DIY: Etsy!

For those of you who don't know, Etsy is an online community and shopping site. It's a great way to sell hand made and vintage items. Also, it can be a good way to start a small business with relatively few investment costs and overhead.  As an aspiring Etsy entrepreneur myself, I did the sensible thing and checked out some books from the library. Here's what I found:

Starting An Etsy Business for Dummies by Kate Gatski is a good place to start. There are easy-to-read graphics and text, and lots of screen shots with step-by-step instructions.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Selling your Crafts on Etsy by Marcia Layton Turner is less visual and more textual, with an emphasis on checklists, but also a good source for setting up and marketing your new business.

Gina Luker's How to Start A Home-based Etsy Business focuses a bit more on the decision of whether to start a business at all, but then leads you through the necessary steps to do so. This is a little briefer than some of the other books, but it packs a lot in, including detailed instructions for things like photographs (foam core, anyone?).

If you're really serious about the business side of setting up your Etsy business (and you should be), Etsy-preneurship by Jason Malinak, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is something you should read. He has all the instructions for keeping on the good side of the IRS and has links to free forms to do so. This book doesn't moon over whether to start a business, it assumes that you have made the decision and are ready to move forward. Very good, especially in conjunction with the others.

All these books offer advice that is good for any small business, such as deciding on return policies, providing good customer service, and calculating costs to come up with pricing. Starting a new business on Etsy or anywhere else, is hard work. These books make it manageable.

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