I have some exciting news! I will be creating a finance blog this year. It’s officially been a year since starting up Travel Blonde and whats a years it’s been.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post contain affiliate links.
Use Wave (free) over Quick Books (expensive).
You probably heard of Quickbooks it’s great however you will have a monthly fee. If you have a small business that expense can sometimes be annoying to add on top of every other monthly fee. To go the cheap route business owners would use excel but that takes way too long. I found a program similar called wave, it’s almost identical to QuickBooks but completely free. I don’t have any affiliate links with wave so you know it’s good.
Keep all your receipts right off the bat, you will be able to write off some stuff at the end of the year when tax season comes up.
Ship through oversized letter mail if your package is under 1 inch thick it will save you a lot of money.
Compared to everywhere else trying to ship out of Canada can get pretty expensive. It’s hard to calculate the cost before selling as the cost varies from country to country. So always give yourself a good amount of profit in case your predictions off. To save some money on shipping you can get a free small business card from Canada Post. It will save you a dollar or two with each shipment, which adds up quickly. This next shipping hack isn’t advertised at Canada Post, and many business owners don’t know: If your product is under 1 inch thick you can send your package through oversized letter mail. It will only cost you $1.94-$3.50, compared to sending it as a regular parcel for over $7. You will have to ask at the post office to send it as oversized letter mail or they will send it as a regular parcel. Whenever I get orders in Canada I always send it out through oversized which is why my products have free shipping for Canadians on it! Here’s a comparison of the pros and cons of sending through letter mail.
Pros: Faster then sending as a regular package, and a fraction of the price.
Cons: Can get lost in the mail, No tracking. Out of all the packages I’ve ever sent only one got lost.
Packaging ideas: BRANDED [ Poly mailers, tissue paper, tags, ribbon, thank you cards, stickers, poly bags, slot box. ]
If you have an online shop branding is really important for scaling your brand. However, you don’t want to drop a bunch of money at the start for custom packaging. To this day I don’t have custom poly mailers because the cost has been really high since covid. Here is what I recommend starting out with and how you can cut your costs down.
Trend Alert: Eco friendly packaging is going to be huge in 2021 so it might be time to look into that!
Thank you cards:
Tissue Paper / Filler
Canva has a free subscription that can be used for all your marketing needs. They have a bunch of free templates you can use including business cards, social media posts, ads, YouTube thumbnail’s and the list goes on. There are also free stock photos along with graphics to customize your design.
There are so many amazing resources out there that you don’t need to spend thousands on marketing any more.
Creating an account and posting on these platforms can be equivalent to another company spending loads of money on ads.
I will forever say marketing on Pinterest is amazing,
For the last 3 moths i’ve been testing out different ways to market and here’s what I found:
Pinterest had the highest conversion rate, 30% of my entire views on Etsy came from Pinterest (that’s higher then any other blog post or social media).
My product was featured on BuzzFeed and Daily Mail while that did drive some traffic my newsletter (Free) drove more. Sometimes those sites will feature your product because they have an affiliate link to them, so for free advertising make sure your product is very visible with affiliate links. (+ its good backlinks to rank you higher on Google)
Facebook Ads are good just takes a little bit to find the right audience and it’s a good idea to create a website with a pixel on it to help speed up the process. Your budget will have to be larger.
Google Ads is good for service based business’, for me it was the most expensive with the lowest conversion but i’m selling products not a service so this wasn’t really my target market.
Email Newsletters / Landing Pages are the biggest way to get leads/orders/a loyal customer base. I will talk about it in the next paragraph.
I use Sender.net and Mailchimp. On Sender you can have up to 2500 contacts on the free plan and with Mailchimp you can have 2000 contacts. This will save you a lot of money when starting out as well make you a lot of money!
I underestimated the power of having an email list until I started using it. To get a list you can offer something digital for free in exchange for their email. Make sure it related to your niche. Examples: