Being able to work from home – most new mums dream. From the minute I found out I was pregnant, every day up until she was 18 months old, was spent looking for a stay at home job.
‘How can I make money from home, how do I open my own shop, am I good at any crafts I could make some money from?’
The same questions day in, day out. And it wasn’t until she was a year and a half that I found something. Firstly, when A was a newborn, I tried matched betting. If you haven’t heard of it, I would recommend it to everyone, as the earning potential is unlimited. It is completely legal, tax free, but very time consuming, but some days I was getting £250/£300 profit. But it was a lot of hard work, and time. The only reason I stopped, was because I wanted to spend all my time with my baby, rightly so! I will definitely go back to it one day as a side income, and would encourage you to do the same! I’d be more than happy to make a separate post about it if anyone would be interested.
Sitting at home one day having another Google, knowing I wouldn’t find anything, I found what is now my supplier. I laughed and thought, “I’ve found it, I’m going to open a sex shop!”. I had a look through the stock and had a giggle, and then I realised, this is exactly what I want to do. And then a few days later it turned it to “I AM opening a sex shop”
About 2 months of sleepless nights, redo’s, frustration and laughter, and I’d made my website. I can’t even put into words how proud of myself I was. Considering I pretty much played solitare my whole 2 years of GCSE ICT, I’d done it! My stock was added, I started my social media, ordered a ridiculous amount of business cards, and I was off.
The Twitter account got followers quite quickly, so I started the Facebook page and ran a giveaway for a £40 gift voucher. It got such a massive response and so many entries, I was so happy. The giveaway finished, the winner ordered something (my first order, woohoo!) And that was it. For about 2 weeks, nothing. The twitter and Instagram accounts were still gaining followers, there was a lot of interaction on them, but not a single sale.
The Facebook page turned into a ghost town. I’d get messages every day on Facebook saying ‘I love your shop but my friends and family can’t find out!’. Facebook ads were getting rejected at every turn, Instagram rejected my adverts, and I sat, head in my hands and thought what have I done. Id already put in about £1k of my own money into this, all of this hard work, and I’m not getting anywhere. As if I expected customers to find it themselves, my social media posts to get super popular and it would pretty much run itself. Oh how wrong (and naive) can one person be!
I sat down one evening and googled. For hours. How to get web traffic, how to make sales, why does Facebook hate me! And I laughed at myself, what was I thinking?! I need to sort this out! So I made a game plan. Then I got myself an affiliate program, I signed up to adwords, I optimized my site, I set up SEO, I added meta keywords to every page I had. I was on a roll! I got myself so down about my site views, if one day they weren’t as high as the last, I would get so frustrated with myself! But it’s really out of my control. I can’t make people go on the site, tweet me or make a purchase. So I got more relaxed with it, and the views and sales started to come in!
The worst thing you can do, is stress. Stress helps nothing, and only makes the situation 10 times worse. I was a serial stresser, with anything and everything. Anything I couldn’t control would frustrate me so much I’d get so stressed out. Such a waste of time and energy! But now, I am a lot more relaxed, and my social media and website is better than ever.
Now, it wasn’t all plain sailing after that. My website had a LOT of problems, that I had no idea about until a potential customer pointed it out. Trouble logging in, trouble making a wishlist, a product not loading as it should. All of these things I had absolutely no idea about, so I made myself learn. If a problem occurred I’d thank them for letting me know, offer a discount code to show them that I appreciate their help and hopefully it hasn’t scared them off. And I got onto Google, rang my hosting provider, spoke to anyone and everyone that knew about it and learned what I needed to do.
It is incredibly hard to run a website on your own, when something goes wrong, you’re trying something new, you need to add 50 new products. But it is also so worth it!
The moral of the story!
Perseverance is key, and it is hard to stay motivated and not be discouraged when you’re not getting any sales or you’re not getting many web views, but you have to find that motivation from somewhere and carry on. Rome wasn’t built in a day!
If you want to check out the site, it’s https://www.boudoiradultboutique.co.uk