I see you. Hanging out. Dreaming big. That Etsy shop you’ve always wanted to start is waiting for you but there are #alltheexcuses of why it just won’t work. Hi, my name is Tanea and I’ve been there! But now I have a full-time Etsy shop that allows me to work from home while chasing all my dreams and it’s actually super possible for you, too!
Part of being an entrepreneur is hurdling roadblock after roadblock like you’re some olympic runner tackling the 100 meter hurdle race, but instead of 100 meters it’s twice a week for the rest of your life. But what we learn over time is that the *excuses* in your head are just that: roadblocks that you can *train* yourself to hurdle. You got this, girl.
& I’m here to help. By the end of reading this article, you’re going to feel inspired and empowered to take your next step into opening that career-changing Etsy shop. Promise. So let’s get into it! Don’t let these things hold you back –
1: Starting a Business Can Be Intimidating
Taxes, marketing, LLC vs sole proprietor.. Oh My!
Becoming a legitimate business can be like *super* complicated seeming. I totally get it. My first year of doing taxes for my Etsy looked about like this.
Ask Casey (my husband), it wasn’t pretty. But guess what? My taxes got done (by me, even though there were tears). I became an LLC by googling it and just *handling it*, feel? The fires got put out and the metaphorical fire department never even had to be called. But I did have my uncle, the accountant, on speed dial by the end of it.
All business owners go through a “figuring it out” process. You’ll have to too, and that’s not even bad news. Every roadblock you hurdle, whether you look like your 90 while you do it or take it at a full sprint, is training you to be *resilient* because it’s so necessary as an entrepreneur.
I’m not going to give you tax advice. I won’t tell you if you should register your business as a LLC. That’s for experts in those fields to advise you. But I will tell you this: cross that bridge when you get to it.
You don’t need to be registered as a business with the state to sign up as an Etsy shop and start making sales. Your taxes will come soon enough, but you have to make sales first. Just start your etsy shop and see what happens.
P.S. if you’re spooked about taxes, just start saving 30% of your shop’s income for taxes, just in case.
2: Knowing What To Sell Isn’t Always Easy
Sell anything you want. No, seriously. *But*…. you should love making it. If you don’t, you’re in for some late nights procrastinating on getting the day’s orders out the door.
Love the process of actually making what you’re creating. Every day won’t be Disneyland, but at least some days will only be “just okay” once you’re in the thick of it. (The thick of it meaning a month before Christmas when your sales suddenly skyrocket *good problem to have am I right??*).
3: You Think The Market Is Too Oversaturated
The beauty of Etsy is the *crazy-creative* items you can find there. Maybe what you make is super creative, but then again, maybe it’s not the most unique item of all time.
Either is okay. If you put time and effort into your shop, that is honestly more than most shop owners. Marketing your shop is very important, especially on Pinterest. It’s essential that you’re putting effort into standing out from the crowd with your listings and your marketing. If you’re doing that you will see success.
My shop took off when I was selling handmade party supplies. & I bet if you go to Etsy and search for any themed-party decor your bound to see thousands of listings. But I knew how to stand out as a seller and translate that into my marketing and listings, because I studied it. You can do the same, but it *does* take work.
(pppsssst. wanna read about my journey from biology major to full time etsy seller? Click here.)
4: Your Skeptical That What You Make Could Even Sell on Etsy
Here is your opportunity for some market research. Go to Pinterest and Etsy & search for what you are wanting to sell. Find a few shops selling this item and take a look at a few things: When did they start their shop? How many items have they sold? Are they making consistent sales and getting decent traffic? What other items are they selling?
This could tell you one of two things – either your products are unique and different than anything your seeing, or you’ll see competition for the product you have in mind.
If you’re unique: Great! Your products will stand out. You just have to market your products well (which means) show potential customers your products exist and they *need* them.
If you’re seeing competition: Great! Proof that your products can sell on Etsy. Now, you just have to find the thing that makes you unique and deliver on that. & market it. Shining through the competition is all about marketing.
Notice: marketing is crazy important even when you start your etsy shop. See the next point for more.
5: Calculating Costs, Making Listings, Adding Tags… What?
Unfortunately, just googling “how to start an etsy shop” and throwing a few listings up on your brand new store isn’t enough. There’s a lot more that goes into it. But that’s a *good* thing – it means that Etsy allows you to learn and become better (and make sales) (and blow past the competition who isn’t putting much of an effort in).
Welcome to the wonderful world of marketing your Etsy shop. It’s great to have you here! Pull up a seat and join me. I’d like to tell you something that helped me immensely when I started my own shop:
Dive On In.
Commit. Like, *really* commit.
There are some incredible resources out there for free on the internet to get you going. Podcasts, blogs, courses, instagram accounts, and more. What’s your content preference? YouTube videos? They’re a google search away.
They will teach you everything you need to know. &, I won’t lie, you do need to know it. So happy learning!
(The teacher that taught me oh-so-much when I first started is Morgan Nield. Check her out if you want to learn how to nail Etsy SEO & more!)
But don’t confuse that not-so-subtle push to educate yourself as a barrier to entry. Start imperfect. You’ll never get sales if you sit on your products instead of putting them out into the world! You’ll learn and grow with your shop, getting better at deciphering the perfect tag and solving math problems all along the way.
6: Shipping Seems Complicated
If you are selling physical products shipping can be intimidating. I definitely did it the not-so-right way for the 6 months or so (not a big deal *at all*). So here are my main tips for shipping your products:
- Again, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. Don’t worry too much about shipping to where it holds you back from starting. Take action!
- If you have a printer at home buy a scale and use etsy shipping as quickly as you can. You can purchase white sticker sheets from amazon to print onto. It will save you money and time.
- You can schedule pickups from your house so you don’t have to go to the post office.
- Buying packaging in bulk will save you tons of money as well when you’re making consistent sales.
- The ladies at my local post office have always been more than welcoming. They’ve answered countless shipping questions for me and are always happy to help. Talk to them if you’re confused about how you could save money shipping your item!
- Don’t get super caught up in having on-brand packaging at the start. I was shipping in mustard yellow bubble mailers for, like, almost a year before I upgraded.
7: You Worry About The Time Commitment
You have time.
I’m a tough love kinda gal, okay?
It’s true though. You can create time in your schedule. You can make time for whatever you want to do if it’s important enough.
Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, and that’s a great place to start! If you started every single day with 15 minutes of work on your Etsy shop dream I bet you’d have one in no time.
After all is said and done, I want you to know how much I care about your dreams. I want you to chase them because you know you can do it. Because you know you’re meant for it. If you want it so badly that you’re dreaming about it, the motivation will be there for you to make it happen.
I hope this post can be another encouraging piece of content for you on your way to Etsy shop greatness. If it is, I’m honored to have written it for you.
& if you want more great inspiration, tips, and advice, head over to my instagram @partiesbytanea for all of that on the daily!