There are always going to be highs and lows in business, it's just one of those things that if you're thinking of setting up shop you'll just have to get to grips with. Occasionally it doesn't matter how hard you're working, how enthusiastic you are about the product, people just don't want what you're selling. Today is the 5th anniversary of opening my little ebay store, and whilst the majority of it has been fantastic and rewarding, I've experienced a lot of said highs and lows. There are a few things to take into consideration if you are going through one of the tough times.
P L A N F O R I T
It would be great to think business will always be smooth sailing, but sadly it's just not practical in this day and age. I need to take my own advice on this one; I'm 25 this year and from week to week, month to month, I live within my means. What savings I did have have disappeared when I've needed to pay rent and bills and I don't replace them. If I do go through a bad sales week I'm counting on it picking up, which luckily it usually does, but it's not a great idea to not have any savings at all. Just in case.
W O R K T H R O U G H I T & L E A R N
It's the same with life experiences, I really believe how we react to difficult situations in life shapes us as a person. We can either sit and mope around, feeling sorry for ourselves, or we can act. Get your ass into gear and get working, don't take it lying down; bad weeks give me the motivation to work that extra bit harder to make next week an improvement. Take that attitude with you into the future, and the bad weeks may not come around as frequently.
M A K E S O M E C H A N G E S
Although it may not feel like it, change is good, and is necessary every once in a while to keep up with people's ever changing styles and preferences. I've recently altered my shop's images, as well as changing the shop front and design of the listing too; after a couple hours work it looks a lot more professional and intriguing to customers. Look around at what others in your field are doing to see what people are buying - don't steal ideas, but take inspiration from that to see what you can improve.
O F F E R A S A L E
A sure fire way to get people buying is to offer a sale. It clears out any old stock for space for new, and attracts more customers your way. I regularly have sales on, even if it's only 25% off or so; in these sorts of times everyone appreciates discounts, and despite not being on the high street you could benefit from creating a seasonal sale or two.
W O R K H A R D
At the end of it all, we get out what we put into our businesses, so put in a ton of hard work and shed load of effort, and you'll see results.
Do you run your own business? What advice do you have for getting through the hard times?