Tell us something about yourself. What is your niche? Why did you start your business?
My name is Ginger and I’m a single mom working at burger king to support him through life. My store comprises of print on demand t-shirts and soon to be mugged as well in all kinds of niches. I really started the business because of my son. Nowadays, especially with the pandemic, it’s a struggle to stay afloat. I really like the idea of e-commerce and wanted to take a stab at it!
What type of products do you sell? How does your manufacturing process look like?
T-shirts and mugs for now. My manufacturing process is really fulfilled through print on demand services so they take care of the printing of the shirts and mugs as well as fulfillment. I have the fun job of coming up with the designs!
What are some challenging aspects of your business? How did you overcome them?
I think logistics starting out and overcoming complications with delivery times with certain fulfillment centers was definitely difficult. I started a little bit before the pandemic and when the pandemic hit, it was extremely difficult to reduce shipping times. I had to constantly contact fulfillment centers as well as find different ones to make sure my customers were happy!
What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur? What’s the hardest about it?
I think I enjoy being my own boss and knowing that business success is directly correlated to the amount of hard work I put in. At burger king, I’m trading time for money and don’t have a direct impact on the business as I do with my online store. The hardest thing about it is really when starting out there’s a lot of manual work that needs to be done as I don’t necessarily have all the systems in place. Growing the business and getting customers is also a difficult thing starting out.
What are some beginner mistakes you made? What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share?
I would say a mistake I made would be thinking that what I like would sell. I think people often underestimate the power of market research. My advice is to really listen and connect with customers. They’re the ones purchasing from your business and they control the success of it as well!
What inspires you while designing and/or creating new products.
My son and his friends sure love comedy and I think a big thing in the younger generation are these things called memes. I saw a few of those and loved them! So often, my favorite type of shirt that I make includes some sort of sassiness, play on words, or just overall comedy and fun.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
To be honest, a lot of it was learned on the job, and watching a lot of youtube videos!
What are some of the most effective ways in terms of marketing products to your customers?
I do utilize pay advertisements, but I think the most effective way is word of mouth. I pride myself on delivering the best customer service. I think Amazon is an amazing company to study to replicate success.
What would you say are the key elements for starting and running a successful online business?
Customer satisfaction is number one. They will make or break your store so I definitely intend on keeping them as happy as can be!
How do you personally define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression and innovation? Something else?
When I consider my business to be successful, it would have meant that I am making enough money to leave my job, work on the store full time, and provide for my son.
Describe your day-to-day operation. How do you manage your time?
Honestly, I don’t have much time to work in the store but I try to fit in as much as I can in the evening. Once I get off of my shift, I go home, do some cooking and cleaning, and work on the business after my son is taken care of.
How do you plan on growing your business? What is the biggest impact on your profitability?
I really have to just keep on doing what I’m doing in making sure my customers are happy! Accumulating positive reviews is tough but I try to take care of anybody who is not completely satisfied with their product. Growing my business is definitely quite a learning experience. I think the biggest impact on profitability is the margins and the fact that I’m using fulfillment centers. It cuts down on margins quite a bit especially since I’m using paid advertisements to help grow the customer base.