Product Shoppin' Ain't Easy! | Guest Blog Post

Today's post is a guest blog post written by Lisa Goins of Surprise Gift Co. 

I have this new favorite notepad in our Mother’s Day gift, it says Mommin’ Ain’t Easy! As a mom of 4 I can certainly (and wholeheartedly) verify that statement as truth. It’s easy to go through my days thinking I wish someone had told me it would be like this. As a second year online product-shop owner, I can also verify a similar statement- product shoppin’ ain’t easy… It’s hard and I wish someone had told me this. Not smirked and told me in an “it’s not that difficult, you’ll figure it out” kind of way. If only a wiser product shop owner had sat me down, looked me square in the eyes with their gameface on and said: “you might not survive this”

But as it was that didn’t happen and I jumped right in with my online business and learned many things the hard way. If you are new to business, here is one thing I wish someone had told me.

If you have a vision for your business, trust your instincts. Have confidence in your ideas instead of letting others talk you out of it too quickly. I learned this the hard (and expensive) way.

I knew I wanted a website, but as a self-proclaimed techie disaster, I knew I would need to hire someone to do it. I am a realtor and I already had a real estate website that I liked so I asked the same marketing team that put it together if they could do my product shop website. I was willing to pay so of course they eagerly said yes. I had a vision from the beginning of Surprise Gift Co to be cheerful, colorful and inspirational and I was so excited to get started! Did I mention the marketing team I hired was all men? Nothing against the guys but every time I mentioned I wanted bright pink and could they please add some confetti to the design, they looked at me like I just told them beer & hot wings had been banned from all sporting events.

This same marketing team also told me the look of the website did not matter and that people buy from ugly websites all the time. They said the way to make sales was to show a red line through the price and always offer it on sale, half price. Well maybe in some product worlds, but I’m not selling paper towels here, I’m selling gifts. But they were the professionals, so even though I didn’t agree, I stuck with their advice. What did I know after all, I’m new at this and they had the experience. I assumed they must be right…until it all felt very, very wrong. It was not what I had envisioned at all. I wanted to sell thoughtful, creative gifts that women would put together if they only had the time. I wanted to offer an experience for both the giver and the receiver, something memorable and fun. After 5 months (and several thousands of dollars) with this marketing team, I made my graceful exit. I did my research and found the perfect website designers, the kind that when I mentioned I wanted bright and cheerful, they said “can we add some confetti & sprinkles to your design?” it was a match made in colorful confetti & sprinkle filled heaven!!

You know your business better than anyone. Your heart is poured into it each and every day. I am not saying don’t listen to the advice of others; If I were with you right now I would have my game face on and I’d pour some truth bombs into your life! But you must trust your instincts and be willing to stand up for them when necessary, if not it could be a very expensive mistake. Product shoppin’ ain’t easy, but you can do it!!

Lisa Goins is the CSO (Chief Surprise Officer) at Surprise Gift Co. Surprise Gift Co. is a fun & unique gift-giving experience. We have handpicked specialty items that you will be proud to give and to receive. Whether you consider yourself a skilled gift giver or you are a throw it in a gift bag and go type of person, Surprise Gift Co. can totally up your gift-giving game from socks and underwear to cupcakes and rainbows! Let us take your gift-giving abilities to the next level! 

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