Saturday, September 19, 2009

Seller Tips: Analyze the Situation

In my Entrepreneurship class, we do this analysis exercise at least twice a week for various products and businesses. It finally clicked: This can be applied to my Etsy shop!

Analyzing your situation is key to running a successful business. Doing this exercise will get you stop and deeply think about your business. Write all your thoughts down. You may even discover something new about your business!

1. Description of your product- What exactly do you sell? What makes your product different than what’s already on the market? Do you use different materials? Do you have a different technique? Be as specific and detailed as possible—Get down to the nitty-gritty if you will.

2. Who is your market?- Who purchases your products? “I sell to everyone!” Well, not exactly. Be realistic. Think about demographics: gender, age, geographic location, income. Knowing who your target market is will make you more efficient in the type of products you offer and how you promote—saving time and money!

3. Who is your completion?- Who else sells the same things as you? List company names and Etsy shops. Keep in mind your competition is not only other Etsy shops, but also mainstream businesses off Etsy as well. (For example, one of the products I sell is greeting cards. I compete with other card shops on Etsy AND big name companies like Hallmark and American Greetings—no pressure by the way!) Once you know who your competition is, take a look at their business-products, prices, marketing. Anticipate their next move so you can be ahead of them!

4. How will you dominate the market?- How will you get the word out there about your products? Ads on websites-blog-interesting photographs-posting flyers around town-craft shows-packaging the products in an eye catching way? This should be answered in light of your market.

This may be a little deep for some Etsy shops, but it is just to get you thinking about your business. I believe it is beneficial! Hope you learn something new about your business!