As you plan and grow your craft business, you may need access to certain statistics, (age, education, income levels, etc. of people in your area). This information becomes particularly important if you are putting together a more formal business plan or building a business that relies on having a critical mass of a specific niche market in a specific location. These business research resources will help you find statistics and research to help you plan and develop your company in a way that is in line with your target market.
The crafts industry is not widely studied, so specific data is difficult to come by, and the best data available is, unfortunately, often fairly old. I truly wish there was more recent data available (if you come across more recent craft industry studies, I would be most grateful if you would send me a message and let me know. Here is the best and most current research I've been able to find about the crafts industry in a variety of countries.
CANADIAN CRAFT BUSINESS RESEARCH RESOURCES
Canadian Craft Business Study
This is a Canadian study published in 2003 which profiles the Canadian craft business sector. Although this study is quite old, it is extremely thorough, so it's worth reviewing, particularly if your business is based in Canada.
Canadian Fine Craft Niche Market Study
An interesting Canadian study published in 2005 looking at exporting crafts. Of particular note (and relevant to people in all countries) is section 2.3 - Success Factors (beginning on page 5 of the report) which outlines common factors among craft professionals who have success in exporting their work.
Case Study of Participants at Buyers Market of American Craft
This 2003 report outlines the experiences of several craft artists at the trade event Buyers Market of American Craft.
This 108 page report is a marketing guide for Canadian craft professionals who want to expand into the US market. Although it sounds like it would be quite specific, there is a lot of excellent information for any craft artist in any country who wants to expand his or her business.
UK CRAFT BUSINESS RESEARCH RESOURCES
Craft in an Age of Change
Here's a huge 2012 report on the craft industry in the UK.
2010 research survey of the craft buying market in England
2010 study of how the craft sector contributes to a changing economy in the UK.
A 2010 study of how graduates from crafts-related programs in the UK launch their careers.
US CRAFT BUSINESS RESEARCH RESOURCES
State of the Craft Industry
Key insights from the US Craft and Hobby Association (CHA) 2012 State of the Craft Industry. Membership to the CHA is required to access the full report.
Craft and Hobby Association Reports
Several craft industry reports are available from the Craft and Hobby Association including:
A paid membership to the association is required to access these reports.
The U.S. Census Bureau - Free in-depth data on many aspects of American life. Go to http://www.census.gov/2010census/popmap/ for an interactive map that allows you to access data from specific regions.
FedStats - Gateway to U.S. governmental federal statistics. A good starting point for finding U.S. statistics.
Statistics Canada - Statistical information about many aspects of Canada.
Thorough list of links to sites with statistical data from around the world.
Other Business Research Websites
Chambers of Commerce
U. S. Chamber of Commerce: www.uschamber.com
Canadian Chamber of Commerce: www.chamber.ca
British Chamber of Commerce: www.britishchambers.org.uk/
Australian Chamber of Commerce: www.acci.asn.au
Small Business Development Center - Located in many U.S. communities the SBA can be a great resource for businesses.
Association of Small Business Development Centers - Provides resources (usually free) for entrepreneurs in the U.S.
Strategis - Canadian business and consumer site.
Business Research Resources