Starting your own business can be thrilling. It’s the first step in taking control of your life and future career, and sometimes we might not know what we’re signing up for. Don’t panic though, here are the most important things I’ve learned about my role as a business owner!
Your Business is Yours
I personally rely on Shopify for so many aspects of my business. Without the platform my tasks list would be never ending. It’s easy to forget that even with all the help Shopify provides, my business is still my responsibility. Before I launch any new page, collection, product, it’s super important I double and triple check everything. Since my name is the one registered to my business, I want to make sure I’m following all the rules and laws where I live. When I was starting my business I contacted some business experts in my area to see if they would speak with me for 30 minutes for free. Some did say they charged per hour but I was able to find a couple who were able to fit me into their schedule. I wrote down the questions I wanted to ask and made sure to write down key points they said. If you take only one thing away from this post it should be to take the time to talk to an expert in your area.
Shopify and Oberlo help people around the world, and it’s not realistic for them to know the laws of every state, province, country and everywhere in between. They are also not allowed to give us legal advice since they aren’t legal experts, so be sure to do the research beforehand. This will save you time and trouble down the road.
Trademarks and Copyrights...YIKES!
Trademarks and Copyrights can be a nightmare if you don’t take caution. The easiest way to minimize any legal issues with the products you are selling in your store is to select Oberlo Verified Suppliers. It’s important to note that you still need to check all products for copyright or trademark issues, but Oberlo vets their suppliers, and you can always contact them directly if you’re not sure about a product . Oberlo Verified suppliers have amazing track records and the most orders within Oberlo. On top of selecting Verified Suppliers, you will want to avoid importing photos with people in them. I usually will crop the photo enough so any models that are in the photos can’t be identified. Of course the only way to guarantee you are protected is to order a couple sample products, and take the photos yourself. They don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be your own.
Here is a great article that can help you take amazing photos with your phone!
You Make Your Own Rules
Invest Back Into Your Business
We all want to make money, it’s not a secret. There is no greater feeling than the hearing your new orders come in on your Shopify app, but you want to make sure that you are always investing back into your business so you can make even more money. Once of the first things I did when I started making money with my business is invest it back into marketing. I wanted to be able to try different marketing techniques and find what worked best for me. I bought apps that helped my business grow, and online business courses that would help me grow as a business owner. The business world is always changing, and it’s important to be adaptable. Take a Udemy marketing course and be even more prepared for your next marketing campaign.
Communicating With Customers
Did you know that you make more money from return customers than new ones? Well it’s true (trust me). So how do we get customers to come back and spend more money in our stores? Well it’s simple, don’t let them forget about you! Once a customer has completed their purchase and received their products, we often think this is the end of the interaction, but it shouldn’t be.
You want your customers to know you care about them as people and not just for their money. Follow up with your customers a week after they have received their product. Thank them for the purchase and get their opinions on the products they ordered. This is also a great way to get your customers involved in your social media. Ask them to review the product and even take a photo of it, and in return give them a limited time use discount code. You can use their photos in your store and on your social media platforms. By doing this you are not only telling them know that their opinion matters, but you are also setting them up for their next purchase so they can use the discount code they received.
Sometimes situations can happen with customers. What do you do if a package is late and your customer is wondering where it is? First step is to NOT panic. Remember there is a real person on the other end of the screen, and people like to be addressed on a human level. Instead of blaming a supplier, or customs, take ownership of the problem. It’s important for customers to know that we are human also, but we are still trustworthy. You need to let them know you’ll do whatever you can do fix the situation. In this case, you can let them know that the package is on its way, let them know you’ll be watching the tracking each day to make sure it is delivered, and offer them a discount code or refund their shipping costs to let them know you appreciate their patience. Showing empathy with your customers is very important to keep the human feelings in the interaction. Let them know you understand their frustrations, but you are going to be there with them till the situation is fixed. Most people will LOVE this kind of response.
Consistency is Key
The first time I started making money in my business I got lazy, and guess what happened? I stopped making as much money. In my business I get 99% of my website visits from my Instagram account. This means that I always have to have content ready to go for my Instagram page. Consistency is key when running a business, and it’s important to not get lazy. When I started my business I had to set reminders for myself to post on Instagram, but as my business grew and I made more money from it, I was able to use programs that would most on my behalf. I now spend an hour a month creating all the content I want to post during the month. I use a program called OnlyPult and it posts to my Instagram for me. It saves me time and keeps my consistency flowing.
This might not be what you need in your business, but you will find what consistency means to you. Then research ways or programs to help you be consistent and to make your job as a business owner easier.
What is your biggest worry as a business owner?
Write your reply in the comments and I will read each one!