How is my business going – update

Well, so this is interesting. About a year ago I have launched an Easy shop and now I should be a successful entrepreneur right? Not really. And I don’t say that with any bitterness. I have learned new things, met some lovely customers, got great reviews – but did not make much money. I have covered my costs and got little bit of profit but not enough to keep me motivated. By now the shop is closed and put on hold probably indefinitely.

Here are main reasons why I decided to do that. It took a way more time to manage, my products were too cheap  and I would have to sell a large amount of each item. The shipping was expensive and labour intensive. First I did not mind running to the post office with every little order but it wore off by several months.

What went wrong? I don’t blame Easy at all. I think it is a great platform for people who make products by themselves. I however had stationary products that were more of a supplies for arts and crafts. My big downfall was that I did not think it through properly and jumped into it without asking myself whether I am passionate enough about selling stationary and running to the post office every day. I realised it was not for me. I must say that the customers were really nice and often left a very good review. Some customers became frequent customers and dare I say – fans 🙂 It is a very friendly place and you can meet some wonderful people there which is quite unique thing to experience on a selling platform. Things to ask yourself before you give it a go:

1/ What is my profit margin? /I made a mistake selling cheap items with small profit and had to sell large amounts to get some profit./

2/ How much time I can invest into this? /I had to be engaged every day. You can close for holidays but it is not recommended, some orders can come when you are on holidays, on weekends, during Christmas and so on./

3/ Can I secure the shipping? /I was visiting post office with numerous packages and queueing  with people being that were very grumpy because I had ten parcels of different weight  and value. After a while I started to dread that situation./

4/Does my product stand out or am I one of many? /I did not have a unique product. I think if I had something that was hand-made or more unique I would be more successful./

So – I hope I did not discourage you but learn from my mistakes – it can save you time 🙂 My next venture is self-publishing…I know I am bit late to enter this field but who knows maybe I will be more successful then with my shop on Etsy. I will keep you posted!

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How is the business going

Well, I know that most people write about their business when they have achieved something…anyways here are some notes on my own experience so far.  One thing I need to say – it is a slow process. And I mean really slow. My website is set up and I have sent out e-mails introducing my business. I have signed up with a countless websites and directories. After some hesitation I have started with social media, too. I have been avoiding Facebook for years and still did not give in. Instead I have opted for Instagram and Pinterest as I liked their vibe more.

Here is what I think about these two at the moment:

1. Instagram – I love, love Instagram. I have immediately got into it. Started to post, comment and like. The response was good and actually better than expected. I am slowly building following and loving it in the process. I give it an hour a day – just to like and comment. The comments won me most subscribers and interest. I post once a week. Sunday works best for me and on Monday morning  I usually have a new group of subscribers waiting for me. I like the positive atmosphere, people comment in a very nice manner. I did not come across any haters or trolls like you will find on YouTube for example. People there are creative and supportive. I hope it stays that way! I have read some articles about how to get new subscribers on Instagram but I have not really use them. Advice like: “Post every day.” is not practical for me. My own advice for this social channel would be – make interesting photos of your product, be consistent, supportive with your comments, follow like minded people and things will start to snowball pretty quickly.

2. Pinterest – because I have taken to Instagram I thought let’s try Pinterest, too. I have read how great it will be for my business and how many sales I will get from Pinterest alone. However, at the moment I am just at the stage of the building some interesting boards. With regards to followers, my numbers are way way lower than from Instagram and no sales, yet. I will continue with it as I am told by numerous articles that it takes some time to build it up. At the moment I am lukewarm about it. I think it is great for inspiration or getting ideas or maybe browsing when having free time. In some ways I don’t see much difference from searching something by Google Images. I miss the personal connection with followers and ability to comment on boards. The connection is not so direct and instant as with the Instagram (or maybe I still have not figure out how to do it).

I will keep on going. Not giving up 🙂

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On starting a business

This is a new one in the Categories section. I did not write anything on my intention to start a business. I think I have been avoiding it on purpose. I cannot give any advice as it my first attempt so why bother writing about it right? But now I have changed my mind. The reason is – I simply need to streamline my ideas, get down to business and most importantly – start it! Writing about it will really push me and I need the push…

So little bit of the background. I have been working steadily since 2005 with the same employer until summer 2016. I knew what I had to do. I knew the people and company’s ethos. I cannot say that it was the job of my life but it was O.K. I have learned along the way and become more at ease with marketing, promotion campaigns, accounting and few other skills which I did not study at university. I can honestly say that I worked on automatic pilot and it did not cost me much effort. Last year or two a strange feeling began to creep in: “This job is a dead end and it will probably not be very long before I get fired.” People I worked with started to disappear and it become more obvious that one day I will have to go, too. I did not want to see it. I was always ‘too busy’ to consider what if that really happens? And one day, yes, I was told: “We don’t need you anymore but may call you back if the business picks up…”.

First I thought:”Not a big deal. I needed a change.” But after while I realized that finding new job is going to be lot harder than I thought. I am not twenty any more. Some of my skills are out of date. So after a frantic search through current job market I have made a big decision:” I will set up my own business. I will finally do what I like and enjoy .”The decision has been made and as I said, I have to make it happen. There is no other way. Not knowing what is ahead of me – is scary. Knowing that it is only up to me – is exciting. Wish me luck 🙂

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