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Stay at home mum setting up online shop

(20 Posts)
j6dyxpda Mon 21-Jan-19 21:16:32

Hi. Im a stay at home mum and have decided to set up my own online children's clothing store, my husband tells me it's a waste of time but I really feel passionate about it.
Just wondered if anyone had any feed back for me? Am I wasting my time? smile

FortunesFave Mon 21-Jan-19 21:19:08

Why does he think that? Have you got money to invest in stock and a website and marketing?

ChrisjenAvasarala Mon 21-Jan-19 21:23:42

What's your business plan?

Have you created your brand? Sorted your logo, letterhead etc? Secured your domain?

And your USP? What are you offering that would encourage someone to spend their money with you, rather than a big name they recognise? What will your product range be? Remember to ensure you abide by labelling laws and fire safety and all that.

Advertising. How are customers going to hear about you? What's your ad budget, and what can you get for that?

ChrisjenAvasarala Mon 21-Jan-19 21:25:07

And space to keep the stock? It needs to be away from any sleeps it can pick up so no pets or smoking or cooking smells etc.

MyNameIsNotSteven Mon 21-Jan-19 21:26:53

I looked into this some years ago and found that many of the brands I was interested in would only supply businesses with physical shops.

j6dyxpda Mon 21-Jan-19 21:40:50

I have already got about of stock, and a friend of mine set a website up for me.
I don't know he just thinks it's not going to take off?? Then I will waist my time and money

IamThereforeIdontIdentify Mon 21-Jan-19 21:48:17

Have you got someone to edit your website?whats your business plan? Where are you advertising? Who are your competitors? What can you offer that they can't?

j6dyxpda Mon 21-Jan-19 21:57:04

Yes my friend is helping with the website. I am advertising on Facebook and Instagram and sharing my website on them.
I'm using my little boy Reggie to model the outfits when I can.
I have my logo and going to try and make the name of the idea a brand.... Reggie Roo.
I'm trying to offer nice quality clothing at decent affordable prices.

ChrisjenAvasarala Mon 21-Jan-19 21:57:54

The fact that you havnt answered any questions would indicate that you havnt put thought Into any of it. If that is the case, then your husband may end up being right.

I didn't ask you random questions for the good of my own health. I'm a single mum. I'm also a designer/maker and online retailer. I've done it. I'm successful. So I'm trying to help, but can't do that with no input from you.

TrickyKid Mon 21-Jan-19 22:02:45

It's impossible to know without more info. Most quality brands will only let you stock them if you already sell brands they will sit well with....or are you thinking of manufacturing your own brand? It's not clear from what you've said.

RippleEffects Mon 21-Jan-19 22:04:10

I have an online shop but started on eBay, expanded to Amazon then set up my own website in parallel with trademarking my brand. My husband was equally as suportive (I'm still an at home mum but out earnt him this year - only my second full year of trading). It's not always an easy thing and can be quite lonely especially when you get an abusive customer, credit card disputed transaction, HMRC inspection, have to learn about ever changing tax rules VAT registration and now digital tax etc etc.

My husband has adjusted now and has taken on a bit more of the round the house stuff. Only so many hours in the day.

Not wanting to scaremonger I will also say HMRC have always been helpful when Ive needed to contact them or when they've contacted me.

Free social media advertising didnt take me that far (instagram, twitter, facebook page) and was/ is a surprising amount of work to maintain.

My website is with shopify and they have some statistic about on average it takes new startups something like 3000 dynamic site hits for your first 10 purchases. If pay per click advertising is maybe 25 - 50p/ click if you focus on misspellings as lower cost clicks it's quite a chunk of money to start your turnover going. It doesnt stop when your turnover starts either.

Getting suppliers to take you seriously does take some effort. Some won't talk to you but keep your head up, goal insight and knock on the next door. Phone contact is probably better than email - treat it like an interview and write notes of the key things you want to say.

There's a big event in Birmingham at the NEC about to happen called the Spring Fair - beginning of Feb. It is more of a home and gift show but if you can get to Birmingham it may be a really good place to get your business juices flowing. It could help you to define the look and feel of your brand, your market, packaging sourcing etc.

I started with a budget of £2000. I didn't take anything out the first tax year - started Oct so October to April 17, April 18 I did take something out and my next sum out was to buy a car in December. I will take more out in April depending on how much I reinvest.

I quickly found I needed to upgrade my camera (£500 second hand with a special lens for micro photography), then buy a decent lighting set up (£50), then a reliable printer, label printer for royal mail postage collection, laptop as the family wanted access to the home PC I was hogging. All this was from first year what would have been profits but was essential in my expansion.

I have several hundred products so professional photography would add up but for a smaller range it may be an option. I'm also considering dabbling with getting copy written for me as I find getting my message across concisely challenging.

I don't regret doing this and my intial investment was relatively small and not a loan so we could have stomached it if things hadn't worked out. It has worked out in a very different way to how I ever imagined it could.

EBay was a great learning platform for selling and very low overhead in comparison with going it alone. I'd heartedly recomend selling a few bits using eBay or a similar online platform to get a feel for online retail its trials and its benefits. EBay is still the bulk of my business. The community boards are full of peoples winges and failures with the odd real gem of information worth trying.

BoomTish Mon 21-Jan-19 22:13:25

Being completely honest as a prospective purchaser (I don’t have online sales experience)-

Your Instagram page has more jokes than products. I think you need to focus on displaying items that encourage your potential customers to click on your website.

Your website is full of spelling/grammatical errors. That would put me off purchasing online as I’d question the legitimacy of a company with such errors on their site.

Your terms and conditions are confusing and read like they were lifted from another company’s website. My understanding is that you sell online from your home in the UK, but Terms reference purchases made in stores in Ireland?

Your little boy is very cute. Use him more!! He sells the clothes better than the wallpaper (I think!) background you’re currently using.

RippleEffects Mon 21-Jan-19 22:18:01

Reggie Roo appears to be a cartoon character - a kangaroo who shows us things. Based on a Google search

j6dyxpda Mon 21-Jan-19 22:34:11

Thank you for all of your feed back. As you can see this is very new to me and I'm just finding my feet. Apologies for not answering all the messages in full, I want to have a really good read through all of them and make sure I have done everything you have all asked about and advised.
Many thanks

ChrisjenAvasarala Mon 21-Jan-19 22:35:56

"So I decided to set up a small children’s clothing business….I love buying clothes for my little Reggie Roo, so I thought I’d sell my own!😘"

That's the first thing we see when we land on your site. It needs to go. It's like listening to a teenager speak. People need to trust you and believe you are genuine and professional. You can have fun with that, bring in some personalisation etc, but don't make yourself sound like a giggling teenager.

You need a separate tab for delivery/returns. It's hidden away in your terms and conditions (which have other issues) and people want to just click on a button which says "delivery/returns" to see a very simply written passage explaining how long delivery takes and the returns procedure.

You also say in the terms and conditions that you don't charge on ordering. You say you charge when the items are dispatched. Is this true or an error? When do you debit you customer? It is usually when they place the order on small sites like this.

Your terms also go on about gift cards and stores in Ireland etc. Do you have these?

One of the most visited pages on sites like this is the "about us" page. Because people want to be sure you're not a scam. You don't have one. When you make one, remember that it is not actually about you. It's about the customer. Research this, and don't right it like you did your home page sentence.

flugelhorn811 Mon 21-Jan-19 22:36:13

@BoomTish - yes, the terms and conditions seem to be from Monsoon, and OP has forgotten to remove a reference to them in one part.

I don't really have experience setting up a small business but absolutely reiterate what others have said about grammar and spelling mistakes (and errors such as the above) making your business appear less legitimate.

ChrisjenAvasarala Mon 21-Jan-19 22:47:57

On your contact page, you have an address for your location. Is this a shop premises? For the public to come too, during your opening hours and browse in a shop? Or is it your home?

If it's not a shop premises then it's not your location and shouldn't be listed like that. Someone local might come looking for a shop and find your house.... odd.

Take it down. You need to provide a postal address to people who place orders; that can be included on their order confirmations as a "write to us here". You can also include it somwhere in your terms and conditions but strictly as a "write to us here". Not as a location so prominently featured if it's your home.

Mojito8654 Wed 23-Jan-19 00:11:26

Honestly?
It's a tacky name and you can't use effective SPAG,

I would think you were a scam or a cheap Chinese import, I could get from Ali

NBCP Mon 28-Jan-19 22:04:35

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ChrisjenAvasarala Mon 28-Jan-19 22:09:25

NBCP, this is someone else's thread. You need to start your own, however I don't think advertising for positions is allowed on here.

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