If you have ever had the desire to make money out of your busy fingers, there has never been a better time. Handcrafted products have not enjoyed this level of popularity in decades. With a significant shift in buying habits, many people now enjoy giving handmade gifts as they seem more personal and thoughtful — even when made by somebody else. The idea of cottage industries is also experiencing a rise in recent years, with many people favouring to shop with independent retailers for many ethical reasons, along with the fact that they know that someone’s livelihood depends on each sale.
Websites such as Etsy have given small and independent craft business a platform on which to make a living, and there are some very successful businesses operating off of it. Thus, if you have a passion for a craft that you want to share with the world, now is the best time to make some money from your talents.
Find Your Niche
First things first: you need to find your niche. You may already have a specialism that you are quite skilled at. Etsy is a site that will allow you to sell anything that you create, including jewelry, handmade soap, artwork and illustrations, ornaments, pin badges, posters, clothes, toys… The list goes on. You may want to make a variety of products that all match a common theme, or you might choose to specialize in a specific product type.
Register As Self- Employed
If you are planning on earning an income from selling your craft products online, then you will need to be registered as self-employed. Contact your country’s tax authority to find out how to go about doing this. You will need to keep records of all of your income and expenditures, so that you can submit a tax return at the end of the year. You will be responsible for managing this yourself, and you should ensure that you keep some money back to pay your taxes at the end of the tax season.
A simple bookkeeping app or a well-designed spreadsheet should be sufficient for you to keep robust enough records.
Gather Supplies And Stock
You will need a certain amount of stock for you to launch your store. With this in mind, you should start off by creating a selection of items that you can list on the site when you start. You should aim to make a few of each line, unless they are specific and bespoke.
If you need to purchasd supplies and tools such as cordless glue guns, then you should be keeping a record of anything that you buy, as well as any receipts, as these may be tax-deductible expenses when it comes to submitting your tax return.
Start Your Page
You will need to have a name for your Etsy store that reflects the kind of products that you intend on selling. Have a look at other stores to gain an idea of what works best. Look at some of the more popular stores on the website, to see how they present themselves. Take note, as you will need to achieve their level of professionalism, too.
You should try and make your page visually appealing and as professional-looking as possible. Use clear descriptions in the information section, and provide as much information on the products as is relevant.
List Your Products
Make sure you get good, clear photos that show your products in the best light. If you need to use multiple pictures, do so! There may be other aspects or features of the product worth highlighting, as well.
Write a clear description of the item. Run your text through a spelling and grammar check before submitting it, in order to ensure that it reads well.
Promote Your Page
Posting your products on Etsy is only half of the work. You should look at setting up Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter pages to promote your work. You might also want to consider creating a blog too to drive traffic to your page. You will need to continually work on promoting through social media to attract new customers all of the time.
Watch Your Sales
Once your product has been listed online, you will need to monitor your sales. You may find that some products sell better than others. Try to work out what people like or don’t like, and learn from this. You can use analytical tools to try to work out where your page views are coming from, and which pages are converting to sales. If you have lines that are not selling after some time, look at reducing them and trying something new in their place.
With these tips and tricks kept in the back of your mind, you’re sure to launch an incredible, successful online business. With your passions at the forefront of your new endeavours, your customers are bound to love the products that you create.
Have we missed any must-do things for new business owners? Let us know int he comments below!