Home-made Products to Start and Scale an Ecommerce Business
Are you the crafty type looking to start your own business? There’s never been a better time to launch your own ecommerce operation! Whilst brick and mortar stores have recently taken a massive hit, ecommerce businesses have mainly kept afloat during the pandemic and even seen increased demand because of it. If you’re feeling like now is your time to make it big, we’ve got a few ideas for products you can make at home and get you started!
Knitting has always been a calming pastime and is easy enough to pick up with a bit of practice. You could knit clothing such as hats, scarves, jumpers and so on or even explore more niche markets that may be less competitive and quicker to produce.
Everyone uses soap to keep clean! This means that on the one hand there’s plenty of demand for it but on the other, there’s also plenty of competition. Think about ways you can tailor your product to a more specific audience, for example, you could make vegan soap or soap made from all-natural ingredients. Depending on how you make it, soap can use some dangerous ingredients, so make sure you take any necessary precautions if dealing with certain substances.
Bath bombs are easy to make from ingredients commonly found around the home. You just need to research how to make them, be that through article guides or how-to Youtube videos. The benefit to bath bombs is that they’re inexpensive, easy to store, customisable and quite popular at the moment.
Something else that smells nice and is easy to make. Candles can be inexpensive and a lot of fun to make at home with the right tools and ingredients. There’s plenty of different scents you can use to make them your own, which helps you find an appropriate niche for your candles.
Whatever the time of year, there’s always a need for a greetings card. Whether it’s a birthday, Valentine’s, an anniversary, Christmas, you name it, there’s a card for it! Depending on your skills and your approach, you can create cards in a variety of ways. You might have some stencils, glitter and decorations to stick onto cards for a unique hand-made approach. On the other hand, if you’ve got some computer design skills, you could easily invest in a graphic design programme and card printer for a more modern feel.
Again, think about how you can make your cards unique. Will they be beautifully decorated with a hand-crafted feel? Could you make humour your USP?
Crafting jewellery allows for so many unique creations, which makes it much easier to appeal to a certain audience. However, you’ll need to learn a few things first before you jump straight in and also invest in some tools and materials that are perhaps a little more expensive than other crafts.
If you love animals and you’ve got some good fabric skills, you may be ideally suited for making animal toys. Some toys could be as simple as a tugging rope made from old t-shirts tied together. If this sounds like your sort of niche, then have a look online for some tutorials that you can put your entrepreneurial spirit behind!
Do your research
You should not only research how to properly make these products but also understand the rules and regulations around selling them. Will the soap you made give someone an allergic reaction? Does the dog you made have any small parts? Make sure that you cover yourself legally and are insured if you need to be.
Scaling your business
Don’t forget to think about scaling your business. It’s completely fine to make, sell and ship products yourself at the beginning. However, if you want to turn this into a full-time business, you’ll eventually need to start expanding.
Think about whether your business can survive and expand simply on an ecommerce marketplace such as eBay or Etsy. Somewhere down the line, you’ll need to invest in an ecommerce website of your own which gives you much more control over elements such as branding and advertising. Consider moving the manufacturing elsewhere and employing people to produce the product for you or even outsourcing it.
And finally, think about where to store your stock once a garage full of products is no longer enough to meet demand. You’ll need a good system in place for organising all your different products and correctly matching them to orders via the website.
You’ll need to arrange regular shipments and deliveries with logistics and courier companies too. Instead of turning the garage into a warehouse with pickups every day, you can work with a fulfilment provider such as Ogden Fulfilment, who’ll take over that for you.
We’ve got an established system of storage and SKU organisation and all you have to do is fill out a few forms with us. Since we’re a fulfilment business, we ship often, which means we’ve got access to great logistics and courier rates, that might be more difficult to obtain as a smaller business.
Your customers will also expect a quick and efficient delivery service. It has become the norm now within the ecommerce world. You also need to make sure your business is able to keep up with demand whilst maintaining that good level of service you strive for. If your products are consistently delivered late, your reputation could be at stake. By using Ogden Fulfilment, for example, you can focus on other aspects of your business, whilst we put all of our efforts into ensuring quick and efficient delivery.
No one knows how fast your business will grow yet, but some time down the line when you’re ready to expand, don’t forget to check us out!