This is a sponsored post, however all words have been written by me and all advice and opinions are my own.
Everyone wants to be an entrepreneur these days. That's definitely not a bad thing; in fact I think it's amazing that more and more people are turning their backs on the traditional 9-5 to carve out their own path and live life on their terms.
Unfortunately though, not everyone succeeds when it comes to working for themselves. There can be many reasons for this, of course, but I think one of the main reasons is that most of us were never taught in school how to run a business and so are just winging it and learning as we go.
As you may know, as well as running my blog and offering freelance writing services, I have an Etsy store called Bloggers Do It Better where I sell gifts, stationery and printables for bloggers and content creators.
Working for myself has been a steep learning curve and I think there are definitely a few things you need to know if you're planning to go it alone. In this post I'm going to share a few handy hints for anyone just starting out in the business world.
Five Tips for Running a Successful Small Business
1. Don't be afraid to be different
When it comes to business, it pays to think outside the box. You definitely don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you should always be innovating, creating new products and testing out new ideas to see which ones do best. It's a tough market and you want to stand out from your competitors and be the go-to small business for your customers.
2. It's all in the presentation
Something you're definitely going to need for your small business is adequate packaging. You want your products to arrive with your customers in the best possible condition, so make sure you have padded envelopes, cardboard boxes and any other packaging supplies you'll need to keep the items safe while in transit.
You should also think about wrapping your products as attractively as possible. Using coloured boxes or envelopes, tissue paper and even ribbons and bows will give the customer a fun unboxing experience. If goods are delivered in pretty packaging, customers will be more likely to share a picture on social media - which means more promotion for your small business!
3. Offer free delivery
Shoppers love free delivery. They'll even pay more for a product if the postage is free, and I know that Etsy promotes its shops and products which offer free delivery more than the ones that don't. Raise your product prices a little to cover the delivery cost so you won't be out of pocket.
4. Add a personal touch
It's always nice when someone makes us feel special, and buyers really enjoy receiving that personal touch from small businesses. Something as simple as a handwritten thank you note can go a long way. If you can afford to, why not throw in a little extra gift for them too? The little things really do make a big difference.
Don't forget to put one of your business cards inside every order. Hopefully the customer will keep hold of it and remember you and your business whenever they see it, or pass it on to one of their friends who they think will enjoy your products.
5. Give stellar customer service
In the end, it all comes down to offering outstanding customer service and making the customer feel appreciated. They'll be more likely to shop with you again in the future and recommend your business to their friends and family.
Keep your customers happy and they'll keep coming back to your store time and time again.
Are you thinking of starting a small business? Do you already have one? Let's chat in the comments!