TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 22 Starting Fresh with the New Year


New Year is a great time to jump back into Bootcamp!
Welcome back to our followers!
If you're new here, welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com
If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!

We have new sellers joining our Bootcamp all the time, so even though this is Class 22, you can join now or anytime! You can complete the classes at your own pace. The first 8 classes will take you through opening your shop to shipping your sold items:

Check out the subsequent classes at your own pace to upgrade your shop when you find the time: 9. Social Media, 10. The Dark Art of Pricing, 11. Shop Stats, 12. Holiday Prep in Bite-Sized Pieces, 13. Getting Press, 14. Sales and Coupon Codes15. Etsy Local and Selling Off-line, 16. Planning and Goals for the Year, 17. Keeping up with Etsy, 18. Custom Orders, 19. Shipping Snippets, 20. Holiday Shop Refresh  and 21. Setting Shipping Rates.   The trick is to continually improve and you'll find your business can grow, become more efficient and professional as it evolves. 

Selling Online is Cyclical
Soft Velveteen Thow Pillow-Nature in Spring by JillClarkDesigns
Once you've been selling for a little while, you'll notice that things come in cycles and generally, sales can be linked to the seasons. Your experience is personal, and not all shops are the same, but most shops see a big bump in sales related to Christmas. Things typically pick up in September and grow through to the end of December. This also means, that typically, sales are a bit slower in January. So, never fear; if that's what you're seeing, it's quite normal and you're not alone. Also, this means that now is a great time to get on the right foot for launching a successful new year of selling. 

Some businesses are particularly seasonal, including, but not limited to: clothing sellers who explicitly make clothing for certain seasons, stationary designers who make cards for various holidays and shops making items for weddings and brides (whose big season may be in the summer, rather than at Christmas). 

Regardless: remember that ups and downs are a normal part of business.   

Taking Advantage of Lulls

Plan Ahead
Heart Ornament from NellyWithWings
What do you do when things get quiet?  January is a great time to review Class 16. Planning and Goals for the Year! Since sales are cyclical, get a head-start on all those predictable things you will want to tackle. Do you make seasonal items or think that a given holiday may inspire a product? Working a quarter of a year in advance of an event can make your life easier. Consider:

abstract III art print by DOTHandmade
Know what else is coming up before you know it? Tax time, I'm sorry to say. If January is a quiet time, you should use it to make sure your books for 2015 are in order. Also, take this time to make you you have a good handle on your inventory and bookkeeping in general. Here are some tips:

mini woven wall hanging tapestry from MaisJewelry
Every year like clockwork, the post office seems to increase their rates. Make sure your shipping profiles are up-to-date. Streamline your shipping workflow. Here's some information on the new rates in Canada and the US. The good news is that if you use Etsy Shipping Labels, the new rates have already taken effect automatically, and you can use the tool to check if your shipping profiles need an update. Just enter your typical package info (weight, size) for any new or previous label and check out the rates available for your various markets (domestic, US, international)

Shop Makeover Time 
beaded peacock feather brooch from MilenasBoutique
A more creative and entertaining task you might want to tackle right now is giving your shop a makeover! Are all your photos and descriptions at their best? How are your tags working? Time to try something new? Check ou
4. Make Listings Tempting and some of these great tutorials and tips.

Here are some other recent tutorials to help get your shop ship shape!

Bring the Buyer to You
Amigurumi Fuzzy Sheep by PurpleLilacAmigurumi
Now is also a great time to polish up your social media game. You can have a look at our tips in 9. Social Media. Are you using Etsy's new Updates feature? This is a great new tool which allows you to use their mobile app to post captioned photos, linked to listings, which all your followers can see. Check out these articles to get you started. As of today, you can also share video right on Etsy from your About Page!
Expanding Your Business
If you think you might be ready to expand by selling wholesale, be sure to sign up for Etsy's Wholesale Email Course and check out Growth Strategies in the Seller Handbook!  

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