zero to biz

Today I am excited to host Steph from Zero to Biz. Steph founded Zero to Biz as a passion project after seeing her own dreams come true. It all started with a few invitation designs and an Etsy shop. She used the platform to turn her hobby into a money-making business – and eventually a full time job! Steph wants to help other creative makers do the same and knows that with hard work anyone can make it happen. Most days you can find Steph in Atlanta, Georgia, sipping a smoothie, dreaming up new designs, and planning her next adventure!

how to start an etsy shop


One of the things that can hold us back from getting started is time – we never feel like we have enough of it. Starting an Etsy shop might feel overwhelming, but by breaking your launch into manageable chunks you can have a shop up and running in just a few days!

I’m going to walk you through exactly how to start an Etsy shop in less than a week without throwing things together, but guide you to create a shop with a strong foundation.

Check out Steph’s guide to getting started on Etsy here!

first things first: day 1

Find your niche and focus by deciding what type of product you’ll sell. It can feel limiting to narrow in on one type of thing when you are able to make several, but by picking a niche you’ll appear as more of a professional to buyers and eliminate any possible confusion. Define your ideal client and target market by creating a profile of the people you want to sell to. Keep this in mind as you price your items, take photos, and market your brand.

Get organized by setting up a separate bank account for your new business. If you do this from the beginning, it will truly make things easier in the long run when it comes to bookkeeping and taxes. It’s really easy to do – you can read more about this here and here.

Learn the rules of Etsy and get familiar with the seller policies. They’re constantly evolving, but you can see the explicit expectations in their handbook for sellers. Get clear on these before getting started so there’s no risk of losing sales, or worse, your shop.

perfect your product: day 2

Pricing your items is one of the more challenging tasks about opening an Etsy shop. I recommend taking emotion out of it and using the simple formula below to get started. Once you are up and running, you’ll be able to gauge how it’s going and adjust prices from there.

Having clear, quality photographs of your items is so important to getting found and making sales on Etsy. In the beginning, you likely won’t be able to hire out a professional so get familiar using your smart phone and editing apps. I love taking pictures in natural light, using white foam board, and editing using Pic-Tap-Go.

Create a shipping strategy for your shop. Taking into account the size and weight of your items, decide on a standard package size and materials to protect your item in transit. Check out this post for my best tips for shipping on Etsy.


stock your shop: day 3

Write a general listing description that you can modify to use for each of your item listings. Keep wording to the point, use keywords, and try to answer questions a buyer might ask prior to purchase. Include the specifics of the product – size, weight, turnaround time, how to care for it, etc!

Think like a buyer when writing your Etsy listing titles and tags. String together keywords that describe your item and include these multiple word phrases in both your titles and tags. Avoid getting super specific or naming your product something unrelated – try to keep it general!

The shop manager is the behind the scenes area for sellers and includes a dashboard overview. This is where you can see open orders, traffic statistics, and new messages. Overall, this area is pretty user-friendly, but spend some time browsing around the shop manager to get familiar with your new shop!

zero to biz

start selling: day 4

Conversations are messages within Etsy where shoppers can ask you a question. The quicker you’re able to respond to inquiries, the better – people browsing are already in buyer mode! Reply with positivity and professionalism as though it were an email. Download the “Sell on Etsy” app for your phone to answer conversations on the go.

After you hear that first “cha-ching!” it’s time to get to work! Your open orders will display in the shop manager and you can print shipping labels directly from Etsy. Maintain high expectations by delivering a quality product and mailing within the timeline provided.

keep creating: day 5

Set goals and create action plans to grow your new business. Think about where you want to be in one year, break it down into quarterly (or monthly) chunks, and write out a plan to make it happen! I like to set goals for number of listings, number of sales, revenue, and my following on social media. Be specific in both your goals and strategies to reach them.

Keep making and creating. Notice what is selling best and develop new products similar to those. Create a “collection” and continue adding to it. With more listings, your shop will be more likely to be found, so keep doing what you do best!

The sooner you get started, the sooner you can start bringing in the money, honey! Don’t wait until things are perfect to begin, because you will never truly feel 100% ready. We all start at zero and after things are up and running, you’ll learn exactly what you need to change and improve in order to grow.

Ready to make it happen? Get Steph’s Guide to Getting Started on Etsy here with even more tips to opening your own shop!


Thank you SO MUCH Steph for this awesome day-by-day breakdown of setting up shop on Etsy without getting overwhelmed by #allthethings. valuable course that dives into this topic, Launch Your Etsy Shop in 5 Days. 

You can visit Zero to Biz at or follow Steph on InstagramFacebook, or Pinterest.