Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
I am a mother of two kids under 4 and get a LOT of emails from baby and parenting websites advertising products. I came across a similar product to the one I sell and I thought, I'm not paying that much for that!! So, having a business background, I said to myself what else have I got to do on maternity leave but raise two children? I know, I'll start a small business! I wanted my products to be Australian made and Australian owned, so I spent a significant amount of time doing research to get the best price I could. Initially I was quoted upwards of $200 per unit just for the board!! No.....not cool, so I kept going and brought my costs down so I could stay in Australia. Of course it is cheaper overseas, but having the knowledge that my supplier is just up the road bring me great peace of mind when it comes to quality control.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Definitely through my friends. My mother's group from my first child has been really supportive, both in sales and in just spreading the word in general. Other than friends, local markets have been a really great sales channel for me. Facebook is definitely the channel driving most traffic to my store. Both through paid ads and posting in buy swap and sell pages. It has been really effective.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
I use a variety of apps to help run my store, but in particular I like Receiptful as it gives the customer a great post-purchase look into the business. The receipts look professional and the ability to include a discount code helps with post sales conversions. I also like Shopimap because it shows potential customers where your sales have gone. I'm a one man (or woman) band so I handle all of the packaging myself. I use a courier company to deliver my goods as they're quite a big carton and won't be shipped by our national carrier. I love getting orders and writing a personal message to each customer. I think it's so important to show your customers some love!
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Oh, what have I learned? Patience! Being patient in getting the business off the ground from an admin perspective, getting sales, managing family and business life. It has been difficult but the success in knowing that you've built a business by yourself is truly heartwarming :)