What I’ve Learned From My Sales Tripling
On August 21st, 2018 something wild happened. My 2018 Fall products went live and chaos ensued. Well, not really chaos. But kind of. Up until that point, my shop was successful, but on that day I was absolutely blown away by the response to my new products. Seemingly overnight, my sales tripled and I was shook. Excited, overwhelmed, sold out of products, limited on time, and tired, I was suddenly faced with a large amount of orders to ship and not enough time.
There’s this thing you hear in the entrepreneur world and it goes something like “if Oprah mentioned your business to the world today, would you be prepared?”
For me, the answer to that question was 100%: nope! And truthfully, I’m not sure anyone is actually prepared for something like that. But here I was, with a 13 month old son, inconsistent work hours, a 12”x12” office space, and customers flooding my shop with orders. I mean, it was pretty great, but also a lot of work. For weeks, I was working until 10pm in order to get orders out the door the next morning. I was constantly out of boxes and other shipping materials. I was exhilarated and tired all at the same time.
When this happened, my husband and I were faced with a lot all at once. I needed more space, more assistance, and more sleep. So, we had to adjust. And do it quickly.
The biggest adjustments we made quickly:
Hired help: shortly before this boom, I had someone reach out to me about their daughter being available for babysitting. I was in fact on the hunt for a babysitter, so it worked out perfectly and she watched Knox a few times. Then about 3 weeks later, I launched my Fall products. And almost immediately she transitioned into my packaging assistant. At first, she was working in my tiny office and sitting on the floor to package all the orders.
More space: we needed more space and quickly. We had a few options, but I knew I didn’t want to take on a lease payment and I didn’t want to have to leave the house to have access to the products. So, we knew that we wanted to use some sort of space in our home. We could either build something or renovate a space. We decided to renovate the garage into my new studio. We decided to do this in September and hoped the space would be done ASAP. I was able to start using the garage in October and it was a HUGE blessing. We moved everything in immediately. Because we were so desperate to have more space, there are still a few small things about it that is not complete, but it works!
Here’s what I’ve learned in the past 6 months of adjusting to a new “boom”:
Don’t give up: I’ve been selling products since the end of 2015 and I experienced my fair share of “failed” products. I had products sell SLOW and not sell at all. I’ve heard crickets and been discouraged. I’ve considered giving up a lot. But, I kept going. I kept trying new things and adjusting my strategy. I did market research and sought out education. I have been resilient in the pursuit of success and it has paid off. I’ve been patient. I’ve worked hard and I’ve seen the results of my labor. I didn’t give up. And if you want success, you can’t give up either.
Take risks: I am naturally not a risk taker. I like comfort and safety and knowing what to expect. But, when it comes to business, it’s not always the best thing to stay comfortable. Gearing up for my Fall product launch in 2018, I was set on trying new things. I tried out a new launch strategy, I tried out new packaging materials and a new marketing strategy. I got serious and studied successful marketing. And it worked. My financial risks paid off.
Trust your gut: ever since I started my product shop, I knew it would be successful. I don’t say that in a prideful way. I say it because I so strongly believed in my mission. I knew deep down in my core that my products mattered and were important. Throughout the years, I have never stopped pursuing my goals for this business. I have listened to my intuition and carved my own path. I made a unique path for success, but it works for me. I trusted my intuition and over time, it worked.
I don’t want you to read this and think that I was an overnight success, because that is the farthest thing from the truth. I spent years working HARD to get to the place where I am at. I failed, but I picked myself up again. All of those “failures” taught me more about what to do next time and how to get even better at my job. And that’s priceless.