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Sarah Waggoner

What You Should Outsource as a Full-time Etsy Seller

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As a full-time Etsy seller, you need to outsource parts of your business if you want to continue to grow without burning out. So what should you outsource for your Etsy shop as a full-time seller? Keep reading for my best outsourcing tips for full-time Etsy sellers.

When to start outsourcing

One of the biggest mistakes that Etsy sellers make when it comes to outsourcing is waiting way too long to start the process.

If you wait til you’re at 110% capacity, it gets harder to find and train an employee or contractor to follow your process in a way that maintains quality in your business.

You can avoid this by creating a plan for the tasks you’re going to outsource now, even if you aren’t ready to do the actual hiring immediately. Create a plan that includes the tasks you’ll want to outsource and how much each task may cost monthly. Then prioritize each task according to what will save you the most time or create the biggest increase in revenue.

Types of tasks to outsource

There are two types of tasks that you are going to want to outsource in your business. The first is tasks someone can do better than you in less time. This may include financial and legal tasks that are difficult for you or that don’t come naturally to you.

The second is tasks that are easy to train someone else to complete to your standards.

Keep reading for a list of examples.

What to outsource

Below is a list of tasks that can be easily outsourced in most Etsy businesses. You might not want to outsource all of these tasks, but keep a running list of what may work for your business.

Accounting

Accounting is one of those tasks that sometimes you are just not good at. Personally, accounting and bookkeeping tasks take me a very long time to complete and I’m never really sure that I’m doing them 100% correctly. It doesn’t help that the rules for taxes can change from year to year.

Thankfully bookkeeping, accounting, and tax services can be outsourced fairly easily. Outsourcing these tasks to an expert can also help ensure you’re running a profitable business each year.

Legal Tasks

While hiring a lawyer to complete legal tasks for you isn’t always inexpensive, it can save you hours of time and headaches especially if you don’t have an understanding of legal jargon. If you’re establishing an LLC, filing a trademark, or completing other legal tasks, consider outsourcing to a lawyer who will get them done quickly and legally.

Making Product

One of the first things most Etsy sellers outsource is making products. This is a great idea to keep processing times lower and have more happy customers who, of course, want products shipped quickly.

This can be a little nerve-wracking for sellers making handmade products because you want to ensure that each Etsy order is sent out perfectly, but it’s a necessity if you want to scale without increasing prices signficantly.

Shipping and Packaging

If you aren’t ready to train an employee to make your products, consider hiring someone locally to package and prepare each order for shipping. They can come in a few times a week to package orders. While some Etsy sellers have a very specific shipping process, packaging instructions can be very easily documented so future employees can replicate the process with very little training.

You can even take this a step farther and outsource fulfillment completely by using a 3PL service. You can ship your products to a 3PL and they will take care of picking each order, packaging, and shipping. This is obviously a more expensive method, but if you’re running out of room in your home it can be cheaper than renting or purchasing your own warehouse. They can also fulfill orders that you’ve gotten from another marketplace, like Amazon, and from your own website.

Post Office Runs

Still going to the post office a few times a week? You don’t have time for that! Schedule a free USPS pick up here. Make sure to print out a scan sheet of your orders so your postalworker can easily scan each mark each package as received with just one scan.

You can schedule pickups with other shipping companies like UPS and FedEx as well although there is usually a daily charge.

Product Photography and Videography

While you can spend a lot of time practicing your photography and videography skills, sometimes it’s easier to hire a product photographer or videographer instead.

Find someone local or use a service like Soona to create product photos and video for you that aren’t easily done without a photo studio. Your customers will appreciate clear product photos with a white background as well as lifestyle images that help them visualize what a product may look like in their own home.

In the meantime, grab my best product photography tips here.

Customer Service

You don’t realize how much time you’re spending on customer service until you outsource it. Hire a virtual assistant to answer Etsy convos and handle your email inbox. This takes a lot of stress off of you as the business owner to be available for customer feedback 24/7.

Personal Tasks

Last, but not least, don’t forget all of the personal and household tasks you can outsource to save you time. House clean, laundry, meal prep, childcare, lawn care. The list is endless.

The goal isn’t to clear up time so you can work 24/7, but to take stuff off of your to do list so you have time for your normal work hours and relaxation too.

Tips for outsourcing

Hiring and outsourcing in your business doesn’t always feel easy, but it’s worth it when you can grow your Etsy shop and have some free time too! Here are my best tips for outsourcing in your business.

Mindset

Running an Etsy store isn’t easy no matter what level you’re at. When you start outsourcing, you’re going to have a lot of mindset drama. Your brain will want to tell you it’s not worth it or that you won’t be able to find employees that you love. You might worry about someone else creating your own products for a business that you built up from scratch. You might even wonder what making more money would mean for you as you grow.

And all of that mindset drama is ok.

Remember why you want to grow your Etsy business, what hiring employees and contractors can do for your growth, and take it one step at a time to reach your goals.

Plan in advance

You never want to hire anyone for any position from a place of desperation, so it’s important to plan for your next hire way before you’re ready. Decide what you want to outsource in your business, what your budget is, and start creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for the new position well in advance.

Be the boss

Remember that this is your company and nobody else’s. You’re the expert in your business even when you’re hiring someone else to help you.

Sellers can fall into the trap of differing to an assistant or contractor as the expert sometimes to the business’s detriment.

This happens especially often when outsourcing marketing tasks. Not everyone loves content creation so it can be tempting to step back completely from these tasks after hiring someone to help.

But it’s important to act like the CEO you are and not delegate to the point of not knowing what’s going on in any arm of your business.

Can you automate the task instead?

Some tasks can be easily automated instead of outsourced to save you time.

Inventory is one of the best examples. If you’ve been tracking inventory levels manually, consider investing in an automated system like CraftyBase or Trunk.

Conclusion

If this process feels overwhelming, let’s take it step by step.

First, determine what you want to outsource first. Prioritize tasks that you don’t excel at and tasks that are easy to train others for. Then set a budget and a target date for getting this tasks off of your to do list.

Need help with outsourcing for your Etsy store? Click here to apply for private mentoring with me. After you fill out the quick application, you’ll get to schedule a consult call with me where we’ll talk about your Etsy shop, your goals, and your outsourcing strategy.

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About Author:
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Sarah Waggoner is a full time Etsy Seller with over $700,000 in sales. She helps handmade and digital sellers get daily sales on Etsy without all the complications.

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