Etsy Business Plan Template: Prepare For Selling On Etsy
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes.
Are you considering turning your hobby into a business using the Etsy marketplace?
Well, you’ll be joining a platform that gets around 81.9 million buyers these days looking for handmade goods just like yours.
Before you dive in though, we invite you to lower the tools for a moment and funnel that creative flow into a top-notch Etsy business plan. It’s crucial to understand exactly what your business does, its identity and how it’s going to function so that when it comes to making costly decisions, you have a road map to guide you.
If you put some groundwork and goals in place from the beginning, then making decisions later on can be based on a bigger picture.
If knowing what to include doesn’t come naturally that’s ok, we’re here to help outline what goes into great business plans, why they’re so important and how to get cracking.
In this guide on preparing to sell on Etsy:
Table of Contents
Let’s get started.
Why You Need An Etsy Business Plan
A good business plan for Etsy shops should answer questions around who, what, why, how and when for your business, so that as the inevitable bumps in the road arise, you can fly over them.
A plan will start your business off in the right direction, it will give you measurable goals and a feel for your progress.
With an Etsy business plan you’ll be able to:
- Understand your competition and target market.
- Plan for cash flow and price your products accordingly.
- Create and track a marketing strategy.
- Develop goals and objectives and measure successes.
- Pitch your business to investors or business partners.
The content in a business plan will vary depending on the type of business, so we’ve prepared a guide specially curated for Etsy.
Before Starting Your Etsy Business Plan
Competition is rife online, including on Etsy.
You need to research before anything else to understand who and what your business will be, and where it fits into the bigger picture.
See what your competitors are doing, where you slot in and what niche you could fill.
Only by finding your point of difference will you be able to forge your own path and following.
Creating An Etsy Business Plan
Exciting! You’re at the first step in your Etsy career, congratulations.
This step is all about your brand identity. Creating this will give you the inspiration and roots you need on which to plan everything else.
Giving your store a personality will help customers connect with it, remember it and hopefully, keep returning to and talking about it!
Once you have a good idea of who you are, you can start figuring out what you want to do and how.
What to include in your plan
Sum up your business goals and strategy in one or two lines. A sort of introduction to your store and your business plan.
Answer questions like:
- What is the purpose of your business?
- Why did it start, what problems does it solve?
- What makes it different from others?
Next up, talk about your product or product line. Think about including these areas:
- What is it and how is it sourced or made?
- How many items will be available for sale at any one time? Think about the time it takes to make the product yourself or to source.
- Are there any products you’d like to sell in the future or variations you’d like to add?
Your business takes more than just you to run it. Here, explore what you might need and want to do with regards to:
- Storing inventory.
- Fulfilment options.
- Packaging materials.
- Studio or facilities for making your products.
Bear in mind whether these solutions are scalable too, if you wish to grow.
Hopefully you’ve had a little dig into what your competitors are doing by this point. This should inspire marketing ideas and things to try out with your target audience.
To plan your marketing activity, think about the following questions:
- How does your brand interact with customers?
- Where do your customers spend time?
- How can you reach your customers in those spaces?
- What are your customers most interested in or concerned about?
- Can you play to those interests in your marketing?
Remember the basics too. Etsy will have its own SEO algorithms so learn what it looks for and leverage this free advantage.
It might be 6th on this list but it should be a top priority: Managing your money. Just some of the things that you’ll need to account for as an Etsy seller are:
- Listing and subscription fees.
- Fulfilment, shipping and packaging.
- Sales tax and VAT or GST if selling outside of the US.
- Returns and reimbursements.
- Costs of goods sold and profit margins.
- Costs of materials, studio facilities and equipment.
Be realistic about your time and production volumes. Can you produce enough product to sell and make a profit? If not, what can you automate or take away from your tasks to give you more time?
Crunch some numbers to find out whether your business idea is viable from the start. We highly recommend turning to a specialized ecommerce accountant for this step, if not for the long-term. Find one from our trusted directory here.
They can also help advise you about loans if you think you might need one to get started.
Finally, set some goals!
The best way to measure progress and most importantly, to feel like your business is succeeding and going somewhere is to set yourself some milestones.
These can be short-term or long-term and be simple or complex.
The key is to make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based.
Don’t worry if you don’t meet them because each time, you’ll learn what worked and didn’t work, and adjust your goals more accurately as you go.
You’re off to a good start, but keep it going!
There we have it, you’ve now become a knowledgeable Etsy business planner and should be about ready to open your Etsy shop.
And don’t let all that hard work planning go to waste! With the right automation, you can free up your time to keep making and growing your business.
The place to start? Your accounts, the lifeblood of your business.
Including Accounting In Your Plan And How A2X Can Help
As you’ve probably gathered by now, a sole business owner has rather a lot on their plate. And one who makes their own products? They have even more.
Accounting is something that could get pushed to the side, but this can’t happen for a business to survive and thrive.
Fortunately, automation exists designed to take these tasks off your to-do list, ensuring that they still meet industry standards and provide you with accurate, reliable numbers.
Check out what A2X can do for Etsy sellers and start your own free trial today!
Do I need an Etsy business plan?
You don’t need a business plan to set up an Etsy shop, but it’s a great first step in your Etsy seller career. It enables you to make sound decisions based on long-term goals, track your progress and centralize your strategy.
How much does it cost to set up an Etsy shop?
It’s free to set up a shop on Etsy. Fees are charged when you list an item and when the item is sold.
Before you sell, Etsy does require a credit or debit card number and your checking account info (account and routing number).
How much does it cost to have a business on Etsy?
Also on the blog
- Etsy Integration Guide: Simplify Your Business
- Ecommerce Accounting and What Makes It So Different
- Ecommerce Accounting Principles
- Find an Ecommerce Accountant
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