The Best Tips for new Online Shop Owners
by Karlien Leys
BEING A WOMANPRENEUR
We all know that the cost of living is too high and one income/salary is just never enough - no matter how much you avoid luxury items - and basic household needs are getting more expensive by the day.
In September 2017, on a Sunny Sunday, I made a decision to start my own business so that I could keep things moving in the house.
I was selling sandals and sales came in a way that I did not even begin to imagine and I was very happy.
Suddenly, there were people who wanted to replicate my business and asking me to reveal my source.
It didn’t make business and logical sense to reveal my source, so instead I proposed that they could order through me and I would give them massive bulk-order discounts.
Because, I understood they too wanted to and had to make their own profits so that they could keep things moving at their homes as well.
Obviously, they didn’t take that well and even stopped buying from me and I never directly heard from them again.
My loyal customers kept coming back for more and the new stock and I gained new customers through word-of-mouth and mostly social media on the streets.
“Wow, you look nice, where did you get these?”
I then later introduced bags and clothes in my product offering and obviously They were watching and you know how people react to growth and success?
They started talking bad about me - on a personal level - my products, and my business.
“Her products are not the same as what she shows us on pictures,”
“The quality is poor cheap dirt material,”
“She doesn’t even wear what she sells,”
And many other negative comments of which were passed on to discredit me from my customers and potentials, and those who chose to believe - believed. And my customers know:
1. I DON'T USE FAKE PICTURES
Yes, photoshoots are expensive and getting the actual pictures of the products can be a bit tricky but never, ever, download pictures that are not an actual representation of what you will deliver to the client;
2. I DO STRICT QUALITY CHECKS
I do not sell something I haven't personally checked because I don't want my customers to be unhappy with low quality - because I also hate poor quality. The quality of my products is the best possible quality for the best price; and
3. I WEAR WHAT I AM SELLING
Meanwhile, you cannot afford Influencers, You're the ambassador of your brand and your products. I do wear what I sell; and not only for marketing purposes; but the products are really great and affordable.
Despite all the negative talk around the neighborhood and social media streets, my business kept going and growing and happy customers kept coming back and referring new customers.
Now I am also selling homeware: blankets, curtains and other stuff and people are still asking where I get my stuff as they are of higher and better quality and reasonably priced.
Because there are people who use my product pictures and have sourced different suppliers than mine but deliver lower quality products with higher prices.
For example, one bag I am selling for R240 and the competitor would be selling the similar, lower quality bag for R390 to R450 - and unfortunately cannot be mentioning names here.
I believe that my business continues to grow because:
1. I do precise and strict quality checks with new suppliers;
2. I have a good and healthy and open relationship with my customers;
3. I strictly work on DEPOSIT ON ORDER; BALANCE ON COLLECTION/DELIVERY
However, my biggest success comes from my strict business model because it eliminates the disappointment of ordering from the supplier and then the customer is suddenly no longer interested.
And other people do not want or like the color or make of the product.
To anyone who wants to get into the clothes and homeware distribution industry:
1. It is not easy and you need to have a deep passion and drive for sourcing and selling;
2. Do not allow people’s criticism to break you down instead build on that and better yourself;
3. Create or adopt my business model to avoid disappointment and poor finance handling.
BONUS TIP: USE SOCIAL MEDIA AND HAVE AN ACTIVE PRESENCE!!!
It’s Sister Kay
You can check out the latest, high-quality and affordable fashion for women on my FACEBOOK page :-)