Let's tackle some top questions! When starting your business, it can be so challenging to make all of those initial decisions. Each one feels so loaded and essential. I wanted to take the opportunity and give you some helpful encouragement and, hopefully, some peace of mind, too.
If there's anything I've learned, it's that the best investments we make will always be in ourselves. The other evening I was having a conversation with my husband, Jared. We were looking at the dips and highs of the stock market and reflecting that it has nothing on what I'm capable of doing. The way I can take a product and consistently make it sell is unparalleled. I want you to know that the same is possible for each and every one of you.
You have strengths and skill sets that can take you further than you've ever imagined! It's your job to believe it, implement it, and go out and make it happen. I challenge you to make that your daily reminder. Maybe jot it down on a sticky note and put it in the car or bathroom, somewhere that you'll see it and be reminded that you are and always will be your greatest investment.
Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now and get to the point of today's post. I'm going over the top questions I get asked by newbies when they're just starting out and hitting those initial roadblocks.
A lot of the advice I have to offer is gleaned from the trials and errors I made in my own business. We'll be going over questions like deciding what to sell in your e-commerce business, how much startup capital you should be investing, and how to ship products without getting swallowed up by inventory in your living room.
I'm also answering a question I get asked super often about if I still sell online or if I've moved on completely.
Keep on reading for the answers to these top questions or check out today's episode below because it's filled with the AHA moments you've been looking for!
I just don't know what to sell!
This one is a doozy. You know you're all in and that E-commerce is the direction you want to move forward in, but you just don't know what to do next. Hi! Hello! I've so been there. And I gotta tell you, the only thing holding you back here is perspective. Maybe you've watched one too many episodes of Shark Tank and think you just have to come up with the next IT thing.
It has to be innovative and creative and marketable to absolutely everyone! The truth is, I've never once sold anything Shark Tank worthy, and I think I've done pretty well for myself. Those hot products you see on fun tv shows are RISKY! I see people invest everything they've got into production just to realize after the fact that it will never sell.
Want my advice? Sell what people are already buying.
How much do I really need to invest?
I'm willing to bet that you're not going into this new business venture with unlimited funds. I know I wasn't. Our budget can be a pretty big deterrent when we're new in business. We often approach it with the assumption that we'll need to cut corners or take out loans, but really you can make it pretty far starting from the bottom.
My first tip is to get all the legalities out of the way by setting yourself up with an LLC, which stands for limited liability corporation. It will help you separate your business from your personal and keep you protected as you build your business.
What about inventory? I should buy everything now, right?
Wrong! You don't need to buy the fancy printer and shipping labels just yet. You just need your product. For me, it was leftover craft supplies waiting to be thrown away. Next, go find the marketplaces to go sell the things and use that money to buy the next product.
The point is that you're reinvesting those profits that you're making into growing your company and into buying inventory and growing your profitable business because you're not reinvesting everything. I want you to put some of that money in your pocket. Why? Because you have to get paid too.
You also want to be limited on the amount inventory you keep because who knows if it's something that you'll want to continue down the line. Maybe you love baking now but in six months, realize your passion is selling jewelry. You want to be able to pivot as quickly and effortlessly as possible.
Do I have to ship my products?
This is another one of those top questions that I get super often. I totally understand that you don't know what your kitchen table to become your workstation. The idea of a garage-warehouse combo isn't super appealing. Starting out, I didn't realize that there are so many options for shipping. Now I know, there are companies that will do your shipping and fulfillment for you. How cool is that?! It will save you so much time and headache.
And now you might be like, well, Alison, but they cost money, and I could just be putting that money in my pocket. I do understand that. But I also understand that you're worth a lot. The going rate for warehouse workers, depending on where you live, is around 12 to $15 an hour. And I believe you're worth hundreds to thousands of dollars per hour because you are taking the stand and saying, I want to change my life. I'm willing to stand up, and I'm willing to get uncomfortable to be able to change my life. So you have the potential to make more!
Alison, do you even sell online anymore?
This is one of those top questions that I get a lot. Why am I teaching so much and not focused on selling? I love this one, especially on Facebook, where they're like, you probably don't even know how to sell anymore!
And I crack up when they say, you teach now because you can't run your online shop anymore. They don't know the whole story. I do still sell online. I've had a pillows business for years. And that has been so fun for me to be able to stay current to grow and learn the ins and outs of the newest trends in marketing so that I'm able to bring into my group and teach them on a daily basis. And then we also sell stuff in the swag store. That's always a blast with things like that. And then I can take that information and share it with others.
I hope the answers to these top questions have equipped you with the confidence and knowledge to go out and rock your business! Be sure to check out my $0-100k Program to get on track to building the business of your dreams. Can't wait to see you there!