Online Business Course

I started an online business course run by Ace Inspire in May last year. 

Why did I decide to start this business course?

Although I knew most of what the course teaches you, it is useful to have a structure to ensure I haven’t missed anything that I should be doing to increase visitors and also to increase sales.

As well as giving you some background knowledge for each topic, there are usually videos and also tasks for each section that the course covers. By having these tasks, the course gives you the momentum to do those things that maybe had been put to one side to be done another day, either because it was out of my comfort zone or I didn’t think it was that important.

Another good aspect of doing this course is that it enables you to get support from other mumpreneurs, a blogging expert and a PR expert.

If you have read my most recent posts, you would have noticed that life has got in the way and I have been busy with moving and renovating our house, so have had a lot less time than I had previously. The good thing with this online course is that you can start and stop it at your convenience. I got half way through the course, and have had to stop it for a few weeks again. I have got all my emails saved so I will be able to start up again when things have calmed down here.

If you are interested in doing this type of course, have a look at what Ace Online Business have to offer.

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RSS Feeds

Help! What is RSS?

I’m going to explain this in the only way I know how – in the really simple way (how I understand it).

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.

In a nutshell RSS makes it possible to read all the updates on a blog (web log, like an online diary) or website without having to visit each individually.

You do this using a feed reader (there are lots of different kinds) – the updates from a blog or website using rss are called a ‘feed’, think of it like it is feeding you information, or content.

I use Google Reader to read my feed. If you want to set up an account just search in google and sign upfor an account, it’s free.

Once you have your account you need to add sites. If you find a site you like (ie small business mum) you can add the feed by clicking the purple RSS button.

If you think that RSS doesn’t sound like your cup of tea many websites offer updates by email, this means that every time new information appears on the blog or website you will receive an email. This is fine if you only have one or two, beyond that it is easier to sign up to google reader or similar.

Subscribe to Small Business Mum’s blog to see how RSS works.

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Selling through ebay

I have decided to close down by online store, Bambino Boo, and concentrate on selling through ebay.  I opened my ebay store selling discount designer childrens clothes, also called Bambino Boo, about a year ago.

Since then I have been monitoring childrens clothing sales and have found that although I was spending less time on my ebay shop it was bringing in nearly 80% of sales. I wasn’t marketing my ebay store in the same way I was my online shop, so all of my ebay sales were from general visitors to ebay.

Reasons I decided to close Bambino Boo down:

1.  I was spending a lot of time maintaining and promoting the standalone website Bambino Boo.  This would have been ok, but having recently moved house and having bought a ‘project’ I didn’t have the time to dedicate to the website.

2.  I was also spending a lot of time on photos for my website and had got semi-professional photographers to take photos of my stock as the photos I had taken were just not good enough. For ebay although good photos will definitely help to sell stock, you do not need to get the same professional look as you would with a stand alone website.

3.  I needed to increase profitability, and so the best way to do this was to spend the time making the ebay store more profitable.

4.  So much marketing and PR is needed to get potential customers to a website that without specialist help and large budgets it is difficult to get the brand known. I thought I could do it all myself when I first started out but there are not enough hours in the day to do everything.

It took my a while to come to the decision to close the website down, because going back to my business plan, my ideal was to make Bambino Boo a brand that people could identify with. But through the need to make more profits and the time I found I could spend on maintaining and promoting the website I decided that it was the right decision to make.

When the time came and the website could be seen no more, it was a bit sad because I think that I had created a really good website with a good niche market. But that said, I can now spend the time promoting my ebay store and building up my customer base from there.

Do any of my readers have their own ebay store? What do you sell and what are your experiences of running an ebay store?

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My Top 25 Childrens Designer Clothing Brands

Here are my Top 25 Childrens Designer Clothing Brands.

  1. Mayoral Kids
  2. Elle Girls Clothes
  3. Kenzo Kids
  4. Fransa Kids
  5. Lego Wear
  6. Marese
  7. Petit Bateau Kids
  8. Emile et Rose
  9. Cakewalk
  10. Miniman
  11. Berlingot
  12. Feu Follet
  13. Pomme Framboise
  14. Boboli Kids
  15. Claire Kids
  16. Chillifuego
  17. Girandola
  18. IKKS
  19. Indi Jo
  20. Me Too Baby
  21. Pampolina
  22. Catamini
  23. I Love Gorgeous
  24. Kate Mack
  25. No Added Sugar
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How to set up a childrens clothing online business?

1. Decide what you would like your childrens clothing niche to be.

2. Do some research to see if there is a market for your products. The easiest way to do this is through surveys. I would survey at least 100 people to get a good feel for what peoples opinions are.

3. Check out your competition.

4. Look for suppliers. The price at which you purchase stock makes a big difference on the % margin that you can achieve so it’s important to buy the right stock at the right price. A lot of this comes through experience of running a business – analysing what sells and what doesn’t and the price that customers are happy to purchase at. 

5. Write a business plan.

6. Once you have decided on a supplier to host your website, start building the website. This includes producing a logo, producing top boxes and the general website design.

7. Once you have chosen your clothing suppliers and have started purchasing stock, the next task is to have photos of your stock taken and write good descriptions of the product. It is important to have great photos otherwise the website will not look professional and could put off people purchasing from you.

8. Start networking. I have found that it is important to have a support network, such as other mums that own mumpreneur businesses.  I have networked with these mumpreneurs through forums and online business courses.  Having the support of other mumpreneurs makes a difference as you share the highs and lows.  There will be knock-backs and it’s the way you deal with the knock-backs that make the difference.  By having support I find that other mumpreneurs have also a some point had similar problems or issues and we can share stories and empathise.

9. Start marketing your business. In the early days, most of your time will be spent on marketing to get your business known. There are so many childrens clothing companies on the internet you need to have a unique selling point to stand out from all those other websites. Writing a marketing plan will help.

10. Most importantly, I have found that it takes time to build up a profitable business – to build up traffic, to get the brand known, to get customers and then to make these repeat customers.

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