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Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs

As advanced technology becomes more affordable for crafters at home, laser engraving is an attractive hobby that could become a business. Christmas craft fairs are one of the best ways for crafters to make money – and building up stock throughout the year is easy with a laser engraving machine. Let’s take a look at what laser engraving involves and how you can make money for Christmas with it.

What Is Laser Engraving?

Why Start Now?

What Can You Make with a Creality Falcon2 Laser Cutter?

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money at Christmas

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

Get a Discount on the Creality Falcon2

What Is Laser Engraving and Laser Cutting?

Previously restricted to industrial-size machines, laser engraving and laser cutting is easy to do at home. Laser cutters and engravers are multifunctional tools that enable you to create designs in a wide range of materials and even cut and build three-dimensional items.

A computer controls the machine, which uses a laser to cut or strip away layers of a material like wood or metal. When it cuts, clean pieces are created. When it strips the layers, that’s how engraving is made – the design is cut into the wood or metal, but not all the way through.

Some laser engravers also let you print a different colour on metal. This is called marking and is done by applying the marking solution in a design you want, and the heat from the laser bonds the marking solution to the metal to make the colour permanent.

Why Start Now?

Laser cutting and engraving covers the best of both worlds of crafting: creativity and speed. You can also replicate the same design over and over without variation. This means you can reliably recreate plenty of things to sell without lots of differences between each one.

Spring is a great time of year to start planning ahead on making money at seasonal craft fairs in December. Christmas fairs are the biggest sales opportunity for crafters, as it provides a high-footfall to stands with customers primed to buy. But, that means you need to have plenty of stock ready!

What Can You Make with a Laser Engraving Machine?

How long is a piece of string?! The possibilities of laser cutters and laser engraving are near endless, the only limit is your imagination.

Popular things to make include:

  • Home decorations such as family name signs or wooden map art
  • Acrylic or wooden planters
  • Bookends
  • Wedding welcome signs and personalised decorations
  • Custom engraved jewellery like bracelets and necklaces
  • Wooden mandalas for earrings, coasters, decor
  • Personalised or unique design wooden trinket boxes
  • Keyrings
  • 3D puzzles
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Customised or seasonal rubber pads for ink stamping
  • Engraving leather wallets or bookmarks

We love items that can be personalised for customers or add a little ‘something extra’ to the home. For example, you can engrave clear acrylic and place on a simple LED light stand for unique personalised lighting. If you’re selling at craft fairs, it’s a good idea to have lots of small things to sell for £5 or under, like ornaments, bookmarks, keyrings, and small trinket boxes, because these make great stocking stuffers.

However, you can also go very large and build furniture like stools and chairs and tables – which you can obviously sell for a LOT more money, too! Having a mix of small, medium, and large items for your Christmas craft fair stall will help you maximise your profits.

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

One of the most important things to look out for when you buy a laser cutter or laser engraving machine is the power. They come in different wattages, such as 20W, 40W, and 60W. The higher the wattage, the more dense the materials it can cut. This means you’ll be able to make a much wider range of items.

The Creality Falcon2 is a powerful 60W machine, which means it can handle a wider variety of materials with ease. It also has an adjustment beam to 22W and 40W if you need a less powerful beam for a smaller or more delicate project.

The three in one power options allow you to create accurate and beautiful engravings and cuttings depending on your crafting needs. It’s done with a simple flick of a switch, meaning operation is simple to learn. With a 22W setting, you can cut 5mm baseboard and achieve fine engravings, the 40W power lets you cut 10mm baseboard with fast results, and the 60W is the fastest power that can easily handle 18mm baseboard for larger decorations and home furniture items.

What else should you look for?

It’s also important to look for ease of use. Things like a camera to automatically line up materials for an accurate product and air assist to make the cutting process easier are definitely must-haves to look for (and the Creality Falcon2 has both of these things).

Finally, safety is essential. Higher wattage open frame diode machines are really efficient but definitely not as safe. The Creality Falcon2 is the first 60W laser cutter with a closed frame, making it efficient AND safe to use.

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money for Christmas

So now you know what laser cutting involves, let’s take a look at your next steps to prepare to make money at Christmas fairs.

1. Learn to use your laser engraving machine

Learning a new skill takes time and practice. Don’t leave it to November to start using your machine! Read the instructions carefully and try out lots of different materials and techniques before you start to hone in on what you think you’ll make for your craft business.

2. Research projects to try

There are lots of instructional videos on YouTube which is a great place to start finding ideas. You can also research your competitors on sites like Etsy, to see what they do (and don’t) sell. You can either sell similar things at a competitive price, or look for what’s missing and choose a niche to charge more (but you may not get as many customers).

3. Experiment with different materials

Try everything out! You might find that you love working with metal but aren’t a fan of wood, or that acrylic taps into your creative side, or that leather gives you a way to tap into unknown markets.

Experimenting lets you learn what works best with different materials, so you know you’re going to sell a high quality product.

4. Decide how much you can invest

Aside from the cost of buying your machine, you’ll also have a few other costs involved to set yourself up. Materials, fees for stalls or online platform fees, and things like gift tags and bags for when you sell at craft fairs will all cost. Decide on a budget and stick to it: you can always boost your budget next year when this year is a success!

5. Find Christmas events to sign up to

Christmas craft fairs start advertising their seller opportunities as soon as July in some cases. Sign up to local venues (common places include town halls, racecourses, and community venues) to make sure you hear about events in good time to book a stall.

You can also find your local car boot sale for a regular stall, or look at flea markets or craft markets that are becoming popular as pop-up events throughout the year.

Remember, too, that online sales will boost your business if you can handle postage and packaging with ease. Platforms like Etsy and EBay offer great opportunities for crafters to make money all year around from their skills. You can even set up as a small business seller on Amazon!

6. Work on your pricing

Research your pricing by looking at competitors. It’s important to offer similar prices for similar products – unless someone is selling SUPER cheap, which is actually something that puts off a lot of customers because they doubt the quality of a product.

You need to make a profit, too. Add up the cost of materials and the time it takes to make a product plus at least 40% on top of that to find your price. Remember: selling crafts is a business so you’ll need to register with HMRC and report your income and expenses. Thankfully things like materials and fees for stalls can be classed as expenses.

7. Make your stock!

Now comes the fun part! Spend as much time as you can designing your products. You might want to make lots of different things or specialise in variations on just one or two items – it’s up to you.

The great thing about cutters like the Creality Falcon2 is that they’re designed for batch creating, so once you know what you want to make it is easy to produce plenty of stock.

8. Profit

Sell your stuff! It’s a good idea to look for a summer or autumn craft fair to test the water, too. Or, you could set yourself up online first to see what people like to buy and what doesn’t sell so well. This means you’ll have honed your business plan by the time you get to the Christmas selling season and hopefully you’ll see plenty of profit!

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

It’s not just Christmas that lets you make money with laser engraving or laser cutting, either. You can make a lot of money in the run-up to summer as wedding season kicks off, making signs, wedding favours, and personalised wedding gifts.

Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and even Thanksgiving if you want to sell internationally are all examples of how you could make seasonal gifts and decorations with your laser cutter to make your hobby into a year-round business.

Claim Your Discount on the New Creality Falcon2 Laser Engraving Machine

The Creality Falcon2 launches on 24th May and to celebrate, you can take advantage of a discount. Between 10am on 24th May 2024 and 11.59pm on 15th June, customers will receive a 15% discount when buying directly from the product page (it can’t be combined with any other discount).

Hurry though, as this only applies to the first 200 units sold globally. If you’re one of the first 100 customers, you’ll also receive a free gift worth $199, and if you’re the 101st to 200th customer your free gift is worth $50.

The best bit? One lucky customer will have their order FULLY refunded! Buy your Creality Falcon2 now to get these amazing offers.

 

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

The post Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs appeared first on MoneyMagpie.

Original source: https://www.moneymagpie.com/make-money/make-money-with-laser-engraving-at-christmas-craft-fairs

Podcast – Brain Glue – Succeed By Making Your Sales Pitches Sticky

Home Business Magazine Online

Interview with Author and Behavioral Management Specialist James I. Bond

Can you turn your ordinary ideas, products and sales pitches into blockbusters of persuasion by using “brain science?” James I. Bond says YES! He’s the author of Brain Glue: How Selling becomes much easier by Making Your Ideas “Sticky.” (www.YesBrainGlue.com)

Besides being an author, James I. Bond is a leading behavioral management specialist, TEDx speaker, Score Counselor, and has appeared on many major news outlets. Brain Glue was a Publisher’s Weekly finalist for Best Business Book of the Year.

Subjects discussed in podcast include:
• What exactly is “Brain Glue?”
• The 14 natural triggers to activate emotion centers in your audience’s brain, where decisions are made
• Examples of how to apply brain glue principles to influence your prospects
• How can you create powerful slogans as part of the glue?
• Can you improve business success by simply changing the names of your products or sales pitches?
• How to achieve long-term sales and business benefit applying Brain Glue principles
• Critical points to consider in succeeding with the principles of Brain Glue

Episode Sponsor: Lil’ Bubba * LilBubba.com

Interview Guest

James I. Bond is the author of “Brain Freeze: How Selling becomes much easier by Making Your Ideas Sticky.”

Your Host

Home Business Podcast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Links

Subscribe to Home Business TV YouTube Channel (Click) 

Subscribe to the Home Business Podcast

 

The post Podcast – Brain Glue – Succeed By Making Your Sales Pitches Sticky appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/sales/selling-tactics/podcast-brain-glue-succeed-by-making-your-sales-pitches-sticky/

Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs

As advanced technology becomes more affordable for crafters at home, laser engraving is an attractive hobby that could become a business. Christmas craft fairs are one of the best ways for crafters to make money – and building up stock throughout the year is easy with a laser engraving machine. Let’s take a look at what laser engraving involves and how you can make money for Christmas with it.

What Is Laser Engraving?

Why Start Now?

What Can You Make with a Creality Falcon2 Laser Cutter?

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money at Christmas

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

Get a Discount on the Creality Falcon2

What Is Laser Engraving and Laser Cutting?

Previously restricted to industrial-size machines, laser engraving and laser cutting is easy to do at home. Laser cutters and engravers are multifunctional tools that enable you to create designs in a wide range of materials and even cut and build three-dimensional items.

A computer controls the machine, which uses a laser to cut or strip away layers of a material like wood or metal. When it cuts, clean pieces are created. When it strips the layers, that’s how engraving is made – the design is cut into the wood or metal, but not all the way through.

Some laser engravers also let you print a different colour on metal. This is called marking and is done by applying the marking solution in a design you want, and the heat from the laser bonds the marking solution to the metal to make the colour permanent.

Why Start Now?

Laser cutting and engraving covers the best of both worlds of crafting: creativity and speed. You can also replicate the same design over and over without variation. This means you can reliably recreate plenty of things to sell without lots of differences between each one.

Spring is a great time of year to start planning ahead on making money at seasonal craft fairs in December. Christmas fairs are the biggest sales opportunity for crafters, as it provides a high-footfall to stands with customers primed to buy. But, that means you need to have plenty of stock ready!

What Can You Make with a Laser Engraving Machine?

How long is a piece of string?! The possibilities of laser cutters and laser engraving are near endless, the only limit is your imagination.

Popular things to make include:

  • Home decorations such as family name signs or wooden map art
  • Acrylic or wooden planters
  • Bookends
  • Wedding welcome signs and personalised decorations
  • Custom engraved jewellery like bracelets and necklaces
  • Wooden mandalas for earrings, coasters, decor
  • Personalised or unique design wooden trinket boxes
  • Keyrings
  • 3D puzzles
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Customised or seasonal rubber pads for ink stamping
  • Engraving leather wallets or bookmarks

We love items that can be personalised for customers or add a little ‘something extra’ to the home. For example, you can engrave clear acrylic and place on a simple LED light stand for unique personalised lighting. If you’re selling at craft fairs, it’s a good idea to have lots of small things to sell for £5 or under, like ornaments, bookmarks, keyrings, and small trinket boxes, because these make great stocking stuffers.

However, you can also go very large and build furniture like stools and chairs and tables – which you can obviously sell for a LOT more money, too! Having a mix of small, medium, and large items for your Christmas craft fair stall will help you maximise your profits.

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

One of the most important things to look out for when you buy a laser cutter or laser engraving machine is the power. They come in different wattages, such as 20W, 40W, and 60W. The higher the wattage, the more dense the materials it can cut. This means you’ll be able to make a much wider range of items.

The Creality Falcon2 is a powerful 60W machine, which means it can handle a wider variety of materials with ease. It also has an adjustment beam to 22W and 40W if you need a less powerful beam for a smaller or more delicate project.

The three in one power options allow you to create accurate and beautiful engravings and cuttings depending on your crafting needs. It’s done with a simple flick of a switch, meaning operation is simple to learn. With a 22W setting, you can cut 5mm baseboard and achieve fine engravings, the 40W power lets you cut 10mm baseboard with fast results, and the 60W is the fastest power that can easily handle 18mm baseboard for larger decorations and home furniture items.

What else should you look for?

It’s also important to look for ease of use. Things like a camera to automatically line up materials for an accurate product and air assist to make the cutting process easier are definitely must-haves to look for (and the Creality Falcon2 has both of these things).

Finally, safety is essential. Higher wattage open frame diode machines are really efficient but definitely not as safe. The Creality Falcon2 is the first 60W laser cutter with a closed frame, making it efficient AND safe to use.

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money for Christmas

So now you know what laser cutting involves, let’s take a look at your next steps to prepare to make money at Christmas fairs.

1. Learn to use your laser engraving machine

Learning a new skill takes time and practice. Don’t leave it to November to start using your machine! Read the instructions carefully and try out lots of different materials and techniques before you start to hone in on what you think you’ll make for your craft business.

2. Research projects to try

There are lots of instructional videos on YouTube which is a great place to start finding ideas. You can also research your competitors on sites like Etsy, to see what they do (and don’t) sell. You can either sell similar things at a competitive price, or look for what’s missing and choose a niche to charge more (but you may not get as many customers).

3. Experiment with different materials

Try everything out! You might find that you love working with metal but aren’t a fan of wood, or that acrylic taps into your creative side, or that leather gives you a way to tap into unknown markets.

Experimenting lets you learn what works best with different materials, so you know you’re going to sell a high quality product.

4. Decide how much you can invest

Aside from the cost of buying your machine, you’ll also have a few other costs involved to set yourself up. Materials, fees for stalls or online platform fees, and things like gift tags and bags for when you sell at craft fairs will all cost. Decide on a budget and stick to it: you can always boost your budget next year when this year is a success!

5. Find Christmas events to sign up to

Christmas craft fairs start advertising their seller opportunities as soon as July in some cases. Sign up to local venues (common places include town halls, racecourses, and community venues) to make sure you hear about events in good time to book a stall.

You can also find your local car boot sale for a regular stall, or look at flea markets or craft markets that are becoming popular as pop-up events throughout the year.

Remember, too, that online sales will boost your business if you can handle postage and packaging with ease. Platforms like Etsy and EBay offer great opportunities for crafters to make money all year around from their skills. You can even set up as a small business seller on Amazon!

6. Work on your pricing

Research your pricing by looking at competitors. It’s important to offer similar prices for similar products – unless someone is selling SUPER cheap, which is actually something that puts off a lot of customers because they doubt the quality of a product.

You need to make a profit, too. Add up the cost of materials and the time it takes to make a product plus at least 40% on top of that to find your price. Remember: selling crafts is a business so you’ll need to register with HMRC and report your income and expenses. Thankfully things like materials and fees for stalls can be classed as expenses.

7. Make your stock!

Now comes the fun part! Spend as much time as you can designing your products. You might want to make lots of different things or specialise in variations on just one or two items – it’s up to you.

The great thing about cutters like the Creality Falcon2 is that they’re designed for batch creating, so once you know what you want to make it is easy to produce plenty of stock.

8. Profit

Sell your stuff! It’s a good idea to look for a summer or autumn craft fair to test the water, too. Or, you could set yourself up online first to see what people like to buy and what doesn’t sell so well. This means you’ll have honed your business plan by the time you get to the Christmas selling season and hopefully you’ll see plenty of profit!

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

It’s not just Christmas that lets you make money with laser engraving or laser cutting, either. You can make a lot of money in the run-up to summer as wedding season kicks off, making signs, wedding favours, and personalised wedding gifts.

Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and even Thanksgiving if you want to sell internationally are all examples of how you could make seasonal gifts and decorations with your laser cutter to make your hobby into a year-round business.

Claim Your Discount on the New Creality Falcon2 Laser Engraving Machine

The Creality Falcon2 launches on 24th May and to celebrate, you can take advantage of a discount. Between 10am on 24th May 2024 and 11.59pm on 15th June, customers will receive a 15% discount when buying directly from the product page (it can’t be combined with any other discount).

Hurry though, as this only applies to the first 200 units sold globally. If you’re one of the first 100 customers, you’ll also receive a free gift worth $199, and if you’re the 101st to 200th customer your free gift is worth $50.

The best bit? One lucky customer will have their order FULLY refunded! Buy your Creality Falcon2 now to get these amazing offers.

 

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

The post Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs appeared first on MoneyMagpie.

Original source: https://www.moneymagpie.com/make-money/make-money-with-laser-engraving-at-christmas-craft-fairs

Unlocking Convenience: Find Top Locksmith Services Near You in Houston, TX!

Home Business Magazine Online

Have you ever been locked out of your office or experienced a security scare that threatened the privacy of your business files? For home-based entrepreneurs in Houston, such incidents are not only inconvenient but can also pose real threats to their business operations. This makes having a trustworthy local locksmith in Houston and surrounding areas an essential partner for ensuring business continuity and security.

For home-based business owners in Houston, finding a reliable locksmith service is essential to maintaining the security and smooth operation of their enterprise. With the city’s thriving entrepreneurial scene, locksmiths play a vital role in providing swift assistance during lock-related emergencies and offering tailored security solutions to safeguard sensitive business assets. By partnering with a trusted local locksmith, Houston entrepreneurs can focus on growing their ventures with the assurance that their home office is well-protected.

The Vital Role of Locksmiths for Home-based Businesses in Houston

Imagine this: You live in Galveston. A sudden lock malfunction can prevent you from accessing your home office just when you’re about to meet a deadline or host a crucial client call. With services like the well-recognized Galveston expert near you, help can arrive before your business takes a hit. Reliable locksmiths do more than just fix broken locks. They are critical in setting up security measures that keep your business data and equipment safe, providing security solutions that are specifically designed for small, home-based businesses.

In addition to providing emergency lockout services, locksmiths can also help home-based businesses in Houston establish a comprehensive security plan. This may include installing high-security locks, implementing access control systems, and providing guidance on best practices for maintaining a secure work environment. By working closely with a skilled locksmith, entrepreneurs can identify potential vulnerabilities in their home office setup and take proactive measures to mitigate risks, ensuring that their business remains protected from both physical and digital threats.

Evaluating Credentials Is Key to Finding Trusted Locksmith Services

It’s essential to entrust your business’ security to certified professionals who are recognized by the industry. Such credentials often indicate that the locksmith adheres to the highest standards of practice stipulated by locksmithing authorities. Furthermore, checking reviews and testimonials from other local business owners can provide insight into the reliability and efficiency of the locksmith services available, helping you choose someone known for their professionalism and timely response.

Immediate Locksmith Services Minimize Business Downtime

Consider a scenario where you’re about to close a significant deal, and your cabinet lock jams, restricting access to necessary documents. Quick response services from local locksmiths can solve such issues in no time, preventing what could potentially escalate into a costly business interruption. For home-based businesses where time and security are crucial, having access to prompt locksmith services can be a game-changer. This support extends beyond emergencies, offering peace of mind that professional help is just a call away.

Customized Security Solutions for Enhanced Protection

Locksmiths today do more than handle traditional lock-in and lock-out scenarios. They are equipped with the latest technologies to enhance the security of your home office. From high-tech security locks to comprehensive access control systems and CCTV installations, the options are vast. Many locksmiths offer in-depth consultations to customize their services to your specific business needs, ensuring that your home office remains a stronghold against both digital and physical breaches.

With the growing number of home-based businesses in Houston, TX, the need for comprehensive security solutions is more important than ever. Ensuring that you have access to top-notch locksmith services not only helps in emergency situations but also fortifies your business against potential threats. Remember, in today’s home business landscape, your peace of mind directly translates into productivity and success.

The post Unlocking Convenience: Find Top Locksmith Services Near You in Houston, TX! appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/blog/locations/us-states/texas/unlocking-convenience-find-top-locksmith-services-houston-tx/

Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs

As advanced technology becomes more affordable for crafters at home, laser engraving is an attractive hobby that could become a business. Christmas craft fairs are one of the best ways for crafters to make money – and building up stock throughout the year is easy with a laser engraving machine. Let’s take a look at what laser engraving involves and how you can make money for Christmas with it.

What Is Laser Engraving?

Why Start Now?

What Can You Make with a Creality Falcon2 Laser Cutter?

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money at Christmas

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

Get a Discount on the Creality Falcon2

What Is Laser Engraving and Laser Cutting?

Previously restricted to industrial-size machines, laser engraving and laser cutting is easy to do at home. Laser cutters and engravers are multifunctional tools that enable you to create designs in a wide range of materials and even cut and build three-dimensional items.

A computer controls the machine, which uses a laser to cut or strip away layers of a material like wood or metal. When it cuts, clean pieces are created. When it strips the layers, that’s how engraving is made – the design is cut into the wood or metal, but not all the way through.

Some laser engravers also let you print a different colour on metal. This is called marking and is done by applying the marking solution in a design you want, and the heat from the laser bonds the marking solution to the metal to make the colour permanent.

Why Start Now?

Laser cutting and engraving covers the best of both worlds of crafting: creativity and speed. You can also replicate the same design over and over without variation. This means you can reliably recreate plenty of things to sell without lots of differences between each one.

Spring is a great time of year to start planning ahead on making money at seasonal craft fairs in December. Christmas fairs are the biggest sales opportunity for crafters, as it provides a high-footfall to stands with customers primed to buy. But, that means you need to have plenty of stock ready!

What Can You Make with a Laser Engraving Machine?

How long is a piece of string?! The possibilities of laser cutters and laser engraving are near endless, the only limit is your imagination.

Popular things to make include:

  • Home decorations such as family name signs or wooden map art
  • Acrylic or wooden planters
  • Bookends
  • Wedding welcome signs and personalised decorations
  • Custom engraved jewellery like bracelets and necklaces
  • Wooden mandalas for earrings, coasters, decor
  • Personalised or unique design wooden trinket boxes
  • Keyrings
  • 3D puzzles
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Customised or seasonal rubber pads for ink stamping
  • Engraving leather wallets or bookmarks

We love items that can be personalised for customers or add a little ‘something extra’ to the home. For example, you can engrave clear acrylic and place on a simple LED light stand for unique personalised lighting. If you’re selling at craft fairs, it’s a good idea to have lots of small things to sell for £5 or under, like ornaments, bookmarks, keyrings, and small trinket boxes, because these make great stocking stuffers.

However, you can also go very large and build furniture like stools and chairs and tables – which you can obviously sell for a LOT more money, too! Having a mix of small, medium, and large items for your Christmas craft fair stall will help you maximise your profits.

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

One of the most important things to look out for when you buy a laser cutter or laser engraving machine is the power. They come in different wattages, such as 20W, 40W, and 60W. The higher the wattage, the more dense the materials it can cut. This means you’ll be able to make a much wider range of items.

The Creality Falcon2 is a powerful 60W machine, which means it can handle a wider variety of materials with ease. It also has an adjustment beam to 22W and 40W if you need a less powerful beam for a smaller or more delicate project.

The three in one power options allow you to create accurate and beautiful engravings and cuttings depending on your crafting needs. It’s done with a simple flick of a switch, meaning operation is simple to learn. With a 22W setting, you can cut 5mm baseboard and achieve fine engravings, the 40W power lets you cut 10mm baseboard with fast results, and the 60W is the fastest power that can easily handle 18mm baseboard for larger decorations and home furniture items.

What else should you look for?

It’s also important to look for ease of use. Things like a camera to automatically line up materials for an accurate product and air assist to make the cutting process easier are definitely must-haves to look for (and the Creality Falcon2 has both of these things).

Finally, safety is essential. Higher wattage open frame diode machines are really efficient but definitely not as safe. The Creality Falcon2 is the first 60W laser cutter with a closed frame, making it efficient AND safe to use.

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money for Christmas

So now you know what laser cutting involves, let’s take a look at your next steps to prepare to make money at Christmas fairs.

1. Learn to use your laser engraving machine

Learning a new skill takes time and practice. Don’t leave it to November to start using your machine! Read the instructions carefully and try out lots of different materials and techniques before you start to hone in on what you think you’ll make for your craft business.

2. Research projects to try

There are lots of instructional videos on YouTube which is a great place to start finding ideas. You can also research your competitors on sites like Etsy, to see what they do (and don’t) sell. You can either sell similar things at a competitive price, or look for what’s missing and choose a niche to charge more (but you may not get as many customers).

3. Experiment with different materials

Try everything out! You might find that you love working with metal but aren’t a fan of wood, or that acrylic taps into your creative side, or that leather gives you a way to tap into unknown markets.

Experimenting lets you learn what works best with different materials, so you know you’re going to sell a high quality product.

4. Decide how much you can invest

Aside from the cost of buying your machine, you’ll also have a few other costs involved to set yourself up. Materials, fees for stalls or online platform fees, and things like gift tags and bags for when you sell at craft fairs will all cost. Decide on a budget and stick to it: you can always boost your budget next year when this year is a success!

5. Find Christmas events to sign up to

Christmas craft fairs start advertising their seller opportunities as soon as July in some cases. Sign up to local venues (common places include town halls, racecourses, and community venues) to make sure you hear about events in good time to book a stall.

You can also find your local car boot sale for a regular stall, or look at flea markets or craft markets that are becoming popular as pop-up events throughout the year.

Remember, too, that online sales will boost your business if you can handle postage and packaging with ease. Platforms like Etsy and EBay offer great opportunities for crafters to make money all year around from their skills. You can even set up as a small business seller on Amazon!

6. Work on your pricing

Research your pricing by looking at competitors. It’s important to offer similar prices for similar products – unless someone is selling SUPER cheap, which is actually something that puts off a lot of customers because they doubt the quality of a product.

You need to make a profit, too. Add up the cost of materials and the time it takes to make a product plus at least 40% on top of that to find your price. Remember: selling crafts is a business so you’ll need to register with HMRC and report your income and expenses. Thankfully things like materials and fees for stalls can be classed as expenses.

7. Make your stock!

Now comes the fun part! Spend as much time as you can designing your products. You might want to make lots of different things or specialise in variations on just one or two items – it’s up to you.

The great thing about cutters like the Creality Falcon2 is that they’re designed for batch creating, so once you know what you want to make it is easy to produce plenty of stock.

8. Profit

Sell your stuff! It’s a good idea to look for a summer or autumn craft fair to test the water, too. Or, you could set yourself up online first to see what people like to buy and what doesn’t sell so well. This means you’ll have honed your business plan by the time you get to the Christmas selling season and hopefully you’ll see plenty of profit!

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

It’s not just Christmas that lets you make money with laser engraving or laser cutting, either. You can make a lot of money in the run-up to summer as wedding season kicks off, making signs, wedding favours, and personalised wedding gifts.

Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and even Thanksgiving if you want to sell internationally are all examples of how you could make seasonal gifts and decorations with your laser cutter to make your hobby into a year-round business.

Claim Your Discount on the New Creality Falcon2 Laser Engraving Machine

The Creality Falcon2 launches on 24th May and to celebrate, you can take advantage of a discount. Between 10am on 24th May 2024 and 11.59pm on 15th June, customers will receive a 15% discount when buying directly from the product page (it can’t be combined with any other discount).

Hurry though, as this only applies to the first 200 units sold globally. If you’re one of the first 100 customers, you’ll also receive a free gift worth $199, and if you’re the 101st to 200th customer your free gift is worth $50.

The best bit? One lucky customer will have their order FULLY refunded! Buy your Creality Falcon2 now to get these amazing offers.

 

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

The post Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs appeared first on MoneyMagpie.

Original source: https://www.moneymagpie.com/make-money/make-money-with-laser-engraving-at-christmas-craft-fairs

Google Business Profile chat and call history going away

Google will be shutting down the Google Business Profile chat and call history feature on July 31, 2024. Google will stop allowing new chats to be initiated starting on July 15, 2024 and then will totally disable the chat and call history features on July 31, 2024.

What Google said. Google sent out numerous types of emails to businesses, depending on if they uses the chat or call history feature. The email says:

“We are reaching out to share that we will be winding down Google’s chat and call history features in Google Business Profile on July 31, 2024. We acknowledge this may be difficult news – as we continually improve our tools, we occasionally have to make difficult decisions which may impact the businesses and partners we work with. It’s important to us that Google remains a helpful partner as you manage your business and we remain committed to this mission.”

Important dates. Here are the upcoming dates you need to be aware of:

  • July 15, 2024: Searchers will no longer be able to start new chat conversations with your business from Google Maps or Google Search. However, searchers that are already in existing chat conversations will be notified that chat will be phased out.
  • July 31, 2024: The chat functionality in Google Business Profile will end completely and you will no longer receive new chat messages. You will also no longer be able to see your Google Business Profile call history in Google Business Profile.

History download. You can download your chat and call history from Google Business Profiles, so you can store them somewhere. At some point, Google will delete the history.

The email. Here is a screenshot of the email I received:

Why we care. If you used these features for your business, please be aware they are going away soon. You may want to download your chat and call history before the deadline, so that you can archive that data in your CRM software and database.

Original source: https://searchengineland.com/google-business-profile-chat-and-call-history-going-away-442666

Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs

As advanced technology becomes more affordable for crafters at home, laser engraving is an attractive hobby that could become a business. Christmas craft fairs are one of the best ways for crafters to make money – and building up stock throughout the year is easy with a laser engraving machine. Let’s take a look at what laser engraving involves and how you can make money for Christmas with it.

What Is Laser Engraving?

Why Start Now?

What Can You Make with a Creality Falcon2 Laser Cutter?

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money at Christmas

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

Get a Discount on the Creality Falcon2

What Is Laser Engraving and Laser Cutting?

Previously restricted to industrial-size machines, laser engraving and laser cutting is easy to do at home. Laser cutters and engravers are multifunctional tools that enable you to create designs in a wide range of materials and even cut and build three-dimensional items.

A computer controls the machine, which uses a laser to cut or strip away layers of a material like wood or metal. When it cuts, clean pieces are created. When it strips the layers, that’s how engraving is made – the design is cut into the wood or metal, but not all the way through.

Some laser engravers also let you print a different colour on metal. This is called marking and is done by applying the marking solution in a design you want, and the heat from the laser bonds the marking solution to the metal to make the colour permanent.

Why Start Now?

Laser cutting and engraving covers the best of both worlds of crafting: creativity and speed. You can also replicate the same design over and over without variation. This means you can reliably recreate plenty of things to sell without lots of differences between each one.

Spring is a great time of year to start planning ahead on making money at seasonal craft fairs in December. Christmas fairs are the biggest sales opportunity for crafters, as it provides a high-footfall to stands with customers primed to buy. But, that means you need to have plenty of stock ready!

What Can You Make with a Laser Engraving Machine?

How long is a piece of string?! The possibilities of laser cutters and laser engraving are near endless, the only limit is your imagination.

Popular things to make include:

  • Home decorations such as family name signs or wooden map art
  • Acrylic or wooden planters
  • Bookends
  • Wedding welcome signs and personalised decorations
  • Custom engraved jewellery like bracelets and necklaces
  • Wooden mandalas for earrings, coasters, decor
  • Personalised or unique design wooden trinket boxes
  • Keyrings
  • 3D puzzles
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Customised or seasonal rubber pads for ink stamping
  • Engraving leather wallets or bookmarks

We love items that can be personalised for customers or add a little ‘something extra’ to the home. For example, you can engrave clear acrylic and place on a simple LED light stand for unique personalised lighting. If you’re selling at craft fairs, it’s a good idea to have lots of small things to sell for £5 or under, like ornaments, bookmarks, keyrings, and small trinket boxes, because these make great stocking stuffers.

However, you can also go very large and build furniture like stools and chairs and tables – which you can obviously sell for a LOT more money, too! Having a mix of small, medium, and large items for your Christmas craft fair stall will help you maximise your profits.

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

One of the most important things to look out for when you buy a laser cutter or laser engraving machine is the power. They come in different wattages, such as 20W, 40W, and 60W. The higher the wattage, the more dense the materials it can cut. This means you’ll be able to make a much wider range of items.

The Creality Falcon2 is a powerful 60W machine, which means it can handle a wider variety of materials with ease. It also has an adjustment beam to 22W and 40W if you need a less powerful beam for a smaller or more delicate project.

The three in one power options allow you to create accurate and beautiful engravings and cuttings depending on your crafting needs. It’s done with a simple flick of a switch, meaning operation is simple to learn. With a 22W setting, you can cut 5mm baseboard and achieve fine engravings, the 40W power lets you cut 10mm baseboard with fast results, and the 60W is the fastest power that can easily handle 18mm baseboard for larger decorations and home furniture items.

What else should you look for?

It’s also important to look for ease of use. Things like a camera to automatically line up materials for an accurate product and air assist to make the cutting process easier are definitely must-haves to look for (and the Creality Falcon2 has both of these things).

Finally, safety is essential. Higher wattage open frame diode machines are really efficient but definitely not as safe. The Creality Falcon2 is the first 60W laser cutter with a closed frame, making it efficient AND safe to use.

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money for Christmas

So now you know what laser cutting involves, let’s take a look at your next steps to prepare to make money at Christmas fairs.

1. Learn to use your laser engraving machine

Learning a new skill takes time and practice. Don’t leave it to November to start using your machine! Read the instructions carefully and try out lots of different materials and techniques before you start to hone in on what you think you’ll make for your craft business.

2. Research projects to try

There are lots of instructional videos on YouTube which is a great place to start finding ideas. You can also research your competitors on sites like Etsy, to see what they do (and don’t) sell. You can either sell similar things at a competitive price, or look for what’s missing and choose a niche to charge more (but you may not get as many customers).

3. Experiment with different materials

Try everything out! You might find that you love working with metal but aren’t a fan of wood, or that acrylic taps into your creative side, or that leather gives you a way to tap into unknown markets.

Experimenting lets you learn what works best with different materials, so you know you’re going to sell a high quality product.

4. Decide how much you can invest

Aside from the cost of buying your machine, you’ll also have a few other costs involved to set yourself up. Materials, fees for stalls or online platform fees, and things like gift tags and bags for when you sell at craft fairs will all cost. Decide on a budget and stick to it: you can always boost your budget next year when this year is a success!

5. Find Christmas events to sign up to

Christmas craft fairs start advertising their seller opportunities as soon as July in some cases. Sign up to local venues (common places include town halls, racecourses, and community venues) to make sure you hear about events in good time to book a stall.

You can also find your local car boot sale for a regular stall, or look at flea markets or craft markets that are becoming popular as pop-up events throughout the year.

Remember, too, that online sales will boost your business if you can handle postage and packaging with ease. Platforms like Etsy and EBay offer great opportunities for crafters to make money all year around from their skills. You can even set up as a small business seller on Amazon!

6. Work on your pricing

Research your pricing by looking at competitors. It’s important to offer similar prices for similar products – unless someone is selling SUPER cheap, which is actually something that puts off a lot of customers because they doubt the quality of a product.

You need to make a profit, too. Add up the cost of materials and the time it takes to make a product plus at least 40% on top of that to find your price. Remember: selling crafts is a business so you’ll need to register with HMRC and report your income and expenses. Thankfully things like materials and fees for stalls can be classed as expenses.

7. Make your stock!

Now comes the fun part! Spend as much time as you can designing your products. You might want to make lots of different things or specialise in variations on just one or two items – it’s up to you.

The great thing about cutters like the Creality Falcon2 is that they’re designed for batch creating, so once you know what you want to make it is easy to produce plenty of stock.

8. Profit

Sell your stuff! It’s a good idea to look for a summer or autumn craft fair to test the water, too. Or, you could set yourself up online first to see what people like to buy and what doesn’t sell so well. This means you’ll have honed your business plan by the time you get to the Christmas selling season and hopefully you’ll see plenty of profit!

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

It’s not just Christmas that lets you make money with laser engraving or laser cutting, either. You can make a lot of money in the run-up to summer as wedding season kicks off, making signs, wedding favours, and personalised wedding gifts.

Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and even Thanksgiving if you want to sell internationally are all examples of how you could make seasonal gifts and decorations with your laser cutter to make your hobby into a year-round business.

Claim Your Discount on the New Creality Falcon2 Laser Engraving Machine

The Creality Falcon2 launches on 24th May and to celebrate, you can take advantage of a discount. Between 10am on 24th May 2024 and 11.59pm on 15th June, customers will receive a 15% discount when buying directly from the product page (it can’t be combined with any other discount).

Hurry though, as this only applies to the first 200 units sold globally. If you’re one of the first 100 customers, you’ll also receive a free gift worth $199, and if you’re the 101st to 200th customer your free gift is worth $50.

The best bit? One lucky customer will have their order FULLY refunded! Buy your Creality Falcon2 now to get these amazing offers.

 

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

The post Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs appeared first on MoneyMagpie.

Original source: https://www.moneymagpie.com/make-money/make-money-with-laser-engraving-at-christmas-craft-fairs

Balancing Home-Based Inventory Management: Strategies for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs

Home Business Magazine Online

The increasing popularity of e-commerce has unlocked a lot of potential for would-be entrepreneurs. The ability to concept a product, easily create a storefront and market that product effectively to a segmented audience has opened the door to crafting a successful business for those who otherwise might not have had the required resources.

But as entrepreneurs like you get their businesses running, they may run into an issue that commonly affects home-based businesses: inventory management. How can you streamline your home-based inventory management processes and optimize efficiency for greater success – all from the comfort of your home?

In this article, we’ll dive deep into inventory management strategies for remote businesses, taking a look at space utilization, cost management, and inventory management solutions that add value.

Space Utilization

When you’re just starting out, as you assemble or receive your goods, chances are the most likely place you’ll be storing them before fulfillment is the same place you work – your home. This works rather well for small e-commerce boutiques or craft-on-demand businesses, where the amount of goods you’re working with is relatively small. But for businesses that handle a greater volume of product, or businesses that aim to expand into higher production, this method isn’t sustainable.

Fortunately, there are strategies that you can leverage to better use the space that you have – or, if necessary, work outside of it. These inventory management strategies are:

  • Just in Time (JIT) management: JIT inventory management is very similar to print-on-demand, requiring you to order only the inventory you need to fulfill already placed orders. However, JIT inventory management can be slow-going, easily delayed by supply chain errors, late deliveries, and higher delivery costs.
  • Dropshipping: Dropshipping allows you to hand off inventory management to a third-party vendor. When a customer places an order, that order is immediately sent to a fulfillment partner, who then ships the order themselves. Outsourcing this process allows you to focus your efforts on marketing and sales; though choosing this method requires you to select a shipping provider you can trust.
  • Third-party logistics (3PL) providers: Similarly to dropshipping, using a 3PL allows a third party to handle inventory management; unlike dropshipping, 3PLs also handle returns, inventory storage, and occasionally even product assembly. For businesses looking to scale in the future, this bigger-budget option is a necessary step to expand their storefront’s reach and efficiency.

Any of these methods will work, but not all will work equally well for your home-based inventory management. Choose the one that works best for your business model and your budget, and you’ll be able to fulfill orders more consistently; a massive boon for customer satisfaction.

Cost-control

The cost of integrating your home life with your work life often saves you money on your commute; but not so much your power bill. Managing and storing inventory from your home can require a lot of power, especially if you’re working with perishable goods or inventory that requires dedicated storage areas. Finding a way to optimize your processes to minimize costs is therefore paramount, as you don’t want your home office to be a source of significant revenue leakage.

After auditing your at-home inventory storage systems to assess current power usage, consider any of the following:

  • Energy-efficient infrastructure: Start by assessing your home’s energy efficiency. From lighting options to temperature control solutions, there are a variety of electrical appliances that are designed to consume as little power as possible, while also serving their main purpose. Older infrastructure can consume more power than is needed to serve the same function, negatively impacting your operational costs.
  • Insulation and heating reworks: Worn-down insulation doesn’t do its job half as well, causing your temperature control systems to exert more energy than necessary to accomplish the same task. Installing new insulation, window seals, and smart thermometers can be great ways to keep your temperature consistent while using less energy overall.
  • Renewable-resource power: Home-based E-commerce businesses are among those that can benefit from renewable energy, the price of which has dropped by 36% over 5 years. Homeowners across the country are switching to solar power, and it isn’t hard to see why. It’s a cost-effective choice to power your business and potentially save you over a thousand dollars per year in operational costs.

Using any of the above strategies will likely not only cut down on operational costs, but the average cost of living in your home. Saving money on both fronts allows you to reinvest more into your business, fattening up your bottom line and providing you with an extra layer of security.

Remote-management software

Finally, we get to the technological component. New AI-powered inventory management solutions can streamline your back-office processes with automated support, providing optimized inventory data in real-time. When using this software, you and customers alike will always know what’s in stock, facilitating easy processing and fulfillment of orders.

Technological solutions like these are not necessary in the early stages of your online business; but as you expand and your quantity of orders increases exponentially, they’re invaluable. A high-level view of inventory data that can be zoomed in on for granular insights into production empowers you to make strategic decisions regarding inventory investment and output.

We hope this brief primer gave you everything you needed to know to streamline your own home-based inventory management processes. Inventory management is often a pain point for new entrepreneurs; but with the right framework, it needn’t be a bother. Utilize the tips above, and you’ll be consistently fulfilling orders that make your customers smile.

The post Balancing Home-Based Inventory Management: Strategies for Ecommerce Entrepreneurs appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/businesses/ecommerce/how-to-guides-ecommerce/home-based-inventory-management-strategies-ecommerce/

The CFO as a Visionary: Shaping the Future of Business Finance

Home Business Magazine Online

Traditionally, Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) were the guardians of a company’s finances, primarily focused on managing budgets, ensuring accuracy in financial reporting, and overseeing compliance with fiscal regulations. However, the role of CFOs is rapidly evolving, transitioning from financial oversight to visionary leaders who shape the future of business finance. This transformation sees CFOs managing financial operations and driving strategic initiatives that foster long-term growth and sustainability. In this context, CFO services have become increasingly important, offering the strategic advisory and support necessary for finance teams to thrive in this expanded role.

Visionary Leadership in Finance

Being a visionary in business finance means CFOs must have the ability to foresee future trends and challenges and think of innovative financial strategies to bring the organization forward. This visionary leadership involves forward-thinking and innovation at the core of financial planning. It includes integrating new technologies, such as AI and blockchain, to enhance data analysis and automate processes, increasing efficiency and accuracy. It also means a commitment to sustainability, with financial decisions contributing to long-term environmental and social goals. It also could mean embracing diversity, which can enrich financial strategy with a broad range of perspectives and solutions.

The CFO’s visionary role can help drive change within the finance department and across the broader organization. By fostering a culture of innovation, CFOs encourage continuous improvement and creativity in addressing financial challenges. This culture lets teams experiment with new ideas and technologies, knowing that innovative thinking is valued and supported.

Areas of Focus for CFOs

CFOs, as visionary leaders, help steer their organizations toward innovative and sustainable futures. They focus on several key areas:

  1. Digital Transformation: CFOs are at the front of digital transformation within the finance function, using cutting-edge technologies like AI, blockchain, and data analytics. These tools are leveraged to streamline operations, improve the accuracy of financial forecasting, and facilitate more informed decision-making. By automating routine tasks, CFOs free up valuable resources for strategic analysis and planning.
  2. Sustainability and ESG: There’s a growing emphasis on incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations into financial planning. CFOs add sustainability into the core of business strategies, ensuring that financial decisions reflect the company’s commitment to responsible business practices. This focus on ESG aligns with global sustainability trends and meets increasing investor and consumer demands for ethical and sustainable business operations.
  3. Strategic Growth and Diversification: Identifying new opportunities for growth and diversification is another area where visionary CFOs add value. They analyze market trends, evaluate potential investments, and explore ways to diversify products, services, and markets. This strategic vision ensures the organization can adapt to changing market conditions and seize expansion opportunities.
  4. Risk Management and Resilience: Visionary CFOs are redefining risk management strategies. They proactively identify potential risks – from financial to operational and strategic – implementing mitigation plans to protect against future uncertainties. This approach means that businesses are well-prepared to navigate the global business environment, maintaining stability and continuity even in turbulent times.

Leveraging CFO Services for Visionary Leadership

Outsourced CFO services help businesses to embrace a visionary approach to finance. These services provide access to a wealth of external CFO expertise, which is important for strategic planning, spearheading digital transformation initiatives, and integrating sustainability into the corporation. Benefits include a fresh perspective on financial strategies, cutting-edge technology insights, and a deep understanding of how to weave ESG factors seamlessly into business operations.

Transform Your Finance Function

CFOs are visionary architects of business finance, steering organizations toward a future marked by growth and innovation. As their role continues to evolve, it becomes essential for businesses to adapt and harness this visionary potential. Engaging with CFO services offers a pathway to accessing the strategic support necessary to enhance their strategic planning and financial management, helping them navigate modern business complexities.

The post The CFO as a Visionary: Shaping the Future of Business Finance appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/money/money-management/cfo-visionary-shaping-future-business-finance/

Make Money with Laser Engraving at Christmas Craft Fairs

As advanced technology becomes more affordable for crafters at home, laser engraving is an attractive hobby that could become a business. Christmas craft fairs are one of the best ways for crafters to make money – and building up stock throughout the year is easy with a laser engraving machine. Let’s take a look at what laser engraving involves and how you can make money for Christmas with it.

What Is Laser Engraving?

Why Start Now?

What Can You Make with a Creality Falcon2 Laser Cutter?

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money at Christmas

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

Get a Discount on the Creality Falcon2

What Is Laser Engraving and Laser Cutting?

Previously restricted to industrial-size machines, laser engraving and laser cutting is easy to do at home. Laser cutters and engravers are multifunctional tools that enable you to create designs in a wide range of materials and even cut and build three-dimensional items.

A computer controls the machine, which uses a laser to cut or strip away layers of a material like wood or metal. When it cuts, clean pieces are created. When it strips the layers, that’s how engraving is made – the design is cut into the wood or metal, but not all the way through.

Some laser engravers also let you print a different colour on metal. This is called marking and is done by applying the marking solution in a design you want, and the heat from the laser bonds the marking solution to the metal to make the colour permanent.

Why Start Now?

Laser cutting and engraving covers the best of both worlds of crafting: creativity and speed. You can also replicate the same design over and over without variation. This means you can reliably recreate plenty of things to sell without lots of differences between each one.

Spring is a great time of year to start planning ahead on making money at seasonal craft fairs in December. Christmas fairs are the biggest sales opportunity for crafters, as it provides a high-footfall to stands with customers primed to buy. But, that means you need to have plenty of stock ready!

What Can You Make with a Laser Engraving Machine?

How long is a piece of string?! The possibilities of laser cutters and laser engraving are near endless, the only limit is your imagination.

Popular things to make include:

  • Home decorations such as family name signs or wooden map art
  • Acrylic or wooden planters
  • Bookends
  • Wedding welcome signs and personalised decorations
  • Custom engraved jewellery like bracelets and necklaces
  • Wooden mandalas for earrings, coasters, decor
  • Personalised or unique design wooden trinket boxes
  • Keyrings
  • 3D puzzles
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Customised or seasonal rubber pads for ink stamping
  • Engraving leather wallets or bookmarks

We love items that can be personalised for customers or add a little ‘something extra’ to the home. For example, you can engrave clear acrylic and place on a simple LED light stand for unique personalised lighting. If you’re selling at craft fairs, it’s a good idea to have lots of small things to sell for £5 or under, like ornaments, bookmarks, keyrings, and small trinket boxes, because these make great stocking stuffers.

However, you can also go very large and build furniture like stools and chairs and tables – which you can obviously sell for a LOT more money, too! Having a mix of small, medium, and large items for your Christmas craft fair stall will help you maximise your profits.

How to Choose a Laser Engraving Machine

One of the most important things to look out for when you buy a laser cutter or laser engraving machine is the power. They come in different wattages, such as 20W, 40W, and 60W. The higher the wattage, the more dense the materials it can cut. This means you’ll be able to make a much wider range of items.

The Creality Falcon2 is a powerful 60W machine, which means it can handle a wider variety of materials with ease. It also has an adjustment beam to 22W and 40W if you need a less powerful beam for a smaller or more delicate project.

The three in one power options allow you to create accurate and beautiful engravings and cuttings depending on your crafting needs. It’s done with a simple flick of a switch, meaning operation is simple to learn. With a 22W setting, you can cut 5mm baseboard and achieve fine engravings, the 40W power lets you cut 10mm baseboard with fast results, and the 60W is the fastest power that can easily handle 18mm baseboard for larger decorations and home furniture items.

What else should you look for?

It’s also important to look for ease of use. Things like a camera to automatically line up materials for an accurate product and air assist to make the cutting process easier are definitely must-haves to look for (and the Creality Falcon2 has both of these things).

Finally, safety is essential. Higher wattage open frame diode machines are really efficient but definitely not as safe. The Creality Falcon2 is the first 60W laser cutter with a closed frame, making it efficient AND safe to use.

How to Plan Ahead to Make Money for Christmas

So now you know what laser cutting involves, let’s take a look at your next steps to prepare to make money at Christmas fairs.

1. Learn to use your laser engraving machine

Learning a new skill takes time and practice. Don’t leave it to November to start using your machine! Read the instructions carefully and try out lots of different materials and techniques before you start to hone in on what you think you’ll make for your craft business.

2. Research projects to try

There are lots of instructional videos on YouTube which is a great place to start finding ideas. You can also research your competitors on sites like Etsy, to see what they do (and don’t) sell. You can either sell similar things at a competitive price, or look for what’s missing and choose a niche to charge more (but you may not get as many customers).

3. Experiment with different materials

Try everything out! You might find that you love working with metal but aren’t a fan of wood, or that acrylic taps into your creative side, or that leather gives you a way to tap into unknown markets.

Experimenting lets you learn what works best with different materials, so you know you’re going to sell a high quality product.

4. Decide how much you can invest

Aside from the cost of buying your machine, you’ll also have a few other costs involved to set yourself up. Materials, fees for stalls or online platform fees, and things like gift tags and bags for when you sell at craft fairs will all cost. Decide on a budget and stick to it: you can always boost your budget next year when this year is a success!

5. Find Christmas events to sign up to

Christmas craft fairs start advertising their seller opportunities as soon as July in some cases. Sign up to local venues (common places include town halls, racecourses, and community venues) to make sure you hear about events in good time to book a stall.

You can also find your local car boot sale for a regular stall, or look at flea markets or craft markets that are becoming popular as pop-up events throughout the year.

Remember, too, that online sales will boost your business if you can handle postage and packaging with ease. Platforms like Etsy and EBay offer great opportunities for crafters to make money all year around from their skills. You can even set up as a small business seller on Amazon!

6. Work on your pricing

Research your pricing by looking at competitors. It’s important to offer similar prices for similar products – unless someone is selling SUPER cheap, which is actually something that puts off a lot of customers because they doubt the quality of a product.

You need to make a profit, too. Add up the cost of materials and the time it takes to make a product plus at least 40% on top of that to find your price. Remember: selling crafts is a business so you’ll need to register with HMRC and report your income and expenses. Thankfully things like materials and fees for stalls can be classed as expenses.

7. Make your stock!

Now comes the fun part! Spend as much time as you can designing your products. You might want to make lots of different things or specialise in variations on just one or two items – it’s up to you.

The great thing about cutters like the Creality Falcon2 is that they’re designed for batch creating, so once you know what you want to make it is easy to produce plenty of stock.

8. Profit

Sell your stuff! It’s a good idea to look for a summer or autumn craft fair to test the water, too. Or, you could set yourself up online first to see what people like to buy and what doesn’t sell so well. This means you’ll have honed your business plan by the time you get to the Christmas selling season and hopefully you’ll see plenty of profit!

Seasonal Ideas to Make Money All Year Around

It’s not just Christmas that lets you make money with laser engraving or laser cutting, either. You can make a lot of money in the run-up to summer as wedding season kicks off, making signs, wedding favours, and personalised wedding gifts.

Halloween, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter and even Thanksgiving if you want to sell internationally are all examples of how you could make seasonal gifts and decorations with your laser cutter to make your hobby into a year-round business.

Claim Your Discount on the New Creality Falcon2 Laser Engraving Machine

The Creality Falcon2 launches on 24th May and to celebrate, you can take advantage of a discount. Between 10am on 24th May 2024 and 11.59pm on 15th June, customers will receive a 15% discount when buying directly from the product page (it can’t be combined with any other discount).

Hurry though, as this only applies to the first 200 units sold globally. If you’re one of the first 100 customers, you’ll also receive a free gift worth $199, and if you’re the 101st to 200th customer your free gift is worth $50.

The best bit? One lucky customer will have their order FULLY refunded! Buy your Creality Falcon2 now to get these amazing offers.

 

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Original source: https://www.moneymagpie.com/make-money/make-money-with-laser-engraving-at-christmas-craft-fairs

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