You know those days when your thoughts are interrupted multiple times by the sound of a sale happening in your Etsy shop? I mean those times when your phone buzzes on and off throughout the day and then the Etsy app’s “ca-ching” wakes you in the middle of the night? No?
Me neither. Or at least I didn’t until the holidays came around last year.
Last October, I hadn’t even had many more than 2 sales a month let alone 2 in a day, so when November rolled around, I didn’t expect anything to change. I was very sure that the holiday season would be as it had been my first year on Etsy. Boy was I surprised when I had two straight weeks of the days I am describing up above. Needless to say at that point, I was not as prepared as I could have been, so I spent my whole holiday season playing catch up. You may even remember my burnout confession.
I’m determined that I won’t repeat that this year, so I am practicing what I preach and getting my shop up to snuff as much as I can this summer. One of my coworkers recently wrote an article on the Etsy Seller Handbook, 12 Ways to Get a Jumpstart on the Holidays. I’m going to try to do all 12. I invite you to follow along and do the same for your own business.
Day One: Establish your expectations for the season. Set a SMART goal — that’s Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound — based on your aspirations for growth in the coming months using this worksheet. Whether you’re hoping to increase sales, develop new products or grow your social media following in advance of the holidays, it’s important to know how to measure your success when the dust (and glitter) settles. – Seller Handbook
Following the worksheets advice, I quickly typed out the following goal, “This season my goal is to sell as much in revenue this November and December as I did last November and December, but through non-custom items.”
Now let’s work to make that goal even more specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Specific: I must have enough variety of ready-made items at the right price to make as much money as I’ve made in the past through custom orders. Currently, I do not have enough ready-made items, so this means I have to develop more products. I need to create a holiday line at various price points.
Measurable: I must have the new products – let’s say five – made, photographed and listed before November in order to start selling at that point. I’ll have reached this goal if I can do at least this much by mid-October.
Attainable: I honestly don’t know if my original goal of making the same revenue is attainable with non-custom items. I want my goal for the season to be smart, since I want to sustain working towards it. I am now realizing that I must pare that first goal back to make it attainable. Instead of revenue being what I want to attain, a more diverse and full shop of ready-made items will be my main goal.
Relevant: This goal will be relevant to my shop well beyond the holiday season since I want to prepare to wholesale my items.
Time-bound: I’m setting my new date at October 15th.
Given this exercise, here is my new SMART goal for the holiday season:
This season, my goal is to make, photograph and list at least 5 new ready-made items (with a quantity of 10 each) by October 15th.
Time to get to work!