Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Selling Your Handmade Books: The Checklist: Accounts

We're adding to the checklist today. If you've been selling online already, you might still find that setting up some of these checklist items might be worth doing!

Once you have decided what your shop name will be, the products you will sell, and what level you'd like to work at, you are ready to get set up to sell!

There are four accounts that you need to set up for your small online business. Here are numbers 4-7 for the big checklist.

#4- Email: You may have a personal email that you've been using for years. If you are working at hobby level, this might be all you need to keep things together in one place. However, if you decide to go part time or full time with this business venture, I suggest getting a separate email account. This will help you keep the business separate from your personal emails. If you want to just keep your personal, I suggest setting up three folders in your personal account so you can keep all the Etsy info separate. The three folders I suggest starting with are: Etsy Invoices, Etsy information and Etsy emails. Etsy sends out emails everyday that you can opt into. One is Etsy Success, another is Etsy finds. If you want to learn a lot about the handmade business online, I suggest signing up for Etsy Success emails. Etsy Finds is an email sent out to buyers and puts Etsy's products out there to bring in potential buyers. It's way fun to look at these emails and way exciting to see one of your products in them! They have other subscriptions too that you can sign up for by clicking here.

#5- Bank Account: I set up a separate checking account for my business. It's just a separate free checking account through a local bank. This helps me keep the finances separate. If you're at hobby level and plan on staying there, you might be ok just using your personal account if you have one set up. However, it is super nice at tax time to have everything separate. If you have a debit/credit card associated with the new checking account, you can use that for all supply purchases and quickly see, on your monthly banking statement, how much money has gone into your various business expenses.

#6- PayPal Account: Etsy currently uses PayPal as their best option for purchasing items from Etsy. I know they would like to set up a monetary system with checkout right inside of Etsy and it's in the works, but it will be a very big move for Etsy, and therefore will take a lot of time in setting up. There are other options to use but most of Etsy users will opt for PayPal and it's best to accommodate your customers as much as possible in this way by setting up the payments to come through PayPal. So for now, you need to set up a PayPal account. There are three types of PayPal accounts: personal, premiere and business. For selling online, we only need the premiere account. Sign up by clicking here. You'll need to connect this account to your bank account; the sign in process takes you step-by-step through the process.

#7- Etsy Account: Your Etsy seller account is the final account to sign up with because you'll need the email, credit/debit from your bank account and your PayPal account to sign up for an Etsy seller account. These things can be changed later through Etsy in your account settings. It's always nice to just enter these things in once though. Some of my students had a hard time finding where to start their shop. There's a "Sell" button on the top of Etsy's pages, you can click on that and it takes you to the Seller's page. Once there you'll need to look on the right side of the page first for a blue sign up button and then a green Start Selling button. If you ever get stuck in this, click on the Sell button and look to the right side of the page.

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