Working from Home

Are You Your Own Site Builder?

I work from home and run my own sewing business. I used to have a day job working for employers but for the last 35 years I enjoy being the boss. I am not motivated enough to build and grow a big business. I enjoy too many other things and like the schedule I have.

I am not afraid to learn new things and I have to admit that if I didn’t like that, any business would be hard to manage and operate. The internet is here to stay and I learned a long time ago, I better learn how to work with a computer, and be comfortable with all the many programs that would help me run my business professionally.

Don’t feel bad when you don’t get something right at first.

I just learned today “where my messages from my website form” can be found. I stumbled upon them by accident. They were under “feedback” in the program I am using. I thought that was weird when all along I was looking for “form” and then maybe a number would show up like a ticker, letting me know if “I GOT MAIL”.

I was waiting for messages to go to my email account. It does not work that way, which I found out too late for some folks waiting for me to get back to them. I did finally reply to the five that were kind enough to fill out my form. Of course, it was all business lost to me as they found another vendor to help them.

I don’t get too upset when I loose a job. I am beyond that now and besides, the flowers are coming up, I have seeds to plant, and I enjoy watching the orioles and hummingbirds coming to my feeders. It is wonderful to be retired, with no little ones or animals to tend to. No offense to those pet owners out there. I just prefer not having to pick up after them and my temperament does not do well with pets digging in my flower beds.

Do you have fun when you have to learn something new?

So as I learn more and more about website building, I am enjoying it. I am the type of person that gets a package for a gadget, no matter how complicated, and starts using it rather than read the manual. This can be good and bad. Sometimes I can figure something out quicker on my own and get flustered trying to figure out what the instructions are trying to tell me, otherwise. I guess that means I am a visual learner, but even more, one who needs to do a certain thing to learn.

I have used countless platforms, webhosts, programs, themes and designs for my website. None of them are just where I want to be yet but I am getting closer. I am finally a WordPress user. I have been with platforms that did nothing to bring me business. I have been with companies that charged me out of their company because of the fees that kept piling on every month and few sales.

There are different sites for different folks in business.

I want a site that gives information to my customer, yet I want a site that allows me to sell my items that are ready to ship. I have an entire room in my home designated for business overflow things because I can’t get them to market fast enough or my own way. I don’t do craft shows. Sorry….I know there are many of you that do. I just don’t want to take a single day away from me to sit and hope someone comes along to make a purchase. The money I would make would never be enough for me.

I used to have garage sales. The same principle applied to me. What am I doing wasting an entire Friday organizing tables and trying to be sales woman of the year. It is fun to meet new people though and chat with the neighbors and sometimes we all need to just kick back and do that for goodness sake. Life is too short to worry so much about trivial things when the people around you are what makes the world worth living in. Good or bad, there is always someone we can help or learn from.

Are you a perfectionist or can things be sloppy?

I never thought my website had to be perfect before I launched it. Even though if I ever saw a website missing links, unfinished, ugly or hard to read or get around, I would immediately leave it. I just thought, being up and running would motivate me more to get it to be the way I want it faster. I would know the unfinished work was sitting out there and I didn’t want that to represent me.

I try to work on my site at least once a week. If not to just check for errors or links broken or maybe to put up some better photos or content and remove things that have expired. It also helps the search engines (those spidery crawlers that search for words on your site that people are looking for) see that you are being active. Stay busy with you site and it won’t be time wasted.

Help is available. Rocket scientists need not apply.

It is easy to get started and using a WordPress site is free if you only want the basic site. Eccomerce means you want to have a store. That costs more. A business site offers you more things too so that is an upgrade. But, start small. It may be all you need. Mine is a simple site. I have photos, a gallery, a form on it and that is about it besides my pages and the content I have.

You have to do more than just your website though if you want to get noticed. Be active on social media. At the very least, link to a facebook page. You can set it up simply enough with your website integration help. I used to be on Instagram but it got to be too much for me. I was on my phone more than I want to be. Do what you can but your don’t have to go crazy.

Be yourself and build one page at a time to your dream site.

You are unique and so is your business. Run it the way you want and do as much with it as you want. Unless it is your sole means of paying your bills, you don’t have to work very hard to make just enough income to “supplement” what you already have that you can count on. For me, luckily it is a husband and my retirement savings. I got smart late in life but I can honestly say that I enjoy carrying on with my small business.

I took a class at a community college years ago to learn all the office progams (Word, Excel, Web Design). I read on the internet and watch videos to help me with my website. Websites are changing as is everything else that has to do with the internet. Don’t be left behind and think that your rating is going to go up on it’s own because you are so adorable. Marketing is essential and it takes a lot of time and energy.

Who is your customer? Respect and visit your competitor.

Most importantly, build relationships with your customers. Make them see you as a person they can depend on. Be true to your word. Offer quality goods and be proud of the experience you bring to them.

Don’t degrade your worth by settling for less than you deserve. There are plenty of people that will low-ball what you have to sell. They will compare you to this one or that one. Find out who “they” are and why they get so many people flocking to their site. Take an honest inventory and admit what you like about the other business owner that sells the same gadget you are.

It may take a long time to sell an item, but maybe it is more in how you are marketing the item that is making it hard, or maybe the item is in a market that is already saturated. I am getting off topic but having a well designed website or one that is easy to find your items, or easy to check out an item may be key.

People want things fast and simple. That is what wins the sell almost every time. Why is Amazon doing so well? Why do I like to buy things from Etsy? Think of your favorite place to shop online and ask yourself why? That is what you should try to accomplish on your own website no matter what the cost is to develop it. Within reason, of course.

Make a plan and follow through each day/week or monthly TO DO list.

I know what it is that I have to work on with my website, besides getting to my messages sooner. Set a goal each week and stick to it. Learn something new. Turn off the tv or whatever it is that is stopping you. Are you sure you want to be a business owner? It takes drive, energy, flexibility, self-control and ingenuity. You can do it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s