Over the years I have started quite a few small online shops - and I have to admit they have not been very successful. I mostly do them for fun anyways so I am not that upset when my items aren't flying off the shelves. In my last venture I spent a bit more money up front for product and a lot more time creating a professional looking shop. But when it came to promotion I seriously did not put in enough effort, and I have to admit I found the packaging and shipping to be quite a hassle on top of my regular work-load. Recently I got an email from another designer asking for advice when starting a shop - and it really got me thinking! I think it is great for people to start online shops, but the task should not be taken lightly - having a successful shop takes A LOT of work. So without further ado - here are the 5 questions I would suggest you ask yourself before you start your own shop:
1. Am I willing to promote my shop on social media all the time? Am I also willing to send out cold emails to lots of press outlets and blogs with big followings?
2. Do I have time to handle all of the shipping and packaging?
3. Am I able to take beautiful pictures of my products (or hire someone to)?
4. Am I willing to do market research to see what kinds of products are selling well on other sites?
5. Are my products unique enough to stand out in a sea of Etsy? But also on trend enough to resonate with a current audience?
I think starting an online shop is a great way to make a little bit of extra cash and to get your name out there - there are so many examples of people that have been really successful! But I think it is important to ask yourself these questions before you plunge head first into starting your own shop so you will be properly prepared!
On a personal note - I apologize for being so behind on my blog! I have been taking on double the workload to get ready for maternity leave in August. I truly miss blogging more, but I know I have to spend some time not on the computer :)