Monday, January 17, 2011

ETSY – Quit Your Day Job Series

 

I have been reading the “Quit Your Day Job” interview over on Etsy where successful Etsy store owners discuss giving up their day jobs to be small business owners. Each interviewee come from a different background, and each shares their reasons for the career change. Here are some common statements (each one also applies to The Silver Hook).

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  1. Running a business takes tremendous amounts of time – not just in making products, but also learning and using booking keeping, advertizing, photography, writing, and organization skills. Success depends on the amount of hard work and time you put into your business, not the amount of money invested.
  2. Work always comes home with you (but if it is your passion, you don’t seem to mind). A conscious effort has to be made to balance work load and personal life.
  3. Update your Etsy Shop frequently – even if you are only relisting, or listing another unit of something already listed.
  4. To Do Lists are vital! I never complete my daily list, and it is always carried forward to the next day. I like to use Google Calendar and I drag unfinished items to the next day. Seeing all the items that I can check off each day, helps me to visualize just how much work I have done.
  5. Excelling in customer service is key. With social networking sites and feedback forms, a business must excel with it’s customer service. Grammar and language is important. Even how items are packaged and shipped can contribute to positive feedback and future sales.
  6. Keep records, and keep them organized. I use an Excel spreadsheets to keep track of sales, expenses, inventory, consignment orders, wholesale orders, contact list, and the times and pricing for each product. It is time consuming to keep track of all of this, but it is the best way for me to evaluate what works.
I am continue to work through the many interviews, and there is a new one each week. I love how these articles inspire me to work hard at my business. Like many of the people featured in these articles, I tried to follow the more traditional career path. I did well in school, completed two degrees (B,Sc, and M.Sc), worked in multiple fields, but never really loved my work (with the exception of my time spent working on my Masters Thesis). The Silver Hook, for me, has many similarities to my thesis: self-directed, setting my own hours, being responsible for deadlines, creativity and stimulation of problem solving, and most of all, thinking about every detail and truly focussing on details. With The Silver Hook, I feel like I am on the right path.

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