Many small e-commerce businesses start out as personal side projects and grow into full-time endeavors. Growing an online business from a hobby to a full-time job can be challenging, but there are some important steps that you should take to ensure the success of your company.
One of the most common questions I've been asked is how I scaled my first brand, Beast Gear. You've probably heard the terms "growing" and "scaling" used interchangeably in business conversations, but there's a significant difference between the two.
Simply put, growing is the addition of resources, manpower, clients, or technology, which results in increased revenue for the company.
Scaling, on the other hand, occurs when revenue increases without a significant increase in resources. For example, whether I send a sales email to one person or a thousand, the effort is the same.
If you want to scale up your small e-commerce business, here are three essential tips to help you do just that.
Cross-Selling Complementary Products
Assume you're selling lawn mowers and doing a fantastic job. You have returning customers and want to expand your business. Offering complementary products that solve the customer's problems within that niche is one way to increase your sales. Consider adding lawn care products, anti-mold products, maintenance kits, and other items. You could have at least four to five complementary products for your brand, which you would then scale up, putting the lawnmower on the front-end and cross-selling the rest of the products on the back end. This is an excellent method for increasing sales and keeping customers satisfied.
Go All-in on Email Marketing
Email marketing is still the most effective communication channel for any digital business. Email marketing, in my opinion, provides more value for money than advertising because it connects with your audience, builds trust, and promotes your brand. Unlike social media, where algorithms can affect your account's performance, you create the connection with email. You strengthen it by offering free, useful, and valuable content. Email marketing is essential for running a successful online business. It's one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target market while also building trust and brand awareness like no other method.
Encourage User-Generated Content
If you look at Beast Gear's Instagram page (@beastgearuk), you'll notice that it's mostly filled with images from our customers. We barely had professional photos taken. The main benefit of user-generated content is that it lends trustworthiness and credibility to the brand. People want to see real people with real results, not muscular, super-fit models showcasing fitness equipment.
Encourage user-generated content if you want to gain your audience's trust and credibility. And it doesn't have to be limited to social media; why not request photos or videos of customers using your product? In turn, you can host a monthly draw where they can win a free product per social media post they’ll make. The more content you can amass, the better!
ConclusionThe ultimate goal is to scale up your business in a way that's sustainable and will allow for long-term growth. However, scaling doesn't happen overnight - it takes careful planning and having the right systems in place. You'll also need the support of staff members who can help you continue to grow. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in business, but if you apply these tips, you will be well on your way to success.