Friends and family have asked me what it's like to start my own business and when I tell them all the ups and downs (more downs then ups in the beginning) they ask me why I haven't quit or just sold everything to break even. And I tell them every time, I LOVE doing this, even if it's not profitable. I've learned a lot, met a lot of people and really opened my horizons.
Starting my own business was not hard at all, it's the working it and getting it going part that's difficult. I've ran into a lot of challenges, questions and difficulties along the way.
To get an inventory going took a lot of finances that I really just didn't have. But somehow I found, borrowed and fronted some money to get a little inventory to sell.
Next, finding vendors that were decently priced and had good quality and shipping rates was a nightmare. There's so many didn't vendors to choose from so I had to come up with a game plan if I was going to move forward. I wrote down the things that mattered to me; quality is super important to me. If something isn't made to last then to me it's not worth spending my hard earned money on. Second, I wanted someone who was local; Los Angeles, so I could check the items out if I wanted to first and shipping usually arrives next day. Quick delivery of the product is another thing I love when buying things online. I want to know that if I purchase something, I'm not going to have to wait a month to get it! Usually I buy something because I want to wear it this season lol. So how close they were mattered a lot.
Then I had to figure out how I was storing and keeping track of all my items. I learned pretty quickly and the hard way that if you don't start with a system to keep track of your inventory you almost never come back from that. Going on two years in business and I'm still struggling to get all my inventory documented - don't let that happen to you.
Of course once I got a good system going that worked for me, I started selling a little on Ebay but I wasn't accomplishing some of my goals. 1 - to have my OWN website & 2 - sell items more than 10 days apart. [don't get me wrong, Ebay is an awesome tool and I recommend it to anyone, everyone. Even people who have been in business forever] So I hired my brother to create me a website and show me how to use it so I could manage it on my own. Then I got a business email account so people would know where to email in case they had questions or concerns.
And since then I have been buying, tracking, storing, adding to site, listing all the attributes, taking orders, making orders, wrapping, sending, collecting, going crazy lol. It has been insane, especially for the holidays. But a key thing I learned is not only to stay organized but to ship everything on time. Everyone wants their items and they want them NOW. So what makes us keep us with the instant gratification of going to the store and walking out with our item, is to ship right away.
But it's been such a fun and interesting experience I don't think I will ever stop!
This was just my cute and quick blog on my online business. I might do a part 2 sometime in the future because I'm constantly learning.
I'm always open to suggestions & questions :)
Just some photos of me working and being silly :)