Are you a young entrepreneur who dreams of starting your own small business? If so, I think you might enjoy today’s post. 😀
My friends Allison, Megan, Hannah, and Aria are all successful small business owners, and today we’re all collaborating to share some of our favorite small business tips! I’ll be contributing by talking about two very important aspects of running a small business – designing your business and shipping your products. Let’s begin by talking about design!
One of the most important aspects of running a successful small business is creating a cohesive design for your packaging, website, social media, etc. Let’s talk about some key tips for creating amazing designs!
choosing & designing a logo
Before you begin designing anything for your business, you need a logo. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated, but you should make sure it reflects the idea behind your business – for example, if you sell homemade dog treats, then your logo could be a paw shape. For my business, The Blogger Box, I chose this logo:
You may now applaud for the incredible hand-drawn arrows I made because I didn’t want to dive into the black hole that is my clipart folder. *bows*
Anyway, these are some important things to keep in mind when designing your logo! The best logos are simple and recognizable – think Walmart, Target, Amazon, etc. Also, keep in mind that you can’t use any random free clipart for your logo – since it’s going to be part of a business, you’ll need to only use graphics and fonts with a commercial use license. I bought my lightbulb image off Etsy with a commercial use license and got the commercial use font from Creative Market. 🙂
creating a color scheme
A cohesive color palette is another important aspect of your design! These are the colors I use for The Blogger Box:
Since my business is targeted mostly towards teenage female bloggers, I chose to use two different shades of pink as my main colors, along with white and gray to offset the brightness of the pink. 😀
If you’re having trouble picking a color palette for your business, you could try using a palette generator like Coolors.co for inspiration!
creating your website
There are countless different platforms that you could use to create your website, and choosing the best one can be pretty overwhelming. Here’s what I would recommend for a beginning business: use wordpress.com and buy the personal plan. The personal plan removes ads from your site and allows you to have your own domain name, which adds a level of professionalism to your website. It currently costs $4 a month, and you don’t have to deal with running a self-hosted site. If you’re trying to stick to a super low budget, you could totally start with a free plan as well!
designing your website
Here are a few tips for creating your website design:
Keep it simple. A website with buttons and sliders and images everywhere will overwhelm your customers and make it difficult for them to find your product.
Stick to your color palette. This is super important! Make sure your website features your chosen colors (and fonts) so that you’re keeping your brand consistent and recognizable.
Make sure your design is mobile friendly. The majority of people are going to be looking at your website on a phone, so make sure your design is mobile-friendly! To test this, you can visit your website on a phone and tweak the design until it you’ve got it just right.
Make it clear what you’re selling. It shouldn’t be difficult for your customers to find out what exactly you sell. Photos and descriptions of your product(s) on the homepage of your website are a great way to make it clear what your business is all about.
selling your product
Now that you’ve created a fantastic website, how do you sell your product? If you’re using wordpress.com, you won’t be able to actually complete transactions on your website. Instead, I would recommend creating an Etsy shop and linking to the shop from your website. There are other options like eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist, which may work depending on what you’re selling. However, if you’re looking for a customizable shop and easy-to-use interface, Etsy is the way to go!
creating an etsy shop
I won’t go into too much detail on this, because the Etsy website pretty much walks you through the steps to create your shop. 😀
Etsy does take a very small percentage of every sale you make – and they charge a $0.20 listing fee. However, you could make up for these costs by charging a little extra for your product.
Just visit etsy.com and click “Sell on Etsy” to start creating your shop!
marketing on social media
The final design-related topic I’ll be talking about is social media, specifically Instagram. Social media is your most powerful tool for marketing your business, and it’s free! You might choose to pay for promoted ads, but you can gain a lot of organic engagement by posting high-quality content on a consistent basis.
Here’s an example of a small business’ Instagram that I love – The Color Box Studio. Allison uses clean white backgrounds to make her artwork stand out and to give her feed a bright, consistent color scheme. Don’t be afraid to experiment with social media and figure out what works for you – it can be a lot of fun and really rewarding, too!
Now let’s move on and talk about another important aspect of running your own business – shipping your products. 😀
This section won’t be near as long as the design section, because I am by no means an expert on shipping. However, I’ve learned a few tips that should be helpful!
picking a service
UPS, FedEx, and USPS are the three biggest mailing services. When you take price and convenience into consideration, as long as you aren’t shipping massive amounts of packages each day, USPS is the best choice. Priority 2-Day mail is inexpensive and fast, and you get a tracking number that you can give your customers!
Click-N-Ship is amazing! You can pay for and print your own labels from home and then either take your package to the post office or schedule a USPS pick-up. To start, just visit usps.com and select “Mail & Ship” > “Click-N-Ship”.
From here, you’ll be prompted to create an account. Once you have an account, simply enter your address and your customer’s address to calculate shipping costs and create your label. A useful tool to have is a shipping scale, which will help you save money since USPS charges by weight.
shipping prices & free shipping
If you choose to offer international shipping, things can get super expensive. I’ll be focusing on domestic shipping here. 🙂 To calculate what the highest shipping price would be for your product, you can use Click-N-Ship to find out what the cost would be to ship your product to the farthest possible distance – for example, if you live in Florida, you could calculate what the price would be to mail your product to California. You can use this cost to determine the most you’d have to pay for shipping.
Once you’ve determined this cost, you can choose to either separate product and shipping fees or combine the two. For example, if your product costs $6.50 and shipping costs $2.00, you could choose to charge $8.50 for your product and offer free shipping. Customers are less likely to buy an item when they get to the cart and see an added shipping fee, so I would recommend combining the two costs. 😀
That’s about it for shipping! Overall, my main tips are to use Click-N-Ship and to combine your product and shipping costs. 🙂
Thanks for sticking around to the end! I hope those tips were helpful for all of you entrepreneurs. Before you go, don’t forget to check out more small business advice from Hannah, Aria, Megan, and Allison by clicking the links below – you won’t want to miss their amazing posts!
Starting Out W/ Etsy + Free Etsy Checklist || Crafts of All Seasons
The Beginner’s Guide to Product Photography || Aria Photo Blog
How To Package Your Products || A Barefoot Gal
How to Bring More Traffic to Your Online Business || A Farm Girl’s Life
Also, if you’re in need of some blogging inspiration, I’m currently offering 15% off The Blogger Box until the end of this month with the code LOVEBLOGGERBOX! Click here to get a box for yourself or a friend. 😀
Have a wonderful day, everyone!
Do you want to start a small business? Did you learn anything new today?