Something I think about a lot. How different is marketing in a large corporation from promoting a small business? Well I'd venture that it's not so different except in large company your focus would be on marketing, pure and simple. When you run your own business you wear all the hats. So you're the accounts department, head of R&D, in charge of warehousing and procurement as well as being Chief Marketer! I won't lie, it's HARD! There don't ever seem to be enough hours in the day.
I have spent several years running my own online shop. I have my own website and an Etsy store. I tried all kinds of other selling platforms such as Dawanda, Meylah, Artfire. I have used quite a few web hosts and e-commerce platforms: Shopify, Big Cartel, Squarespace and Virb. My business, pictured, is Mee a Bee, handmade bags for children.
Only recently did I finally admit that I don't really enjoy being pulled in every direction with a small business like Mee a Bee. My shop is well-established enough that it runs like clockwork in 'maintenance mode'. That means I simply check in every so often to promote a little bit, update the fans and check on inventory. When orders come in I send them out as soon as I can, nothing has changed from the customer perspective. But I am no longer actively building the business. I've declared it a success! I'm happy with where it is. I'm thrilled with the impact I made. I'm content to let it simmer.
Isn't that awesome?
So now that I have given myself permission to do what I love - marketing, I can really clearly see why I felt torn. I really enjoy business development. In particular I love creating marketing plans. Mee a Bee has a business plan. It has a marketing plan. It just needs someone to implement it. As awful as it sounds, that's not exciting for me anymore. Should I sell up? Perhaps.
Working with other creative business owners, mums who sew or women who design, has been very enlightening. Many of the people I have spoken to also feel pulled, overwhelmed and out of depth when it comes to wearing all the hats in the business. That is why I am hereby giving you permission to pass some of the burden over to me. Let me help with your business plan. Let me design your marketing plan.
Still love to DIY? I do too. Have you heard of Virb? It's an excellent, low-cost website host that integrates with one-touch to your Etsy store. I have created a free downloadable PDF for Building your Own Beautiful Website with Virb. Get it here. Leave a comment if you love it / hate it / have feedback. My store Mee a Bee runs on it.