The Ultimate Guide to Managing Your Etsy Shop

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Ever wish you had more time in a week to work on your Etsy shop?

Time to create products, photograph, edit, list them, promote your items, manage finances, manage inventory, package orders, ship them out, provide stellar customer service… that’s a lot of work for a single person!

I used to suffer from overwhelm managing my one-woman shop. Through trial and error, I’ve learned to manage the various buckets of my Etsy business.

This guide will help you manage your time, energy, customer service, inventory, money, and social media for your Etsy shop!

In this guide you’ll find Etsy tips on:

  1. Time Management
  2. Energy Management
  3. Customer Service Management
  4. Inventory Management
  5. Money Management
  6. Social Media Management

 

1. Time Management

Time management is optimizing your time, so you spend it productively. These productivity tips will help you manage all of your time, so you have more of it to spend on your business, and then some!

TO-DO LIST

Every Sunday, write down a to-do list of tasks you need to accomplish for the following week (this can include non-Etsy tasks). Consider work tasks, personal tasks, and free time. Set realistic expectations for yourself!

HOURLY SCHEDULE

I love to-do lists. I can’t live without mine! But I’ve come to find that scheduling the tasks is necessary to account for the time spent doing them. You may find that your list is too lofty, and you need to defer some tasks to future weeks. Or, you may find you have more time than you think once all is scheduled into a calendar! It’s hard to account for time without an hourly schedule. I use Google Calendar to schedule my tasks, but there are plenty of other apps that do it as well!

TIME BATCHING

Time batching is a system of grouping together similar tasks to maximize your productivity. Set a timer for a specified amount of time and remove all distractions if you need to (seriously, put your phone on airplane mode). If you’re a major procrastinator like me, time batching is an effective way to get more done in less time!

2. Energy Management

Energy management is similar to time management, but I think it deserves a category of its own. You only have a set amount of hours in a day, and managing your energy is an essential way of preserving your time and precious energy.

Most Etsy owners operate their small business from home, which makes it hard to maintain a work/life balance. We’ve already talked about scheduling your hours into a calendar, which gives you a predetermined amount of time to work on your business. But scheduling time off from your business is equally, if not more important! Give yourself days off from your business, or you will burn out. Trust me.

And delete some tasks from your list if you need to! Delegate them to someone else of you can. Automate them if you’re able. Managing your energy is essential!

Now, on to the Etsy-specific categories of managing your small business!

3. Customer Service Management

Customer service is one of the most significant aspects of managing a business. As an Etsy shop owner, this task falls squarely on your shoulders!

EMAILS

Make sure to respond to emails and messages on Etsy at least once per day. The Sell on Etsy app for Etsy sellers makes it easy to communicate with customers.

If you find you are getting the same question(s) repeatedly on Etsy, keep a document of standard answers you can copy and paste and tweak with the customer’s name and details.

SHOP POLICIES & FAQ

Fill out your Shop Policies and your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, so customers know what to expect when ordering from your shop.  If one person asks you a question, chances are several customers are wondering the same thing. Then add it to your FAQ section!

REPEAT CUSTOMERS

Follow up with every single customer that leaves a review of your shop. In the case of a bad review, it’s your chance to right a wrong. In the case of a positive review, it’s an opportunity to turn a happy customer into a loyal fan of your brand!

It is three times more expensive to get a new customer than keep an existing one. Maintain a good relationship with repeat customers, and you won’t need to spend as much time, money, and energy advertising your business! (also, it’s just nice to know you made someone’s day with a positive interaction)

4. Inventory Management

An inventory management system ensures that your physical inventory corresponds to the items you have listed in your shop.

PHYSICAL INVENTORY COUNT

Keep track of your inventory in a spreadsheet, and do a physical inventory count on a seasonal basis to make sure your shop numbers are up-to-date. I never thought I would need to do this with my Etsy shop, but my numbers are always a little wonky after a busy season of sales.

If you have a ton of items in your shop, you might consider adding a SKU to your spreadsheets, which is essentially a unique code given to an item. A SKU system can help when you have a bunch of similar things, but it’s optional for Etsy. I don’t add SKU’s to my listings, but there’s a place where you can add a code to listings where your buyers won’t see them!

BUSINESS SUPPLIES

Inventory management can also apply to the craft supplies and mailing supplies needed to run your business. You want to keep track of these, so you don’t run out when you need them most!

5. Money Management

Let’s talk about the financial aspect of managing your Etsy shop!

SEPARATE BANK ACCOUNT

Opening a separate bank account for your Etsy shop is necessary to keep your business transactions separate from personal ones. It also makes things a bajillion times easier come tax season when you’re not left sorting through grocery bills to locate business expenses and transactions.

Link your business bank account to Etsy shop, so your income deposits into this account, and your fees and expenses come out of this account. This way, you know exactly how much you are spending on your shop and how much you are earning to determine your Net sales (how much you can pay yourself or invest back into your business!).

KEEPING TRACK OF EXPENSES

Keep track of expenses in a spreadsheet and keep all of your receipts in a folder. Make sure to document every expense you could deduct from your taxes, including your rent, phone bill, computer, utilities, etc… these are expenses you may not think of, but you need them to run your business!

6. Social Media Management

Social media is a great way to bring more customers to your Etsy shop, but you don’t need to be on it 24/7, promoting your business!

CONTENT CALENDAR

At the beginning of each month, map out your content for the month and slot it into a calendar (also known as Content Calendar). The frequency of posts depends on you, but it’s better to share fewer posts regularly than a bunch of posts once per month.

SCHEDULING POSTS

Spend a few hours per month scheduling posts to save you from having to post every single day. An app like Tailwind or Later will help you schedule posts days, weeks, even months in advance! I use Tailwind to schedule 15 Pins a day at optimal times. Later is great for scheduling Instagram posts and stories, and Hootesuite is awesome for Facebook and Twitter. The more tasks you can automate in your business, the more time you can spend creating your inventory (the fun stuff!)

BRANDING

Creating a consistent brand for your business will help you cut back on time it takes to design social media posts. Choose a colour palette, fonts, and theme for your brand, to create your social media images in minutes.

Building your Etsy business is infinitely more manageable when you work smarter, not harder to manage your time, energy, customer service, inventory, money, and social media productively. Which one of these tips are you most excited to try for yourself? Let me know in the comments!

xx Olenka

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