Hi everyone – I hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas!
This is a different approach to blogging for me. I’m actually going to be doing the planning I’m writing about AS I do it. I think it’ll be helpful for me to describe the thought and reasoning behind my methods!
In this blog post I intend to break down the goals, objectives and ideas process that I’m going through for my Etsy shops! In front of me I have an A4 project book (one of those ones with tabbed sections) and I’m using it to separate goals and ideas for different aspects in my life.
The first section is “personal” so what I’m working on for me and my family. The other sections are labelled “Shop 1” “Shop 2” “Shop 3” “Blog” (If you’re wondering, yes I am mad enough to be launching my third Etsy shop this March 😉 ) I think it’ll be useful to have a hub of all of my ideas to look back on.
I’m just writing a list now of the things I want to take a look at analysing and improving for our upcoming year. If you make your own list you may have other things or ideas you want to improve on. There will be some areas I am satisfied with that you are not, and vice versa.
My list currently looks like this:
- Top 3 things I want for my shop in 2017
- New product lines and what needs to go.
- Customer service – what people loved and complaints.
- Social media successes and flops.
- Production – what is working and what isn’t.
- Shop’s Appearance
So on the very first page (and in very colourful glitter gel pens) I’m writing
“Top 3 Things I Want For My Shop In 2017”
And underneath I’ve written 3 words “Website” “Profit” “Following”
These are the 3 aspects I feel my main shop needs to work on. (Again, yours could be completely different!)
To figure out the next steps to work towards my big goals I need to ask myself questions and create a plan of action with the answers. Around each of these words I’ve started brainstorming little ideas that could improve these aspects for my shop. It really helps me to think and eventually I’ll get an “aha!” moment! I’d brainstorm everything in life if I could!
- What platform do people recommend I use for my website?
- What features do I really need for selling on a standalone?
- What layouts am I inspired by?
- What aspects of other people’s websites stand out to me?
- How much time can I set aside to work on the website’s aesthetics?
- How many listings could I do a day?
- What other pros are there to a standalone site? And cons
- Which of my products am I selling too cheaply for the time they take?
- How can I upsell to increase the profit margin on each order?
- What offers and coupons can I offer that won’t eat away too much at my profit but are still appealing?
- How much profit do I need to make to keep up with demand by myself?
- Which social media sites do my target market frequent the most?
- How active am I on these sites?
- How can I find content they will enjoy based on relevancy to my brand?
- Where can I be inspired to keep up with their trends?
- How can I stand out to them as an individual and not just a brand?
On the next page I’m going to title it
“Product Lines for 2017”
I am basing my new product lines on aspects such as:
- What is selling well and what more can I provide that is in the same range or similar in style?
- What categories in the shop are lacking and could do with filling out?
- What materials have I had the longest and still haven’t used for anything?
- What is trending with my target market?
- What have people asked for in custom orders?
- What can I provide for seasonal events?
And I’m deciding what is getting deactivated by asking things such as:
- What makes me feel fed up when I have to make one?
- What takes too long for the money it’s worth? (up prices or get rid?)
- What isn’t generating any interest? (update photos/seo or get rid?)
I steer clear of asking questions such as : “What’s selling for everyone else?” “What are others selling that I can make cheaper?” “What have I seen others advertise that people take interest in?” because I have found the more original the idea, the better a seller it will become. You will always have people copy your idea if it becomes a success – just make sure you’re always a step ahead and bringing out your next big one. “Ride the next wave!”
Customer Service – What People Liked And Didn’t Like.
This year’s customer service improvements will be based on feedback from customers over the last couple years.
- What did people appreciate in their packages?
- How did people respond to my flyers in the packages? (I have a competition and links to my social media)
- What did the rave reviews rave about?
- Which products got the best reception?
- How can I gently encourage more reviews?
And for the complaints side of things
- What were the complaints this year?
- What can be improved to prevent them from happening again?
- What could I add to my packaging to avoid complaints about the postal service?
- What could I do to help my staff avoid slipping up?
Social Media Hits And Flops
I’m looking at all the social media platforms I have been using and figuring out what my best advertising approach might be for the new year. I am always interested in finding new ways to engage an audience!
- Which posts/ads got the most reach on Facebook?
- Was there a certain style of post that generated more of a response than others?
- Which coupon codes that were linked to ads got used the most?
- Which Facebook targeting worked the best/worst?
- What are others doing that I feel like commenting on/engaging with when I see it in my News Feed?
- How can I learn more about targeted ads?
- Which social media stream brings in the most views to my Etsy shop?
All of the above is about Facebook however most of it also applies to Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. I will be going through them all trying to find a way to increase my reach!
Production – What Is Working And What Isn’t?
When it comes to production I’ve got areas I really want to improve on that could save time AND money.
- What stage takes the longest amount of time? (making, packaging, posting)
- Where can changes be made to save time?
- What materials am I using a lot of that could be bought cheaper in higher quantities – can I store them?
- How can I make the process easier for my staff so they can pack things quicker?
- What doesn’t look attractive to my customers that could easily be made better?
- How can I improve the layout of my workspace to avoid wasting time?
- Can I train people to help me make the items rather than just packing them up?
I like things in my shop to look eclectic (I use different backgrounds) but at the same time I like things to look similar. I take the photos in the same way for each type of jewellery for example. I have things I still want to work on with existing listings.
- How much time can I spend getting all of my listings to have the new description format I’ve been working on?
- Which listings desperately need new photos or updates to their SEO?
- Which listings are not selling and do they need a “facelift” too?
- How can I avoid sizing complaints other than what I’m already doing?
When I’ve broken down the “issues” with my shop I can work on them slowly but surely. I don’t expect to have all of these things perfect by the start of the year but I can add them to my to-do list over time!
If I can get my head around this list of questions I’ll be onto a winning 2017. What questions do you have for your shop? Have you got more to add to the list?
Hope this is helpful to you, I’m looking forward to the new year already! Come at me!