Shop Etsy

Shop Makeover Series: Writing a Business Plan

Jan 27, 2011

by eyeful handmade and vintage goods

Tricia McKellar loves talking about the possibilities found in art, business, and marketing. She is the founder of Wonder Thinking and is currently far along on the path of creating her indie business. An artist & an IT geek, she sells prints of her dreamy photography in her Etsy Shop, eyeful.

Do you have a business plan? If it’s like mine, it’s a collection of brilliant and amazing ideas — in your head. It’s easy to put off writing a business plan and instead have vague ideas of a creative business direction.

So why write a business plan now? Because it’s a new year and it’s time to get specific about goals and directions by clarifying your thoughts through the act of writing. First, think about how your business plan will be used. If your plan is just for your use, the form and content can be creative. However, if you think you may want to get a loan or venture capital for your business, you might choose a more traditional business plan than we are creating here. The Small Business Administration has resources for writing a traditional business plan.


Let’s lay the ground work. The first step is to download the free Wonder Thinking Business Plan-o-Rama workbook and get to work. A good business plan is like a map — it shows where you’ve been and where you’re going. A glance at the map will tell you if a new ambition is an out-of-the-way detour or a route to your destination. Are you planning to increase your retail venues in the coming year? Or will you focus on wholesale? Both? Stay on course by thinking about and writing down the direction you want to take.

If you need more guidance writing your plan, head on over to my blog where I’ll be covering The Wonder Thinking Business Plan-o-Rama, which will include topics like business vision, products and services, market analysis, competition, marketing plans and future plans.

Shop Makeover Series | Seller Handbook | Etsy Success Mailing List


  • ikabags

    ikabags said 6 years ago

    Great post ! Thanks so much !

  • vintagebutterfly94

    vintagebutterfly94 said 6 years ago

    Great! Off to work my plan....

  • Earleyimages

    Earleyimages said 6 years ago

    Great Information

  • maggiemaevintage

    maggiemaevintage said 6 years ago

    great tips...thanks!

  • providencevintage

    providencevintage said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for the advice! It's really helpful to know these things...

  • pinkpoison74

    pinkpoison74 said 6 years ago

    Great advice Im gonna download that now :)

  • DecadesOfVintage

    DecadesOfVintage said 6 years ago

    I am off to download the plan. Thanks for a very valuable perspective

  • vKnit

    vKnit said 6 years ago

    great tips! i love the book finds too! xox

  • TashinaFalene

    TashinaFalene said 6 years ago

    awesome tips! Thank you so much. :)

  • jmayoriginals

    jmayoriginals said 6 years ago

    Great post! I'll be working on my business plan very soon.

  • AmandaRaeK

    AmandaRaeK said 6 years ago

    Excellent! Thanks for sharing:)

  • withachanceof

    withachanceof said 6 years ago

    this is wonderful! i've been looking for something like this. thank you so much!!

  • jammerjewelry

    jammerjewelry said 6 years ago

    Loved your article! thanks.

  • presentsfromalex

    presentsfromalex said 6 years ago

    Best article ever! I started with a business plan . . . and these ideas and resources are wonderful and insprirational.

  • needleyou

    needleyou said 6 years ago

    Wow, I've been thinking of doing this since forever & most recently too. ; )

  • JantasticCreations

    JantasticCreations said 6 years ago

    Thank you! What a great article. Off to download and plan 2011!

  • Waterrose

    Waterrose said 6 years ago

    The best way to start off the year!

  • birdie1

    birdie1 said 6 years ago

    I know I need to do this.

  • PeriDotbyDuni

    PeriDotbyDuni said 6 years ago

    Great post! Off to check out Wonder Thinking!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 6 years ago

    Yay, just what I needed! I'll be downloading that for sure!

  • modernemotive

    modernemotive said 6 years ago

    Thanks for this. I need to revise my plan (admittedly not complete!). Also, thanks for featuring my weekly notepad. Much appreciated. Happy Planning everyone. :)

  • aynart

    aynart said 6 years ago

    this is so great! much appreciation!

  • toriska

    toriska said 6 years ago

    Great motivation! I need to flesh out my current plan a bit and find somewhere to write it down other than scrap pieces of notebook paper. :]

  • HarmlessColor

    HarmlessColor said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  • thewildplum

    thewildplum said 6 years ago

    Fantabuloussss! Thank you!!!

  • ArtDecoDame

    ArtDecoDame said 6 years ago

    Very Helpful!!Thanks Etsy

  • ellemoss

    ellemoss said 6 years ago

    Great read! Love her shop :)

  • stepbackink

    stepbackink said 6 years ago

    I have owned my own business for 17 years now and I owe all my success to Business Plans. Your article is great Sam

  • VintageEye

    VintageEye said 6 years ago

    Fantastic info! Thanks, Tricia!

  • jorgensenstudio

    jorgensenstudio said 6 years ago

    "Artist as an Entrpeneur" in Cleveland : and the one I took in Florida - have classes with professionals geared to writting business plans especially for artists - It was the best Saturday workshop I ever attended to help my business grow.

  • VintageMarketPlace

    VintageMarketPlace said 6 years ago

    oh love this. I love making lists and having goals for my shop. I too love that etsy now has the stats so I can see my progression or what months I need to work harder at for sales. comparing past years with current.

  • NicoAndMooMoo

    NicoAndMooMoo said 6 years ago

    so true, time to make a good plan and stick to it! thank you for your tips!

  • AlbertinesCreations

    AlbertinesCreations said 6 years ago

    I reviewed the download and it provides a lot of great ideas to think about. I was just thinking that I need to focus and this is an excellent way to do it. Thanks!

  • ChrissiesRibbons

    ChrissiesRibbons said 6 years ago

    Excellent advice, thank you!

  • SwankyHostess

    SwankyHostess said 6 years ago

    Just what I needed1 A kick in the pants! Thank you....I know what I am doing this afternoon!

  • BlessedBeeApothecary

    BlessedBeeApothecary said 6 years ago

    so helpful, thank you. Zoe

  • sockmonster

    sockmonster said 6 years ago

    i need this thank you -rose

  • teclur

    teclur said 6 years ago

    Great!! I downloaded it already! ;-) Very helpful!!

  • MaryFosterCreative

    MaryFosterCreative said 6 years ago

    Thank you! This is exactly the kind of guidance I need.

  • SouthernScrapper

    SouthernScrapper said 6 years ago

    I needed that boost to get my plan written. Thanks!

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 6 years ago

    I've been trying to get more into business planning, thanks for posting this!

  • sweetpeasoup

    sweetpeasoup said 6 years ago

    GOOD STUFF! This is one of those things I avoid doing even though I know it does nothing other than help. Thanks for the reminder and a much less painful way of getting it done....well at least started!

  • HarrietsHaven

    HarrietsHaven said 6 years ago

    I love your shop, Tricia. Thanks so much for the tips and I'll definitely check out the workbook.

  • shannondzikas

    shannondzikas said 6 years ago

    Great timing, I start a business class next week where the main focus is writing a great business plan. I'm turning Etsy into full time work and need all the help I can get!

  • JudiPaintedit

    JudiPaintedit said 6 years ago

    Good stuff here!!

  • LauraBScott

    LauraBScott said 6 years ago

    I bookmarked the blog and downloaded the pdf - Thanks for all this info!

  • mcldrygoods

    mcldrygoods said 6 years ago

    thanks! :)

  • kikisthisandthat

    kikisthisandthat said 6 years ago

    So, so needed this!! Thanks so much!

  • donebydigits

    donebydigits said 6 years ago

    thanks so much! I really need to do this NOW :)

  • kmariedesignz

    kmariedesignz said 6 years ago

    Great idea!

  • kmariedesignz

    kmariedesignz said 6 years ago

    Something for all of us to think about.

  • LionLambStudio

    LionLambStudio said 6 years ago

    Bookmarked! Can't wait to read this! Thanks for the post.

  • granatina

    granatina said 6 years ago

    When I've opened my little etsy shop, in december, my boyfriend told me to write a plan. Not only speak and dream about... So, thanks for your help!

  • Steampunkitis

    Steampunkitis said 6 years ago

    Great idea, and photos are fabulous, love the colors.

  • BambuEarth

    BambuEarth said 6 years ago

    Wonderful, just what I needed. :)

  • SerantoniDesigns

    SerantoniDesigns said 6 years ago

    Expand on the retail... Great ideas! Thank you.

  • KGlass8

    KGlass8 said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much, this was incredibly helpful for a newbie!

  • blueroompottery

    blueroompottery said 6 years ago

    Great advices!! Thank you so much!!

  • nadinessra

    nadinessra said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the post. Does anyone have any advice on how to go about finding a business model or two?

  • TheVinylChalkboard

    TheVinylChalkboard said 6 years ago

    Great Tips! Thanks For Sharing!

  • HouseOfMoss

    HouseOfMoss said 6 years ago

    This is good! One of my goals is to get a solid business plan in place this year.

  • eliteartisans

    eliteartisans said 6 years ago

    Good tips! Relatively new to the blogs..any ideas for getting word about your shop out?

  • pulpsushi

    pulpsushi said 6 years ago

    This is great, and I love the workbook download. Thank you!

  • eyeful

    eyeful said 6 years ago

    Thank you everyone for the sweet comments!!! And a big Thank You to Daniellexo for inviting me to post on Etsy's blog!!! EliteArtisans, for getting the word out about your shop, social media works well-- blogging, facebook, twitter. You might also join a team! Treasury or otherwise... Also, you might think about contacting bloggers and asking them to write about you. Good luck with your shop! And convo or email me anytime and let me know what topics you'd like to see on Wonder Thinking! :) --Tricia

  • GlassElephant

    GlassElephant said 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  • MillCityCrochet

    MillCityCrochet said 6 years ago

    I have a business as a wedding planner. Of course I wrote a business plan for it..duh..Thank You for your article encouraging me to do the same for my MillCityCrochet business on Etsy! *lightbulb;)

  • Trudem

    Trudem said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much for the links! I'm just about to launch and this is on my to-do list. :)

  • pennyroyalty

    pennyroyalty said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for offering an awesome free Business Plan guide! I just printed it and I can't wait to get started....

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 6 years ago

    So can your plan be to have no plan? Perhaps this is why I never get anything done. I should check this out - right after my nap.

  • HeritageKnitting

    HeritageKnitting said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the link! I'm printing the plan now!

  • rabbitdance

    rabbitdance said 6 years ago

    That's a great resource! I've got some friends who could use this, too. Thanks for putting it together. ^_^

  • JustSimplyHandmade

    JustSimplyHandmade said 6 years ago

    Thank you so much!! I'm taking a business course (starting college in my 40's) lol and this is awesome!! Thank you somuch!

  • sunkae

    sunkae said 6 years ago

    Great! Thank you...

  • BunniesandAvacado

    BunniesandAvacado said 6 years ago

    This is really helpful. Thank you.

  • kisforkitty

    kisforkitty said 6 years ago

    I am definetely printing out the work book RIGHT NOW! Thank you.

  • dssweets

    dssweets said 6 years ago

    This was vey helpful, thank you!

  • thebeadgirl

    thebeadgirl said 6 years ago

    i spoke at a conference yesterday about selling on etsy. i kept telling them they need a business plan! thanks for "letting me know" i'm on the right track!

  • whittleseycreek

    whittleseycreek said 6 years ago

    Great information. This is a perfect way to start off the new year. Good luck to all.

  • e5jewel

    e5jewel said 6 years ago

    Great tips and information. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • vintagegirldezigns

    vintagegirldezigns said 6 years ago

    I definitely think having a business plan is a good idea. It helps you to stay focused and motivated and I tend to procrastinate, so I think I really need to get one in place:)

  • OddLittleHippo

    OddLittleHippo said 6 years ago

    It's so funny how the universe works! Thanks, I just was looking up BP info yesterday and here all this valuable info is! Thanks again...

  • DaVineJewelry

    DaVineJewelry said 6 years ago

    This is very inspiring and motivating. Thank you!

  • paperpeacock

    paperpeacock said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the info. Will definitely start following your blog. Love your shop too!

  • SugarCubeVintage

    SugarCubeVintage said 6 years ago

    thanks for sharing the helpful tips! cheers!

  • fieldjournal

    fieldjournal said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the information and links! I'll be checking it out soon.

  • FreshRetroGallery

    FreshRetroGallery said 6 years ago

    Dear eyeful, You have great works that truly meet the name you id yourself with. It's good to plan, especially if you do it while you are waiting for something. lizzi

  • ZambakDesigns

    ZambakDesigns said 6 years ago

    Yes, I need to write this stuff down. It helps so much to keep me focused. Gonna do the Plan-o-Rama!

  • KristaBDesigns

    KristaBDesigns said 6 years ago

    Another way to move my biz ahead-one step at a time! Thanks so much for your article, Janice

  • spoonringheaven

    spoonringheaven said 6 years ago

    ooooooohh a really great artical :D greatly appreciated

  • WoodlandCottage

    WoodlandCottage said 6 years ago

    Great way to keep focused. As an Etsy shop, we find we have to be experts in EVERYTHING! Dreaming up the concepts, making the items (or prototypes), photography, writing, IT, promotion, pricing, packaging, shipping, branding--the list is never-ending! A BX plan helps us know what to do next, what to do best. Thanks a ton!

  • frommylifetoyours

    frommylifetoyours said 6 years ago

    Very helpful , thank you for your post

  • TheMillineryShop

    TheMillineryShop said 6 years ago

    OK, you got me and thank you. I just started learning SEO and am trying to "catch up" a bit in that department. SEO I felt I could (somewhat) master myself, but a business plan? Well the very words give me a chill. Hell, the post right above mine scares me. I admit this is a topic I have long avoided, not being a business person. But I am going to do it, thanks to you for making a business plan at least sound approachable to me for the first time ever.

  • Simplycutestuff

    Simplycutestuff said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the reminder to treat this as a business not only a hobby. Setting goals are so important!

  • MadLexVintage

    MadLexVintage said 6 years ago

    Fantastic information! Thanks much!

  • OrotSavyon

    OrotSavyon said 6 years ago

    I loved your post. It was very informative and knowledgeable. Business plans are indeed a must in order to clarify your goals and keep you focused. I have made some business plans in the past, but not my ETSY virtual store. I'll get right on it :)

  • SheenaSchultz

    SheenaSchultz said 6 years ago

    Thanks so much for posting this. I enjoyed reading it and I am going to print off the work book right now!

  • Baymut

    Baymut said 6 years ago

    Thanks, I have bought a new notebook on December, 31st and have made writting of mine business and personal plans for 2011

  • OrangeBlossomCrafts

    OrangeBlossomCrafts said 6 years ago

    Great article! Thanks for the info!

  • KrissArtCreation

    KrissArtCreation said 6 years ago

    great tips!!!thank you Tricia for sharing these helpful informations with us!!!

  • BonitaBellita

    BonitaBellita said 6 years ago

    Going to look into that now, thank you so much for the tips and advice, always appreciated.

  • SeahorsePottery

    SeahorsePottery said 6 years ago

    All the advice is so helpful! Thanks and I am on it!

  • eyeful

    eyeful said 6 years ago

    You guys are so sweet! Thanks so much for all the encouragement and kind words! :)

  • CrochetCaravan

    CrochetCaravan said 6 years ago

    Really helpful, its good to think to the future and have goals to keep you on track.

  • ArtfulPerspectives

    ArtfulPerspectives said 6 years ago

    This came at a good time. I'm gonna sit back and do some thinking now about where I really want my art to go. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

  • HappyLifeStudio

    HappyLifeStudio said 6 years ago

    Great post, thank you for the resources.

  • MaggiePainting

    MaggiePainting said 6 years ago

    Perfect for reflection on a snowy day. Thank you for sharing!

  • ShellyMacdesigns

    ShellyMacdesigns said 6 years ago ROCKS!!So easy & cool! Now if I could only use the same for my Banner!! Gimp is not as user friendly, for me that is. ;) anyone have any suggestions, please forward!!! I'm desperate to redo my shop banner!!!!

  • valeriephoto

    valeriephoto said 6 years ago

    I love planners, but I'm so bad about keeping anything in them! I often revert back to what I have stored in my head rather than actually writing it down. I think I do that because secretly I believe it makes me smarter.

  • designgirl19

    designgirl19 said 6 years ago

    Thanks I can use all the help I can get.

  • NordicLightDesign

    NordicLightDesign said 6 years ago

    Great info! Thanks!

  • ciaobela

    ciaobela said 6 years ago

    Holy Cow Bat-Girl...that's ALOT of stuff...but I shall persevere... Thanks much. I will take it all and RUNNNNN with it! This has been the greatest! My shop has never looked so good.

  • SunshineDecals

    SunshineDecals said 6 years ago

    Woof! Woof!

  • sarahndipities

    sarahndipities said 6 years ago

    This is fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing it! I can't wait to get started!

  • knitCraftNscrap

    knitCraftNscrap said 6 years ago

    Very useful info! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • mysticalkaleidoscope

    mysticalkaleidoscope said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the info. Great advice. Will get started right away.

  • GiftsCorner

    GiftsCorner said 6 years ago

    thanks for sharing!

  • namasteyworld

    namasteyworld said 6 years ago

    This is a great post... thank you for sharing...

  • lonestaraccessories

    lonestaraccessories said 6 years ago

    great post... inspiring!

  • lullabellesoap

    lullabellesoap said 6 years ago

    great ideas,i should start and follow all the guide..thanks for sharing!

  • ColleenMcGuirk

    ColleenMcGuirk said 6 years ago

    Excellent advice, thank you!

  • GemdropsoftheFalls

    GemdropsoftheFalls said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the tips Tricia! A plan is always a good idea because it keeps you focused and on track.

  • sassefrass

    sassefrass said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the free download/business plan template. I found this article to be very helpful as a seller. It's definitely helped reel in, collect, and at least begin to organize some of my thoughts and ideas. Thanks again!

  • TheStrangestThings

    TheStrangestThings said 6 years ago

    I really appreciate these resources being so readily available. This will all be very helpful. Thanks!

  • EllaDeanDesigns

    EllaDeanDesigns said 6 years ago

    Thanks! This has been very useful! I'm just starting out and trying to get my products up while figuring out how to market my store...I always try to take advice from these newsletters ;0)

  • ImSoVintage

    ImSoVintage said 6 years ago

    very timely. it was already on my list of to dos. now i have some real help.

  • bittersweetboo

    bittersweetboo said 6 years ago

    Thanx bunches! Downloading NOW ;)

  • ancientwinds

    ancientwinds said 6 years ago

    thank you for this!

  • JoannasPhotography

    JoannasPhotography said 6 years ago

    Great post from talented and inspiring person! Thank you so much, Tricia for sharing all this info with us!

  • Pearlfriend

    Pearlfriend said 6 years ago

    Very concise and practical informations Thanks Tricia

  • SimandCharlieDesigns

    SimandCharlieDesigns said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the link! Downloading the workbook now!

  • thepapermoonstudio

    thepapermoonstudio said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the link!

  • HydrationHabitatSkin

    HydrationHabitatSkin said 6 years ago

    really good info - always concerned though that we only have 4-5 items at this point as we stayed focused "Make the best HAND product on market" Just started to put on etsy but dont want to lose that specialty that we have success with in some places we sell!

  • manateebythesea

    manateebythesea said 6 years ago

    Great info. Thank you. Will get to work this week. Thanks for the link.

  • Stephaniemakesall

    Stephaniemakesall said 6 years ago


  • tartella

    tartella said 6 years ago

    great timing- had already set aside time today for this kind of planning... thanks for making it a little easier to start!

  • JChia

    JChia said 6 years ago

    Helpful Information!

  • designtwentysix

    designtwentysix said 6 years ago

    definitely purchasing a spiffy new planner

  • NSpottery

    NSpottery said 6 years ago

    This looks really good. Not sure I was into writing a business plan, but I think I will print this and have a go at it. I tend to have all this info stuck up in my head without clear cut plans and ideas. Thanks!

  • mediterra

    mediterra said 6 years ago

    really in need of a serious business plan, actually 2 different ones for 2 different businesses, but how and when to start is the main subject ..

  • kathyjohnson3

    kathyjohnson3 said 6 years ago

    thanks for the info, it's a goal of mine.

  • GoskAndMaggles

    GoskAndMaggles said 6 years ago

    Oh such fabulous advice! :))

  • Avenue33

    Avenue33 said 6 years ago

    As a newbie, my plan is most definitely still all in my head. Thank you for the good advice. I am going to download the workbook you suggested, and get started today!

  • HanDynasty

    HanDynasty said 6 years ago


  • HanDynasty

    HanDynasty said 6 years ago


  • HCbyHeatherJewelry

    HCbyHeatherJewelry said 6 years ago

    Just FYI the link listed as The Wonder Thinking Business Plan-o-Rama goes to a viagra website.

  • ArsAntiqua

    ArsAntiqua said 6 years ago

    This is so accessible! Thank you.

  • thenunneryvintage

    thenunneryvintage said 6 years ago

    just getting started. Trying to make the best decisions I can with the limits of my business knowledge. This is so helpful and kind of you to help.

  • tarbeachjewelry

    tarbeachjewelry said 6 years ago

    I am new to selling on Etsy, and I appreciate your taking the time to share your Shop Makeover advice. Thanks!

  • melange4you

    melange4you said 6 years ago

    Looks great.......thank you...

  • curiouslittlebird

    curiouslittlebird said 6 years ago

    Thanks for the free download! I hope it helps me in my future endeavors! :)

  • ChristinaAnnJewelry

    ChristinaAnnJewelry said 6 years ago

    Wonderful resource, thank you!

  • Twinklingskydesigns

    Twinklingskydesigns said 6 years ago

    Thank you for the wonderful resource and support!

  • tsamarij

    tsamarij from SophisticatesJewelry said 5 years ago

    Just dowloaded it. Thanx. It will help me with my business plan I had already started for another business that I have going on.

  • jenniferbethro

    jenniferbethro from jenniferbethro said 4 years ago

    The links don't appear to be working. Scooby?

  • RabolliPhotography

    Kaaryn Rabolli from CozyCornerStore said 3 years ago

    For some reason, the link isn't working in my browser. Is this still an active link?

  • EternallyOptimistic

    Rachelle from EternallyOptimistic said 3 years ago

    Has this link been removed?

  • tarsblogger11 said 3 years ago

    I was always taught, “Proper Planning Prevents P**s Poor Performance” These six P’s, along with marketing’s 4 P’s – Price, Product, Place, Promotion, and the big P, Profitability, are all you need to know about business!

  • My Homepage said 3 years ago

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  • lauraospina1

    Laura Ospina said 3 years ago

    Yes, the link isn't working, anyone else have it?

  • dws5223

    dws5223 from GumboPretty said 3 years ago

    Try this....I did a little search to find it

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  • daisyelfordansell

    Blue Bottle Stationery from BlueBottleStationery said 3 years ago

    You have to sign up to Scrbd it seems to view the Plan-o-Rama. You can get it here for free:

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  • parearau

    Dawn from LittleShopOfDawns said 2 years ago

    The link " free Wonder Thinking Business Plan-o-Rama workbook" that is within your "Shop Makeover Series: Writing a Business Plan" article is not working.

  • parearau

    Dawn from LittleShopOfDawns said 2 years ago

    I have not crafted anything in over a year - this has been due to several serious health conditions. I am just now beginning to "ramp things up" again for my shop, and am busy creating new items. Stay tuned!

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