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Microbusiness failure article at Atlantic

This is a link for an Atlantic magazine article on microbusiness failure. It mentioned etsy. They also mentioned that it can only succeed if it scales up. I, like many at etsy, are not willing to scale up. It's either a hobby or a money loosing home based business. Either way, it clarifies some things for me.


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so you can either be a hobby or a money losing home base business?
i beg to differ
I am none of those...
The article tells us nothing new.
It is true that just a small percentage of small retail shops (that includes most Etsy shops) make it.
It has always been like that.
Everyone can start a shop (especially on Etsy), but not everyone has got what it takes to make that shop a (lasting) success.
You need talent (both creative and business), skills, time and a lot of perceverance.
And it is a more than fulltime job, so don't go for it because you think it will give you more time with, for instance, your children. (Although the one advantage is that you can decide which hours you work.)
Harsh reality. And true.
thank you for sharing the link. very thought provoking article. loved all the comments too.
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Inactive Etsy Member 11:17am Dec 15, 2012 EST edited
Great article, and is spot on with my thinking I've had in this Etsy business from the beginning. In order to get to the point to where I am profitable, I will have to work for YEARS taking a loss, investing in my business and working way beyond your typical 9-5 work schedule.

I work every day. Even weekends. I don't get sick days (I was sick all week and still had to fill orders) or time off. If I do take time off, my business suffers.

And my business is subsidized by my husband. He works and I have health insurance through his company. His paycheck does pay for some of my supplies and packaging costs.

I do believe thar in order to succeed here, you have to have some basic understanding of business, whether it's a background in business management or a degree in business. It's not a requirement, but it sure does help.

When i first came here, I was under the impression that opening an Etsy store would be easy - I was wrong. It's no easier starting here than opening up a B&M small business - both have challenges, require capital or some sort of initial investment and in both cases, the statistics are more against us then for us succeeding.

This is nothing new, but it sure is nice to remind people, especially those who, like me, thought this would be easy.

In my two years here, I can absolutely say this has been anything but easy. I have worked harder here than any other job I have had in the past.

(Edited: I hit submit before i was finished typing)
hmm...so no one make a profit here?????
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Inactive Etsy Member 11:22am Dec 15, 2012 EST
felicesereno, you are missing the point.

it's not that "no one can make a profit here" it's more like "not everyone will make a profit here". Make sense?
i would not be selling here if i was not making a profit. i would certainly find another way of selling my items.

and not every small business, wherever they are located.. on the main street or on the internet... is making a profit.
The article isn't saying anything new. 50% of small businesses fail in 2-3 years. 75% in 5 years. Why would micro-businesses be any different?

Many people on Etsy have extremely profitable businesses. Many more fail. That's true with any business, in any environment, big or small. Just look at the recent failures of Kodak and Hostess.

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