5 things I wish I knew before I opened my etsy shop!

posted in: Uncategorized | 5

I shouldn't really be calling it “my etsy shop” anymore, since I'm selling offline & on Facebook too now. I think a lot of these can be applied to any product-based business venture. Take what you can & leave the rest, as usual!

1. MONEY. Supplies, packaging, shipping, design, these things all cost money and lots of it. Do your research and figure out what your startup costs should be, and add at least 50% to that because unexpected things WILL come up. Save money, raise money, and have another source of income at first so you can eat because most of these handmade businesses do not actually MAKE any money in the first year. And from what I've learned from other entrepreneurs, just breaking even in the second is something to be proud of.

2. Don't worry so much about your “competition.” As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't really exist. Just create products you can be proud of and don't compare yourself to others. Keep the focus on you and your business, be unique, be genuine and don't try to BE another business just because they are successful. Successful businesses are those that offer unique services and products.

3. Spend more time creating products than you do reading about business, etsy, social networking, etc. There's SO much useful information on the internet and it's good to read that stuff when you're preparing to start your business and keep up to date with your industry and all that. But it's also really easy to get sucked in. Again, focus on YOUR products and your business and just keep creating. (I'm bad at this.)

4. Do something you would do for free. I love making perfume & body butter & scrubs & everything so much that I would still be doing it even if I didn't have this business. Creating a business out of something you LOVE to do is so important because you will never run out of ideas and–get ready for a shocker– it's just so much more fun!

5. “Do what you love & you'll never work another day in your life” is BS. But that's okay. Someday, you'll be able to outsource all of the disgusting number related tasks and whatnot but when you first start out, you will probably have to do some things related to your business that are absolutely work. Dreadful work. Taxes, licencing, testing, some of it really isn't fun. But it's okay. Get through it by maintaining a positive attitude and remember what you're working toward.

Business owners! What would you add to this list?


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Kylie Wiser is an herbalist specializing in skincare and women's health. She shares recipes and resources on Everblossom to help others live a more holistic lifestyle. She lives in Fargo, ND with her huge family and lots of houseplants.

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5 Responses

  1. Laura

    THIS IS SO AWESOME. Tell it like it is, girlfriend!

    I have to remind myself not to be sucked in by competition too. I lost some enthusiasm for my blog for a little while, but luckily it’s returning!

    I need to remember number three: write more of your content instead of reading other peoples’!”

    And number five? OH YES. That is SO refreshing to hear! Thank you for writing this & being so honest. It’s wonderful like your shea cream : )

  2. Amber Lynn

    You are so right in regards to everything listed. A lot of people need to run their business by these standards if they want to be truly happy doing what they’re doing.

    I think the biggest mistake business owners make is expecting too much when they first start. Think small and you’ll always be surprised by how your business grows. Small expectations make for big surprises.

    Advertise, give small things away, get people’s interests and make a name for yourself online and offline. Spread the word! Even being a local success is a big achievement. 😀

  3. Kylie

    “I think the biggest mistake business owners make is expecting too much when they first start. Think small and you’ll always be surprised by how your business grows.”

    That’s such a great point, Amber. There are a lot of “big players” online in every field that are easy to come across and there’s no need to compare ourselves/businesses to them. Local success can be just as (& even more!) rewarding!

  4. Liv

    Given I have plans to start my own business sometime in the future, these are GREAT pointers! Thanks! 🙂

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