft or take out the credit card if you need a form of credit. Always remember that every time you use credit you lose some of your profit. However, some credit can be good and make sure that you can honour your commitments.

You should always check your bank statements for errors and to keep yourself aware of all the transactions.

List of Bank Statement Abbreviations

Abbreviation Transactions description
BAC Automated Credit
BGC Bank Giro Credit
BSP Branch Single Payment
C/L Cashline/Cash machine
CHG Charge
CHP Payment by CHAPS transfer
CHQ Cheque
CUI Centralised Unpaid In (Unpaid Cheque)
CWP Cold Weather Payment
D/D Direct Debit
DIV Dividend
DPC Direct Banking by PC
DR Account Overdrawn or Debit Item
DWP Department for Work and Pensions
ERTF Exchange Rate Transaction Fee
IBP Inter-Branch Payment
INT Interest
ITL International
NDC Non-Dividend Counterfoil
POS Point of Sale/Debit Card Transaction
S/O Standing Order
SBT Screen Based Transaction
TFR Transfer
TLR Teller Transaction
TSU Telephone Banking

Tax account

If you are running a very small business and do not have another income you may not need to pay any tax. However, you will need to show that you are not earning enough. Alternatively, you may want to start something bigger or are running a local fair or a craft club or even setting up as a craft supplier. If you expect you will need to be paying a sizeable tax or other bill it can be a good idea to have an reserve account set up, that pays you a little interest. It also keeps the money you need to cover potentially large payouts, on one side. This will help you to avoid a cash flow crisis.

Many people just start, taking a hobby and using it to earn a few pounds at a local fair. Others may have a business plan and a full-time business in mind. Whichever end of the spectrum you are, it is vital to be organised and to know your goals.

Your goal could be to make a profit, earning enough to go on holiday or to earn a full time wage to support your family.

Business Bank Account

We believe that having a business bank account is part of the getting organised process. You may be using a trading as name and having the business bank account will mean you can receive payment both in your name or in the name of the business. Both your incomings and your outgoings will be from the same bank account. You do not have to have a business bank account, but it really does help. You may choose to use your personal account but quite quickly the accounts will be difficult to manage.

Where you are going to store all that money you make from selling your products or service. Also, how you are going to pay for material, table fees, craft insurance and travel etc.

Business bank accounts are more expensive to run than a personal account. You should be able to get free banking for the first couple of years. However, when that runs out you will have to pay. It is worth thing about your product and where the back fees.

With craft businesses being easy to start and easy to move between hobby and business, you could be fooled into the

You may want to bank online to save yourself time and effort but may also need a branch to go into.

Where to bank

Choosing the right bank for you is important and it is a personal choice. We had a choice of two major banks that had branches near to where we lived and had online banking facilities. We chose to have a business account with the same bank we had our personal account. It made transfers very quick and easy and meant we only needed to deal with one bank.

You can shop around for good deals, i.e. longer free period, more interest etc. However, remember that these offers change all the time and what is a good deal today may not be a good deal tomorrow.

Selling your handmade work at a craft fair or other event is a skill and like any other skills you will need practice and potentially training.

The UKCraftFairs website is tailored to your needs and can be used to help find events to sell at. You would need to sign up as a member of the site, to use the range of do it yourself tools.

If you are an exhibitor, you should firstly add your listing to the site. With all the details including a product picture, organisers will find it easy to see whether you fit with the event being run. This can save you and the organiser a lot of time.

Before your first fair

Check out the competition

Before trying to sell your work at a craft fair, visit a few craft shows. This will enable you to see the quality and range of the work being sold by others.

You will also be able to speak to exhibitors and decide the type of fairs which might be the best place for you to market and sell your products. Consideration should be given to the number of visitors to each fair, the costs involved in exhibiting your work there and the quantity of goods that you will have to sell in order to make a profit.

You can check your pricing, quality of presentation and range.

Find the right fair for you

Use the craft fair Search page on this site to find a suitable fair. This may be a small fair where you do not have to pay a lot for a table, so that you can get feedback. It may be local, so that you do not have far to travel and are able to ask friends and family to come along to both buy from you and give you feedback.

If the fair you would like to attend is very popular, you may need to visit the fair in advance to find out more about how it works, perhaps meeting the organiser in advance to find out what they want from an exhibitor.

When you contact an organiser via the site, they get a link back to your listing.

Get confirmed as exhibiting at a fair, and your picture appears on the event listing which help to market you and helps people looking for events too.

Product quality

Event organisers may have a strict policy of handmade goods only. If this is the case, you may need to supply an example of your work and or photographs of what you are intending to sell.

When people go shopping at a craft fair, they like to see high quality crafts. Event organiser also appreciate your effort to make something beautiful.

Your craft stall

Think of your craft table as a small retail business. You will need to look into your legal requirements, like insurance for your products, to cover your liabilities and perhaps staff (paid or volunteers).

If you are booking a table that is 6ft by 2ft/3ft then you will need a base white tablecloth of approximately 70/108 inches which will give you about an 18inch drop all round. You can then get a second smaller long rectangle cloth to go in the middle of table 70/70 perhaps. This second cloth could be a colour compliments your overall look.

Whilst building up your business and developing your customer base, you should consider selling at a small number of fairs. By having a range of goods at various prices, you could sell larger numbers of less expensive items and a few more expensive items. Many people prefer to purchase goods using credit cards rather than cash or checks. Having a merchant account that enables you to take credit card payments will reduce the chance of you missing out on potential sales.

Maximise your potential for sales

Get to the venue early

If the venue has not set specific tables then you may be able to choose a good table before others arrive. You will also be giving yourself enough time to setup, so that you are ready to sell as soon as the first person comes through the door. However, it is better to not stress the organisers by arriving before they have said you can set up.

Do you need help

Setting up your stall at a craft fair can involve a lot of work and during a busy day you will probably want to take refreshment breaks. Consequently, you should consider going with a friend or relative who can help you.

Things to bring along

Useful things to take with you include a calculator, stands on which to present your work, chairs to sit on and bags that your products can be carried home in. You should also take enough of your craft products with you for expected sales.


Make sure that you have clear signs that say what you sell, how much things cost and your contact details.

If you do not price your work clearly, people may walk away rather than asking the price.

Displaying products

Make sure that you display your products in a way that can be seen from a distance. Rather than having your work laying flat on a table, stand it up so that people do not need to walk right up to your table to see what you do.

Selling tips

Selling is a skill and you can get carried away. If someone is interested in a product, sell that rather than giving them lots of other choices. They will just get confused.

Smile, look happy, engage with people as they go past. If you have not done well in the morning, do not look unhappy in the afternoon, that may be when you make the most money.

If you can work on your craft at your table, people will be interested and ask you questions. Starting a dialogue with a potential customer, will lead to more sales. You will also be able to work during any quiet time to help build up your stock

Keep your area looking as good as you can. Clean up after people, rearrange your display once you make a sale. Think about what people will see first when they walk past your table.

Attend a fair more than once. People will get to know and trust you.

Follow on sales

Market yourself

As well as selling your work at craft fairs, it is the perfect opportunity to speak to both existing and potential customers.

If possible you should get business cards and contact details such as email addresses from people with which you could build mailing lists, to let people know about new products and fairs that you will be attending.

You should take marketing material with you that you can distribute to customers. Put one in every bag you hand out with a sale.

Listening to feedback from people that you meet at fairs could help you to develop your product range to meet demand.

Keep a track of profit

After each visit to a craft fair you should calculate how much profit you have made.

Adjusting production

By finding out which products earn you the most money, you can adjust your production accordingly. With experience you will be able to decide which fairs are the most profitable for you to attend and schedule them into your calendar.

It is also worth considering how many sales you make because of your marketing efforts at each fair. Not just the sales on the day. If you get a regular customer from visiting a fair, it will help your business to grow.

Location, Location, Location

Where is the fair

Not the channel 4 television program but an important consideration on your part. In affect you are in the retail sector and exposure to the volume and quality of customer is vital. You are not going to get it right every time but when you do, it will give you the best possible chance of success.

Your location in the fair

Think about where you will be located and how that will improve your chances of a sale.

Craft Kits

A lot of people would like to have a go. If your product is one that could be made into a kit, why not sell them to people who visit your stand but do not want to buy the finished product. You can brand your kit and include your contact details so that you can either sell them the finish product or more kits. It is a good way to get around the objection "I could make that myself".

Your next steps

Over time you might find that demand for your work begins to exceed the quantity that you are able to produce on your own. You could then increase the price that you charge for your work until supply and demand reach a balance that you are comfortable with.

Alternatively, if the nature of your work makes it a viable option, you could employ others to do some of the work.

Whatever your decision, it is important that you maintain the quality of the work that you sell to a standard that your customers have come to expect.

Everyone could do with a little extra cash in their pockets, so we have put together a list of ideas for people to make a little additional money on the side. These are for all those times when you cannot be making money from you craft business or to compliment it. The list may be short but that is because we only add things that we know work because we do them ourselves or we know someone that does.

People need to go green to help save the planet but the good news is that if you get it right, you can also reduce your risk of being over charged for energy in the future. Some things you could do today, some things may take a little longer. If you are making savings from each thing you do then it will get easier to make some of the big changes:

  • Today
  • Move investments into less polluting stock - this is not financial advice. Becoming an ethical investor is a great way of affecting change. When investing you can help to choose the future you want, not just investing to make money. It is good to be proud of your investing and to see the bigger picture.
  • Switch to an energy provider that offers 100% renewable energy like Octopus Energy We chose this provider (as we use them ourselves) for low night time electricity. If you join from this referral link, we both get a £50 discount.
  • Eat less meat and dairy.
  • Insulate
  • Insulate your home so that you reduce the heating costs in the future:
  • Loft insulation
  • Double glazing
  • And so on
  • Produce
  • Install solar panels on your roof - you will save when using the electric produced. Any that you do not use and expert to the grid, your electricity supplier have to buy from you. From 1st Jan 2020 the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) comes into force. You should be getting something like 5p per kwh produced. Alternatively, you could install a battery to capture the unused electric for when you need it.
  • Switch
  • Switch from cooking and heating with gas - this is one of the harder ones to achieve but you would be making a big difference to the environment, if not saving you any money. You would only have one standing daily charge for electric and less polution in your home.
  • Buy an electric car - expensive upfront cost but if you can charge at home you can save on fuel costs, maintenance, tax and not be polluting yourself, so improving your health. If you had already put in solar panel you can use your car battery to store unused energy too.

The dictionary definition of someone that freelances is: a self-employed person hired to work for different companies on assignments.

Identify your transferable skills

We all have them. A transferable skill is something that you do in your day job or as a hobby that with a little tweak, you could offer to other business people, needing a job done.

The PeoplePerHour site works well for us because it is well designed and relatively easy to use. We signed up to it in 2017 thinking that we would use it to offer some of our transferable skills but ended up hiring freelances on the site to do work for us. That is how we know it works, because we have paid people via it.

You could think of money, as a way to buy your freedom. Freedom to do what you want, when you want, to a degree. You can be the one that is in-dependant and strong to be able to help others around you.

So here is what we think, is some good advice.

  1. Put any money you earn to one side and do not spend it, for at least a week. This will give you the time to think about a good use for it. Often people live from pay cheque to pay cheque, the problem with that is you will always be poor.
  2. Make sure you have an emergency fund. This is not actually for what we would really think of as an emergency, more of a financial cushion, so you do not use credit. £500-£1,000 is a good range.
  3. If you have any debts, try to pay them off, as quickly as possible. Most debts these days work very much against your long-term financial health. Make a list of everything you owe, who to and the cost in interest to you.
    Snowballs - In this method you pay off the smallest debts first. This is good for releasing cash-flow and helps to stop you getting back into debt.
    Avalanches - In this method you pay off the highest interest debt first. Long-term this is the better mathematically but often the hardest to maintain.
  4. Do not buy things that cost you money over time. These things are called liabilities. Some examples are, a larger car than you need, a bigger house than you need, a boat, a jet ski etc. Look at your bank statements. Everything going out that is not really necessary is a liability. Try to reduce these as much as possible. It will really help with paying off any debts. Live within your means. You may think of a house, that may go up in value as an asset rather than a liability, but this is only the case when you sell it. If you have a big mortgage, then much if not all of the profit at sale time has been eaten up in interest payments over the years.
  5. Start to accrue assets. These are things that make you money. Things that you can rent out to others, things that you can resell, up-cycle for a profit. Things that pay you a regular dividend or interest. Any money you get from assets, is an income that you can use to pay off any debts, including that mortgage.
  6. Increase the size of your emergency fund, to enough to live on for about six to twelve months. A much bigger cushion would really help in a proper emergency.
  7. There are a lot of little tack ticks you can use to help you become more financially aware. Try a spending freeze. Perhaps for as much as a week. Where other than paying bills, you spend nothing. This may save you some money but more importantly it will help you realise that much of the money you are spending is just wasted.
  8. Invest in yourself. You are most definitely an asset. You need to eat good quality food, not expensive just good. Low in salt, sugar and price. Invest in your education but do not to get into debt. Self-teach, ask for help learning etc. Exercise, no need for a gym membership just keeping on the move. Look up NEAT (Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis).
  9. Often it is really hard to pay off larger debts and just being better off is sometimes not enough of an incentive. This is because you are in a state of self-imposed austerity. So what is a good reward system for people as each milestone is reached. A milestone in the case usually when one of your debts is cleared. It can not be something like a holiday, a new car etc. as that will most likely get you back to where you were. Think of a reward that just keeps giving like, £100+ of premium bonds or perhaps put £500 into an income bond.
    Premium bonds are an interesting investment, as you may get no returns and your money could erode over time. However, any winnings are tax free. So, if you are feeling lucky this can be a nice way to have a little bit of money put aside. You have to invest over a hundred pounds. If you are looking for a potential compound increase in your savings then opt to have any winnings reinvested into the premium bonds. The more bonds you have the better your chance of claiming a prize. Once you hit the maximum of £50,000 any further winnings either be sent to you as a cheque or deposited into your nominated account. The minimum win is £25 and the odds 30,000 to 1. So, if you have minimum invested your chances of winning are very small. Less than one win in 5 years.
    Income bonds we like these. The more you put away the more money you earn each month. The interest is not really high, but this is a nice secure way to start building your savings. The interest is calculated daily and transferred into another account monthly. So, if you put £1,000 in and did not touch it, by the end of the year you would have earned about £7.50. About 62 pence a month.