Etsy started off with humble beginnings, but it has quickly grown to be a public face of the handmade movement that is helping small business owners realize their dreams of doing what they love. Etsy is still going strong today, with one of the most user-friendly, high-traffic, hosted handmade stores on the Internet. In June, Etsy sold $93.8 million worth of items.
Before you go running off to start up your own Etsy business, however, you need to understand exactly what it entails, what Etsy will help you with, and what you need to do on your own. The first step is to research demand for your type of product. Jewelry and bath and body products are huge categories on Etsy, but this also means they're rather saturated markets. The high traffic makes selling attractive, but if you aren't sure how to market your business, you need to understand it takes time to build momentum.
Register Your Business
Etsy cannot help you with establishing your business. The exact method to register your business, along with the cost, varies from state to state. You want to have an official business, as well as a tax ID number, in order to separate your business venture from your personal assets. This way, you don't suffer a big financial impact if things don't go well. Hello Craft recommends consulting with a lawyer to choose the proper business structure.
Create an Inventory
The next step is to create enough inventory to stock your shop thoroughly. Depending on the type of product you offer, you may have a full inventory with a handful of products, or you may need hundreds. Typically, you see the best results if you stock 100-200 products. Remember to factor in description and photography time when you estimate how long it takes you to create and price a product.
Set Up Your Shop
Etsy makes it easy to set up your shop. It takes only a few minutes to go through the registration form and start customizing your shop. Etsy also handles the payment processing, as well as Paypal payment integration. Etsy will promote your products through Google Shopping, a paid service they provide for free, along with making paid on-site advertising options available. Intuit recommends setting up your shipping first thing.
Customizing the Store
You have some flexibility over how your Etsy store looks, although there is a generally uniform look throughout the site and stores. Your avatar and banner are completely customizable, and you have many sections for an About Me section, your store policies and other necessary information. If you have a lot of products, it takes some time to load everything, as Etsy does not have a bulk product uploader. Once it's up, you can arrange your products, or arrange them from most recent to least. To maintain your store, a fast Internet connection is useful, such as one through Century Link or a similar provider.
How Can Business Among Moms Help?
Business Among Moms has an Etsy Team store where members can come and grow their business. Get help and grow your business with others and collaboratively learn how to better market, run bookkeeping and much more. Business Among Moms also has a group board on Pinterest where you can pin items from your Etsy store to gain additional exposure. We do have to invite you to pin to the board, so if you are interested email firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Commons image by jared