I’m in a sharing mood today.
I wanted to share with you my beginner tips for those who want to become a maker/seller.
Why would you want to take tips from me you ask? Well, I’m not going to share with you a bunch of stats or tell you that I made $100,000 in my first year, because I didn’t!
But I wanted to share with the reality most people may face when deciding to turn that hobby, skill, trade, passion or whatever you want to call it into a small business. Before you start your insta and facebook group or start designing the brand name of your store read these three small tips.
Of course, everyone is different but I feel like saying it plainly is something of a skill of mine and maybe someone will appreciate the honesty. So here it goes.
1.Believe in your idea
It sounds like common sense (you’re gonna get a lot of that here) but believing in and loving what you do really comes through in a lot of ways. Many people love indie brands, small businesses or makers, this is because they believe in their product and want to make it the best it can be. They put the time into what they make and how they sell it and that can make a huge difference!
Believing in your idea (whatever it is) is important because if you are just doing it for the money, it will show. You may not take as much time to alter or change something that isn’t working. Or you may completely change your idea based on what you think will make you a quick sale and never really make any money (but have a lot of random product left to show for it). Research your hobby and see what the selling options are. Decide if you are comfortable with the market saturation (how many other people are selling what you want to sell), material costs, and most of all your time.
2.Make a product list
Sometimes you have an idea that you believe in so much you say “yeah, that’s perfect. I’m going to sell that now”. That’s a wonderful thought but come up with a list of things that you will ACTUALLY make and sell first. You want to come up with a realistic list of products (or services) that you can sell and how you plan to make or serve them. Aim for 40 pieces to start. I know that sounds insane but 40 could mean, 5 shades, 4 sizes or different combinations. You want to know that you can offer a variety and keep people looking at your items. Coming up with a product list can also give you a view of how viable your idea is and how far you may be able to go with it. I’m still figuring myself out now and I started on Etsy April of 2018. I wish I had taken the time to come up with a full list of things to create, just to prepare myself and start making ahead of time.
3.Pick your platform
I sell on Etsy, and despite the many complaints you may have seen or heard, it’s a great selling platform for makers (I’m not affiliated or anything promise). I love that I have the ability to sell on a platform with other likeminded people and my customers come to me. Yes I have to work on it, and you do see more activity when you really stick with it and update your store and yes there are a bunch of fees, but that’s the cost of business.
I also sold on Storeenvy and Big cartel and I have a store open on Shopify, these are great ways to sell but they are all very different. Storeenvy is a selling community and from my experience, you can sell just about anything on there. Shopify and Big Cartel are e-commerce platforms that let you build your own store and sell your product. There isn’t a connected community, so you have to do a lot of the leg work yourself. All of these options are wonderful and depending on what your selling they could be an ideal platform for you.
The main take away for soon-to-be sellers is to take the time and step back. We all want to jump in the pool right away and get our name out there but if you are not prepared for the very real business of running a business, you may find yourself stopping very soon after you start.