Monday, May 7, 2012

Getting in Touch with Your Etsy Shop: DAY ONE: The Plan

For some of us our Etsy shops started as a hobby or a way to destash some of our extra goodies. For others we dove in intending to make a fortune and retire to the Bahamas. The rest of us fall somewhere in between. But how many of us actually went in with A PLAN? (if you did good for you!)

Business plans come in many different shapes and sizes. There are plenty of great resources for creating an in depth business plan, or if you are more like me, than answering a few questions can give you some great direction. Also setting monthly goals/plans can be an important tool for keeping organized and monitoring growth, seeing what may or may not have worked and developing a strategy for long term. Since I began writing my month round ups I have found that I am much more focused on what I am trying to achieve every month. Here's a peek at my April Round Up post if you aren't familiar with them.

Now back to the long term plans. When I began my Etsy journey I was in partnership with my mom at Bijoux Designs For You. Initially I just enjoyed the time that it gave us together and the common ground to bond over. Making a couple of extra dollars was just a bonus. As our creative sides took different directions I branched out on my own in 2010 and began Kawartha Beads. It was at this point that I hoped that by the time I had my second child that I would be able to make enough of an income to cover my own personal bills and the groceries. And that was the plan....period.

Now here are the questions that I have since asked myself (and my answers) to help grow and further my business. For the record my second child just turned one and I feel comfortable enough with my business growth now that I officially call it my job!
  • What do you hope to accomplish with your Etsy shop creatively (your focus)? Kawartha Beads will offer affordable handmade necklaces, earrings, bookmarks and keyrings with a charm theme to the overall shop.
  • What do you hope to accomplish with your Etsy shop financially? This is not just a hobby for me. I am looking to make more than just money to buy more supplies or things I want from Etsy. By the time my second child goes to kindergarten I want to be earning an amount at least equal to a full time minimum wage job (NET).
  • How am I going to accomplish this? While growing my business in the online community I am also trying to be heavily involved in the local handmade/craft scene. I have joined a wonderful group of artisans to help grow our business/spread the word, I am active in several local Facebook groups and have done several local events (and will continue to do so) to share my business with the community. In order to achieve my financial goals I am also eventually looking into displaying in some stores/boutiques and perhaps wholesaling.
  • How many listing would you like to have in your shop? How many can you comfortably maintain? This is a tough one. For me personally I notice a big difference in sales now that I have reached 140+ listings. My current goal is to reach 175 listings and maintain that number. With two little kids at home I am finding that this is all I can comfortably manage at this point. In the fall when my oldest goes to school and with the holidays approaching I am hoping to be able to carry 250 items. I will need to review this point post-holidays.
  • How are you going to spread the word? (aka marketing and promotion) Maintain a large amount of listings on Etsy, create Etsy treasuries, blog, facebook, twitter, have a local presence by joining a craft group, doing some local events (mom to mom sale, Early Years Centre, craft shows), approach some blogs about featuring Kawartha Beads, word of mouth.
This is just a very basic set of questions, but once you really sit down and start to think about them (and others) it helps to focus yourself and decide where your direction is going. As I mentioned earlier I also find sitting down at the beginning of the month to break things down into smaller goals has helped me immensely. 

***Today's Assignment*** Try and take some time to sit down and answer some of the above questions. I hope you will come and share with us here where you are headed with your business.

Join me tomorrow for Day Two: Social Networking

No comments:

Post a Comment