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Crafts, a business sector conducive to retraining

 Crafts do not only attract executives in search of meaning who wish to retrain: if they could, 58% of French people would be ready to work in crafts! Interview with Catherine Elie, director of studies and economic development at the Institut Supérieur des Métiers (ISM).

Crafts, a business sector conducive to retraining


Why leave your salaried job to create a craft business?

Catherine Elie: First of all in the event of a break-in professional life, when you find yourself looking for a job. This is an opportunity to think about a reorientation and when executive job seekers think about their future, very often they consider starting a business. And very often, it's in the craft. Since the craft industry, it is about one in three companies which represents a great diversity and variety of sectors.The second aspect is that starting or running a small business is fun. Globally, a revival of activity was observed in the craft sector, in particular in the food, bakery, pastry, and building trades


What is the reason for this renewed activity?


  • It is a societal phenomenon, probably a backlash from globalization.
  • People may be looking for reassurance, to make sense of their work. In fact, in the context of a craft business, we have complete control over what we are going to do: from the manufacture of the product, from the beginning to the end, and this, therefore, gives real meaning to an activity whereas when we are a cog in a company, the meaning is not always obvious.
  • Your ISM-MAAF barometer speaks of “the emergence of a new form of employment” in the craft industry.
  • In particular micro-entrepreneurship. In which trades of the craft industry do we find this form of employment the most and why.
  • It is found absolutely in all trades of craftsmanship.
  • They are rarer in food, bakeries, butchers, hotels, and restaurants Because when you want to be a baker, you need a bakery and it is excessively expensive to set up.
  • The micro-entrepreneur regime is not at all suitable for this type of activity.
  • This regime corresponds better to activities where one can work alone with very little investment, that is to say with a low need to purchase materials and equipment.

Typically, office cleaning activities do not require large amounts of equipment, the material is required but it is not a heavy investment. We also find many micro-entrepreneurs in the photography professions, in all the artistic professions (ceramist, for example), but also in the professions at the client's home: hairdresser or beautician at home since there, we do not need to buy a store or shop and therefore the micro-entrepreneur scheme is suitable for this type of activity.

What advice would you give to someone who would like to get into the craft industry?

  • To prepare your project well because it is now very easy to create a business.
  • Especially since if you register as a micro-entrepreneur, you can do it quickly on the Internet, and that's good! On the other hand, the perverse effect is that you can set up or create a business without having thought about how we were going to proceed to create a business.
  • This is not a trivial act, you have to think about how you will find your customers, how you will manage your activity.
  • Training in one's profession is one of the main conditions for success. You have a good chance of succeeding as a business leader if you are qualified and know your job well.


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