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Setting up a little business, any advice?

(8 Posts)
Tils1066 Mon 10-Feb-20 08:40:03

Hi, I’m in the very early stages of setting up my homemade craft and jewellery business. The things I make are mainly aimed at children and I sell a lot at craft fairs as they are affordable for pocket money. The problem I am having is that I can’t seem to sell online. I have a Facebook page and recently donated a gift certificate to a charity raffle and made the child who was unwell a personalised gift. I have also done giveaways on my Facebook page and rarely even receive a thank you or that my gift has arrived. Can anyone advise please? I know there is a big market with lots of people doing similar but I can’t keep giving away with no business benefit. Any help would be greatly appreciated 😊

Tils1066 Mon 10-Feb-20 08:41:15

Sorry I also forgot to add I make jewellery for adults and other crafts. Not just for children.

doadeer Mon 10-Feb-20 08:45:38

There's another thread about setting up an online store. I help retailers for a job this was my advice re setting up an online store. I'm not quite sure what you mean about the gift certificate but this is what I wrote if it helps

Split it up into:

Admin
- set up self employed
- trademarks/ company name
-tax
- spreadsheets to measure sales

Brand
- get a logo
- visual identity - these are your colours and brand guidelines so everything is consistent
- create a website (but see below re the website content
- set up social media pages and start posting and following key people

Product
- get product (!)
- take pictures of product
- get packaging - boxes etc
- you will need a dispatch note

Pricing
- work out cost per unit
- work out delivery cost
- set up payment gateway eg PayPal

Customer communication
- create email templates so you can send order confirmation, order despatch, order delivered and maybe a feedback followup - suggest use mailchimp you will need to follow tutorials on how to do this.

Delivery
- how will you manage delivery?
- how will you manage returns?

Marketing
- set up Google analytics and you can search for the traffic key words get eg toothbrushes. You then set up Google ads against these keywords and you need to know these before you set up your website
- you might want to send your product to social influencers and get them to advocate for it
- post daily
- set up sponsored posts
- other marketing channels - could you put adverts in publications? Flyers?
- how will you find people?

My suggestions for tools that can help you:

Canva is free and great for doing quick design jobs and social media posts plus branded things like letter heads.

Mailchimp is free if you have less than 2000 email addresses but you will need to learn it

WordPress is easy for your website

Tils1066 Mon 10-Feb-20 08:55:03

Thank you. The advert in publications is a good idea. I have done most of the above. I’m just struggling to get reviews of my handmade products which was why I did giveaways but still no reviews. The gift certificate was for a charity raffle and who won could choose items that could be personalised.

IShineAShoe Mon 10-Feb-20 09:03:42

Could you target popular mum bloggers, offer a freebie for them/their children in return for an honest review? I always see #gifted #ad in instagram posts for popular mum bloggers, you’ll then get exposure to their followers.

doadeer Mon 10-Feb-20 09:11:09

I have a small store and I have a little postcard I put in the parcel with a nice note about the history of the business and encourage social media engagement. I also send a follow up email asking that they are satisfied and a button to share reviews and social media links

To be honest in the early days I would also get friends and family to put reviews -- mine is a lifestyle product and my first customers were friends who loved them so the reviews were genuine

Tils1066 Mon 10-Feb-20 11:57:46

Thank you. These are all helpful. I have given away a few personalised items to mums for a review or feedback to improve and despite a follow up message I have received nothing back. If my product could be improved I would like to know. My friends all have very young babies so it’s not suitable until they are at least 3 years and hair accessories could be when they are younger but they are all boys. I’m also new to my local area so have no friends here.

doadeer Mon 10-Feb-20 13:22:08

Is there a local mum Facebook group? You could advertise youre looking for 5 testers they get it free if they write a review?

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