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Every week I get emails in my inbox from woman who are wanting to start up their own businesses. These woman are enthusiastic, driven, and on a mission to build something for themselves! However, so many of them are so unsure about what they actually want to do. I'm not even joking, the amount of email I get that say things like:
Or we have the most common one I get:
Now I am very familiar with the phrase “you have to spend money to make money”, but let me tell you this, IT'S NOT TRUE! What if you could test out your product ideas before you invested thousands into them? What if you can see which ideas sell better? And what if you could raise money from product sales before investing in that beautiful custom website? This is where Etsy comes in…
Everyone is probably familiar with Etsy, even if only slightly. It's a platform dedicated to handmade products. You can purchase items from sellers all around the world, and you can also sell to people all around the world. It's so easy to set up an account, and it's really not expensive at all! We are talking $0.20 per item you list. Much much cheaper than a custom website, haha. This platform is a great way to test if people really do want your product. It's also great to use for working out any kinks in your products as sellers give feedback and can directly message you.
From my experience you will also get potential buyers messaging you to request certain features and products, which is great information if you are thinking of tweaking or expanding what you offer. Because of this, I believe so many handmade product based businesses (and even digital product based businesses!) should start out on Etsy. It will give you a chance to test out your business in a large market before investing thousands into your won digital space.
Want to know probably the greatest thing about Etsy? It's completely searchable. Say you have your very own website. If you don't advertise and drive traffic to that website, no one will know it exists. Etsy's search function means that even if you don't advertise your store elsewhere, customers are still able to find it just by typing in the kind of product they are looking for. Meaning more sales!
I started off a few years ago on Etsy selling digital goods. It was mainly pre-made logos and printable downloads. Now although my business looks completely different now to what it was back then, it's all because of those first steps I took testing things out. I would have buyers message me and tell me that yes that pre-made logo was nice, but can I create something custom for them. At first it was terrifying, but then I started to get more requests for custom work than pre-made work. It was only at this stage that I realised where I truly wanted to take my business, and I made myself a website.
To this day I still use Etsy for my digital downloads. Sure I have my own website and online store, but I get so many people searching for my template products on Etsy that I can't afford to take them off there. It's practically free sales as I don't advertise my Etsy at all!
Once your business is starting to get the attention you want it to, you might want to consider keeping your business earnings separate from your current money. Once you start to grow, you’re not going to want to get everything mixed up; that will only complicate things. You should start by looking for the best bank for a small business in your area. Every policy is going to be different, and even if your current bank is good for you – it might not share the same benefits for your business earnings.
In conclusion, I do truly believe that Etsy is a great place to start with your business. It's cheap, it's got a great traffic source, and you get to fully communicate with so many of your customers. You have nothing to lose!
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