Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Business Chat - And the survey says...

Pssst, let’s talk about... money...

It’s one of those dirty words in the arts and crafts business. Money. There are those who feel that you should be doing what you do for the love of it. There are some who feel that they can’t charge much because it was so easy to make. And there are some who realize that what we do took a long time to learn and that we deserve to make a living wage. 

Whatever your feelings about money, the topic is not often discussed. We talk about our expenses, we talk about how we did at a show in a very general way, “oh sales were up! down!” but we don’t mention numbers. We can find talk online about salaries for regular professions but not for crafters, and rarely do small business websites talk about the arts. 

The topic of money is one that came up in a group that I belong to. This is an group of Canadian artisans and crafters where we freely share information yet rarely talk about the big dirty subject of money. One member took it upon herself to put together a survey for the group. This survey was anonymous and completely informal. Just under 100 people filled it out. It is not scientific. Yet it is one of the only times that real people working in the field talk together about money. And for those just starting out, it is a great window into what you can expect. 

So here you go. 

Is your business your full time job? 
75.9% yes
24.1% no

What category do you work in?
5.7% : body care
4.6% : ceramics
5.7% : kids' clothing and accessories
12% : fabric and textiles
8% : fashion accessories
14% : jewelry - fashion
6% : jewelry - fine
5% : original art

What is the main source of your income? 
73.5% : craft shows
12% : wholesale
3.6% : etsy
6% : own website
1% : consignment
3.6% : commission

How old is your business? 
less than 1 yr  : 3.6%
1 - 2 yrs : 8.4% 
2 - 5 : 28.9%
5 - 7 : 13.3%
8 - 10 : 12%
10 - 15% : 20.5%
15 - 20 : 4.8%
20+ : 8.4%

How many shows do you participate in annually?
1 - 5 : 28%
5 - 10 : 45.3%
10 - 15 : 12%
20 - 25 : 1.3%
25+ : 4%

What is your average sales TARGET per day per show?
$100 - 500 : 9.3%
$500 - 750 : 17.3%
$750 - 1000 : 14.7%
$1000 - 1250 : 25.3%
$1250 - 1500 : 6.7%
$1500 - 2000 : 13.3%
$2000 - 3000 : 8%
$3000 - 4000 : 4%
$5000+ : 1.3%

What are your average ACTUAL sales per day per show?
$100 - 500 : 19.2%
$500 - 750 : 20.5%
$750 - 1000 : 24.7%
$1000 - 1250 : 11%
$1200 - 1500 : 8.2%
$1500 - 2000 : 6.8%
$2000 - 3000 : 6.8%
$4000 - 5000 : 1.4%
$5000+ : 1.4%

Do you base your sales expectations on the craft show fee? if so, what are your expectations? 
1x - 1.4%
2x - 2.7%
3x - 5.5%
4x - 4.1%
5-7x - 8.2%
7 - 9x - 6.8%
10X - 27.4%
Don't know - 42.5%

What is the production time for your average piece?
less than 5 minutes : 2.6%
5 - 20 minutes : 22.4%
20 - 60 minutes : 28.9%
1 - 2 hours : 13.2%
2 - 4 hours : 10.5%
6 - 7 hours : 1.3%
 7 - 10 hours : 1.3%
10+ hours : 5.3%
varies considerably : 14.5%

How have your sales performed in comparison to last year?
increased 46.6%
decreased 15.1%
the same 30.1%
n/a 8.2%

What is your lowest price point?
$1 - 5 : 22.7%
$5 - 10 : 21.3%
$10 - 20 : 28%
$20 - 30 : 12%
$30 - 40 : 9.3%
$40 - 50 : 2.7%

What is your average price point?
$1 - 5 : 1.4%
$5 - 10 : 8.2%
$10 - 20 : 9.6%
$20 - 30 : 9.6%
$30 - 40 : 17.8%
$40 - 50 : 15.1%
$50 - 75 : 19.2%
$75 - 100 : 6.8%
$100 - 150 : 2.7%

What is your highest price point?
$1 - 5 : 1.3%
$10 - 20 : 2.7%
$20 - 30 : 5.3%
$30 - 40 : 8%
$40 - 50 : 8%
$50 - 75 : 10.7%
$75 - 100 : 5.3%
$100 - 150 : 8%
$150 - 250 : 30.7%
$250 - 250 : 4%
$450 - 600 : 1.3%
$600 -750 : 4%
$2000 + : 5.3%

What is your average sale?
$5 - 10 : 5.5%
$10 - 20 : 6.8%
$20 - 30 : 17.8%
$40 - 50 : 23.3%
$50 - 75 : 21.9%
$75 - 100 : 8.2%
$100 - 150 : 9.6%
$150 - 250 : 2.7%
$350 - 450 : 2.7%

Do you have employees/contractors or do you do all the production work yourself?
seasonal help : 13.2%
part time help : 18.4%
full time help : 3.9%

solo (or partnership) : 64.5%

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