Let’s face it, the digital revolution has changed virtually every aspect of our lives, from the way we communicate to the way we learn, play, and get our entertainment. But perhaps the biggest change brought about by the technological era is in the way we work. Thanks to the advent of the internet, you no longer have to leave the comfort of your own home to build a lucrative and rewarding career. By harnessing the power of the internet, you can make a living doing what you love, on top of having the satisfaction of being your own boss.
If you already have your own Etsy store, you probably already well know the benefits of online entrepreneurship. But you also know that owning your own business means carrying all the risks, as well as reaping all the rewards. So now that you’ve established your Etsy store, you’re probably wondering what you can do to up your entrepreneurial game and take your business to the next level.
Keep It Fresh…
If you already have an Etsy store, chances are you’re already starting to build a loyal customer base and a strong online brand. But that doesn’t mean your work is done.
If you want to be in it for the long haul, you need to be aware of and responsive to your customers’ changing needs, even as you continue to hustle for new clients and unexpected opportunities. Pay attention to customer feedback and do a little competitor research. Explore what other sellers in your niche are doing, not just on Etsy but elsewhere online. By exploring the demand related to your particular niche, you will keep your shop fresh and exciting, inspiring established customers to keep coming back to see what great new products you have to offer.
At the same time, you’ll be expanding your target market to new clients! Plus, you’ll be injecting life and energy not just into the business, but into yourself as the seller. The fastest way to burn out if you keep doing the same thing day in and day out.
…But Don’t Go Crazy
As important as it is to innovate, to keep things interesting for you and your customers, there are, of course, limits. Your brand requires a certain amount of stability, of predictability. Your customers count on knowing exactly what you do and that you do it extremely well. So even as you mix things up and reach out to new market segments, you also have to make sure that you protect your niche.
This means that the core of your business is showcasing what you do extremely well, on top of demonstrating the things you have to offer your customers that even your closest competitors can’t. That also means figuring out where you want to take these talents. How will you build on your particular passions and skills? How will you expand and develop your niche without losing your brand identity? Take the time to establish a clear set of goals for maintaining and growing your Etsy store, both in the short and long term. Once you have a clear vision of what your goals, objectives, and priorities are, you will be better able to create an action plan, from raising money to hiring the right assistant to help you get there.
Surrounding Yourself with the Right People
Speaking of hiring the right assistant, this is something you will likely need to think strongly about as you grow your Etsy store. After all, no one can do it alone. Sooner or later, you will need help.
The key is making sure you find the right kind of help, and that you don’t wait so long to bring in support that you become overwhelmed and hire the first person who qualifies just to make sure your orders are filled and your customers are satisfied. When you begin your search for an assistant, be strategic. It’s easy to conduct background checks online. And don’t forget to look into the candidate’s social media pages. This can tell you more about a person, and whether you want to spend the next months or years working with them, than a resume ever could!
Remember, It’s a Business
When you’re building a business doing what you love, it can sometimes be easy to forget that it’s just that — a business. No matter how passionate you may be about your product or service, it’s still vital that you take the less fun but tremendously important aspects of owning your own Etsy store as seriously as possible.
This means, in particular, keeping meticulous records of all your accounts, including both customer accounts and business-related accounts (i.e. accounts with suppliers and partners). A good practice is to take screenshots on your cell phone of every transaction or encounter with your customers, suppliers, and other partners and print hard copies so that you will always have a physical backup of essential records should your system crash or you temporarily lose internet access!
Owning your own Etsy store is all about passion. It’s about sharing what you do best with the rest of the world. And, yes, it’s about earning a living doing what you love. With a few simple steps and a bit of strategy, you may well build your Etsy store into a thriving business that supports and inspires you, your family, and your loyal customers for years to come. Good luck!