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Trying to start a small business.

(19 Posts)
madge2686 Tue 15-Nov-16 18:42:23

Hi I posted on here a few days ago about trying to start up a new small business selling baby clothes, (well it's just polo shirts at the minute.) I'm not sure what happened to my previous post and couldn't log back into it. I was hoping to re-invest the profits from these and get more range and style to grow my business. Anyway I am struggling with sales and was looking for some suggestions as to other places I could maybe advertise. I have a Shopify store, I have put some on eBay, and advertised through Facebook but I am struggling to get people to actually visit my shop let alone buy. I have also got them advertised on a brand new website called 'MarketOfMums' which is a selling site but with no listing fees. I admit I didn't really do any market research before I put my effort into these polos as I have never done anything like this before but I loved the idea, and thought I really wanted to try and do something to be proud of so I just jumped head first into it. I have used my savings to fund the stock I have and I know now that just having 1 item to sell is making it harder to market but the problem I have is I just can't afford to buy anything else to sell until I hopefully see some return in these. When I posted on here a few days ago I got a lot of feedback some good and quite a lot not so good but Really helpful non the less. I have now had a re-think of my prices and changed things on my online shop to try and make it better than it was. I would really appriciate your views and feedback .

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madge2686 Tue 15-Nov-16 18:44:13

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Coconutty Tue 15-Nov-16 18:45:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

madge2686 Tue 15-Nov-16 18:52:51

Hi, yes I have corrected all spelling mistakes now smile (as far as I'm aware) and I managed to get rid of the 'catalogue' menu option which was spelt the U.S way as I didn't really need it. I have put more detail about the actual product and deleted the bits that were not really relevant.

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olderthanyouthink Tue 15-Nov-16 19:09:21

I don't mean to be rude but BUY A DOMAIN NAME!!!! (Sorry blush)

You can't expect people to even find your site in the current state.

I don't think you addressed the list I posted but many of the things I listed make you look unprofessional/shady.

Feel free to PM if you want some help/advice. I have a family friend who prints t shirts, bags etc and she needs a kick up the bum to use the site I made her but last I heard she was selling stuff at least.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Tue 15-Nov-16 19:14:15

Is it just one product that you have? I wouldn't expect very much traffic for one product.

madge2686 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:23:10

Where is the best place to buy a domain? To be honest I have been a bit frightened as I did try to buy one and was mis led as to how much I would have to pay but luckily managed to cancel it before they took any money. It made out I would pay a small amount monthly but then I received an e-mail to say I had signed up to pay a big amount upfront. How much is the average price for a domain so I know I am not getting ripped off? Thanks

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madge2686 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:24:47

And yes it is just the one product so far 😕 I now know from previous feedback that this is not the best way to start.

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PhilODox Tue 15-Nov-16 19:28:00

Your post was probably removed because you aren't allowed to sell on here!
A domain is easy to get- we use most aren't expensive to register.

PhilODox Tue 15-Nov-16 19:28:35

And one product isn't a business!

olderthanyouthink Tue 15-Nov-16 19:38:14

I buy domains in the same place the site is hosted, where possible. I use freeola for my sites (my dad used it and was easier to use the same company). The friend I've mentioned used 123-reg (their customer service was good in both of our experiences).

For you, as you are using shopify (how much is that costing you?! Seriously for one product I swear your getting ripped off) it doesn't matter that much as you aren't hosting the site separately.

Domains can vary massively in price (someone at work was looking at a £600 one today) but you'd be looking at about £7 for a year. I usually have a small additional charge or two but I'm sure business aren't allowed to use these.

madge2686 Tue 15-Nov-16 19:53:53

Thanks for that info olderthanyouthink. I will have a look then now I know what I should roughly be paying.

Shopify is £23 a month😕 But I went with these as it was a known site.

I'm not trying to sell anything on here, I am purely looking for feedback and advice if people do not mind giving it to me as this is the first time I have tried to do anything like this.

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olderthanyouthink Tue 15-Nov-16 20:20:59

No problem

It's not supposed to be that obvious you using shopify though... (except maybe in the checkout)

I often take issue with stuff like wix and shopify because they devalue what I do, frequently look/function dodgy (someone else looking for similar feed back yesterday and they'd butchered the site) and they tend to cost a bomb over time vs paying for a site to be made then paying £5-10/ month hosting.
I do see some merits like low cost to get started and maybe if you were moving off of etsy or similar and could take a following with you so were sell a good amount.

engineersthumb Tue 15-Nov-16 20:49:25

well done for having a bash. I see two problems. First it doesn't seem to have any great appeal over shirts that I could buy in tesco, Sainsbury or mothercare and cheaper. It just looks like a polo shirt with a picture of a dog on it? Secondly it's winter, ideally I'm looking for long sleeved tops that can be rolled up when warm.
The sort of usp that would grab me this time of year would be zip on/off sleeves that cater for cooler or changable weather.
Your description also hit one of my personal bugs "made of thicker material"... thicker than what?
I ran a company for just over a year and folded though so you may not want my advice!
Best of luck.

Bellabelloo Tue 15-Nov-16 23:15:31

I have my own business and sell through Shopify. Just briefly I would say that you need a proper domain in order to come across as a proper business, you definitely need more products and colours and think about seasonality (not many people are going to be looking for a polo shirt at this time of year and of that tiny number, only a few of them would want a sky blue one), and you also need to invest in online marketing. Google AdWords usually have free credit deals for when you initially set up an account. Are you paying to promote on Facebook?

Bellabelloo Tue 15-Nov-16 23:18:10

If you are claiming for something to be unisex you should also have some photos of a girl wearing the shirt as it just looks like a boy's shirt to me.

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Wed 16-Nov-16 17:27:44

We used shopify as well, but you don't seem to have costed yourself very well. £23 a month for one tshirt? How many tshirts would you have to sell to break even?

I honestly do not see a website for one product working out for you.

I would look at doing local tabletop fairs, maybe introduce a dog mascot to match your polo shirt, package them together as a gift, if you were really savvy even a story book to tie in. You could do the same for later dogs (assuming that's what you're planning on expanding into.)

As it stands though, this isnt really a business. I'd not waste money trying to promote one standalone product that caters for a very small demographic. I'd wait until you've got something more solid before spending £££ on domains and a website.

indigox Wed 16-Nov-16 19:19:17

A domain should cost no more than £15 per year, depending on whether its a .com or

You're wasting your money paying for Shopify at this stage, you're better off with Wordpress and Woocommerce as they're both free, but even then its a lot of time and effort to promote one low value product.

In your other thread I mentioned contacting baby boutiques and asking them to stock your product, you're more likely to get sales that way as you're building on an existing audience.

olderthanyouthink Wed 16-Nov-16 20:12:16

jeremy that's actually a really lovely idea for the top, book and toy bundle

I'd agree with indigox Wordpress and woocomerce would be cheaper

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