Personal emergencies aren’t something any of us like to think about much less talk about and plan for. The unforeseen is usually a little scary. But the truth is, you never know if something is going to change. Having a plan in place for your Etsy shop in an emergency in case it does will be one less thing you’ll need to worry about. It might even provide some comfort in the event you actually have to put the plan into action.
At Marmalead we’re all about alleviating stress and thinking positively. One way to ensure you have less stress is to have a plan in place should an emergency arise. Someone wise once said, “Preparedness is the calm before, during and after the storm.” So here we’ll offer you five helpful tips to ensure your Etsy shop success doesn’t take the brunt of an emergency or unplanned event.
1. Communicate, communicate, communicate!
We’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: communicate with your customers! Hopefully, you will be back up and running quickly. But even if you are, you still need to communicate with your current customers about what’s going on. Let them know your shipping times might be a bit longer. If you have customers who have a deadline and need your products on schedule, communicating with them to see if you can still meet their deadline will ensure you don’t have an upset client. If you are unable to meet your deadlines, now is the time to start the refund/cancellation process. No matter the situation, keeping your customers informed will help to assure them that you are transparent and honest. Communication builds rapport and will help to ensure you haven’t lost the opportunity for repeat business from these customers.
2. A Pinch Hitter
In baseball, a pinch hitter is a player who goes to bat in place of a teammate whenever it’s absolutely necessary and usually at a critical point in the game. If you’re a one-person shop and are not employing anyone, ask a friend or family member if they’d consider being your “pinch hitter”! If they agree, show them the basics of running your shop, shipping out orders, answering conversations, and issuing refunds. That way if you ever have to call them up to bat, they’ll be able to help your shop run smoothly while you deal with life. If you have products made ahead of time to fill orders, having a designated person that not only knows how to ship products out but understands the other basics needed to run your shop will give you peace of mind. If you have someone willing to do this, it could mean the difference between having to temporarily close up shop or keeping it running through a tough situation.
3. Temporarily close up shop (Vacation Mode)
Another option would be to place your shop in vacation mode. If you don’t have a “pinch hitter” and temporarily won’t be able to run your shop, vacation mode is an option. Once your shop is in vacation mode, a notice will appear at the top of your shop page saying that you’re taking a short break. The green Add to cart button will be grayed out and your items won’t appear in search. Your shop will still appear if someone searches for your exact shop name, but will not appear as an auto-suggestion in search or other shopping tools. In vacation mode, other Etsy members who visit your shop can sign up to be notified by email of your return.
4. Protect yo’ self
Sometimes, even when you’re a great communicator, things can go south with a buyer. If you find yourself in this situation, even after you’ve communicated with Mr. or Mrs. Cranky Pants, you can always follow Etsy’s Seller Protection Policy! This will make sure that your shop is in good standing in the event that Mr. or Mrs. Cranky Pants get their knickers bunched up beyond repair!
5. Stay positive
We talk about positivity a lot (in case you hadn’t noticed) 😉 If you love the positivity, check out our post on fighting negativity! We talk about this because we truly believe it makes a difference in both our lives and our businesses. The first thing we would encourage you to do is take some deep breathes and (to the best of your ability) try to not let your mind be overtaken by negative thoughts. Visualize your shop continuing to run smoothly, no matter which direction you need to take it in. Understand that no matter what happens, you absolutely have it within yourself to make it through successfully. Vince Lombardi says it well, “Preparedness is the ultimate confidence builder.” So friends, stay positive and stay prepared!
Happy selling, everyone!