Here on the Outright blog, we pride ourselves on offering great tips for Etsy businesses of all kinds. From marketing tips to success stories, we like to cover a huge range of topics that would help sellers of all kinds.
But what about someone who has yet to become an Etsy seller? If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge into an Etsy business but still need help figuring out WHAT type of business to start, read on to get inspired by the different types of Etsy businesses you can start and see which one is right for you:
There are a gazillion handmade businesses you can start on Etsy. So the question you need to ask yourself is what do you like?
Are you known as the mad chemist, concocting beauty potions for friends and family? If so, start thinking of a natural beauty line to offer up on Etsy.
Love to sew? Try selling clothes or bags. Love to sing? Sell your music on Etsy. Love to knit? Try making fashionable leg warmers for winter mavens.
The possibilities on Etsy are endless for handmade business owners but here’s a few important tips:
a) Pick A Niche
Without picking a specialized area, it’s nearly impossible to set yourself apart from your handmade competitors. If you plan to sell jewelry, what type of jewelry?
While many think having a niche closes you off to sales, it actually helps you market your business to the right customers better, which will only increase your sales, rather than diminish them.
b) Analyze Your Competition
If you’ve got a speciality picked out, such as flowery metal jewelry, take a look to see who else sells that type of jewelry and how you can be different. Maybe they only offer jewelry with one color shade and you can offer many shades. Jot down at least a few things per competitor where you can differentiate yourself and get to work painting your brand’s picture before you launch your business.
c) Get Serious
As an entrepreneur, there is nothing that makes me cringe more than hearing sellers say they won’t spend on things necessary for business growth, such as winning bookkeeping software, an inventory tracking system and even something as fundamental as a website.
If you are interested in starting a business but have no cash, start saving now and only leap into entrepreneurship when you have at least a modest monthly budget for reinvesting in your business. Otherwise you’ll never grow and always wonder why things seem so hard.
d) Go Beyond Etsy
There comes a time for most Etsy sellers where income is finally coming in but not enough to survive. That’s when it’s time to go beyond Etsy and see where else you can sell your goods. Look into wholesale, craft fairs, trade shows, consignment, home parties and anywhere else you can think of to start growing your income.
If you’re not very crafty and have a little capital to spend sourcing raw materials to resell, why not try your hand at a supply shop on Etsy?
On Etsy you are allowed to sell supplies that fellow crafters and makers could use. That means you could offer a huge range of things such as beads, paints, brushes, speciality papers, chains, scents and much more.
Just like with most businesses, you’ll need to sit down and think of a good niche to have if you are in the supply business. The benefits of a niche is your customers will all be alike (such as jewelry designers) so you can tailor your marketing efforts directly for them. One thing to keep in mind is while choosing a general niche such as art supplies is okay, drilling down even further by offering supplies just for painters is an even better way to set yourself apart from seasoned sellers in your category.
If you think a supply business is right for you, start looking into where you’ll get your supplies from. You want to get the lowest prices on the best materials, so you’ll likely need to look into becoming a retailer of brand name companies which means having a proper tax ID and business set up. You’ll also need to invest in a quality camera since Etsy does not currently allow the use of stock photos on supply products.
Having a vintage shop on Etsy sounds like a dream for someone who loves to shop for old, stylish finds. But while shopping and reselling vintage items is an amazing part of a vintage business, make sure you have an interest in online research before you take the plunge.
When it comes to purchasing old finds for Etsy, you also need to have a lot of patience and an interest in research because a lot of your time will be spent online looking for similar products to the ones you are selling so you can understand what time period they come from and what price point they should be sold for.
To get started selling vintage items, take a look at shops on Etsy now and see how they do their work. Find the most successful through Craft Count and see how you can emulate their success in your own unique way.
You’ll also need to start looking into how you will source vintage items, both locally and online. You want to make sure you find great items in good working condition at profitable prices, so take some time out to have your sources lined up before you dive in.