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  • #1000239
    lilmis
    Member
    • Total posts: 20

    Hello everyone. I’m starting a new small woodworking business, only selling a small selection of custom made products I design and make. That side of everything is going well. BUT it’s the setting up the business aspect that im abit stressed about. Particularly writing a terms & condition, shipping and return & refund policy!
    I’m working part and am a single mother, but really passionate about this and the products Im making. I cant afford to pay a business coach to help me set up but want to make sure I do everything correctly!

    Any suggestions? Has anyone in Melbourne used an affordable service/person to help set up with the more complicated important stuff? I aim to sell predominantly online and the occasional market when time allows.

    Thankyou in advance
    Candice :)

    #1223525
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712

    Hi Candice, welcome and congrats on your business adventure.
    What platform will you be hosting your online store on? some have standard legal pages that you just have to customise to your business which makes that easy.

    #1223526
    lilmis
    Member
    • Total posts: 20

    Hello :) thanks for replying. Looking at Facebook, insta & Etsy. Will have a website have contemplating doing that maybe after I launch so one less thing to worry about at first…

    #1223527
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712

    In my opinion your website is a priority, if you are going to advertise on FB you will need a website as you have to have a website with a privacy policy. If you are not doing paid advertising and you don’t have a website then you have to decide on how you are going to have your legal pages where people can see your policies.
    If you are just going to post your products on FB groups and Insta then you probably don’t need to have those policies as it is mostly buyer beware, but it is pretty unprofessional if you see yourself as an actual business rather than just a small hobby. Keep in mind Etsy fees, they are not as high as Ebay but they add up, and it is hard to get traction on there.

    Basically, you are going to have to make up your mind if you want to be a business or not. Going cheap is not the best way to go about starting a business. I would suggest that you do markets first to see if it is even viable for you before you spend too much time or energy on your business.

    Selling woodwork is difficult unless you can come up with products that are different and eye catching. I have seen some great woodworkers with beautiful products selling at markets on Youtube videos.

    #1223528
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472

    Hi Candice, welcome to the world of business.

    Great advise already by Rowan.

    Just in regards to your comment re a business coach. Personally and in my opinion only, in general they are just unqualified people who have set them self’s up as coach’s, I could set myself up tomorrow as a business coach, even though I have no real basis for stating it. There are some excellent business coach’s around, so don’t take this as a slur against business coach’s, but there are also some terrible business coach’s. My suggestion to you if you need help with legal documents see the experts, Lawyers. If you need help with accounting, see the experts, accountants. They train and are qualified in these trades. Don’t go half baked with someone who may just be using templates possibly lifted from the internet, because you could quite easily do that yourself without the same cost.

    As to the website / Ebay / FB, Etsy side of things. Just remember that yes eBay and ETsy fee’s are high. But and the big but here, is they already have X millions people walking through the front door. You may setup your own website or online store, but you will start off with zero people at your front door, and getting just a handful of people to your door will cost you $’s per person if you get any at all, and this could soon escalate way beyond the Etsi fee’s. You cant just open a door and expect people to be queued up out front. Use the comparison of Westfield and your little strip corner store. Westfield will charge you a mega rent, but you will have millions of people a year walking past your door. Low rent at a strip shop, but maybe 1000 people walking past your door. You get what you pay for. Now is the time to decide.

    #1223529
    lilmis
    Member
    • Total posts: 20

    Thank you both of you for your suggestions and information I really appreciate it. Yes My final decision was to turn it into a proper business.
    My Products come from a lot of research, and there is a are strong demand for them in Australia .
    like mentioned sites like itsy although there will be fees there are so many people already on there, unlike a website that I create. I definitely do want to have a website but you’re right I should probably have it set up before I launch. As I will be selling on other platforms this brings me to another decision I have to make, whether I find an affordable web designer and host or use one of those sites where you create your own website. If this was 10 years ago and other selling platforms weren’t available then the importance of a magnificent website would be a lot more I believe. I did read on here someone asked a question about fo it yourself sites and there were discussions about Sites eg wix, go daddy ect. Of course a concern being easier to get hacked..

    #1223530
    Rowan@quaotic
    Participant
    • Total posts: 712

    The big, already set up, ready to go sites like Shopify have better security than most governments but they are also more expensive than setting up your site yourself. There are good an bad points to both. Everyone has their own opinions on this so I won’t disrupt your research by giving you mine. Just look around, there are so many options but if you write down all the things you need out of a website and put them in priority you can whittle it down.

    #1223531
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472

    No web expert, but my understanding is that wix and other do it yourself websites are shocking for SEO, but I am just a gardener I base that on advise from the ”experts” on here. If you don’t get the SEO right it will be like being on a little shopping strip with the road blocked. So you better do your research, plus of course it will be based on your ability to create something that looks good, but having said that I have looked at some websites created by ”experts” and thought I could do better. So it is all research.

    Besides shopify check out the Australian product eCorner, not saying they are any good as I have not used it, but hey they are Australian, and when I did do some research they stacked up really well and would have being my choice, but I have stayed with Ebay for the time being. Plus there is a guru on the forum [USER=2969]@John Debrincat[/USER]

    #1223532
    BusinessTrade
    Member
    • Total posts: 210
    lilmis, post: 270152, member: 64167 wrote:
    Any suggestions? Has anyone in Melbourne used an affordable service/person to help set up with the more complicated important stuff? I aim to sell predominantly online and the occasional market when time allows.

    The easiest way to get sales would be to set up an eBay store.

    If you want to set up a website long term, WordPress/Woocommerce or Shopify would be good platforms to start a website for a new small business starting out.

    Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

    #1223533
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,117

    ^^^^ there is some very good advice up there.

    Having a bad website is what many without a budget end up with and I would avoid that at all costs.

    Equally having a website without the support of an advertising budget is a waste of time and effort.

    Especially, if you have a low number of SKU’s and moving from one platform is not overly onerous, there are a number of ways to approach your problems.

    You could do some small experiments for example, selling on ETSY, then

    EBAY, then using a trial on Shopify or ECorner etc.

    Working out what works is a process and there is a learning curve.

    Going small in the beginning, is business specific. In your field, it can work very well.

    No matter, the platform you use, I do recommend seeking permission and building a list of contact details of your prospects and customers so that you can take them with you if you need to and sell to them in future :).

    At some point, you will need to resolve your dilemma. For most people, they can’t have the best and do it with little money.

    Wishing you the best Candice

    Cheers

    #1223534
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472
    BusinessTrade, post: 270170, member: 113709 wrote:
    The easiest way to get sales would be to set up an eBay store.

    .

    Just wondering why you would suggest Ebay in this instance, I do use Ebay as my store, but I don’t see much customised wood products on Ebay, I would have thought Etsy may be more appropriate, interested in you reasoning?

    #1223535
    BusinessTrade
    Member
    • Total posts: 210
    bb1, post: 270187, member: 53375 wrote:
    Just wondering why you would suggest Ebay in this instance, I do use Ebay as my store, but I don’t see much customised wood products on Ebay, I would have thought Etsy may be more appropriate, interested in you reasoning?

    [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] My mistake, I didn’t realise she said custom made. I don’t know how well it will do on Ebay. I personally mainly use Ebay to purchase either consumer electronics or obscure parts and goods.

    I agree that Etsy would be a better choice however I don’t know about its popularity in Australia and shipping custom wood products internationally may be troublesome. In saying that, Etsy is definitely worth exploring considering the OPs niche.

    #1223536
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472
    BusinessTrade, post: 270189, member: 113709 wrote:
    [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] My mistake, I didn’t realise he

    She

    #1223537
    lilmis
    Member
    • Total posts: 20

    Thanks again everyone for your suggestions. I’m tosding up between shopify & wix more leaning towards wix but hadn’t heard of Ecorner so I will deffinately look into that one too. As my products are custom I will most likely look into Etsy also, but eBay not suitable for me.

    #1223538
    SamsonWho
    Member
    • Total posts: 4

    With Wix, Its easier to create the look you want as it is drag and drop. It will be more like a standing website and catalog where people can surf around.

    However, in most of the case I think having templates are actually better as it gives you some guides on how tried and true beautiful website look like.
    If you are starting an online store, Shopify have great built in payment processors and great plug in that will help you get more sales, capture more email address and bring you a long way. You can also automate follow up email, abandon cart email easily. You could also create upsell at checkout page on the Shopify platform.

    So for the long run, you definitely should go with Shopify in your case.

    And the above are some really good advice, you definitely should test the market with platform like Ebay and etsy.
    A good analogy is those platform are a shopping centre, they already have a bunch of people everyday. But your own website would really be the gas station in the middle of the dessert.

    One way to capture the people are really when you sell the goods , send a card along with them and ask them to register on your website for lets say warranty. Then you could keep the customer you earn from those platforms.

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