More and more women are taking the leap from traditional full-time work to working for themselves from home. These women, often dubbed mumpreneurs, are opting to set up businesses that allow them to better balance work and family life.
Finding the right opportunity as a work from home Mum can be challenging, but many women are turning their talents to e-commerce. Whether your skills lie in WordPress templates or wedding cakes, an online shop could be the answer for your home business.
WHERE SHOULD I HOST MY SHOP?
There are lots of tools available to create an online shop. Etsy is very popular for craft based businesses, or you could use tools like Shopify or Magento to build a shopping section within your own website. You can also sell directly from Facebook, either in selling groups or with a shopping tab on your business page. Which option do you choose depends on your budget and the products you sell.
HOW DO I MAKE SURE PEOPLE FIND MY SHOP?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is essential. SEO is what helps your shop to rank of Google. There are a few simple things you can do to help your site rank. Make sure you use relevant headings, and that any images have relevant alt-text. The SEO behind out of stock is also important, but often overlooked. A dead page will put off customers and the Google algorithm. If you’re using a shop host, there are often tools within the system to help you deal with sold out items, such as Magento out of stock products, which allows you to clear or redirect traffic that lands on these pages.
You should also harness social media to market your business. Set up accounts on Twitter and Facebook, and join relevant Facebook groups. You could look for relevant forums or blogs to comment on too, but be careful to adhere to any rules about advertising or self-promotion.
HOW CAN PEOPLE PAY ME SAFELY?
If you’re taking card payments online, it’s important to make sure that your customers feel secure that their card details are safe. When you’re starting out, something like Paypal is a great option. People are familiar with it, it’s free to set up and is easy to use. You’ll be able to take payments from all over the world, with only marginal sellers’ fees.
SHOULD I MARKET OFFLINE TOO?
Absolutely! Cover all bases with your marketing to build the maximum customer base. Think about what more traditional marketing methods could work for you. Direct mailing can still be effective, as can print advertising.
Is there a relevant local networking event you could attend? In person networking can be great for marketing and also helps you build useful business contacts you may need in the future. If you find yourself in need of a photographer or an SEO expert, you’ve probably met someone suitable at a networking event. Build contacts and keep hold of any business cards you collect.
If you’re working from home, getting out of the house for a networking event can be great for your mental health too. You’ll meet other business owners and get a break from being in the house all day.