Kate Findlay, founder of Peach Perfect Presents and business gift guru, was a speaker at last week's FSB (Federation of Small Business) webinar on "Selling online: from start up to success".
Kate shared several of her experiences and lessons learned over the past seven years, since she began her journey as an e-commerce business entrepreneur. Here are four top tips for small business owners that she's learned the hard way!
Kate says ...
Beware online experts over-promising
There are no shortcuts to getting Google’s attention. So many people will promise to get your business ranking on page 1! Learn the basics of SEO so you understand the key words and phrases relevant to your business, understand the need to research (whether you ultimately decide to outsource it or not - see below), and apply this consistently. I've found that Shopify's recent upgrade can also do a lot of the work for you.
Don't forget to delegate
Use your own skills as much a possible but recognise when you need to buy in help. For example, I outsource creative writing to an experienced copywriter. And as mentioned above, you may want to use an experienced SEO expert, web designer, accountant etc. You really can't do it all and one of the most common mistakes you can make is not to put a value on your own time.
What problem are you solving for people?
I used to struggle to find good quality beautiful, practical and unusual gifts for my friends and family on the high street - and I didn't have time to spend looking around lots of different shops. I knew I wasn't the only one with that problem! As a result, I created Peach Perfect Presents, a destination website which makes online gift shopping easy, affordable and inspiring for our customers. Focus on how you can best help your own customers.
Think of a budget - and double it!
Whatever your business, you'll discover there are hidden costs to pay. If you're an online product business, you'll need to pay to drive traffic to your website, whether via a marketplace or Google Shopping. Also beware of the rising price of products, supplier and fulfilment costs, and availability of resources. How much profit do you need to make and how much will you reinvest - what are your long, medium and short term objectives? Always be realistic about your budget.
We hope Kate's tips have helped you! And if you have any other questions about starting or growing your e-commerce business, you can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.