Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Your Etsy shop is not your business ... is it?

A post for small/indie/micro business owners with Etsy shops ... (preceded by this fine print: I love Etsy and am not part of any Etsy-bashing group! This post is meant to help small biz owners think about their business strategy.)

How do you define yourself when you think about your business?

"I own an Etsy shop"

"I own a small business"

"I am an entrepreuner"

"I'm planning world dominion"

Here's my own self-identification:

I'm an entrepreunerial small business owner. My business has several arms, including Etsy shops (more than one!), other sites, wholesale accounts, etc.

My business isn't my Etsy shop. Instead, my Etsy shops are part of my overall business.

(Before anyone gets rankled, bear with me.)

If Etsy disappeared from the interwebs when you work up this morning, what would happen to your business? Would you be doomed? Or - after a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth - would you simply refocus on your wholesale accounts, own website, other venues, etc.?

As long as Etsy is part of your overall business, and your overall business is (at least semi) healthy, you should be fine.

If Etsy IS your overall business ... well, you get my drift. :)

I'll be talking more about this, because I've been muddling through this and other ideas as I rethink and redevelop my own business.

I'd love to hear what you think, though.

Is your Etsy shop your business, or is it a part of your overall business? If the latter, what other arms does your business have? If the former, are you happy with the state of your Etsy business?


Rachel Lucie Johns said...

interesting, and very well worth asking the question. I am totally with you, too. I am a small business entrepreneur who as part of that business sells on etsy.

Etsy is amazing, I have met so many generous, kind and helpful people that have really helped me start up my business on etsy, but also educated my on my whole business, my web presence, photography etc.

*HOWEVER* etsy does have a tendency to become a huge time vampire (sorry etsy), that striving to be seen gets addictive, and they do brilliantly at fanning the flames of this. Obviously this backfires when a minority get bitter and twisted about it.

I'm not an etsy basher either, I wouldn't be where I am without it, and I love what it has helped me develop. I do need a gentle reminder every now and then (and thank you for this one!) that it's not my whole business, but part of it.

Best wishes with all the strands of your business!
Rachel x

Brenda said...

Yes! On Etsy's amazingness, changing my life, fantastic and creative people. And on time vampirism :) as well. They've done an excellent job of building their culture, which involves some (a lot of?) obsession by its members. Including me. :)