Welcome to our new blog series, all about starting a handmade business!
This week we're covering the absolute basics - websites and social media!
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Firstly - congratulations! This is such an exciting time, and there is such a long road ahead full of adventure! Hopefully you’ve chosen a handmade business making something you absolutely LOVE making - because if you’re successful, you’ll be making a lot of it!
There is an incredibly handmade business community in Australia - I really recommend you reach out to groups on Facebook and accounts on Instagram to get a good guide on what the industry is doing. You’ll get advice about everything from postal services, to customer service, to website development. It seems that everyone is happy to share, guide and support - its a genuine community spirit and if you are generous with your own support of others it will come back to you threefold.
Website? Etsy? Stand Alone Business?
The best advice I got when I started my business was to master one business aspect at a time. For me, I began on Etsy and once I had consistent sales (and therefore a consistent behind-the-scenes system!), I was able to transfer to my own website too. I had the skills and confidence to keep my Etsy running while I started my website and spent time ironing out kinks. Then I started on Markets and selling in-person.
I personally chose Etsy because they do drive a lot of customers to you, without you having to do too much - so while you're getting used to things, you're still potentially making sales.
It is impossible, I think, to run a business with multiple arms from the outset - and run it WELL. So instead of trying to do it all, focus on doing one thing perfectly before you move onto the next thing!!
What about Social Media?
Social Media is an important part of any business. If you’re not a huge social media person, I thoroughly recommend focusing on a single platform at a time - start gaining a following by sharing quality images and informative captions, and then once you have a solid base, move to the next platform.
Investing in a scheduling software has been a huge move for our business (we use later.com and tailwind.com!) because they help us pre-plan and then automatically post for us so we can keep working elsewhere. Wherever possible, engage on platforms (comment, like, share), post stories - it all helps you build and gain notoriety!
On our next business blog, we’ll be focusing on postal services and packaging - be sure to check back in!