Starting an online business is never easy; there are many things that you need to consider before deciding to test the waters. The risks involved may be terrifying, but once you managed to get a hold of it, the reward is nothing short of fantastic.
If you have a lot of budget to burn, you can always go on the e-commerce route and sell physical products or try your luck in Forex. If you don’t have a lot of money to use as a startup, you can always use your skills to earn money from home. If you know how to design, manage people, or write articles, you can always offer your services.
Are you good with your hands and can make unique items? You can sell your trinkets and even small digital designs online. Whether it’s just a hobby or you want to make a living out of it, this route is definitely possible. And what better platform to use than Etsy?
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a college student looking for some extra cash, or want to make a career out of your crafts, Etsy is a great place for you. Etsy is one of the emerging online business platforms where you can sell your creations. It is a peer-to-peer e-commerce phone app and website that is focused on handmade items or supplies, in addition to unique factory-made and vintage merchandises. If you are planning on launching your handmade crafts and sell it online, this is definitely the best place that you can go.
Starting Your Etsy Shop: Step by Step Procedure
Here are some things that you need to do in order to launch your product successfully in Etsy:
1. Naming your shop
Naming your business is one of the hardships that you need to go through before doing anything else in Etsy. A good shop name must be memorable; something that any customer can easily remember. Focus on one to two words that you think best describe your product. It can also be something unique. However, you don’t need to obsess about naming your shop to the point that you can’t move on to the next step. Just relax and let the magic moment come to you.
2. Designing your shop
Designing is also one of the daunting tasks of setting up your online shop. This involves making a logo that will stick to the mind of the customers like an annoying adhesive tape. If you lack the skills of an artist, you can always count on basic drawings to take note of your vision. What matters is that you are progressing rather than being stuck in a concept.
When designing your shop, you would need to create a cool logo to make it more attractive. The logo is one of the visual cues that customers remember when shopping online. Your logo doesn’t need to be elaborate; a simple design is enough. If you are having a hard time making one, you can always check other logo samples. However, don’t copy other existing logos or else, you will be accused of plagiarism. If you are not the type of person who doesn’t have graphic designing skills, you can always outsource it. Just provide the artists your vision and they will give you a breathtaking logo! The places you can find logo designers are Upwork and Fiverr. With Fiverr, you only need $5 to find a good logo designer and you’re set. Don’t want to spend? Check out Canva.com. You can create logos and invitations here using their own templates.
3. Make Your Prototype
The prototype is the embodiment of the overall aspect of the product that you are going to sell. Through this, you will be able to see the strengths and weaknesses of your product. However, you don’t really need to obsess your time and energy too much about it. Honestly, nobody will see it except for your friends and loved ones. You don’t need to waste your money making them because your potential clients won’t be able to see them.
Spending too much time, energy and money will only make you feel wrecked if the clients didn’t buy it.
Your Etsy shop is set up in a way that gives customers their freedom to customize the items that they are going to buy. If you fix your product to one specific design, you will lose the flexibility that your clients are looking for.
Setting up a store too much for you? Why not Apply for a job at Starbucks today instead?
4. Take a photo
The picture will give you customers a concrete idea about the product that you are selling online. This should be perfect as much as possible. Why? Because this is going to be the bridge between you and the customers. If you take six hours setting up your Etsy shop, you need to dedicate at least 4 hours taking the perfect photo of your product.
Here are some tips that you can use to get that awesome photo:
- Always choose a neutral background. If the background is busy, your photo would surely become undesirable. Potential customers will be compelled to leave your online shop if your photos are messy.
- Use props if necessary. Props are more than just a visual tool; it helps a lot to help the customers realize the importance of the items that you are selling on their lives.
- When using DSLR, make sure that the item is in the foreground. Amateur photographers usually make the mistake of bringing the subject on the background instead of the foreground. Before taking photos, explore your camera first so that you will be more ready for your items when you get used to it.
- Survey the photos of other products online to have a good idea. If you are having a hard time taking photos for your items, you can always check the internet for good references. Or better yet, see your competitions’ item pictures and see how they shot it.
5. Set the price
Setting the price is also one of the most difficult things that you need to do when setting an online shop. Many people, especially your friends and family may advice you to “charge what you’re worth.” However, if you don’t have any Etsy sales under your belt yet, here are some things that you need to think about when setting the price of your product:
- How much did it cost you to buy the materials? Did it cost you anything when you are designing your product? If you paid for the design of the logo and other important stuff, you can consider it in your product cost estimation.
- How much did it cost you to list the item? Etsy charges you $0.20 per listing, so you can make as many listing as you want.
- The value of your time spent making the prototype. How long did you take to make that item? You can include the value of your labor to the total cost.
- How much is the total cost? This is where the price will become final. However, you must think outside the box in this particular situation. If you were the customer, would you buy this item for this price?
6. Follow your competitors
If you want more ideas, why don’t you explore Etsy and stalk your competitors? This way, you will gain more knowledge about the product that you are selling through the eyes of your competition. Remember, you need to be more competitive than your rivals, and you will only get the data about them by surveying them.
7. Write the best item description
Writing item descriptions may be the most hated chore in the online business, but it is absolutely rewarding if you did it right. When writing a description, you need to be more detailed and specific. Use adjectives to best describe your products in one single swoop. You don’t need to be formal because it tends to get boring. Instead, be creative and use words that are easily understood.
You also need to include how your products will be shipped to their address. This will surely grab their attention if they learned about it right there and then without navigating further to your page. Words such as “customized”, “personalized”, and “rustic” are very helpful in attracting customers to purchase your product.
8. Getting your first sale
Landing your first sale will always be a thrilling experience. Waiting for your first sale is like a rollercoaster climbing up the rail to wind up. Once it was released, it will gain speed and the ride will become more exciting. Once you received a notification for your first sale, the next ones will surely follow. The next thing you know, you are earning faster than you could make your items.
However, just like a rollercoaster, there will be times that your online shop will experience ups and downs. If you think that your sales are declining, make sure that your photos or product descriptions are updated. This way, your customers will think that there is something new in your shop.
You can also advertise your Etsy shop to boost your sales. There are different ways of advertising your product. These are:
- Creating a Facebook Page.
- Promote the products directly in Etsy.
- Utilize Google ads for your listing.
- Use other social media sites such as Instagram or Twitter.
There are other ways to advertise your product, but the small list above is surely the hassle-free way to do so.
Setting up an online business is not rocket science; it should always be fun and exciting. The best thing about setting up your business on Etsy is that you can choose to make it bigger or just have fun while doing other things on the side. What’s totally different about Etsy compared to other online business is that it has a vacation mode. You don’t need to worry about your business while you are having fun someplace else! All you need to avoid is procrastination in order to achieve high sales every month!
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