There seems to be come confusion among many of my friends and family of what I do every day. I am writing this blog post in the hopes that at least one of them will read this.
I run a website where I sell products online. I sell on my website, and on several other venues. I would tell you the other venues, but I really want consumers to buy from my website. Other venues charge various fees. These fees Include monthly fees, percents that are usually around 15%, and some keep any shipping the customer pays.
One important statistic to note about online selling:
According to ComScore in Q4 of 2016 in the US consumers spent $109.3 billion buying online. Mind you that is only the 4th quarter. Selling online is big money if you can get a piece of the pie.
I am looking for a piece of the pie, it does not need to be a massive piece, just a small sliver will do.
If you read the about me page of this website, you would see that I was a special education teacher for 20 years. Due to the high pay...just kidding, due to the low pay, matching those numbers can be done easily.
Here is a run down of a typical day:
I start out the day by checking my emails and my venues for sales. If a sale is one that is shipped from the warehouse, I fill in the information to have it shipped. That does not take very long per order (3-5 minutes). The orders I ship from my house I put on hold until later.
5 days a week I add 5 products manually to 2 different venues that I sell on. This takes about 2 hours. These products come from my website. Some venues synch directly with my website, so I do not have to add products manually. Other venues, I can bulk import my products. When I add products to the venues, I also add on the product page a short paragraph about The House of Awareness, and I also add a link to similar products. Those 5 products are also added to social media on that day. Some days the process is longer because I am adding new products to my website. I have vendors that I buy from where I keep those items in stock.
Once that is done, I check for more orders.
After this, there is a variety to the day. Here is a list of tasks that I can be doing on any given day.
1) Working on website promotion through different venues. Right now, I am strictly using Adwords. I have tried many different methods, and now have decided Adwords is the way to go.
2) Communicating with customers. Sometimes things break, which is a bummer. I get some inquiries about different products mainly online.
3) Ordering new and reordering products. This is a super fun part of this job where it feels like the money isn't real that I am using to order. I will have products that sell well, and then it switches to another product. I cannot seem to figure that part out.
4) Working on Google products where I have an error message. I have over 4000 products that need to be fixed. They will not be put on Google products until I do that. I would say that adding what Google wants me to add takes between 2-4 minutes.
5) I put jewelry "together." I can put a charm on a bracelet, earrings, or on a necklace. This leads to 5b.
5b) I take pictures of the products that I make for my website and other venues. At this point, I have at least 50 products that need their picture taken. Those products need to be added to my website and venues.
6) Work on my website. I am self taught, and try different pictures and categories on my website's first page. I check Google Analytics where it tells me where my traffic comes from, how long they are on my site, and how quickly they jump off(called a bounce rate).
7) Send postcards to customers where their product ships from the warehouse. This is a blind shipment, and they do not receive my information. Many people who order from me from other venues do not understand that I am a vendor, and that I do not work for that company. (I will admit that I have the postcards, but have yet to mail one out-oops)
8) Keep track of inventory. Every day I receive an email from the warehouse with products that have gone of stock, and come back into stock. I have to fix those levels on the venues that I sell on. I swear, every time I do not do this in a timely fashion, someone will buy an out of stock item. The venues I sell on frown upon cancelling orders, and some customers get pretty grumpy about it as well.
9) At some point, I fulfill orders where the product is at my house. I have until 4:30 to get them done, and I drive them to the post office. Fulfilling the orders can take 1-2 hours, it just depends on what was ordered. Every order receives a card from me with my website information.
10) During some time of the day or night, I will receive the tracking numbers for the orders that are fulfilled through the warehouse. If you were peeping in my window at 9PM, you may see me listening to a tv show on my computer, and cutting and pasting tracking numbers.
I am also "supposed" to be keeping accounting of all of my business numbers (sales, inventory cost etc...). This is something I do not enjoy. Therefore, if you came to my house in March, you would see a plethera of papers with numbers on them and an exasperated Charlotte. Every year, I tell myself that I will do better, and I mean it at the time. I really do! I am good for about 1 week. Hey, better than nothing.
This is a job that can take 3 hours a day or 12 hours a day. It just depends on what I want to work on. My schedule is flexible and I work random hours and days. I typically work a few hours on the weekend, or Mondays are very hectic.
This job is so different from teaching in so many ways. For me, the stress level in this job is way low. My biggest "issues" are broken items and out of stock items that I do not catch. It can also be a little "difficult" to not know my pay every week. My hat is off to all of my friends in the education system. They deserve the public's respect, admiration, and MONEY. Now, i will get off my soap box...
I appreciate those of you who have read this. You are awesome!!!! Feel free to check out my site. I give 10% to charity on each order. This is a new program that I started, and I enjoy giving to the organizations.
Here are some more products that I sell: