1. Don’t be afraid to enter a saturated market
When I started my invitation business on Etsy, I was skeptical. There were already so many stores on Etsy selling invitations, I was doubtful I’d be able to compete with them. But I gave it ago anyway, and to my surprise, my invitations started to sell. Of course, if you are entering a saturated market, you will have to work much harder to complete, but it’s certainly not impossible!
2. Your business may not be successful in the way you think it will
When I started my Etsy store, I thought that success would only come in the form of invitation sales. But to my surprise, my freelance graphic design business started to receive enquiries from people who found me through Etsy, which proved to be much more lucrative than selling invitations. So now, although I still love selling invitations, I mainly keep my Etsy store open because of the referral traffic it brings to my design business. Likewise, when you start any kind of business, it could end up evolving into something completely different, and that’s really exciting!
3. Doing research will help you to develop strategies for success
Once I started to research selling on Etsy, I discovered there were all kinds of little strategies that sellers use help you gain better exposure and get more sales. Having great photos, updating your store with new listings regularly and creating treasuries are all strategies that can be used boost rankings on Etsy. And the same can apply to any kind of business. Research your market and look at what your competitors are doing to develop strategies for success.
4. Delight your customers
The Esty community is encouraged to add a little something extra to customer orders. This might come in the form of lovely packaging, free samples, a discount voucher, or a handwritten thank you note. One of the many things I love about buying things from Etsy, is that I never know what little extras are going to come with my order. These little extras cost very little, but are a great way to delight customers and encourage referrals and repeat business.
5. Business success doesn’t only come in the form of profits
While the money I’ve made from Etsy sales has been modest at best, designing invitations is something I really enjoy doing in my spare time, so I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed running my Etsy shop and creating new products. In addition, I’ve received lovely feedback from the Etsy community, met new people, discovered new products, attended Etsy networking events (with free booze!) and received referrals to my design business. Success doesn’t only come in the form of profits alone. Yes, of course it’s important that you earn enough money to cover your expenses, but business success isn’t all about money. Success could mean having the freedom to do what you love, or having the flexibility to spend more time with your family.