I have been fascinated by businesses and their owners all my life. The confidence and control that oozes from their speech, their gait and every other part of their body made me want to be one myself.
I am sure most of you would know what I am talking about, if you don’t, then I urge you to want any interview of Bill Gates and you would understand.
Upon growing up, the appeal and the pull of the business world made me become a business owner myself. I am nowhere close to the spectrum that Bill Gates is in; still, I am proud of all that I have achieved.
My significant accomplishments only came to me when I understood the potential of digital marketing and started incorporating the same in my business.
Here is a brief glimpse into my journey and all the difficulties I faced before getting what I wanted
How did I Start?
My mother loved sewing and knitting more she loved me, of course, I am exaggerating, but you do understand the scale of her love.
She was always making dresses for herself for my niece and me. Her pieces were so good that people often asked me whether what I was wearing was a designer.
So, her love for making dresses and my love for everything business made both of starting a boutique and become entrepreneurs ourselves.
Her creations were more than ample to fill up the entire rented store. I still thought that we should provide custom made outfits for the women as they wished.
This idea, coupled with the sales of displayed items, was earning us more than we expected.
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How I Suffered?
It is often said that nothing good lasts for long. I never wanted to believe that, but I did when the same happened to us.
The significant advantage that we had in our business was that we were the only clothing boutique on our street. There was no competition until there was.
A year into the business, a store opened directly across from us doubles our size with more variety and customisation options backed by a wealthy investor.
They even had a website for orders and a social media handle on all platforms.
You can probably guess what that meant for my business and its sales. Every customer that we had gone on to that store and I could not do anything about it.
I had barely any sales in the first month of the grand opening of that forbidden store.
Things were so bad that I could not make ends meet; paying rent became an insurmountable task. At last, the only option was to get a loan.
I could not apply for a loan since I already had a business loan to repay. My mother could and give her credit history. Our chances were pretty slim. However, we did manage to get one of the bad credit loans.
How I Prevailed?
Now that rent was somewhat sorted for a few months. I needed to find a more permanent solution.
- First and foremost, I made my boutique’s Instagram and Facebook accounts so that I could increase my business’ visibility.
- I asked all my social media friends to follow and share the accounts, and they did. Within a day or so, I had over 300 followers on Instagram.
- I started posting like a maniac, regular posts and stories every hour. I was almost afraid Instagram would block my account for over-usage.
- Let people know about all the products and services I provided in the hope that they would start buying the same.
- I also happen to have a close friend, who is an influencer with a hundred thousand followers. Do you know what happens when an influencer of this scale says that they love shopping from your boutique?
- You start getting more followers, and people want to buy from you.
- Also, do you know that an influencer always has other influencer friends that will promote for the sake of friendship? Yes, they do.
So, it suffices to say that my business did turn around for the better. The online sales through Instagram could alone keep the business afloat. However, the promotions from Instagram influencers also brought along foot traffic.
I would say that some traffic gets distracted by the competitor, but my almost 9k followers are enough for me now.
It was much later that I realised that the use of social media to make the business more visible is a technique from the digital marketing rulebook.
After this realization came, I started researching about digital marketing thoroughly.
At present, I have hired a website developer who is helping me make a website for my business. He also emphasised on the use of Search Engine Optimisation to garner top rankings on Google results. So, I am doing that as well.
Now, my present is not looking bleak at all, and my future would not be that way either. All thanks to social media and the concept of digital marketing.