As we approach the middle of January often those well thought out new years resolutions fall by the way side, I know I do it all the time, and often dreams are over shadowed sometimes by logical thinking or as I’m prone to this the dreaded over thinking kicks in. Well as much as I am an over thinker I am also one for not letting many circumstances stop me from pursuing my job and my business. Let me share a little story with you.
I grew up in a big family, not might in the way of money or things and I decided from a very early age that my dream was to live by the sea, draw and live off what I made, that was it that’s all I can truly remember wanting that and to get into Chelsea college of art (god knows why) so at the age of around 12/13 I set up from a prehistoric computer a myspace page and from there I started to sell hand drawn and illustrated tee shirts to all the scene and emo kids and it was a little bit of fun and people love what I did anyway fast forward to 2010 and I had just graduated from Falmouth University with a grand saved in my bank account I decided I would look for a part time job and make things on the side, illustrated a few things here and there and people liked them, my bearded men became pretty popular and I started to get a name for myself. It was a great feeling, but there were pit falls and I gave up pretty easily over things and as driven as I was I was and still am afraid of failure, it’s one thing as a good business owner to have a strong gut when it comes to investments and work and sometimes I was afraid to take leaps and this did hold me back a little in progress when it came to expanding things. This is something that I have added to my business resolution list for 2017, be more ambitious and less fearful of failure.
This be more ambitious fits in nicely with the Etsy resolutions where you can sign up of you want to start your own Etsy business in 2017, you will get expert advice over email and they will help you off on the right, now I wish I had that when I set up my store way back in 2010. I wanted to share some of my own tips and advice when it comes to setting up an online business.
Everyone says to create a business plan I never made one as I always felt that I would spend way to looking making it and never actually doing it. So I wrote a few quick bullet points regarding stock, illustration lines and prices to sell them at, probably massively unprofessional but it worked for me.
I love Instagram and I enjoy sharing my work and progress and 85% of my business stems from it, its a great tool to utilise, blogging has been my baby now for 10 years social media is where you can do your own free marketing so learn all you can and become a whizz.
Learn to book keep, I am massively rubbish at this but on Etsy you can track sales and print things out so I always found that to be helpful
Have a little savings behind you, when I left my full time job I had about £800 saved, yep I hated my teaching job that much I straight up and walked out after 3 years with no savings so I had to make it work if I was to survive.
Never compare yourself
Never compare yourself to others, straight up don’t do it! learn to love what you do and then what others do is no concern of yours, stay true and faithful to what you want to make and you’ll be golden!
Invest in good postage
This was my downfall in early stages of my business items got lost in the post and people hated waiting and wanted things instantly be prepared to occasionally have annoyed customers don’t take it too personally just improve how your run your shipping.
Slow and steady
I have been doing this now for over 10 years, I have run a jewellery shop, illustration shop, t-shirt shop all these things have cumulated and have helped me get to where I am today, don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a while for things to pick up keep going and keep creating.