Need help with your Etsy shop organization? Well, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, most sellers’ workspaces are far from Pinterest-worthy. So if you often have various piles of materials lying around or can never find the right tool, we’re here to help. Here’s how to get organized and keep your Etsy shop on track.
Getting your Etsy shop organized can be a struggle
If you’re an Etsy seller, we’ll take a wild guess and say you view yourself as a creative person. And as a creative person, it’s probably safe to say that you sometimes find yourself scatterbrained. So while you may thrive in front of a blank canvas, you shut down at the thought of getting organized.
We feel you.
It’s no secret that creative types tend to be scatterbrained, often flying by the seat of their pants regarding structure and organization.
But as much as we thrive as “free spirits,” there comes a time when we need to buckle down and get our act together for the sake of our business.
By setting up systems and routines, we can actually maximize our creativity and productivity. Because when we’re not stressed out and scrambling to keep up, we can focus more fully on our craft and let the ideas flow.
With that being said, here are some tips to help you find more organization in your Etsy business and your daily life.
Get organized by setting specific work hours
Setting dedicated work times can be a game-changer for productivity and Etsy shop organization. By carving out specific times in our day to focus on work and letting that creativity soar, you can eliminate distractions and get into the zone.
Plus, it helps establish a routine, leading to more consistent and high-quality work.
When we set boundaries around our work times, we can relax and enjoy other aspects of our lives without feeling guilty or overwhelmed when those challenging days appear.
As a solopreneur, it may seem challenging to compartmentalize your work and personal life, especially at first. But if you can set clear boundaries for yourself and your family regarding your work and play time, you can minimize distractions during the work day.
Distractions can be detrimental to your creative flow. Not only does it take away from the time you could be creating something, but we all know how long it sometimes takes us to hit a stride with our work. One 5-minute distraction, and it could take use an hour to get back into the same creative mindset we were in before.
Etsy shop organization starts with an organized space
You might have a specific place where you do your best work. It could be your office, a dedicated room, somewhere just around the house, or even in the garage.
Either way, you’ll most likely need a place to call your own, one where you can do your thing. As we mentioned in our previous point, if you often work in a room with others, you’ll inevitably run into more distractions. And that’s no good.
But what’s just as bad is working in a chaotic, clutter-filled space. While you may have fewer distractions from other people entering your workspace, you may be distracted by your mess.
How can you focus on your work when there’s a pile of bills you’ve been procrastinating to pay, just sitting on your desk right in front of you? Or how are you supposed to write a response to your customer when Christmas decorations are eyeing you from the corner of the room?
Once you have a dedicated space to get your work done, keep it tidy. Set up different “stations” to fulfill various parts of your job. Have one area where you do your brainstorming, another where you do the making, and another area dedicated to packing, wrapping, and delivery.
Establish a fulfillment process to keep your Etsy shop organized
We see most sellers drop the ball in this part of running an Etsy shop.
They’re so focussed on creating and marketing that they neglect the less appealing work of fulfilling orders.
If this sounds like you, then the first thing you need to do is write down every step it takes you to fulfill an order. While you’re figuring out this process, make sure you answer some of these common questions:
- Once you’ve made a product, where does it go next?
- How is it stored and found later?
- What packaging materials do you use to wrap various products? Or does it even matter?
- What else do you include in the box?
- When do you print your shipping labels?
- Do you do all your fulfillment in the morning? Or fulfill orders as they come in?
By establishing a basic fulfillment process, you can work more efficiently without guessing which step comes next. You’ll find you make fewer mistakes and increase customer satisfaction across the board.
Establish a creative workflow
Every creative mind works differently, so this point isn’t about finding your flow but structuring when and where you find that flow.
Creating, building, and solving your customer’s problem is tempting to jump right into it — but that’s only part of running your business. If it takes you 5 hours to create a product but 2 hours to fulfill the order and another 3 hours of marketing to find a new customer, well, here’s how you spend most of your time:
- 3 hours of marketing
- 5 hours of creating
- 2 hours of fulfillment
The creative process is only half the work. The other half is spent doing less-ideal tasks but business tasks that need to get done.
When you chunk your time up, you create a workflow for operating your business. As a result, you know how much time you should spend on specific tasks, and you can prioritize better throughout the day.
And once you know how much time you’ll need to spend on the less ideal parts of your job, you’ll know exactly when you’ll get a chance to be creative again.
Create a standard operating procedure
Also called SOPs. Standard operating procedures are essentially a comprehensive way of creating a workflow for your business. It’s an essential step in getting more organized in your Etsy shop because it forces you to put everything you do down onto paper.
So just like you wrote down your fulfillment process, SOPs can be used to detail every part of your job.
SOPs tell you (or anyone else for that matter) what happens when you:
- Run out of supplies
- Go past a due date
- Can’t source a product
- Create something not up to standard
- Get asked for a return
- Loose or misplaced something
It’s a fundamental business document, and realizing it is essential, even if you’re your only employee.
Creating SOPs for your business is a great idea if you intend to scale your Etsy shop for future growth. If you see yourself hiring part-time help or working with a fulfillment team, these procedures will help smooth out the process of growing your business.
Figure out how (and who) to ask for help when you need it
Your business and the products you create are your babies. All the hard work you’ve spent getting to this point is from your blood, sweat, and tears. You may have a specific idea of what you hope to accomplish with your business, or you may not. And that’s okay.
But if your business is gaining traction, you can’t always do everything alone. Of course, you can try, but it will quickly suck the fun out of operating an Etsy shop.
If you find yourself growing quicker than you can handle, contact a few friends and talk to them about your venture — if you haven’t already done so. Give them the heads up that you might call on their help for a specific task in the future. Maybe it’s help sending off orders, answering emails, or something small that can easily be outsourced.
At the very least, this can help put your mind at ease, knowing you have someone to turn to when stuff hits the fan. And part of Etsy shop organization means removing daily stressors that can detract from your overall work.
Organize your Etsy shop with a list of the right suppliers
Finding reliable and high-quality suppliers for your raw materials can make a huge difference. By establishing go-to suppliers that you can trust, you’ll be able to streamline your production process and ensure that you’re always using the best materials available.
A strong relationship with your suppliers means you can negotiate better prices or exclusive access to certain materials or products. Plus, having go-to suppliers can save you time and energy that would otherwise be spent looking for one each time you need something new.
Once you know the right suppliers to work with, keep track of them with a spreadsheet. Detail where they operate from, the materials they provide you with, the product you use them for, and all their pertinent costs.
This will help you keep track of everything you’ll need to know in the event prices change or manufacturers adjust how they operate.
Dedicate time to marketing and research
Marketing and research are often seen as a necessary evil for many Etsy shop owners, especially if you’re not a natural salesperson or don’t enjoy self-promotion.
However, setting dedicated times to market your Etsy shop and research product trends and keywords can make the process less daunting and more effective in the long run.
Try setting aside at least a few hours a week for researching new keywords in Marmalead and creating social media content or ads for your products. By carving out specific times in your schedule, you can create a plan and strategy that works best for you.
Knowing that you only have to do it during a specific time frame can make the task more manageable and less overwhelming.
But let’s not forget the point of marketing and research — it leads to more traffic and sales, which can ultimately help your business grow and thrive. So even if you find the whole process less than ideal, setting dedicated times to do it can make it more enjoyable and rewarding in the long run.
Over to you
Embrace the challenge of improving your Etsy shop organization.
It may not come naturally to you as a creative person, but you’ll find that a considerable weight can be lifted off your shoulders with the right systems in place.
Who knows, maybe you’ll even surprise yourself with how much you can accomplish when you’re not drowning in chaos.
Have any organization tips that we missed? Post them down in the comments below.