Having a small business is a never-ending challenge that requires much more than just owning a company and being prepared to take risks. Owning a shop on Etsy means wearing many different hats every day. Your photos have to look professional, your listing titles and tags need to be optimized for Etsy’s search engine, your product descriptions need to be engaging and free of grammatical errors, and your customer service should always be impeccable. At the same time, you are an artisan, not a photographer, marketing guru, copywriter or customer service expert. You are probably also a mother and/or an employee in another company.
We know that the most important thing for you is to create amazing products that your clients love and are excited to buy. But we also know that this is not enough. There are so many different tasks around running your shop that it sometimes feels impossible to manage without help. In these cases, you can always reach out to a friend or family member, or seek professional assistance for some of the activities on your list. Another potential solution is to find tools that can help you do it all by yourself. Many sellers on Etsy — as well as people planning to start a business on the platform — are probably wondering whether they really need such tools. Today we present some important points on both sides of the argument.
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Arguments in favour of using seller tools for your Etsy shop
They help you stay focused on the most important tasks
Running an independent business is a difficult undertaking. It is easy to lose focus and fall into the chaos that you yourself created. Remember that the workload will keep piling up, and there will never be enough time to do everything you planned. That’s why it is so important to prioritize the most essential tasks. For your Etsy shop, this would be to create amazing products for your clients. For pretty much everything else you can seek assistance from professionals or use tools.
You are an artisan above all, not a jack of all trades
You’re not an expert in every field, and you don’t have to be. The products you create are at the center of your work and your shop. It is better to focus on your strengths, instead of trying to become as skilled as professional photographers, SEO experts and copywriters in the space of a few months. Besides, don’t forget that professionals also use many tools that save them considerable time and effort. There are many tools that can help with photo editing or identify missing commas in your product descriptions.
Tools can save you a lot of time
You don’t have any spare time to lose trying to do all the work by yourself. And let’s be honest — there’s a real risk of ending up disappointed with the fruits of your hard labor. On the other hand, the use of appropriate tools can save you hours of work, which you can spend with your family, invest in your favorite hobby, or even add to your sleeping time. For instance, does it make sense to create infinitely long Excel spreadsheets to record how many competing products there are on Etsy based on a particular keyword every week? It can work if you are monitoring one or two keywords. Maybe. It definitely won’t work for more. Koalanda, however, can show you this information for hundreds of keywords in one second, and you can download it all to your computer with a single mouse-click.
Tools can save you money
When you hear tools, you are probably imagining that you will have to spend money. But in reality, the right tools (paid or unpaid) can save you tons of cash. First, there are many free tools you can use. Koalanda also offers the option to access some of the tools for free, even after the end of the trial period (and this includes our keyword tool!). Then, there are tools that can help you complete a specific task on your own, instead of having to hire an expert. Canva is one such tool, which allows you to create professional designs and cut down the expenses for that activity.
Last but not least — time! Time is probably the most precious resource you have. And time is money! Even if you don’t need more free time, just imagine how many amazing things you could create if you stopped trying to do everything on your own. We constantly think of ways to make the work of sellers faster and easier. That’s what motivated us to create Keyword Comparison, which allows you to compare 20 keywords in only a few seconds and with a single mouse-click.
Tools can do things that people can’t
Perhaps the most important argument in favor of using tools is that they not only save us time and efforts, but can sometimes do things that people can’t do. To be running an online business in the era of big data and not take advantage of the benefits is just unforgivable! There is no single person who can go through a huge amount of data, and keep it readily available for when you need it, the way many different tools do. For instance, this applies to information on the potential keywords you would use (there are dozens of millions available in Koalanda’s Keyword tool). Moreover, there are data that you simply cannot access if you’re not using a tool, such as the sales numbers of your Etsy competitors. Koalanda allows you to check the sales stats of every Etsy shop for the past 30 days or 12 months, and you can do it anytime with a single mouse-click.
Arguments against using seller tools for your Etsy shop
Despite everything stated above, there are also reasons to not use seller tools for your Etsy business. Here are some of them.
You actually are an expert in the field
If you are a graphic designer who has decided to open up shop on Etsy, you probably won’t need Canva to give you color combination ideas. At the same time, even if you are a SEO expert, you’ll still benefit from keyword data tools (like our search score).
You take pleasure in doing it
There is no need to look for tools to replace you in doing something you find interesting, love to do and have time for. If you have always been keen on fiddling with the appearance of things, and you have enough free time, you might prefer to handle everything from A to Z, instead of using ready-made templates or forms. And that would bring you pleasure.
You have decided to trust an expert, rather than do it all by yourself
You may prefer to pay an expert to do the work for you. If you can afford it, then you won’t need to resort to tools. And sometimes you can combine the two. You can hire a professional to teach you the ABCs of Etsy and give you some basic tips, and after that you can continue on your own with the help of different tools.
As you have seen, we believe that tools can be extremely useful to sellers on Etsy. This is why we at Koalanda keep developing new tools all the time. However, only the right tools will actually do you good. What these tools are depends entirely on your situation, including your experience, goals and budget. It might take you some time to find the ideal mix of tools, but you’ll eventually get there.
New tools appear on the market virtually every day. Be as open to them as possible, as long as that doesn’t cost you too much time or money. Some of those may become your most trusted assistants over time. In any case, remember that tools are there to make your life easier, not to create additional challenges.
Last but not least, don’t forget that any keyword or design tool is still just a tool. In the end, you’re the real boss and you make all the final decisions for your business.