You don’t need a lot to run your shop on Etsy. I kept things really bare bones for a long time. But there are a few things I cannot live without for running my shop. I’m going to give you my top 6 today. The list is a mix of services and software that I use every single day.
The first thing I can’t live without for my shop is an inventory system. I waited way too long to implement this in my business and it caused a lot of problems. Mostly overselling product during really busy times when I wasn’t able to keep track manually.
Our automated inventory system wasn’t quick to set up and learn by any means. My business in particular needs integrations not only with Etsy, but with Amazon and Shopify as well. But it was well worth it after the learning curve. I know now exactly how many products we have at any time and get estimates on when I need to reorder supplies.
Email Service Provider
The second thing on my list is is my email service provider. You 100% should be thinking about an email list if you aren’t already. This is a really effective way of marketing and doesn’t have to be really difficult or time consuming. All you need is an opt-in that entices your future buyers to join. I recommend keeping things simple and using a coupon for buyers first orders. I have done more complicated email options in the past, and nothing converts as well as a simple coupon and it only takes a few minutes to set up. You have a ton of options like Mailerlite or Mailchimp that are free or low cost.
The third thing on my list of things I cannot live without running my Etsy shop is actually related to my email lis. For those of you who have started an email list and maybe only have a few people on it, mostly family members maybe, I highly recommend CraftKit. You can get a link for 50% off your first three months here. What CraftKit does is integrates with your Etsy shop to email your customers and let them opt in to your email list after they purchase.
They do have a few competitors, but I specifically like CraftKit for a few different reasons. One, their customer service has been absolutely amazing. I was using another company for a few months to do the same thing and really had a terrible experience with their customer service. I highly recommend CraftKit. I have spoken with the owners and they are so responsive to questions and they really want to make sure that you succeed with their program.
I also like them for a few other reasons beyond just really good customer service. They are able to send a few other emails besides the order confirmation. They also send emails for shipping confirmations, delivery confirmations, and feedback requests. I’m not currently using all four of these options, but I will be experimenting with different things in the future to increase the percentage of my customers that are opting in to my email list.
They also have really great analytics and so it’s gonna be super easy to measure and I highly recommend them.
The next thing on my list is my calendaring system. I used Google calendar in a paper planner to create a schedule for me every week. This helps with a lot of different things. If you’re someone who procrastinates, this makes sure that you are getting your priorities completed every week. I use Google calendars to create an ideal schedule. I don’t necessarily like to check my inventory system and put new supply orders in every week. But that’s on my calendaring system for every Friday at a certain time, and so reminds me to do it and get it done.
It also eliminates a lot of the time or you sit down at your desk or your workstation to get some work done, and you waste the first 10 or 20 minutes trying to decide what to do. I used to do this all the time. And I wasn’t getting my priorities done because I wasn’t scheduling things ahead of time. So having the same schedule every week has been really helpful.
And you can do this even if your schedule changes from week to week. If you know that you can usually find an hour of free time on Mondays and Wednesdays what are the two things that you want to accomplish one for both of those days? So there’s a lot of ways to work that and be flexible with this, but I highly recommend that you use some kind of system like this to make sure that you are not forgetting to do things some weeks that are actually really big priorities.
The next thing is my bookkeeper. I am not someone who feels super confident that I am doing my bookkeeping 100% perfectly every single week. So outsourcing this and not tracking manually like I did when I first started my business has been some thing that I cannot live without. I used QuickBooks software in the past when I was not making enough sales to hire a bookkeeper. I now have a CPA/bookkeeping team that acts more like a CFO and plans out finances and taxes and really looks at my profitability. But that’s not something you might need until you are full-time and making a lot of sales.
The last thing on my list of things that I cannot live without in my business is related to bookkeeping and financial planning. I have been using You Need A Budget (YNAB) to future forecast and plan my expenses in my business. This is been incredibly helpful for expenses in my business that may be only come up once a year. My accounting is an example of this. I was working with an accountant last year, that only charged me once a year. But that was an expense that was a few thousand dollars. So if that snuck up on me, I wouldn’t necessarily have money set aside for that. And this software really helps me plan with that.