Thursday, December 29, 2005

Baby Clothes As A Business Venture

Working from home is one of the fastest-growing trends in the American workplace. Yet many women find that they are unsure what to do. Many women who have spent years being wonderful managers of their homes are unsure how they can turn those skills into a business.

Rest assured that it can be done! You can use your skills as a mom to convert into a booming business geared toward babies. One of the possibilities for a baby-based business is to use your existing skills as a seamstress or develop some of those skills and use them to catapult you into business. We will skip over the legal requirements all because I am assuming that you can make your business legal on your own, and you should seek out advice from an attorney or local government reps before moving forward there.

With that said, you should focus on the idea behind your business. If you are good at sewing, there are many baby items, and there is a huge range in pricing. Think about what you want to charge and what you would be willing to pay for your products for your own baby. Come up with a line of products, from bonnets to dresses or slacks to socks. What can you sew for a baby?

Once you have an idea, start looking for craft fairs in your area. Going to craft fairs first really will give you a feel for your customers. While selling online may be (and probably is) your ultimate goal, you cannot see why people do not purchase your items. If you are there, you will be able to see what goes and how quickly and also what people say. Do they put down all of the bonnets after seeing the price tag, for instance? Pay attention to these non-verbal clues to help you.

Once you have a few craft fairs under your belt, you can branch out in a few ways, depending on your ultimate goals. If you are planning to sell retail, you may want to set up a consignment agreement with a local baby store. These agreements work well especially if you are offering high-end products. People pay a lot of money at baby boutiques. You also may just want to sell wholesale to various baby retailers.

Another option may be to open your own store or rent a kiosk in the mall. The kiosk may be better because you will not need a long-term lease and because you may not have enough items to sustain a store.

If you want to expand to the Internet world, now is your chance. If you are going to sell your items online, then you will need a site that is easy to navigate. People need to see the product, price, and be able to purchase the items on the first page where they appear. Make sure that you present yourself in a cozy manner as a mom who is making items for babies that come from a mother's heart.

The other important step in your baby products business is to advertise. If you are online, you can advertise on popular baby websites so that you will get targeted traffic. Search engine ads are another possibility, and some of them even allow you to limit results by IP address, so you can limit to people in your geographic area if you are selling locally. You also will want to send press releases to local newspapers and to create flyers and other advertisements for your business.

There are a number of baby businesses, and you will find that making baby clothes is one that can work for you. If you enjoy sewing, then it is something that you could even do while working around your own baby! As with other home-based businesses, you will be able to work a flexible schedule that fits with your family's needs while still earning an income.

Baby businesses are huge. You will find that you can expand indefinitely and add more products to your baby business as you go along. Just be sure that you are not offering too much or that you are prepared to handle employees when you need them. If you plan accordingly, you will find that your baby business will be great fun!

By Julia Mercer

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