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Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business

ISBN: 978-1-118-37838-0
206 pages
October 2012
Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business (1118378385) cover image
Turn your handmade hobby into a thriving business

Most Etsy sellers are confident in their crafting and artistic capabilities. However, many need guidance on the business-related intricacies of starting and maintaining a successful Etsy business. Etsy-preneurship helps existing and potential Etsy sellers understand the business fundamentals needed to become a small business owner on Etsy, including taxes, bookkeeping, marketing, finances, administrative tasks, daily operations, legal requirements, business plans, and improving your business skills. This book will help you make the jump from enjoying your handmade/craft/art hobby to running a profitable business.

  • Etsy-preneurship offers step-by-step advice on what it takes to bring in extra income or even one day run a full-time business on Etsy
  • Outlines the basic business skills and knowledge you need to run a business on Etsy
  • Explains how Etsy makes entrepreneurship attainable for everyone

Each chapter even includes a downloadable business spreadsheet tool to help you put the steps into action. This book empowers Etsy sellers to turn their handmade hobby into a thriving business by employing foundational business concepts.

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Foreword Timothy Adam xi

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvii

Chapter 1 Etsy 1 Entrepreneurship 1

Etsy-preneurship 1

The World of Etsy 1

Entrepreneurship Is for You 2

Etsy-preneurship Defined 3

The Etsy-preneurship Model 4

My Etsy-preneurship Story 7

Instructions for Etsy-preneurship.com and Accessing Digital Downloads 9

Download: Mission, Vision, Values, and Competency Statements 10

Chapter 2 Creating a Business Plan 13

Starting the Foundation 14

Benefits of Planning 14

Breaking Down the Business Plan 15

Download: Creating Your Etsy Business Plan 25

Chapter 3 Bookkeeping 27

Benefits of Bookkeeping 28

Talking the Bookkeeping Talk 29

Core Bookkeeping Functionality 30

Most Popular Etsy Bookkeeping Solutions 32

Key Bookkeeping Topics and Tips 37

Download: Bookkeeping Quiz—Finding Your Solution 42

Chapter 4 Taxes 43

Tax Prerequisite 44

Do I Need to File Taxes? 45

Am I a Hobby or a Business? 46

Federal ID: EIN 48

Form 1040 48

Schedule C 49

Self-Employment Tax 52

Quarterly Estimated Tax Payments 53

Sales Tax 54

Home Office Deduction 56

Equipment Taxation 57

Other Tax Topics 59

Download: Tax Calculator—Schedule C 61

Chapter 5 Finances 63

A Tale of Two Financial Approaches 63

Bank Accounts 66

PayPal 68

Pricing Your Products 71

Budgeting 79

Managing Your Cash 79

Three Financial Mistakes to Avoid 80

Financial Tips 83

Download: Pricing Tool and Formula 84

Chapter 6 Legal 85

Choosing Your Business Structure 85

Contracts 88

Intellectual Property 89

Small Business Insurance 91

Other Legal Topics to Consider 93

Following Etsy’s Rules 95

Small Business Ethics 95

Download: Business Structure Quiz—Finding Your Perfect Fit 96

Chapter 7 Operations 97

Why Operations Matter 98

Etsy-preneurship Operational Standards 99

Example: Operational Standards for Providing Customer Feedback 104

Setting Your Operational Standards 106

Failing Operational Standards and Correcting the Gap 110

Download: Productivity Log and Defining Your Operational Standards 110

Chapter 8 Marketing 113

Marketing Isn’t What It Used to Be 114

The Etsy-preneurship Practical Marketing Framework 114

The Marketing Disciplines 118

Marketing Strategies Need Structure 121

The 30-Day Etsy-preneurship Marketing Plan 122

An Example: The 30-Day Etsy-preneurship Marketing Plan 124

Free and Low-Cost Marketing Methods for Etsy Sellers 127

Good Product Photos Sell: 10 Tips to Make Etsy’s Front Page 128

Download: The 30-Day Marketing Method 129

Chapter 9 Etsy Community: 40 Etsy Tips, Tricks, and Nuggets 131

How to Implement Tips, Tricks, and Nuggets 131

Download: Sales Countdown Goal Tracker, Customer Service E-Book, and Must-Read Etsy Articles (Top 100) List 151

Chapter 10 Practicing Business Self-Development 153

Developing the Foundation 153

The Top Etsy Seller Resources 155

Top Etsy Seller Apps 162

Download: Self-Development Resource Guide and Learning Opportunity Planner 164

Chapter 11 Encouragement and Next Steps 165

Real-Life Etsy-preneurs 166

Practicing Etsy-preneurship and Finding Your Inner Etsy-preneur 170

Your Internal Source of Encouragement 170

What Do I Do Next? 172

Download: Extended Interview E-Book and Next Steps—Commitment Statement and Planning Tool 173

Advanced Application Internal Study: Etsy Shop Ratios 175

Seven Etsy Shop Ratios (Stories) 176

Three Etsy Shop Forecasts (Predictions) 181

Download: Etsy Shop Ratio Calculator 183

Advanced Application External Study: Etsy Marketplace Trends That Impact Your Business 185

Etsy Weather Reports 186

Etsy Seasonality 192

Revenue Estimates 193

Etsy Wages and Efficiency 194

Day-by-Day Statistics 194

In an “Etsy” Minute 195

The Future of Etsy? 195

Download: Etsy Weather Reports Analysis 197

Download Details and

Closing Thoughts 199

About the Author 201

Index 203

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JASON MALINAK is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Treasury Professional who is also passionate about Etsy. After his wife began an Etsy shop in 2007, Jason started helping with the bookkeeping, taxes, and legal aspects of her business. Soon after, Jason's Etsy shop, JJMFinance, was born, selling bookkeeping, tax, legal, and financial tools and advice. For years, he has provided answers to Etsy sellers' business-related questions through the Etsy forums and blog articles.

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October 24, 2012
Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Etsy® Business

Most Etsy® sellers are confident in their crafting and artistic capabilities. However, many need guidance on the business-related intricacies of starting and maintaining a successful Etsy business. 

Jason Malinak, a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Treasury Professional, aims to help existing and potential Etsy sellers understand the business fundamentals needed to become a small business owner on Etsy with his new book,  Etsy-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Handmade Hobby into a Thriving Business (Wiley, October 2012, Paperback & ebook; $19.95; ISBN: 978-1-118-37838-0). Malinak knows most small businesses have thousands of moving parts and he puts the more technical, financial pieces together in this organized resource that tells Etsy sellers what they need to know in an easy-to-digest fashion.

“Starting an Etsy business is not only for those individuals who have an MBA, hang out with venture capitalists, or are extreme risk takers. Every person has the creativity and untapped potential to make the world a better place through their respective businesses,” says Malinak.  “Starting and running your own business is an exciting adventure and it shows your passion. Though this process can be a little intimidating, the best way to overcome that fear is with the proper knowledge, tools, and guidance. With this book, I feel great joy in empowering others to create businesses that are sustainable, thriving and provide joy for years to come.”

Malinak got his start on Etsy through his wife, Katie. When she began her Etsy shop in 2007, Malinak helped with the bookkeeping, taxes, and legal aspects of her business. Soon after, Malinak’s Etsy shop, JJMFinance, was born, selling financial tools and advice to other Etsy shop owners.


Just like the business-related advice he provides Etsy sellers through the Etsy forums and blog articles, Etsy-preneurship helps readers make the jump from enjoying their handmade/craft/art hobby to running a profitable business, with insight such as:

  • An outline of the basic business skills and knowledge needed to run a business on Etsy.
  • Advice on, and sample forms for, taxes, bookkeeping, marketing, finances, administrative tasks, daily operations and business plans.
  • Ways to help improve business skills and build a better understanding of legal requirements.
  • How to run a full-time business on Etsy
  • An explanation of how Etsy makes entrepreneurship attainable for everyone.

In addition, each chapter includes downloadable business spreadsheets and other tools to help readers put each step into action.

“I’ve packed as much valuable content and tools into one book as possible! My goal is that this book will be a resource for both Etsy newbies and Etsy veterans,” says Malinak. “I hope that Etsy newbies can shorten their steep learning curve and that Etsy veterans can find some fresh ways to improve their business.”

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