I almost named this post “6 Ways To Take Advantage of Downtime” but “downtime” is something that I don’t think many independent business owners have. However, I do think we go through slow seasons. Obviously, with selling cards, my business can be very seasonal based on upcoming holidays (or lack-thereof). If you knit accessories, maybe you notice your sales are best in the cooler months. It’s also common to hit a lull after the Christmas time rush.
When it can be easy to look at slow season in a negative way, it actually can have a positive effect on your business if you let it! It’s the perfect opportunity to take advantage of this extra time you have.
1. Improve Your Shop
You’ve probably heard how important good product photos are on Etsy
. Set aside an afternoon to shoot, experiment, and improve your product photos. What about your descriptions? Are they up-to-date? Do they tell the potential customer everything they need to know about the product? Same goes for your tags. Make sure your shop tags are descriptive. Think about what words you would search for to find your product on Etsy. And feel free to get an outsider’s opinion. I ask my friend’s all the time how they would search for cards and what they would be looking for as a buyer.
2. Widen Your Product Range
If you have a new product you have been wanting to try out, well, now is the time! You may also consider what sort of product would make this slow season not so slow for you. Think about how you could make a wider range of the same type of product. For example, I know that summer will be slower than usual because there’s few holidays people need cards for. So I thought about what IS big during the summer. Weddings
….So I made more cards that could be used for those occasions.
3. Brainstorm The Next Big Season
I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking about Valentine’s Day 2013. Yes, yes, I know it’s June. But I am already thinking about how to make next Valentine’s Day season bigger than this year. I’m writing down card ideas. I’m writing down marketing ideas. I’m getting excited. Think about your last big season and what you learned. Take note on how to improve it for next time.
4. Make More Inventory
This is something I just started doing and I looooove it. It makes orders so much easier to fill when I have printed and packaged cards all ready to go. Utilize the extra time you have now so there’s less work when things pick up.
Slow season is perfect for putting more effort into promotion. Ever spend time in the Etsy forums? They can be great for building relationships with other sellers and even attracting potential buyers. Seek out your favorite blogs and snag some ad space to draw more traffic to your shop. Tweet it up on Twitter. Update your Facebook page with a sneak peek of an exciting new product! Even though it may really be slow season for you, let your fans know you still have things going on!
6. Check your Etsy Stats
I check my Etsy stats ALL the time. I’m so glad Etsy finally started offering them because they are so helpful. Check where your traffic comes from so you know what promotion is working and what isn’t. I also pay attention to the top keywords people use that reach my shop. Make sure your item tags have these keywords in them. The keywords will also tell you what is popular at this time. Knowing this will help you when it comes to widening your product range.
Hope this helps! Now get to work! ;] xo JA
Join the discussion 12 Comments
Great advice. Not everything I sell is seasonal, but it is nice to have time to brainstorm what I will be selling when the holidays roll around!
very good advice, julieann! you are such an inspiration to me and so many. love you!
thank you o wise one. 🙂
all such good tips. i think too often people just sit frustrated when things are slow but it makes so much more sense to keep plugging away and preparing for when it will again be super busy!
Thank you sooo much for this reminder! I’ve been feeling frustrated lately and have been trying to keep my head up and keep creating. I still have some super rogue listings from back in the day that I’ve been meaning to photograph again. I’ll have to spend some time this afternoon doing that! 😉
That’s such great advice. I just opened my shop last Sunday and I’m getting anxious haha. I’m gonna follow your advice and add more things to the shop!
WORD on Etsy stats — also glad they started doing this! I’m using summer to expand on my wedding photography experience and ramp up for wedding season 2013… eek! Hope your week is off to a good start, Julie. 🙂
P.S. Happy 2,000 GFC followers! 🙂
Thank you, very helpful!
Great advice, I just started doing number #4. With the new pay when it sales quantity update it is not worth me making more then one of an item. Now I need to work on #3!
Excellent tips! I’ve been doing this this summer for my knitting shop since that tends to be a largely seasonal shop. So I’ve been streamlining my product line, updating photos, building a Twitter/FB following, etc. Hopefully it’ll pay off this fall/winter with some sales!! ;D