What a year! I had no idea about how much I will learn, but believe me I learned a lots. I started with a very ideal vision of my future business and within few weeks realised that this is no fairytale. So I put my pink glasses aside and worked hard. I was making a lots products, listing nearly everyday - that proved to be working very well. I stayed in buyer's minds as I was appearing in the listings regularly. More listings = more sales - that was the first lesson I have learned.
Second lesson was advertisment - FOR FREE. That meant opening a twitter account, facebook fanpage, setting up a blog. Those were the three main things to get the word about my shop out there. It worked - there were a few sales I got from these sites. But to get more potential customers, meant more followers. Twitter is easy with finding new followers, however facebook and blog could be more complicated. I learned that the answer for this is a giveaway - follow me and and you might win xy item from my shop. It worked especially with facebook.
Lesson number 3 would be accounting - keep it up to date and reasearch on how to do it. Keep all (and I mean all) receipts. It also made me realised how much I am spending on the supplies which led to better finance planning.
Number 4 - networking - know your fellow crafters and join the craft forums - I actually learned majority of everything above from the forums. And you might find potential customers.
Number 5 - photos - I learned that the picture is the seller in online business. Lighten the photos up, take them in the daylight and don't make the the backround busy. Pictures are the only point of viewing before the buyer press the button purchase, so get best out of them. I always take at least 7 - 8 (sometimes20) and pick the main 5.
So as I said - last year was a ONE BIG LESSON for me. The last thing which applies to me and would like to keep up in the future is to be consistent in your business - one that was thing which I found hard. So that will be my main challenge fo this year!