by Zoe Zorka
There has never been a time where has been as easy to go into business as now. Simply registering as a sole-trader can take you minutes, and then if you’ve got an idea, the internet can provide a wealth of ways that you can make it a reality.
The great thing about setting up a small, independent business is that you are your own boss. You determine the pace of your work. You set your progression plan. You grow at the speed that you can. There may be something that you want to get into, but the financial risk involved in dropping your current career might be the thing that prevents you from taking the plunge. In many cases, you can start small, running your new venture around your current job; and as your business takes off, then you can pivot your life towards that. This may occur in stages, in which case, consider taking part-time paid employment and increasing commitment to your side project as it gets bigger.
You may have a product or a service that you think others may be interested in, and by using services such as Etsy, you can do this without a great deal of initial outlay.
Setting up your own business takes guts and determination. Having a great idea is vital, but then going off and researching how to make it work and building up your reputation will take imagination and perseverance. Plan everything. Set yourself goals and stick to them. You will be responsible for everything, from managing your money right through to marketing your products and services. Identify the areas in which you are weak and look at ways of improving these. Try taking a course for that thing if you can. There may be many that are free or quite cheap online. Failing that; read about it. Find advice from others in that field. Follow blogs that apply to your business model and don’t stop learning!
Setting Up An Etsy Store
An Etsy store will take you minutes to set up, and once you are there, you have access to all of their customers looking to buy from independent traders such as yourself. However, registering is the easy part.
The first step is to decide on what kind of products you are going to sell. You may want to craft every item yourself, in which case, it is advisable to build up a certain amount of inventory before you open. If you plan to make custom items to order, have enough examples of the products manufactured, ready for you to take photos of for listing.
Another option would be to design items and get them made for you. For example, with GS-JJ, you can create custom enamel pins. No minimum order quantities mean that you can trial smaller batches of designs to see how they will sell.
When using other companies to fulfill your manufacturing requirements, always remember to factor in how long it will take to get your order produced and shipped to you. Make sure that you have a system of replenishing your stock in a way that meets the demands of your customers.
You will need to consider quite a few things when you determine the prices of your products or services on Etsy. Firstly, consider the cost of the product to you. There is going to be an economy of scale when it comes to production, and it will no doubt be cheaper for you to hold more stock; however, this can be more costly in terms of your initial outlay. And having large quantities of an untested product is risky; unless you know that you can sell them all. Have a look at your costings, factor into that the time that is making or handling your stock, Then have a look around and see what other people are charging for similar items. You need to make sure that you are not overcharging for an item that people can get elsewhere for much cheaper.
There will also be your seller fees and taxes to consider. How much tax you pay on a product will depend on where in the world you are, so it is crucial that you find this information out from the tax authorities and allow for tax within your price. Work out how much the seller fee for the item is too and add this into your price.
It is also useful to know how much shipping is going to be for your item ahead of listing it. Don’t get caught out by undercharging. Etsy has all of the tools to make it easier for you to plan for packing and shipping your products.
Having a name is essential. It is your brand. It should say something about who you are and what you do, and if you can make it catchy and memorable, all the better!
If the name you want is already taken, try adding a word that describes your products or services at the end to let people know what you are about.
Once you’re set-up, you can start listing your products. Use good quality, clear photos of your products. If they are particularly detailed, have close-ups and different angles available too. Think about how professional your images are. They need to be as crisp as possible as these represent your brand.
Having a well-written description is significant too. Make sure that you check your listing for grammatical errors and try to adopt a consistent writing style across all of your items. Use relevant keywords to highlight your products in the relevant searches.
Once the products are up, you will need to market them. Create social media accounts specifically for your business, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are good places to start. You will need to garner a following on whichever sites you use, so be sure and use relevant hashtags in all of your postings, use ‘like and share’ promotions to build your reach. And encourage previous customers to follow you. Finding bloggers and social media influencers who would be willing to talk about your products will help you lots too.