Pottery Business Ideas: How to Start a Pottery Business

The business of pottery has to do with artistic creativity and business knowledge. The two disciplines should form a synergy to build a profitable venture. The clay product is highly favorable for both home use and office decorations.
They are used as flower pots, storage items, decorative pieces, cups and other practical applications. It works perfectly as a home based enterprise with lots of growth potential.
To create amazing designs you need lots of creativity, technical knowledge and the love of art. Your pots need uniqueness and functionality to create a profitable brand.
Sourcing equipment and supplies is relatively easy because you can find raw material in every country. The equipment for making pottery are basic easy to handle and moderately priced.
A home-based model start-up cost hovers around $2000-$10,000 and marketing is very essential to push your products to potential customers.
Other things to consider are skill acquisition, location, rent, registration and marketing the product. The business though simple has many pit holes and finding a good customer base is difficult.
There are a few things you should consider before launching your company.
clay pot maker
Learn the Trade.
There are many resources both online and offline that will help you learn the basics. It takes skillful fingers and an eye for creativity to design amazing products.
Resources to tap into are online courses, seminars, lectures and symposiums. Learn from practical workshops, craft fairs and art institutes. Other ways to sharpen your skill is becoming an apprentice and books.
If you don’t have the inclination to learn pottery and are still interested in the trade hire professional hands. If you use this method you will get top quality products but your production cost will be high. This is because you need to factor in salaries and other overhead costs.
You lose the advantage of competitive prices by not doing the job yourself. Try to understand the techniques involved such as glazing, raw mater formulation, forming and firing.

 Learn the Business
Having great products alone is not enough to succeed in this venture. You need good business skills alongside your creativity. Try to understand the business aspect of your enterprise before starting the venture.
Apart from acquiring a keen sense of the business other requirements are understanding the financial, licenses, trending designs and profit-loss account.
You can hire a business adviser and practical trainer from an established pottery workshop. Becoming an Apprentice is a good way to gain valuable knowledge in this type of work.
Develop a Business Plan
We have said much about the importance of developing a business plan. The plan highlights the growth potential, future plans and helps develop strategic marketing techniques.
Try to factor into your plan potential sales outlets, customers and marketing strategies. You can include location, equipment, material and staffing. Pottery business is a niche market that attracts only a select few customers.
The entrepreneur encounters stiff competition from inexpensive but nice looking products from the East. This makes it difficult selling your hand made ceramics.
Many people are unable to differentiate between hand made products and mass produced ones. The only way to differentiate your homemade product is proper branding and good reputation in ceramic circles.
The scope of your operation determines the amount of money you need to run the business. Home-based hand made products will not cost much money to produce.
 If you decide to go into automation and mass production then you factor in the cost of machinery and location. Other considerations are material, staffing and initial start-up capital.
The major challenge in ceramic business is cost of effective marketing and promotions of product. When sourcing funds through bank loans or trade unions you need to include advertisement costs in your budget.
It depends on the laws of the country concerning company registration and other operational licenses. Any business venture attract some level of taxation once there is an establishment of commerce
pot maker
Learn to Maximize Time
You need to decide on the most reliable technique available to you when making pots. You need to also determine the most reliable method that has a high level of consistency.
Other considerations are clay tolerance in relation to temperature changes and kiln firing atmosphere. Creating your pots undergo intense time constrictions, labor and several stages.
The stages include creating a good marketable design, decorating the product, forming and glazing. Labor associated to pottery is intensive, time constraining and tough.
For any chance at proper pricing and profitability you need to maximize efficiency, labor cost and production consistency. Even before firing your burner have an efficiency template and production process analysis.
Things that affect pricing and profitability are maturing range of glazing and clay tolerance levels. All of the above affects time therefore maximizing your operation is very important.
Make Products you Like
If you don’t like pottery and make products just for profit you will fail. Like any business venture there must be an element of joy in your craftsmanship.
Create unique but simple products that have a good market potential. If the formula is keep simple and low cost you will sell lots of items. Experimentation is good but it should not impact negatively on your labor and time.
Remember that it’s a Business
This artistic endeavor might bring you joy but remember it is a business venture. The point of starting any business is making money.
Keep proper records of your expenditure, labor, transportation and handling. Without accurate records of the entire production process, pricing and actual sales you might loose money.
Calculate variables like wholesale and retail cost per unit to arrive at a true picture of profit or loss. Other considerations are fixed cost, tax, registration and production costs.
value and price
Pricing and Cost Considerations
Handmade pottery caters to only a select market. The item is favored by a narrow market base making sales difficult and tasking.
This has an effect on pricing of the item and actual sales. The major customers of pottery are gardeners, tourists, interior decorators, art lovers and very select home owners.
The total cost of production such are labor, materials and time impacts on the pricing of your product. Other things that affect profit are packaging, decoration, transportation and rent.
To price your wares and make money you need to factor in all these variables including production costs. The lower your production and marketing cost the higher your profit margin.
Low cost effective marketing strategies will help your business grow. Find effective low cost strategies and quick handling, transportation and delivery techniques to succeed in this venture.
tea cups
Maintain a High Quality
You need to try to avoid imperfections, defects and delays in the production process. Your job is to maintain high quality products and a trusted brand name. Defects and imperfections in glazing and firing are your worst nightmare.
Things that affect value are poor handling, cracks, chips and bad glazing. A high defection rate will impact negatively on your profit margin and depreciate your brand name.
You can actually maximize profit by using the right kiln. There is electric, gas, fossil fuel and wood fired kiln with different atmospheric variables.
Your job as a pottery maker is to master the firing techniques and decide on the one you prefer. The reason is because each type of kiln has different effect on clay and glazing alike.
Electric kiln is favored by many potters because of the unique oxidization effect it has on pottery. Try to maintain proper pricing, good service delivery and high quality products and watch your profit rise.
Source your Materials
The source of your materials is very important to the success of your operations. The consistency of the clay material used in pottery is formulated by the supplier. Inconsistently adversely affects your production and quality of your products.
Choose a supplies company based on efficiency, reliability and good customer service. The success of your business has a lot to do with the supply chain.
.Production Process
You need to keep your production process simple and effective. Try to use a simple clay formula and glazing technique. List the percentage of each item in your mix and maintain the consistency.
General items used in a formula include different dyes, coloring oxides, opacifier, binders, suspension agents and strains. Simplify your operation by using less material in your formulation.
Make your production process seamless and efficient to cut time and save money.  By making your production process more efficient you save time and make profit.
You need to try and operate a small production line with a wide range of prices. Offer mass produced products and sets to your potential customers. The reason is because of the wider marketability of diverse products than individual choices.
Refrain form customization and focus on mass production for better results.
Marketing your Products
Marketing is the most critical aspect of this business. The reason is because there is stiff competition from established names and small brands.
Good business outlets for your product are wholesale and retail craft events. The best bet is to concentrate on the rental end of the enterprise.
Regular showing at exhibitions, trade shows will improve your sales. Try marketing your products through free classified advertisements, newspaper and hand bills.
Try to join niche groups and gatherings and build a network of information and possibly good leads. You need to keep your marketing budget low to make profit in this venture.
Pottery business has lots of challenges especially product depreciation and reaching paying customers. To succeed you need to take account of the resources shown in this publication to make profit.
Do you like creative ventures check out more art and craft business ideas


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