5 Ways Etsy Can Help Start Your Small Business

by Linsey Knerl on 1 March 2011 4 comments
Photo: omgimages

I love Etsy. I first began shopping there just a few weeks ago, although I had followed its popularity for the past few years and have marveled at the showcase of talent featured across many genres of online shops featured there. Surprisingly, my interest in Etsy has had nothing to do with hand-stitched crafts, luxury bath items, or the random brick-a-brac that many people associate with the site. I go to Etsy to get staples for my small business. (See also: Buying (and Trading) on Etsy)

Because Etsy is a growing market, adding new stores every day, it has the potential to be a huge marketplace for some lesser-known startup necessities. In the meantime, you can find a limited, yet high-quality offering in the following areas.

Company Logos

While the prices run the gamut, I was able to buy a OOAK (one of a kind) business logo for my website, business cards, blog, and social media avatars. The talent displayed on Etsy was amazing, and my finished product was delivered within 24 hours. You can find several options to have a logo completely customized to your specifications, or you might find that a premade design fits better into your budget.

Web Design

In addition to getting a savvy-looking logo for your business, you might as well invest in a professional website to help sell your wares or services. Many of the same people who sell logos on Etsy are also well-versed in getting a site set up. If you are looking for something highly-customized, you’ll pay more. Buy a pre-made site with only slight modifications (color and logo, for example), and you could see a big discount over hiring someone from an agency. (Hint: If you have an Etsy shop yourself, hiring a fellow crafter to do your shop design is a worthwhile investment.)

Office Decor

While not essential to having a well-run small business, putting a little personality into your office space can be useful in getting productivity at its peak. Some of the nice items I’ve found on Etsy include framed photo artwork, up-cycled vintage end tables, custom drawer pulls, and chalkboard wall decals. If you need something whimsical, yet practical, you’ll likely find it here.

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Paper Supplies

Stationary, business cards, and envelopes can be ordered from a cheap site like VistaPrint, or you could give your business a classy, original look with the offerings found on Etsy. Whether you’re needing something completely handmade (like these collage notecards) or are looking for a more balanced look, you will likely find paper goods that communicate the feel of your company on Etsy.

Client Gifts

If you’ve used up all the free client gifts I’ve recommended in past articles, consider something beautiful and classy that your customers can hold in their hands. Contrary to common opinion, Etsy is not just for girls. You can find some really nice masculine designs, including this rustic organizer and organic shave kit made from beer. Regardless of the gender of your client (or the size of the organization), I’ve found handmade sweets to be a hit among all of the companies I work with. This tasty nougat speaks for itself!

Note: I linked to several Etsy shops in this article that I found to be interesting. Product offerings change often, so to keep the article relevant, I’ve linked to each shop homepage rather than individual items. I have not purchased from or have a personal interest in any of them, with the exception of Erin (who did my logo), and I cannot speak to the quality of each shop’s finished product.

How has Etsy helped your small business or blog?

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Christie Struck

Isn't Etsy an amazing place? I love having a shop there. Still trying to find new ways to let people know what a great place it is. Thanks for sharing your experiences! Above all, have fun there!

If you'd like to check out my shop: www.struckmyfancy.etsy.com

Linsey Knerl's picture

Wow! You have an amazing shop! I love the "Orange You Glad" necklace.. it reminds me of a piece of antique costume jewelry my grandma let me play with growing up. So sophisticated, yet fun! Thanks for sharing ;)

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Guest

Be careful on Etsy. I know of several sellers getting stuck with buyers saying product not as advertised. In theory the site is wonderful.

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Laura

Etsy inspired me to work on my handmade glass beads and help others along the way as well...we'll see what happens!