Making and selling novelties can be both fun and profitable. To achieve success, a concept must be unique—hence the word "novelty." A budding novelty maker should test several concepts and prototypes before attempting to start a business. Once she has a product she feels confident in, she must know and understand the proper procedure to start a business. If she intends to make and sell novelties as more of a hobby, the business end will not be as important. However, if she intends to make a decent profit, she must properly account for her income.
Design your novelty idea. Test out several variations of different ideas. Seek feedback, especially from those to whom you will market your idea. For example, if you intend to make novelty cakes, offer to make some for free for various occasions. If the feedback is positive, you are on the right track.
Write a business plan. Outline your strategy to start, market and grow your business culminating in three years' worth of projections. Place heavy emphasis on your marketing plan since your chosen novelty will likely appeal to a specific demographic.
Create a structure for your business. The structure will largely depend on the size and scope of your business. If you plan on simply making a few novelty items and selling them, a sole proprietorship will work fine.
Register your novelty business with appropriate state and local authorities. Contact your Secretary of State’s Office for information on paperwork and fees as these vary by location.
Raise money to create your novelties. The amount of money will vary depending on the type of novelty and scope of your business. If you intend to operate small, you can likely save the money over a period of time. If you plan on beginning a fairly large operation, you may need to look into financing through investors or business loans.
Create your novelties. You should have a surplus before moving forward with sales. If you are going to be creating something on demand, such as cakes or desserts, have some stock designs ready to show to clients.
Advertise your business. Place ads in the paper, pass out fliers and set up booths at trade shows specializing in novelties. The best type of advertising is word of mouth, so you may want to give a few free samples when starting out. Always make sure your work is of the highest quality to attract new and repeat business.
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