You will come to a point when your Etsy business expands where you need to consider “scaling.” Keep in mind that scaling differs from growth. The aim of scaling in business is to make sure that your income grows more quickly than your store’s expenses (expenses). Thus it makes sense to have a scaling strategy in place as your shop grows.
Remember that there is no ideal or inappropriate growth pace for your Etsy store. Are you satisfied with how your shop is now set up? Keep doing what you’re doing, then! But if you do want to be one of the Top 1% of Etsy sellers, there are a few things to think about.
Explore how you might automate processes to help you cope with a growing shop. The goal here is to free up time you then can spend on what can’t be automated.
Take social-media scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Later. With those, you can create a whole month’s worth of social media posts at once. Then use the tool to schedule and post them for you. This way, you don’t need to interrupt every day to go post content. And you become more consistent with your social media marketing campaigns. Win win!
There are many ways to automate. Let’s say you are a woodworker, and you’re starting to sell a lot of items you currently make by hand. Consider getting Computer Numerical Control (CNC) equipment. It uses software to control your machining tools, no manual operator required. Can it take over manufacturing those items for you? That frees you up to develop new products.
Maybe you don’t have the $1,000-500K to buy CNC equipment quite yet. You can outsource. “Outsourcing” means hiring someone else to do a task for you. When automating a time-consuming process is smart, but you don’t have the money to buy the equipment, outsource it. If you’re that woodworker, just do an online search for “cnc shop near me.”
This is what we meant by scaling your business. Rather than a massive outlay of your income, you can outsource the automation. Then, once your increased rate of production is bringing in lots of revenue, you can invest in your own machine.
And how about those necessary but tedious aspects of running an Etsy shop? Bookkeeping, accounting, taxes, inventory and so on. Is there is a task you find daunting, too time-consuming, or you just don’t enjoy? Outsource it!
Let’s take your accounting and bookkeeping tasks. Reach out to a local accountant; get a quote on taking that headache off your plate. Another way you can outsource some of your workload is by hiring a virtual assistant, or VA. That’s a remote employee who assists you with whatever can be done at a distance. VAs can do anything from creating social media posts to putting your product images on white backgrounds. Just identify what tasks you want to offload. Then research the best VA service for your needs.
Hiring local help Having additional hands can free yours up to do what only you can do. Have a think. Do you only need seasonal help? Or does hiring an employee that you can train and retain make more sense? Check out this post for more information on the difference between hiring contractors and employees.
And regardless of which route you go, consult with your accountant. Recall the first rule of scaling a business. Be sure your revenue increases at a faster rate than your costs. Let that guide your decisions regarding who, how, whether and when to hire. Then, have an attorney draw up your first contract.
Building a social media following
Social media can be a gift and a curse. Building and maintaining a following on the various platforms can be a lot of work. But it can be lucrative. These platforms allow you to promote your work outside of the Etsy ecosystem. And it’s at no cost beyond the investment of your time.
Also, since these people have chosen to follow you, they are also more likely to have “purchase intent.” Purchase intent is the probability that someone will buy a product or service.
For best results, avoid posts focused exclusively on selling your products. Aim to provide value that rewards your followers just for reading. Demonstrate that you offer more than just your products. For example, a gemstone jewelry seller might post about the history of stone lore.
Keep them engaged by posting content likely to appeal to their interests. If you’re a vintage seller, write about the period that’s your niche. Say, the color palette characteristic of Art Deco. Then post Art Deco items from your shop that illustrate what’s being described. Doing so both deepens their expertise and also builds informed interest in your offerings. Another win win!
Expand your product line, range or mix
While closely related, these three terms mean different things. Expanding a product line means adding different sizes or colors or options. Product range is a group of products that are closely related. If you sell lamps, expanding your product range might be adding chandeliers as well as wall-mounted lamps.
Expanding your product mix is more of a leap out of your niche. If you list Art Deco, expanding your product mix could mean adding Mid Century Modern pieces. Or if you make handmade jewelry, it could be listing your own original paintings as well. The point of doing so is to get more exposure for your Etsy business. Get more visits. Attract more traffic. Each new product is a new opportunity to show up in search results.
Make use of slow times!
There are countless ways to consider the growth of your Etsy business. Use any time that sales are slow to think about these concepts related to growth. In business, anticipating and making plans is always better than improvising on the fly. We hope we’ve sparked your interest in thinking about these topics. If you have questions, feel free to create a thread in the eRank Facebook group. With over 20,000 members around the globe, there’s always someone around to help.