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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Business Plan - Shop Talk Tuesday

We officially joined the EtsyVeg Team a few days ago. I think that this will help with promotion and motivation. 

Business Plan
I was just thinking that I haven't yet told you about where I am with things. One of the first things that I have been told to do from various sources, is to put together a business plan. 

What is a business plan and why do I need one? Well, I wasn't planning on getting any outside funding or sinking a lot of money in to this business just yet, but I still felt like I needed to get my goals and plans written down. In a sense, that is what a business plan is. 

What are some key things to include? 

  • What are you planning to sell, and how many (and what) items will you have for your 'launch'?
  • What starting supplies will you need - office supplies, basic equipment to create your items and to ship them. How much will these cost?
  • What is your 'mission statement'? Why do you want to start an online craft business?
  • What are some special or unique features of the products you want to sell?
It may seem hard to believe, but we didn't spend very much to get started on our business. We have always loved going to art supply shops and office supply shops...which means, we have enough art supplies and office supplies to start a business! Apart from spending a bit of my birthday money on new beads and wire and a few small things for making necklaces, and buying some paper, we haven't had to spend much so far. We just bought some large paper for Greg's limited edition prints which he'll be doing soon, and I bought a variety pack of handmade paper from Montréal. You're probably wondering why we have things like linocutting supplies and blank cards/envelopes, but like I said - we love art supplies! Plus, I won a Speedball starter kit a few years ago. 

At a minimum, our cards, envelopes and paper are 100% post-consumer recycled. Hardly any store-bought cards and stationary sets are, which makes our products stand out a bit. Linocutting is also not as popular as other types of printing. There are a lot of 'craft' looking greeting cards sold on Etsy - things glued or attached to a card in a scrapbook sort of fashion, so hopefully our cards will seem different in a good way. 

What I Have Been Working on:
I posted 3 necklaces this week, in the last few days, to my Etsy store.  I have a bunch of others in my Artfire shop. I don't know what to think of Artfire, so far. I have a lot of views there, but that's due to last month's giveaway event.

I completed my linocut design for a new stationary set and will be printing it soon and posting it. I know that what we really need is more stuff in the store. I should stop reading the Etsy forums so much and get to crafting! 

New items this week:
This card is the first in a series of Provincial flower cards:

I will be providing 2 gift certificates for giveaway in August for some Blogmania promotions through twitter and facebook. I was going to sponsor some giveaways for blogs but what talked into doing these instead by the PR rep. I hope they pan out for me and the shop! 
How do you feel about giveaways in terms of promotion of the sponsor shop? I did a bunch of giveaways last month but didn't get any sales from them. Hopefully this works out better!

I have also contacted and been contacted by a few people who will be featuring products from our store in the next few weeks! I am super excited about that. 

Informative Articles:
Cash Crafters: Guide to Selling Your Crafts Online
Considering opening up a shop on Etsy? This guide gives you some super-basic information on doing so.