Trade - Getting Started, Casting as a Business
BabyRice supplies casting materials to professional casters across the UK and Europe, and many of these businesses started off at the kitchen table - just like us!
Here at BabyRice, we receive lots of enquiries from customers who want to launch their own casting business.
Finding the right combination of a rewarding career, flexible work that is compatible with the demands of family life and creative freedom is no easy task. Launching your own casting business could be the perfect solution, giving you a chance to grow a profitable and creative business where you set your own hours.
There are still lots of things to consider when starting out. Here are some of the top things you need to consider before starting a casting business.
Choose a structure for your life casting business
Will you be a sole trader or a limited company? If you are joining forces with another aspiring caster, you could consider setting up a partnership. Most casters are sole traders. This is the quickest and easiest way to get started. You can find out more about setting up your own business on the HMRC website.
Register your business
No matter what structure your business takes you’ll need to register. Limited companies must register with Companies House. All businesses, including sole traders must register for self assessment with HMRC, you will then be given have your own UTR number (Unique Trading Reference).
At the very least you’ll need public liability insurance. This type of insurance is there to protect you and your business from accidental injury and property damage claims. If you are going to work from home, this could affect your building and contents insurance. Find an experienced insurance broker who can give you advice tailored to your circumstances.
Find reputable and reliable suppliers
When sourcing casting materials you must look for good quality products from reliable suppliers. BabyRice carries large stocks of all the essential casting materials - alginate, plaster, glue and paint - in our large warehouse, so we can dispatch most orders within 24 hours*. We also carry large stocks of wood and acrylic mouldings, so we can make deep box and flat frames to order.
What’s more, you can access BIG discounts on these essential casting materials when you join CastingPro, our trade account club. Open only to professional casters, you can apply for an account here >>
* Order a stocked item before 12.30pm Monday - Friday for same-day despatch. Orders placed after 12:30pm on Friday will be dispatched on the following Monday.
Getting the word out
Nowadays, you don't exist without some kind of online presence. An informative website that gives people information about your services and pricing is a great place to start. Setting up your own website doesn't require a huge outlay or knowledge of computer code. In fact, you can set up your own website from as little as £20 per year with very little technical know-how. There are lots of website building services out there. Start with some research to find out which service is the best fit for you.
Once your website is up and running, you need to drive people to your site. This is where social media comes in. Don't try to be everywhere at once. Pick one or two social channels, like Facebook and Instagram, or Pinterest and Twitter and concentrate on creating top quality content for these channels.
When it comes to messaging, don't try to be everything to everyone. Again, keep it simple by carving out a niche for yourself. You can start by pitching yourself as a baby hand and foot casting service. If your area already has a few established baby casting businesses with strong presences, you could pitch yourself as a belly casting specialist, or an adult hand casting specialist. Make sure your messaging on your website and social media reflects this.
Networking is another great way to help raise the profile of your fledgling casting business. If your specialism is going to be baby hand and foot casting, then why not tap into the local mum and baby network by building relationships with the leaders and owners of local baby groups. It can also help to build relationships with non-competing small business owners, such as photographers, who can refer business to you, and vice versa.
It's entirely up to you what you charge for your casting service. The suggested pricing below represents the average price charged for professional casting services, you can achieve higher prices by offering something that your customers can't find elsewhere, like a VIP service, fast turnaround or unique finishing and display options.
|2 baby casts||£80.00 |
|2 baby casts in a small display frame (no photo)||£100.00|
|2 baby casts in a medium or our large display frame with baby's photo||£110.00|
|Parent and Child hands cast||£110.00|
|2 Adult Hand Casts||£110.00|
|2 Adult Hand Casts secured on a Plinth, with personalised engraved plaque||£130.00|
Of course, there's a lot more to starting and running a business than the points covered here, but we hope this is enough to help you get started. Think we've missed something essential? Let us know! You can send us a direct message via our contact form >>