So, you’ve developed your product and have decided to open an Etsy shop, but you have no idea where to start?
Or maybe you’ve always dreamed about starting a lucrative online business, but you’re not sure how to go about it?
Starting your own online business may seem daunting, but planning ahead before you even launch your products can really pay off – in fact, being prepared can mean the difference between your business sinking or flourishing, and it can help you avoid some big mistakes.
Whether your products are handmade cosmetics or beautiful arts and crafts, we’ve got you covered. Here are the six things you can do to make sure you hit the ground running.
1. Consider Your Packaging
You know your product, so you should be able to determine what kind of support and protection it will need when you ship it to your customers.
Boxes are usually the go-to choice when it comes to packaging, and buying wholesale shipping supplies can keep your packaging costs low. To add a personal touch to your packaging, consider customizing your shipping boxes with custom prints.
You’ll also need packaging peanuts to fill any void space in your boxes so that your products will stay snug and safe during transit.
2. Set Small Goals
Instead of fixating on the end result of selling tons of your products, rather set small, attainable milestones and short-term goals. For instance, your first milestone could be making your first sale in three months.
By focusing on meeting smaller objectives, you can break your long-term goal up into more manageable chunks. Focusing on taking things step-by-step will keep you on track to achieving your larger goals and prevent burnout in the crucial early phases of your business.
3. Work on Your Brand
One of the first things you should do after creating your product is come up with an authentic brand identity. You can do this by staying true to the overall message of the Etsy platform by focusing on quality, creativity, and craftsmanship. Then, you’ll need to focus on how you will set yourself apart from your competitors.
Developing a solid brand identity will make you stand out on Etsy. Begin by brainstorming a name that reflects your core message, choosing your design palette, and building your shop.
4. Price Your Products Correctly
Pricing your products correctly right from the beginning is really important if you’re just starting out. You have to keep the fee that the platform charges also in mind when fixing the price. Etsy Fees Calculator can help you find that. When an artisan opens a shop, it’s not uncommon for them to be so elated when their products begin selling that they sell themselves short.
Pricing your products too low will not create the profits you need to grow your business, so spend some time calculating everything that goes into making your product – include all the raw materials, packaging, advertising, labels, printing, boxes, shipping – and don’t forget to include your time and what you want to pay yourself.
5. Take Professional-Quality Photos
One of the most important aspects of selling your products is good photography. Remember, you are not selling your products out of a brick-and-mortar store, so your customer won’t be able to see them in person before they purchase them.
Your customers will be relying on your photos to make a purchasing decision – so make sure they are clear, high-resolution, and stylized to give them the best possible chance.
Professional photos will also help your products stand out among thousands of other, similar items. But this doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy or hire fancy photography equipment – a smartphone with a good camera is all you really need.
6. Get the Word Out
There are so many ways you can market your products, but one of the best ways is word-of-mouth. Successful Etsy store owners tend to see massive jumps in sales when their listings are shared organically through social media.
Positive reviews and good feedback can make a huge difference in your sales, too. But getting all your contacts to tell others about your products isn’t the only way to get the word out. Plan a smart social media strategy, advertise online, and sell your products at craft shows.
Investing in a good SEO strategy early on will also pay off because it will help potential customers find your store online. Research the most relevant keywords that describe your products and figure out how to get your store to the top of Google search engine results.
Image Credits: Kelly Sikkema