When I first started selling on Etsy I had absolutely no plan. I just decided to open a shop one day and sell products. This is how most Etsy sellers start out, and guess what? It’s certainly not the wrong way to start out! Owning a shop on Etsy is definitely a learn-as-you-go experience. But, if you start to treat your shop like an actual business by planning then you’ll surely get ahead of the game.
According to Etsy’s 2015 seller report, 30% of Etsy shop owners are full time sellers. Full time shop owners rely solely on their income earned from their shop. So, what’s the deal? What’s the difference from the side hustle sellers and the small percentage or people actually making it on their own?
Well for one, if you want to turn your shop into a thriving online business then you should have a steady plan set in place. That’s where I come in today :). I’m going to show you how to create a business plan for your Etsy shop. And, don’t get me wrong, this is not by any means a formal business plan. Formal business plans are generally used for applying for business loans and such and consist of a whole bunch of crap that doesn’t really apply to owning an Etsy shop. Instead, this business plan is more so for you, to help you plan for the year. I’ll cover things such as analyzing your target audience, creating a marketing plan, and analyzing your competitors.
I’ve even provided a FREE workbook that you can download and keep for yourself to follow along. Click the image below to download my free business plan for Etsy sellers.
First, let’s start off with your business overview. Assuming that you already have a shop that’s up and running, write a brief paragraph that summarizes your business such as your business name, what products you currently offer, how long your shop has been established, etc. Remember, this is just for you so you don’t have to worry about being all fancy.
Next, write down some of your accomplishments that you’re darn proud of! Mention any sort of accomplishment such as the number of sales that you’ve achieved, how much money you’ve earned, or how many people have favorited your shop. All of your accomplishments contribute to your overall growth, so this section is important (and motivating, right?!).
What’s a plan without any goals? It’s always exciting to have some awesome goals. Where do you want your business to be 1 year from now? How about 5 years from now? Even if the goal seems unrealistic to you, write it down! You’ll be amazed at what you can truly accomplish if you have goals set in place, no matter how crazy they sound.
Lastly, review your goals above and figure out what improvements you can make to achieve these goals. So, for example, if one of your goals is to earn 10,000 dollars more than last year then you can list things like:
- Spend 2 hours a week marketing my products
- Add 5 new products a week
- Work on SEO for all of my listings
If you really want to make some serious money on Etsy you’re going to have to pump out new products like a factory. Use the next section to brainstorm ideas for new products.
What will you sell?
Provide a quick summary of the product that you intend to create.
Next, use the following questions to build onto your idea:
- How does your product benefit the consumer?
- What is the size of the product?
- What color/colors can you offer?
- What materials will be used?
- What keywords are related to the item?
- How much do you plan to sell it for?
- How will your product differ from your competitors?
- Are there any coordinating items that you can sell along side this product?
- How do you plan to ship the item?
Now that you’ve got your products all planned out it’s time to figure out who your target audience is! Figuring out your target market is essential because it will help fine-tune your marketing plan, giving you a better idea on getting your product out there, and even more importantly, getting more sales!
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the age range of people who enjoy your type of products?
- Are they male or female?
- What are their hobbies?
- What social media platform is their favorite?
- What are some other products or services that they may be interested in?
And, you may be thinking that these questions are pretty generic and pointless to answer, but trust me, establishing a target audience is kinda like striking oil (except it’s way less messy).
See, the more details that you can gather about your target audience gives you a better marketing strategy.
Think about it, let’s say that you sell baby clothes. Baby clothes are typically purchased by women. But, wouldn’t it be pointless to market your baby clothes to teenage girls? You would probably do better targeting women ages 24-40 who enjoy reading up on mommy things, scrolling on Pinterest, etc.
Another major factor of developing a business plan for your Etsy shop is scoping out your competitors. Now, I’m not saying to flat out stalk your competitors and copy their products. That’s a big no-no. What I am saying is that it’s perfectly acceptable to research who your competitors are and analyze their business.
Pay attention to what types of products they sell and for how much. Brainstorm ideas on how to make your shop and products stand out from theirs.
While scoping out the competition, do a little research and ask yourself the following questions:
- What products do they sell?
- What are their pricing points?
- Why do they seem to do so well?
- Do they promote across social media? If so, what platform seems to be their most popular?
- How are their reviews?
- What can you do or offer that will make your product(s) appear better than your competitors?
Marketing, promoting, advertising. Whatever you want to call it. Now that you’ve established details about your products, audience and your competition, it’s time to compose a marketing strategy. Because, what’s a business without a marketing strategy, right?
When developing a marketing strategy answer the following questions:
- What platforms do you intend to use for marketing your products? (Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.)
- Will you invest in marketing ads? If so, what would be your daily or weekly budget for ads?
- What strategies will you use to promote your products?
- What times of the week will you solely commit to marketing your products?
Whew! That was a lot of info right?! I’m surprised you’re still reading, I guess that means that you’re really dedicated to growing your Etsy shop which is super awesome. Now here comes the hard part: actually keeping up with your new business plan. Make sure that you keep your business plan around so you can refer to it as often as you can.
Do you have any other information that you would like to share to help others grow their Etsy shop? I’d love to know in the comments below! Let’s chat!