Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Be An Expert - Keeping Track - Recording Reach

Do you regularly look at your reach for your shop, checking your Etsy and social media stats? If not, you should!

Here's 'five shop stats you should be tracking' from the Etsy Seller Handbook: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/five-shop-stats-you-should-be-tracking/22398388701 which explains how to look at a few stats and why.
Here's some more information on Etsy stats of you aren't familiar with looking at them: https://www.etsy.com/uk/help/article/541
Social media can be a bit trickier to track. You can use a paid system like Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/en-gb/products/social-media-analytics) to help look at everything, or you could individually look at stats on each social media account yourself. For example, on Instagram you can switch to having a business profile, rather than a personal one, and then you can see 'insights' into how well your posts are doing (see more information on this here: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/788388387972460).
You can create yourself a spreadsheet to input some information - think about including how many times you posted on that social media in a month, and whether your follower numbers went up or down. Record which posts performed best so you can start to see a pattern of what kind of images and links your customers like to see. Think about which hashtags worked well too. And when you look back and see a social media post performed well, check out that date under 'specific dates' in your Etsy stats - did you see a spike in people visiting your shop from that channel? Did it result in favourites / sales? 
Team Member Chibi Chi Designs has shared a social media planner which could help, with space to include your social media fans / followers at the beginning and end of each month. Check it out here: http://chibichidesign.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/getting-to-grips-with-social-media.html
Make sure those social media posts are converting - by keeping track of them you can see which channels and which style of posts are worth spending your time on!

Monday, 27 March 2017

1 week left to apply for the Dorset Team Christmas Fair 2017




A massive thank you to everyone who has applied for a space at our Dorset Team Christmas Fair so far. There is just 1 week left to apply to be a stallholder at this year's event.

This year we are very excited as, following feedback from both customers and stallholders at last years event, we will making this year's fair a two day event with the opportunity to apply to sell either day or both days. 

The event will take place on Saturday 2nd December and Sunday 3rd December at the Allendale Centre in Wimborne.


For more information on the event and to apply please see our Facebook event page where you will also find the online application form : www.facebook.com/events/380837568923443/




Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Be An Expert - Keeping Track - Accounting Savvy

How good are you at keeping track of your accounts? Anyone selling on Etsy should have some kind of system for recording incomings and outgoings, whether it's a pen and a notebook, or a fancy software like Craftybase (https://craftybase.com/). Do you store your receipts in a shoebox or do you scan them all in to your PC?

Here's some tips from the Etsy seller handbook on more organised tax filing: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/4-tips-for-a-more-organised-tax-filing/43167406303. If you want to use spreadsheets to record things but aren't sure how to design one for yourself, then you can purchase one from a fellow Etsy seller like this one: https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/498097475/etsy-accounting-bookkeeping-software-for 
Here's a guide from gov.uk on what records to keep for taxes when you are self employed: https://www.gov.uk/self-employed-records/overview
If you get into the habit of recording things regularly it will make it a lot easier to do your taxes when the time comes. It will also help you to notice the busier months. See here for 5 more tips - to ace your bookeeping: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/5-simple-ways-to-ace-bookkeeping/22657834369

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Be An Expert - Keeping Track - Inventory Management

Etsy recently added some changes to Shop Manager. A couple of these help with inventory management - keeping track of what you have in stock. See more about these changes here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-news/new-tools-for-managing-your-inventory?ref=vision_nav

Variations: Firstly, if you have variations of an item, for example a handbag which is available in blue, black, or brown material, you can now add quantities to each of these variations. You used to only be able to set a quantity for the listing, which would cause problems if you had enough materials to make 5 blue bags, but only 1 black. You'd have to set the quantity to 1 just so the customer couldn't order more than that of black, but then they wouldn't be able to buy 2 blue bags if they wanted to. The only way around it was to list the different colours as separate listings. Now you can set the quantity for each variation, so your stock is reflected more accurately. Yay!
SKU: Secondly, you can now add SKU numbers to your listings. Creating SKU (stock keeping unit) numbers for your items can help you recognise your items across different shops, or help you organise your storage system for your inventory. See here for more information on using SKU numbers: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/91384772093?ref=listing_manager_edit 
Both of these changes will be editable under the 'Inventory and Pricing' section when editing a listing (it may not have rolled out to all shops yet, but it should arrive soon if you don't have it at the moment). 
How do you keep track of what you have in stock? Do you use an excel spreadsheet or an online program like Quickbooks (https://quickbooks.intuit.com/inventory-management/)? Do you have any tips you can share with the team? Here's 4 tips from the Etsy seller handbook: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/stay-on-top-of-your-shop-4-inventory/22452002386

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Be An Expert - Pricing - Diverse Products = A Varied Price Range

It's our last week looking at pricing your products. This one is a quicker tip - to make sure you diversify products in your shop - but to include a range of prices as well as a range of products!

If you make sure you have a range of prices in your shop then this will appeal to customers with different budgets, or encourage them to add cheaper items to their purchase. But don't cheapen the items you have by selling similar items much cheaper. For example, if you currently sell necklaces costing £20 - £30 each, don't start selling other necklaces for £5 each too, or it will make customers think the more expensive ones are over-priced. Instead think of things that could compliment your stock rather than competing with it. Could you sell stud earrings which would go with your necklaces and sell for £15 ish? Perhaps you could design a few greetings cards that suit your style which could sell for £3 - £5? 
Varying your items and prices will encourage add-on sales, where a customer comes to your shop for one item but ends up purchasing more. Also if someone loves that £30 necklace, but can't afford it right now, they might buy the £15 earrings right now, rather than just bookmarking your necklace and possibly never coming back to it again.
Diversifying stock will also mean you get found in more Etsy searches (now you'll appear in earrings as well as necklaces!). Just make sure you keep your shop looking cohesive, for tips on that see here: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/how-to-create-a-cohesive-shop/22797014088 Have fun thinking of new things to sell!

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Be An Expert - Pricing - Wholesale

Last week we looked at why you need to add labour AND profit into your pricing formula. This week we're going to look at why wholesale needs to approx 50% off the retail price. (Here's a link to the pricing formula if you missed it before: https://www.etsy.com/uk/seller-handbook/article/a-simple-formula-for-pricing-your-work/26192517008)

Even if you don't want to sell wholesale at the moment - maybe you are just setting up an Etsy shop as a hobby - you should still use it in your formula, and double it for the retail price. You might think of your shop as a hobby now, but what if it really takes off and someone wants to stock it in their shop? What if you realise you could quit the day-job and run your shop as a business full time? If you haven't worked out the pricing right then you'll be stuck if a shop wants to buy your items for 50% off, but you will lose money selling them that cheaply because you didn't price it right. So start as you mean to go on and think about this pricing from the start.
Why do shops want approx 50% off the retail price? They have costs to pay too! One big one is tax. Shops are likely to be registered for VAT and they will have to pay the government 20% of your item which they've sold. To work out what a shop will receive after they've paid the tax, divide your retail price by 1.2. For example a necklace with a retail price of £12 divided by 1.2 = £10. If the shop has paid you a wholesale price of £6 for that necklace, they now have £4 left to help pay the rent for the premises, the bills for the shop like electricity and gas, the wages for their staff, shop fittings, advertising costs for their shop (which help bring customers in to buy your items), and of course make some profit to help their business grow too. It doesn't sound like much now does it?!
Of course you could try offering a sliding scale of wholesale prices depending on how much is ordered. You could offer less discount to an online shop which may have less premises costs (but remember they may have storage costs still), and you should certainly offer less discount if it's a bulk-buy customer rather than a retail customer (someone who is buying in bulk eg. 100 items, but to use themselves rather than sell on to someone else) - here you could offer 20% - 30% off the retail price.
If your retail prices don't currently reflect this formula, then don't panic. Creep your prices up bit-by-bit and accept you will earn less labour & profit for yourself if you suddenly get a wholesale order. Or close your shop for a while and re-launch with new prices, but also think about a social media campaign and maybe a discount code for the first month after you've re-opened, so past customers don't get scared away!