We are smack in the middle of the golden age of ecommerce, with online shopping hitting record levels. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates, internet sales increased 15.1 percent from 2015 to 2016, totaling $86.3 billion (or just above 11 percent of the country’s entire retail sales). With that said, many of these increases stem from the DIY small business owners that make their homes on Etsy, Shopify and other ecommerce platforms. How do these stay-at-home entrepreneurs keep up with the growing demand for rustic and handcrafted items?
This article is going to go over the ways in which a DIY-er can grow with their trending businesses and keep their sanity intact while doing so.
Focus on Core Competencies
You got into the DIY game because you love to craft, not because you want to put your passion on the assembly line. While cutting corners may be a great way to decrease costs and increase efficiency, it may actually do the opposite. Trying to incorporate tasks that your business isn’t built for can force you to spread yourself too thin, leaving wide margins open for error and weakened efficiency. You may see brief periods of growth at the beginning, but that will taper off with time.
If you sell handcrafted nightstands, keep your focus on what made you start a furniture business in the first place – your passion. Don’t take on too much and lose focus of your goals.
One of the most important aspects of business is your access to resources. However, if those resources can’t be scaled to meet your demand, your growth will eventually plateau. For example, sticking with the furniture business analogy, if you get a large order overnight of two dozen nightstands, but your main supplier only has enough stock to build one dozen – what are you going to do? Call another supplier to make up the deficit? This will push back manufacturing and delivery time, which can cost you more money and reduce your reputation with customers.
Make sure that any of your vendors have the resources to help you out last minute if you unexpectedly run out of supply.
Get Ahead When You Can
While you may be experiencing a rush of demand for now, it won’t always be like that. The best way to combat that is to get a jump on the next busy period. This is especially helpful for smaller businesses that don’t make too many different types of products. For example, if you only sell a few variations of the same design nightstand, build some more based on how much you predict you will sell during your next period of high demand. This not only helps you get a jump on any future orders but will keep you busy through a slower time for your business.
When it comes to DIY ecommerce, you are balancing on a tightrope. You want to keep up with your consumer’s demands, yet you don’t want to push yourself too far and spread yourself so thin that you lose the passion. Always keep in mind why you got into the business in the first place and you will find success.