TELL US ABOUT THE FIRST STEPS YOU TOOK IN STARTING YOUR BUSINESS?
Research. Research. More research. It took a long time to launch. From my conception, of not just being an online store, but being a resource for mothers (in terms of my blogging) and to wanting to find mothers who wanted to work from home and just sew, I knew I had to work hard. I found people – mothers who loved sewing, photographers who wanted to work with women and collaborate and cross promote, all in an attempt to build a brand that is all about #mumssupportingmums and #localisthenewblack. That reminds me, I never had an Instagram account before having a business so learning about Instagram and the marvellous beast it can be to help succeed took me a long time.
It was also important to make sure the products I wanted to sell were well received. I went to markets, sold samples on gumtree, all in an effort to gain mums’ feedback on what they loved and what they didn’t need. Straight away mums told me, boys always miss out on cool and edgy clothes so I started designing there. From then on, it was about what I loved.
I looked at budget. What goes into selling a dress online? You just sew it, post it and make a profit. WRONG. There are so many hidden fees to consider. Here are a few apart from the initial website set up: personalised swing tags, business cards, company ribbon for gift wrapping, postage expenses outside Australia, bagging the item, company stickers to brand your LOGO and make a lasting impression on people. Hidden transaction costs, shopify monthly fees, banking fees for each transaction, the list of hidden extra costs to the viability of bringing a product made in Australia or otherwise to market goes on and on. So finances are crucial when researching and considering a Start Up Business.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL HABIT THAT YOU BELIEVE CONTRIBUTES TO YOUR SUCCESS?
I always follow up with customers & make sure they were happy and I follow their journey on Instagram and congratulate them on their milestones. I also research marketing strategies and most importantly, I collaborate with other mums and that way, we cross promote both of our products.
GIVE US 3 TIPS ON HOW TO USE INSTAGRAM LIKE A BOSS!
- Know the peak times for your audience. When will they be online. If they have kids, when is their ‘downtime’ as that is when they may be looking at Social Media.
- Have a ‘Call to Action’ in a post & list if the item is in stock and ready to ship.
- Use hashtags wisely. Many hashtags can be lost in under 3 minutes on a certain # feed ie. motherhood. So try and see what hashtags work and what don’t.
- Allow your followers into your life (just a little) so they can relate to you and the product and how you use it everyday.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE #MUMLIFE AND BUSINESS LIFE?
At the moment, I don’t have that balance. I try my best to be present when I am with my girls and when they are asleep I work like crazy. I do think that this is an area I will focus on more and more in learning to run a small business. There is one thing I have learned though, marketing is crucial, but if it is at the expense of making your family life or weekends miserable, then my husband takes my phone off me. Have someone who is an advocate of helping you achieve balance. You would hate it if a sale meant that you were not present for that first smile or that first word. So try. It is a work in progress at My Tiny Wardrobe HQ but I will find it.
WHAT ONE PIECE OF ACTIONABLE ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE JUST STARTING OUT?
Know your competitors and how they market. This doesn’t mean compete.
I often love numerous products from other companies and I will openly comment on their post that I have this dress and what great quality it is etc. So know how to maintain a competitive edge without losing sight that everyone in small business should support one another.
A MUM WITH HUSTLE YOU ADMIRE AND WHY?
If I couldm I would say my mum. But if it has to be someone recognisable, I would say Fatma Elzein from ‘Mummies Paying it Forward’. She is an inspiration. She is on Facebook and has turned her idea of helping others in need to the ultimate success story that will warm your heart.
She has children and has has succeeded in inspiring, motivating and bringing mums together from all across the country for a greater good, whatever the cause may be. She has recently been nominated for Australian of The year and she only started the Charity Page just over a year ago. She is a woman who I support personally and through my company and I would love it if every mum on social media finds her on Facebook, follows her and supports her. She hustles with heart, mind, as a mum and with love in her heart. She is a #mumsupportingmums and more. Much more.
To Follow the amazing Mum - Tracy Harris - who wrote this & has created a Brilliant Platform for helping you build your business through - mindset - community and actionable strategies see below: