Starting out in business is a daunting prospect for anyone. Coping with a busy home/family life and long term health problems, in addition, means that there are some life-challenging obstacles to overcome. However, with a large measure of gumption and steely determination, anything is possible!
I started my online business in 2004 by selling Robin and Wendy knitting wool, Whitecroft knitting equipment and some crochet yarn on a well known auction website, and to friends and family. As the product range gradually expanded, I took the plunge and opened an ebay shop. However, I quickly outgrew my ebay shop with a much wider range of sewing, haberdashery and craft products, and opened my first website shop, gardengateknitsewcraft.co.uk.
Starting my own website from scratch was a formidable task but was made easier by the templates and helpful advice provided by the website host provider. Learning about SEO, metatags and keywords was a different matter and it has taken several years, and many mistakes along the way, to fully understand the concept, and hopefully, get it right! You can never take your eye off the ball and I am continually working on improving SEO/metatags, and there is always something new to learn.
As my confidence grew, I opened up my second website, knitsewcraft.co.uk and the product range for both websites has increased dramatically. I send out orders to customers in the UK, Europe, USA, and Canada, and I am proud to have a loyal customer base of returning buyers. Some of my original customers from 2004 are still shopping with me today! My website shops offer a varied and affordable range of knitting, sewing, crochet, craft and haberdashery products – ideal for anyone who likes to make do and mend, or to create and craft!
If you are thinking of starting your own business, my advice is to take a deep breath, do plenty of research into whether there is a market for your product or service, and just go for it. Learn all you can about search engine optimisation, relevant metatags and keywords, as this will also help the virtual world find your website. Being your own boss is not possible without a great deal of hard work, but it can be extremely rewarding.