Updated: Jun 20, 2021
You have a product idea, you've bought the supplies, you're feeling motivated, and now you're ready to get started and make some money. But wait! Ask yourself these three questions first before you open your Etsy shop.
1. What do I want out of this shop?
Having a strong focus and clear goals before you open your Etsy shop will help you tremendously throughout your small business journey. First, you need to write down what your goals are - don't just think them. Make a list of 5 of your top goals: maybe you want to make your Etsy shop your full time job, maybe you want to pay off a student loan, or maybe you just want a creative outlet and a few extra bucks per month! Any goal is fine, just be honest with yourself about what you're really looking for.
After you determine your goals, you want to ask yourself "What do I need to do to get to goal A?", and "How can I get to goal B?". Again, don't just think these things to yourself. Write them down and break your goal down into smaller parts. If you want to pay off a student loan, don't make one check box in a planner that looks like this:
Just looking at that gives me anxiety! Instead, have something more manageable that looks like this:
I've seen it before and I'll see it again - people tend to just open a shop, do a bit of googling, and hope for the best. But the guidelines that you set for yourself will help steer you in the right direction and keep you focused. Track all of your spending, all of your profits, and write down every time you hit a goal milestone!
2. Do I have the time to run an Etsy shop?
Although Etsy is a wonderful creative outlet, and a place to have a lot of fun - having an Etsy shop is a big responsibility. People are depending on you, and spending their hard earned money on your listings. You need to make sure that you're ready to accept those orders and get them out on time! Keep your inventory constantly updated, and make sure that if you have something listed, it'll be ready to go in the amount that you designate for your processing time.
Be sure to iron out at least 7 hours per week (minimum) for the first few months after opening your Etsy shop. You'll easily be able to fill this time with creating new listings, perfecting your SEO, marketing, social media, and research! As time goes on and you become more fluent in your business, you may be able to cut back during certain weeks. But if your shop is doing well and selling out, be prepared to dedicate more like 15-20 hours weekly.
3. What's my style?
Having a strong grasp on who you and your shop are is important for making a statement and building your brand. This is going to be especially important on social media, as you post daily and establish a style for your shop. Do you want that clean and minimalist look that intrigues shoppers? Do you want that fun and funky style that immediately makes people smile? There are so many different avenues that you can take, but be sure to make it all relate back to your product in order to remain cohesive. In addition to looking beautiful and professional, you also want your shop to make sense!
Start off by writing down three descriptive words about your shop. "Bohemian", "Farmhouse", "Rustic", etc. Once you have those three words that you believe describe your shop the strongest, your can write down certain feelings that you'd like to evoke from your shoppers. Do you want them to get that vintage, old-timey feel? How about a fresh and stylish feel? Brick-and-mortar shops do this all the time with the way they decorate their stores, so much so that you may not even notice anymore. You're trying to capture the same feelings that they do, but by using social media posts!
Not sure where to start? Developing a color palette for your brand is a great first step. I love using this site to play around with all different color palettes for my clients! And if you'd like to open a shop but aren't sure where to start, read more about my new shop set-up service here!
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