FAQ Edition #1
“What is Public liability insurance?”
Why do I need it for my craft fair or design market stall?
Where can I purchase it and how much will it cost?
Insurance is about protecting yourself against risks. There are many types of insurance relevant to business. Some types protects against theft, natural disaster, injuries that impact on your employees or your ability to work etc.
Insurance is a form of risk management. It involves taking out a policy with an insurance company. You pay the insurance company premiums in exchange for compensation in the event that an unforeseeable event occurs which causes loss or damage to you, property or a third party. The cost of your premiums will vary depending on what risks you’re covering.
Some people think that insurance is an unnecessary expense. They have the mindset that nothing is ‘likely to go wrong.’ Although sometimes this may be the case, in the case that something does go wrong, the resulting damage could be much worse than you ever could have anticipated.
Public liability insurance: provides protection from claims made against you by other people arising from injuries or damage sustained by them or their property as a result of negligence or inattention when visiting your workplace (e.g. someone may slip on your wet floor or something falls on them)
Sometimes craft fairs/design markets offer you temporary cover under their cover for a fee. Ask to make sure if they can provide public liability insurance and if not, how much cover you need to take out. Generally $10 million cover is the minimum amount of coverage acceptable, but check with the fair’s rules and guidelines. Insurance policies generally range from several days, 3 months, 6 months up to 12 months with $10million or $20million of cover.
I have personally taken out insurance from aami.com.au but have never made a claim. With such variations in costs and coverage, it’s a good idea to shop around and check quotes from at least 2 or 3 insurers. It’s easily and quickly available for purchase via their website and you receive an instant certificate of currency. Be sure to check and understand the fine print before making a commitment to a policy.
All information presented is in no way intended to be taken as legal advice. All opinions are based on my personal experiences only. If in doubt, please consult the relevant parties for advice.
“Should I keep going if there are lots of other people making the same thing?”
In some categories such as jewellery, fashion, home décor and bath products, competition can be stiff and it can be tough differentiating yourself amongst your competition, but not impossible.
Well I think there are some important questions to ask yourself:
Do you view making this product(s) as a hobby or a business?
- If you view it as a hobby and enjoy making it for yourself or for friends/family, keep doing what you’re doing.
- If you view it as a business, you need to consider some other areas I’ll go into more detail below.
Do you enjoy what you make?
- Finding satisfaction and a sense of joy in what you make, makes SUCH a difference. If you hate the product/style you’re making, you’re going to groan and moan when an order for it comes in.
- If you don’t like the product/style anymore, is there a way for you to update it? Or maybe you need to completely scrap it and design some new items?
What makes your products different from your competition?
- How can you make these attributes/qualities even more prominent and more consistent amongst all your products?
- List 3 or more attributes/qualities that differentiate your product from your competition’s
- Having strong branding means more than just pretty colours and fonts. It includes items such as brand values, your business’ mission and vision. Being clear on these are so important because they’re used to steer the direction of your business. This is so that at every touch point of your business, they embody your brand values.
- For more details on crafting perfectly branded packaging for your creative or handmade business visit: http://bit.ly/brandedpackaging
- Having strong customer service includes things like: promptly replying to queries, embodying your brand’s values and being professional in all your communication with the customer, being solutions-orientated when a problem arises where both parties win, having clear policies on situations like exchanges, refunds, damaged/lost goods, going above and beyond to ensure the customer has a memorable and unique shopping experience
- When I say product, it isn’t just the product itself. It will also include things like customer service, packaging, branding etc)
- What 3 qualities do you have that you could make even more prominent in your brand to help you stand out amongst your competition?
- Would customers immediately be able to tell what your unique points of difference are?
“How do I get people past complimenting how beautiful or clever my ideas are to buying them?”
- Customers buy with their emotions and rationalise their buying decisions with the features of the product. So whether you’re selling online or in person, it’s important to focus on the benefits the customer will receive from the product. How will the product make them feel? Will it help them feel beautiful by giving them the silkiest and smoothest skin? Will it save them precious time, so they can spend more of it creating memories with their family?
- If you’re selling something like jewellery in person, encourage them to try things on! Once they have it on – describe what occasions they could wear it to (birthday, work, party etc) and how it will make them feel when wearing it. This helps them to visualise having the piece in their life and suddenly the item becomes part of a lifestyle. When it gets to this point, it completely transforms the item from just being “a ring” to “the ring that’ll be beautifully matched with the outfit I have planned for my good friend’s wedding next month.”
“I did a craft fair once last year on Mothers Day and it was the worst weather ever. I sold just one $8 item. Do I stick with markets or stop doing them completely?”
- Selling at fairs and markets is definitely a medium term game. Sometimes fairs can be super busy and you’re swimming in the dollars but others, it can be so quiet and dead you can hear flies zoom by. Don’t despair that on that occasion, the fair didn’t go well for you. It was probably because of the bad weather.
- I would definitely give markets at least another go or two or three goes! They’ve helped my jewellery and objects business grow so much! They’re a fantastic channel to not only obtain immediate feedback about what’s working, what’s not working but also a chance to meet and make friends with other fellow makers at the markets.
- It’s so important to have a support network around you that just gets it. Sure you can talk to your friends or family about the problems you might be facing, but if they’re not a small business owner themselves, they’ll never fully get it. So make friends with other people who are in the same space as you to keep your sanity. The journey is always more fun in the company of good friends. :)
- It’s important to do your research before hand, to make sure that the fair is right for your business. For more details on how to determine which fairs are best for you visit: http://bit.ly/craftfairs101
- For juried shows to determine if you get accepted as a stall holder, it’s important for you to read and comply with all the rules and present your shop in the best light. Visit: http://bit.ly/craftfairapps to learn what the 8 most common craft fair application mistakes are and how to avoid them.
- Once you’re accepted it’s important to turn your attention to make sure that your stall display is authentically on-brand, practical to move and set up. I highly recommend 2 other blog posts I’ve written which covers things like building your stall, how to take payments and sell more at markets: http://bit.ly/markettips1 and http://bit.ly/markettips2
- There’s a lot to learn in order to succeed at craft fairs and design markets. I’ve put together a free 8 day email boot camp to help you achieve this! It’s full of tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years selling at both juried and unjuried shows. Get noticed, earn money from your craft and grow your business, join the email boot camp now at: http://bit.ly/craftfairssuccess