If you want to reduce your dependency on Etsy and build business resilience in your solo business, then let’s start looking at your business in a fresh light to see if you can easily adapt it and grow.
When every sale counts, business continuity is important. Making the most of every opportunity that comes your way is vital.
No business is immune from changes that are outside of your control. In fact, running a small home business means that you are more susceptible to market changes, or Etsy changes, than larger businesses. You can reduce the risk of losing sales by ensuring you have alternative options.
Finding fresh new marketplaces for your existing products or adapting your existing products for a new customer type helps your business grow. This leads to diversification which in turn leads to business resilience.
Let’s look at how small businesses can quickly diversify by taking a fresh look at what they do.
Ways to build business resilience
Business resilience doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and effort, and a little bit of creativity. To start on the road to building resilience in your business, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you enter a new market place to sell your products?
- Is it possible to adapt your product?
- Is there a new audience you could reach?
- Could you join with another business to provide a more comprehensive service?
Each of these questions is expanded on below.
Joining a new market place to sell your products
Joining a new marketplace doesn’t mean letting go of your existing income streams. This is in addition to what you currently do. The more places and ways people can find you, the more potential you have to sell your product.
This means you keep your existing products and simply add to how you bring those products to your customers. This helps you to reach them in various ways that meet your customer’s needs better.
If you already have a good conversion rate, then an increase of eyes on your products can mean a good increase in sales with minimum effort.
If you already sell on Etsy, take a look at Amazon Handmade, Ebay or Not on the High Street to see if these might meet your needs.
Making it work
- Setting up a new income stream will take effort. If you are already pushed for time, consider whether you have the capacity to make this extra effort.
- Each marketplace has its own rules, fees and common customer profile. Check these carefully to make sure spending the time and effort of getting a new income stream up and running is going to be worth it.
- If you are already at your maximum for creating products, look into how you can scale up your product creation first to meet an increase in demand.
Adapt your product
Adapting your product means you still stick with your base product but will have a different version to meet different customer needs and circumstances.
Do you think you can add to your product offering to meed a new need? Here are some ideas to get you thinking about your products in a new light:
- Maybe you could produce a digital product to teach your customers how to improve their skills. This means you have a product that, once created, requires no further effort from you, so it really makes your business a bit more scalable.
- Or maybe some of your products could be offered in DIY kit form. Using the supplies and suppliers you already have, you can make products that are a lot less time consuming than your standard offering.
- What about creating an online course? With the lockdowns we have had over the last year, people are clamouring to learn new skills and maybe you can offer just that skill.
Making it work
- If you are adapting your products for a new purpose, you may need to check if you need to comply with different regulations, such as safety labelling requirements or technical requirements that you otherwise didn’t need.
Build business resilience by reaching a new audience
It is always worth considering if you can adapt your products to different audiences. For example, you maybe make cake modelling moulds, but those same moulds can also be used for creating soap. These are two completely different uses for the same product, and as such, requires different marketing.
Here are some areas you could consider to see if there are any opportunities for your products:
- Can you provide something for different age groups?
- Is there something else your product could be used for?
- Can your products be used differently in different locations?
Making it work
- When reaching new audiences, you need to understand who you’re speaking to and consider how you need to adapt your marketing to speak their language. This can be as simple as changing up the titles and tags on your Etsy listing to use the new words and phrases in addition to your original set.
- You may need to provide slightly different instructions or care guides based on your product’s new intended use to ensure it meets your new audiences’ needs.
Create business relationships
To build more business resilience, it can help to create a business community that supports each other. This allows you to collaborate in new exciting ways and reach more potential customers.
Making it work
- It’s best for any successful business relationship for you to share the same values, ethics, and attitude to customer service.
- Often it is best to take a slow and steady approach. Use a couple of small projects to see how it works and then review.
- Make sure you discuss having a formal agreement or contract if you make the arrangement permanent.
Test, review and learn
There are always costs and risks with anything you do in business. It is much safer for a small business to take small steps at a time.
You can minimise risk by:
- Getting feedback from customers on your existing products and new ideas
- Run a small project to test your idea without committing to any long-term contracts with suppliers or customers
If your first attempt doesn’t go to plan, don’t be afraid to consider another option to diversify. It is often the process of trying something new that will help you generate lots of new ideas.