Starting a Business: What Happened This Week

alpaca blankets, alpaca throws, throw blanketsThis headline won’t get me ranked in Google, and that’s ok. I just want to write about what happened lately with the business my family is starting.

I’ve mentioned in other blog posts that my family is starting an import business selling blankets, scarves and imports from Ecuador. Our Shopify site is Mauchstudio.com.

Aside from being online, I want to get wholesale customer accounts growing.

I had my first in person sales attempt this week…

I’ve been struggling with the idea of selling face to face. I used to be a bag designer in another life and had a lot of experience showing my products to buyers, but I was never the responsible party for sales follow up – and rejection.

Cold calling a customer to set up a time to meet has been frightening… and challenging.

But, I did it.

As I was thinking through everything I needed I realized just how unprepared to sell our products I am.

  1. I need updated line sheets. I had put some together in March/April but when reading through them again I had a lot to update. I condensed my original story, cut half the photos, and added in a couple of new items.
  2. I don’t have hang tags on our product. I made some quickie tags at a print shop and prepped them. Although I didn’t stick them on the products… story to follow.
  3. I didn’t have any business cards. I made some quickie cards. Not too happy with the results, but I can make some new ones for the future.

I picked out some products to take with me, and hopefully sell directly then to the shop owner.

She did buy 6 items from me, mostly out of pity I think! summer scarves

Our products are pretty and fill a niche, but she said she already bought most of what she wanted in her shop and since I was there she would be nice and pick up some products from me.

It was a little embarrassing when I was trying to ring her up on my cell phone with my Shopify POS app.

I couldn’t get the sales tax to not show up… and I drew a blank on whether I was in PA or NJ… the area I was in is super touristy and on a river.

I simply blanked out when it came to which side of the Delaware River I was on… rookie mistake – brain fog!

Secondly, about the sales tax… she pointed out that wholesale purchases don’t get charged tax. Doh!! I need to read up on when to charge tax. I didn’t know that sales tax isn’t charged on wholesale.

This week’s sales call is a big lesson.

And, it’s a hurdle I’ve overcome.

As intimidated as I’ve been for the past few months about pulling the trigger on a face to face meeting with a shop owner, I overcame hurdle #1. Now that I’ve made my first call, I can make more.

The lesson I’ve learned from Jack Canfield of “No = Next” can start now… now that I’m moving forward with in person sales, if someone says no, I can move onto the next customer.

On the bright side, in the past 10 days we’ve had 2 orders on Amazon! Those are so much easier on the psyche.Multi Stripe Alpaca Blanket Ecuador_small, Starting a Business: What Happened This Week

If you are starting your own business online and trying to move it into wholesale by meeting with customers face to face, I’d love to hear how it’s working for you.

I’ve had to overcome some fears and realize that I’ve been scared of setting up appointments.

What helped me get past this has been reading Jack Canfield’s rules of success book and learning about some fears I have and how to overcome them.

Setting up an online store, selling on Amazon, and promoting my products on social media is pretty awesome, but I learned some lessons quickly this week about being prepared for real world sales.

I’m simply not prepared!

I have a lot of work to get our business where I want it in the future.

Yet, every week I do something that helps get us further down the road, and I learn from what I’m doing.

Taking a step forward, no matter how small, will get us down the road toward success.

We have a great product that people love when they see and feel it face to face. I am hoping that each time I step outside of my comfort zone it helps lay a foundation for long term growth.

There will be more challenges. It’s inevitable.

We started our business 4 months ago and have a long way to grow! But, I’m going to keep moving forward.

If you’d like to see our website: www.mauchstudio.com or check out our products on Amazon