7 founders of their own independent online stores on Instamojo, spoke to us over 7 days in our Instagram campaign – BizWiz. Throughout the week we witnessed business origin stories, heartwarming anecdotes and proven marketing strategies.
Here are the 21 most valuable lessons that we got from these small online store owners.
A Mumbai based floral design company, Happy Florist has been brightening homes with their artistic plant-based designs.
The founder- Noora D’Mello, spoke about several key themes related to the difficulties that a small business owner goes through when introducing a new product.
Her three key takeaways were:
- There is no shame in asking for help. It’s a sign of being a good business owner when you recognize that you need help and you accept it graciously.
- Consider every feedback that you get on the new product idea as constructive. You have to keep your personal emotions at bay. Your main intent should be to learn about the flaws and strengths of the product.
- Your business is your passion product. Always base it on your strengths. Learn to identify what you can do well and can do for long periods of time. Remember, you have to love what you do.
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An online store that creates customisable and personalised gifts, Handzoned is helping its customers express their love.
Since the products at Handzoned are unique to the customer ordering them, we get some great tips from the founder- Athira Ajith, on how to manage client customizations effectively.
She says –
- Communication between the seller and the customer has to be crystal clear. In fact, over-communicate whenever so that all requirements are met.
- As an online seller, your target should be to invest in a core product range. That should get your most attention. The other ancillary products can depend on your free time and extra budget.
- Set a price for the product after considering all efforts that you have put in. From the time you started sourcing raw materials to packaging, everything should be kept in mind.
One Pour Tree
A proud woman-led small business – One Pour Tree is there for all your skincare needs. The online store sells products like soaps, body butter, sugar scrubs, all with natural ingredients. The central focus that Fizaah Faiyaz had when she started this store was that people need to know what they are putting on their faces.
But that’s not what was her reason for being a part of BizWiz, the Instagram campaign run by Instamojo.
Fizaah chose an innovative marketing route to connect to her audiences – through memes on social media. Her Instagram is full of relatable memes that also highlight the importance of the product.
What did we learn?
- A small business owner should prioritize using social media to ensure their business is social as well.
- Memes are an internet language and businesses can leverage them to reach more customers.
- You may have a good idea for the meme, but unless your audience thinks it is a good idea, it won’t work out. Always prioritize relating to your audience.
Sustainability is not just a buzzword anymore. Small businesses like Wildberry Organics are encouraging their customers to adopt a sustainable lifestyle, while also ensuring they follow appropriate sustainable practices while maintaining their business.
Founder and the “Chief Everything Officer’ – Niharika told us her go-to tips when introducing sustainability in her day to day business operations.
- Check what can be reused and what can’t. Experiment with reusing the boxes that you have lying around at home to deliver your products.
- Don’t worry about your brand value getting diluted. You can also include a small tag or card inside the packaging as a brand identifier.
- Customers today want different things. They are more aware of what they are consuming and where it is coming from. They appreciate the dedication shown by small businesses in giving back to the earth. So, do not worry about customers negatively reviewing your reused and eco-friendly packaging efforts. They would probably love you even more for it.
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Nikita Singh, the founder of the Mrttika, told us the mechanics behind transitioning to your own online store. Her online store sells statement jewellery, all made from natural materials like clay.
A mix of art and sustainability, her products are a treat to the eyes and our hearts.
Here are the biggest takeaways from our conversation with her –
- As a founder of a small business, things can get quite hard. There might be many distractions and troubles. What is key here, is to always remember why you started your business.
- Visitors to your online store will decide if they want to buy your product based on how it looks in photographs. This is why it is necessary to focus on your eCommerce product photography. The only core requirements are actually your phone and some sunlight.
- When you transition to an online store, remember that there is a multitude of online tools and platforms that can help you sustain your business.
Instamojo for example offers multiple analytic, CRM and website customization tools that can help you scale your online business.
Visit the app store here.
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The Key Bunch
The Key Bunch is a small online store that sells essential handmade home decor products to spruce up your home. The products on the store are either curated from local artisans or designed and co-manufactured by the founder – Sharon D’Souza.
We talked to her specifically about the process that a small online store owner needs to undertake when sourcing from local artisans. In order to preserve Indian tradition, and to empower these handicraft artisans, this is what should be done –
- Research, research and research. Localities, culture, history and how they can contribute to your brand, all of these need to be researched before you start your business.
- Your intellectual property is yours. It is what makes your online store unique to you. it should be a priority for every online store selling handmade products to preserve and protect their designs and intellectual property.
- Language plays a key role when sourcing from local Indian artisans. We cannot impose English or any other language upon them. But, we should try and adapt to their spoken language. We can always connect to guides, to local people who can act as translators etc.
The founder of the online store – Madraskarri wants to drive home a point – reuse, recycle and repair. The online store sells upscaled and recycled textile artistic statement jewellery.
But how does she manage her business operations so that her business is sustainable while also generating a profit?
Here’s what we learnt from the Nidhi, the founder of Madraskarri –
- As a small business owner, you NEED to develop budgeting skills. Attend courses, ask others for help, ask experts etc. Without proper budgeting skills, it would get very difficult to maintain your profit margins.
- There is a reason you are operating a business. Without allocating a part of the profits to your own self, you will not be able to sustainably scale your business. It is hence important to pay yourself a certain amount from your revenues.
- You should love what you do. Forcing yourself to give your all to something you hate, will never give you long term returns. All small business owners, should try and do what gives them the most amount of happiness in their business. The key is to identify what makes you happy and then go do it!
BizWiz campaign by Instamojo
For the first time, 7 online store owners on Instamojo came together to discuss their journeys and learnings LIVE on our Instagram page. The BizWiz campaign, designed to give valuable masterclasses to the viewers did not disappoint.
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The campaign showed us the proud achievements of small business owners living their dreams.
Most importantly, it also showed us how curious the audiences were to start their own online businesses.
If you missed the campaign, you can watch the replays on our Instagram account. Follow us to be part of the small business community and for more updates on the journeys of our small business owners.
Do you feel left out, and also want to experience the awesomeness of being a small business owner?
Start your own free online store on Instamojo in under 10 minutes and get access to everything you need in one place!