Avoid this if you want to sell children’s products online

Have you ever thought of selling children’s products online? No doubt about it, there’s lots of competition, both from other online stores and the big guys, Amazon. But on the other hand, parents do love to spend money on their children, so the demand is huge.

One important pitfall to avoid is offering a product that is like those already sold by huge retailers. As a small business you simply can’t compete with these retailers on price because they have the advantages of scale, including cheap distribution and the ability to buy in bulk. Instead, you need to find a niche you can serve or do something better than the big companies. ‘Better’ could mean a product that isn’t available anywhere else or more personal customer service, for example.

Read on for some ideas of how to not compete with the big retailers…

Invent and sell an innovative product

If you ever found yourself bathing your baby or trying to get her to sleep and thinking ‘there has to be a better way!’ then you’re in good company. Some mums have gone one step further and created products to make other parents’ lives easier, including Cara Sayer of SnoozeShade and Helen Wooldridge and Polly Marsh of Cuddledry.  An advantage with inventing your own product is that you’ll intimately understand your audience and their needs – after all you’ve been there, done that – so you’ll be able to tailor your product, branding and marketing very precisely.

Sell a top-quality product

We all want the best for our children, so how about buying them the same socks as worn by a prince? Prince George was pictured wearing Condor UK online shop’s classic navy baby knee length socks in official pictures released by the palace. This is a great example of a company not only selling a top-quality product, but also being able to demonstrate this to their customers. Most parents can only dream of having a budget like Prince George’s parents, but they would be happy to buy knitted cardigans for babies from the same store.

Sell an ethical product

Over the past few years customers have been demanding more ethical products. This can be a challenge for large businesses because they must keep their prices at around the same level as before to avoid losing customers and they have complex supply chains that are difficult to change quickly. Also, not all parents can afford the price increase that is often unavoidable with organic or fair-trade products, which makes those that are willing to pay a niche worth exploring. Little Green Radicals and Frugi are two such online stores.

That said, ethical doesn’t have to mean more expensive. There are many opportunities for small businesses with products that are both ethical and could save people money, for example vintage and upcycled clothing or cloth nappies.

It may not look like it at first, but there are many untapped opportunities for selling children’s products out there. With a little creativity and some careful research, you could find a niche with parents who would love to buy from you.

 

Crafty Ways To Boost Your Income

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘disposable income.’ It typically refers to the money families has left over once rent/mortgage payments, bills and household essentials such as food have all been accounted for. But how many of us actually get to enjoy this ourselves? It is typically assumed that everyone has some form of disposable income that they are free to spend on whatever they like. But once rent, bills, and debts have been paid, a lot of families are actually left with next to nothing. This can mean that a lot of children are going without vacations, days out and all the usual treats we associate with childhood. If you are currently in this position with your own kids, it can be pretty disheartening seeing all your money drained away by your responsibilities. It can also mean that you have to sacrifice your own things, such as nice clothes and going out with your friends so that your children can be treated every now and again. All this can make for a pretty mundane existence, though. Want to get out of it and start spending money on the things you really want to do? Here are a few easy ways in which you can make more money and save the money you already have, so you and your children can enjoy the finer things in life.

Get a side hustle

Whether you work part time in an office or are a full-time mom, you probably roll your eyes initially at the thought of getting another job.  After all, it already feels as though you barely have a spare moment to sit down during an average day. Why would you want to make that even worse for yourself by taking on yet more responsibility? But what a lot of people don’t realize is that a side hustle is called that for a reason; they are time efficient ways to make money on the side, while still going about your normal daily business. For example, if you normally leave the house for a walk every afternoon at 2 pm, why not combine that with doing a paid dog walk for one of your neighbors? You can also get paid for doing online surveys and even for blogging, and both of those are things you can do from the comfort of your couch (perfect for when the kids are in bed). Other easy side hustles include being a Skype English teacher and making clothing alterations if you’re a dab hand with a sewing machine. Use your imagination and see what would work best for you.

Photo credit

Cut your household and grocery bills

One of the reasons why you may feel like you never have any money is because your monthly bills burn such a large hole in your pocket. So many people don’t know about the economical ways to shop, partially because we are all so brainwashed by big brand marketing campaigns and scaremongering health reports. Go back to basics and find tips for saving money on your weekly groceries. It could be something as simple as opting for store-branded products rather than the higher end option, or it could be reducing your intake of meat and fish. Household bills are no different – take a good look at your current provider compared to some others and ask yourself whether you are really getting the best deal. You can also save money by switching to alternative energy types such as solar power and by keeping your home well-insulated during the winter months.

Making your own clothes

When you have a long-awaited girls night out approaching (let’s be honest, how many of them do us moms get?), you may start feeling the pressure to don a nice outfit for the occasion. Or maybe your children are approaching their teens, and they are becoming self-conscious about their self-image. Unfortunately, clothing can be expensive, especially when it preys on whatever is on trend that season. The issue with buying items that are in fashion is that in a few week’s time, a new trend may have muscled in, leaving your old item redundant. Try your hand at breathing new life back into old clothes by accessorizing them to make them relevant again. If you have an old sewing machine you haven’t used in awhile, bring it down from the attic and see what you could create.

Sell what you don’t need

When we sit back and look at the amount of ‘stuff’ we hoard in our homes, it can be quite astonishing. Whether you would class yourself as a hoarder or not, most people would admit that it can be very easy to develop an emotional attachment to inanimate items in the home. This is where you could be missing a trick, however. You could have hundreds of dollars sat right under your very nose at home – if only you are willing to part with some of your things, that is. Of course, certain items with true sentimental value (such as a gift from a grandparent) need not be sold. But working out what you can make money from is down to two things: whether you’ll miss it, and whether it is junk or not. You can by all means try to sell some of the junk you’re hoarding in your home, perhaps in a yard sale or something. But if you want to make a healthy sum, focus on some of the more high quality items you don’t have a use for anymore. The good news is it’s never been easier to make money from your unwanted goods, and this is all down to the internet. Amazon, eBay, even Etsy – all are great online marketplaces where you can get rid of your old things and make a profit while you’re at it. More room in your house and more money in your pocket – where do we sign up?!

The basics of building a business online

Let’s face it; thousands of business ideas can make money. These days, many entrepreneurs are turning to the Internet to make their fortunes. Online stores offer so many advantages over traditional retail ones. For example, overheads are lower than their bricks and mortar counterparts.

It’s also easier to target an international audience when you sell over the Internet. And let’s not forget that websites are ready to serve customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week!

Are you setting up an online business soon? If so, it’s crucial that you know the basics before you begin. Otherwise, your efforts to build the business could prove fruitless. Here is what you need to know:

tax-468440_640

Identify your target audience

The first thing you need to do is think about who you want to buy your products and services. All businesses have a target market, regardless of what they sell. If you target the wrong audience, you could end up wasting money and become broke in the process!

Let’s say that you want to sell smartphones, tablets and accessories online. Your target audience may be younger generations and professionals.

One easy way to identify your target audience is to look at what your competitors are doing. Who do they target and how do they do it?

Set up a decent website

If you’re starting an online business, you need a website. Anyone can set one up, it’s not a difficult task. But, what can sometimes prove challenging is doing so the right way. It’s important you don’t cut corners or make mistakes when setting up a website.

Your online home needs to look professional and be attractive to your target market. I recommend hiring a web designer to come up with a responsive, well-structured site. It needs to be one that is accessible to all audiences and easy to use.

A copywriter can produce some marketing and sales content for your pages that packs a punch. You may also wish to consider providing downloadable product datasheets for your items too.

control-427510_1280

Meanwhile, you should consider using an SEO expert to make the site visible in search engines. There are also some optimization tips you can do yourself; here are some free SEO resources for you to try out. Be sure to find out what SEO companies can offer before you hire them, so that you know what to expect for your money.

Work with a mentor

If you’re new to online selling, you should seek guidance from a seasoned pro. Mistakes cost time and money, and they are worth avoiding – especially as a new startup.

A mentor can help you to achieve your long-term goals by helping to steer you in the right direction. Business coaches get used by some of the world’s leading brands, including online ones.

Engage with your audience

Last, but not least, it’s important that you listen to the feedback your customers give you. They are the people that help you to grow your business. You can use their feedback to tailor your products and services.

Feedback is also useful for identifying common problems so that you can resolve them. Good luck!

 

Ever thought of becoming a children’s entertainer?

woman_clownIf you’re good with children and have an outgoing personality, you could become a children’s entertainer.

What is it?

You could charge a fee for entertaining children at parties, events or even keeping the kids happy at weddings. This could include music, magic, mime, face painting or crafts.

Some entertainers also run workshops or children’s classes.

The benefits

  • If you’ve always fancied being a performer this could be a great job!
  • Start up costs are usually low compared to many businesses. You can try a few events to see if you enjoy it and to test the market without investing too much time or money.

Continue reading “Ever thought of becoming a children’s entertainer?”

Top Tips for First Time Landlords

landlordEver thought of being a landlord? You may decide to buy a house to rent out, or maybe you simply need to move house but can’t sell the one you’re currently living in. Having tenants could create and income stream for you or simply cover the mortgage on your house for a while.

There are a variety of aspects of rentals that you need to take into account and action. Many of these are legal requirements and should therefore be completed as soon as possible. Others are tips that may help you get a higher price per calendar month, and also help your property to be snapped up off the market. Continue reading “Top Tips for First Time Landlords”