This week the Sydney Morning Herald wrote an article about whether mum's who start businesses from home really make money.
The answer seems to be that is depends. Some do make money and some don't. The ones that do advocate the following principals:
1. Start with an affordable website - as you begin to work in your business you realise what functionality to need.
At BBC we believe you should start with a Cloud Hosted e-commerce package like BigCommerce, Shopify, Wordpress of SquareSpace. These platforms give you a lot of core functionality on day one. We believe you should start your business putting your best foot forward. We don't advocate building the site yourself using the website tools provided for free from hosting providers. If your website is cobbled together, inconsistent, error prone and unprofessional it will reflect badly on your brand. The cloud hosting options give the opportunity to look good on day one and offer your customers a sound buying experience.
2. Make sure you can update the website yourself, don't rely and keep paying for your web developer to do it for you.
We totally agree with this statement. The e-commerce solutions we provide at BBC give our customers the ability to totally manage the site themselves. They can change the sliders, ad boxes and navigation all on their own. They can implement apps on their own which gives their site additional functionality. We fully train our customers so they can take over the full management of their site themselves.
3. The key to profitability is to do everything yourself in the beginning.
We also agree with this is principal. Doing everything yourself allows you to learn your business. It allows you to set up the business processes the way you want. However you are not an expert in every aspect of your business. Sometimes you need the help of an expert. This might be the case with search engine marketing or search engine optimisation. If you think you are out of your depth then speak to us. We can either help you or point you in the direction of some sound e-learning to help bridge the gap.
4. You should outsource your graphic design to get your business identity right.
We totally agree with this point. Your business identity is important. It is a reflection of you and how seriously you take your business. You want your customers to think you are a professional company that they can trust and rely on. A logo helps build this trust and brand identity. At Boutique Business Consulting we can create a logo for you from as little as $99. Contact us today if you need help creating your brand identity. We would argue that getting a designer to create elements of your website help to give your website a designed feel. We can create slider images from as little as $60 per slide. Ideally your website is totally designed for your brand.
5. Successful mumtreprenuer businesses investment money in a quality website, proper branding, business cards and get training on how to run an online business - according to Business Coach Kathryn Hocking.
We totally agree with this statement. We also couldn't agree more with getting training. As BBC we are developing tool kits to assist our clients through starting a business. In addition we have a library of recommended e-books that should be read. If you have the means you should attend a local college or TAFE course on running a business if you have never run a business before.
6. Having a social media strategy is key.
Absolutely. You need to decide which social media platforms you are going to invest your efforts in. We recommend that everyone creates a Facebook, Twitter and Pintrest account. Youtube should also be explored if you can create video content. Each platform requires a slightly different strategy. We work with our clients to assist with developing their strategy. Social media takes time and effort but its worth the opportunity to engage with your target audience.
A number of people have read this article and left comments. One comment I feel is worth expanding on - left by BuyAustralianMade.
"There are a number of mumpreneurs who are BuyAustralianMade members making a profit, though for most it hasn't come easy. The product or service they are selling has to be what customers/clients wish to buy, not just something that the mumpreneur is good at making or likes making. After all not all customers can be friends or family just wanting to help out. Mumpreneurs who find a niche, give great value, engage with their customers, a reliable way of finding new customers/clients are well on the road to turning a profit and most have a very lean supply chain which allows competitive pricing."
We couldn't agree with these comments more. You must find a niche. You must know who your customer is and how you need to speak to them. You need to address your customers wants not just their needs. You must form an emotional connection with them. We have two tool kits that help our clients develop their brand around their customer and help them find their niche. Contact us today if you want help honing your business to your customer.