Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success)

Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

 

As the dust settles on what has been the busiest time of our entire lives, the Christmas period! I thought I would try putting into words Little Miss Twiggie Twinkles first year as a small business, from the very beginnings to the amazing position we now find ourselves in.

This post will include how my early passion for being creative & making wax melts at home for friends & family expanded into having a large range of home fragrance products, bursts of great success & lots of happy customers.

Including the mistakes along the way, the high’s, the lows & the tools we used to reach our current condition. Hopefully there is other small business start up’s or others thinking about launching there business idea into the big wide world of e-commerce that might benefit from this post.

11 Steps To Success

  1. Starting Out
  2. Launch Day
  3. Mothers Day
  4. Time For A New Website
  5. Trying To Get Our Business To Rank On Google
  6. Finally Getting Out The Kitchen!
  7. Finding The Best Photographer
  8. Featuring In Vogue
  9. Christmas Rush
  10. Conclusion
  11. Plans For 2022

Starting Out

Like most other wax melt business’s out there Little Miss Twiggie Twinkles started out in the kitchen at home, creating wax melts for personal use & for a few family members & friends.

Perfecting the art of measuring how much fragrance was required for each different scent & what temperature to pour at to create highly scented wax melts that were free from frosting & looked colourful & appealing.

 

Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

Once I was confident my wax melts were of a good standard & family, friends & locals were enjoying using them I decided it was time to launch a website & see if I could turn my little hobby into a successful business.

With no real knowledge what so ever of building or managing a website I chose to get started on Site123 supposedly the best website builder for beginners.

After a little research of what & how many wax melts the main home fragrance business’s online were currently offering I decided to start out with 60 different wax melt fragrances.

In hindsight this was maybe a mistake, with so many different fragrances, each requiring its own page to build on the website, individual photo’s etc… it added a lot of work to begin with. At this point my partner got involved & we sat day after day learning the basics of building product pages, taking & editing photo’s & preparing to launch Little Miss Twiggie Twinkles as a website.

 

Launch Day

After several weeks of hard work & roughly one thousand cups of tea between us, we were happy with what we had achieved & felt ready if a little nervous to finally press publish & launch Little Miss Twiggie Twinkles.

With the website now live we got to work on the usual social media channels Facebook, Instagram & Twitter trying to spread the word we were open for business and received a great response locally.

With this huge boost in confidence from local sales we began planning our very first wax melt gift sets ready for the upcoming valentine & mother’s day.

 

Mothers Day

To say we were a little underprepared would be a understatement!

With a little promotion on Facebook & Etsy ads our Mother’s Day gift bags, wax melt selection boxes & gorgeous pink gift boxes proved amazingly popular!

Working round the clock, with the house upside down we managed to complete a huge amount of orders & were overwhelmed with the amazing feedback our gifts received.

 

Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

For the first time we truly believed our little brand could be successful….with a little better planning!

Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

Time For A New Website

What happens when you’ve outgrown your current website? When you find that it isn’t working the way you want it to? Well this was the dilemma we were suddenly faced with.

As our understanding of how websites work, numerous issues & limitations to what we could do on our Site123 site we decided to start a fresh & transfer over to WordPress.

If we thought building our first website was quite daunting we were in for a shock! The options suddenly now available to us were mind boggling!

With so much new to learn it probably would have been a good idea at this point to find a website designer to build the new site for us, but with both me & my partner both to eager to learn new skills we decided to give it a go ourselves.

We began by picking a theme, after a little research & reading great reviews we chose the Flatsome multi-purpose theme. Next is was time to add what we had been missing on the original site & with WordPress’s huge range of plugins to choose from, both free & premium we soon discovered you really can take your business to whole new level… if you know what your doing!

A million YouTube video’s & blog posts later we started to figure it all out.

 

Plugins & Services we have found perfect for our e-commerce site.

 

WooCommerce – An open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress.

UpdraftPlus – A complete, general-purpose backup and restore plugin. A must have! With so many moving parts to websites things can easily go wrong. On numerous occasions this plugin has helped us restore our site to a previous working version.

Kreativo ProImprove website speed, we found this service on Fiver & would highly recommend them.

Rank Math SEO – A Search Engine Optimization plugin for WordPress that makes it easy for anyone to optimize their content.

Shortpixel – An image optimizer that improves website performance by resizing, compressing and serving images.

WP Mail SMTP – Ensures order confirmations and shipping notifications reach customers inbox.

WP Rocket – A powerful web performance plugin that will instantly reduce your load time by caching & optimizing your website.

Trying To Get Our Business To Rank On Google

With the website starting to take shape we began the never ending process of trying to learn SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

We were lucky enough to know a local SEO Expert called Tim Marston. Tim runs a Professional Search Engine Optimization Consultancy in Kendal were Little Miss Twiggie Twinkles is based.

The free advice and guidance Tim has given us has been invaluable helping us get set up properly on Google Search Console, Google Analytics & introducing us to Ahrefs a powerful all-in-one SEO toolset.

Running a quick site audit on Ahrefs can uncover whole host of problems affecting any website & we thank Tim very much for helping us fix these issues.

With lots of competition in the home fragrance niche we still have a long long way to go but maybe someday Little Miss Twiggie Twinkles will rank #1 on Google.

 

Finally Getting Out The Kitchen!

A huge milestone in our journey so far! After struggling for many months trying to make wax melts & complete orders around the daily routine of having 3 children, to finally having a dedicated space to make, store & complete orders was like a dream come true.

Putting the full team to work we excitedly began the process of organising our new unit with our star man taking the lead on shelving duties!

Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

 

Finding The Best Photographer

Early on in our journey of running a small business we decided to purchase a light box & fairly decent camera, we realised having quality pictures of your products on any website was a massive thing, so spent many hours setting up a taking snaps of our ever growing range of products with mixed success. Time to hire some help… After a quick local search on Google for a photographer we found Lucy Barden. Lucy is a professional photographer based in Carnforth, Cumbria.

With Lucy’s website mentioning she had a eye for detail and styling we got to work packaging up our snap bar & Christmas gifts range ready to hopefully be brought to life with some beautiful, engaging shots.

We weren’t disappointed!!

Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

 

Featuring In Vogue

Sat on the sofa late one night in September we received an email from a Associate Classified Sales Manager from British Vogue to say they had come across our brand online and that we would be the perfect fit to showcase on there upcoming luxury interiors advertorial that was being created for British Vogue.

To say we were shocked would be a understatement!!Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

This was huge & a perfectly timed boost to our business just before we began what was to become by far the busiest time of our entire lives!

 

Christmas Rush

Since re-launching the website sales had ticked along nicely at a steady pace, we had tried our luck with different marketing strategies including Facebook ads, giveaways & coupons with mixed success & with the busiest time of the year for e-commerce websites like ours approaching made the decision to again hire in the help in the form of Linked Media to run paid advertisement across multiple sales channels for us.

Armed with some fantastic pictures off Lucy they set to work in early October launching several ads on Facebook, Instagram & Google & quite literally exploded Little Miss Twiggie Twinkles.

Sales went through the roof!!

Orders began flying in morning, noon & night. A lot like mothers day there just did not seem enough hours in the day to be a mother to 3, make wax melts & complete the volume of orders rolling in hourly.

It was definitely a struggle at times but after numerous unexpected set backs like storms cutting off power to our workshop, royal mail not delivering parcels on time or not at all & stockists discontinuing products, we managed to overcome these problems and finally crossed the finishing line.

Phew!

Time for some Christmas prosecco!

Between both our website & Etsy store we successfully managed to complete 739 orders from late October till the big day, breaking sales records weekly along the way & receiving some truly wonderful reviews making it all worth it in the end.

 

Conclusion

Like most business’s starting out the first year or two is said to be the hardest of all, but with hard work, patience to learn new skills & dedication much can be achieved.

Major Lessons We Have Learned

  • Preparation is key to success & less stress!
  • Outsource as much as you can (budget dependant)
  • Having the patience to learn new skills can really benefit you in the long run

So that about wraps up our first year in business, its been a whirlwind of mixed emotions, high’s, lows & everything in-between.

To everyone who has helped us on our journey so far, customers old and new we thank you from the bottom of hearts.

Here’s to 2022 & a bright looking future!

Best Wishes

Rebecca & Calvin

Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success) 11 steps to success

Plans For 2022

With lots of lessons learned in our first year & now being set up properly in all aspects of our business we feel ready to hit the ground running in 2022.

Main Goals

  • Expanding & improving our range of products
  • Providing the best customer service we possibly can
  • Keep processing & shipping times to a minimum
  • Upgrade existing website photo’s with more of Lucy’s fantastic pictures
  • Expand our blog section to cover more topics

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2 thoughts on “Our First Year In Business (11 Steps To Success)

  1. Jocelyn says:

    Loved reading this post! This is very inspiring especially for me who really wants to start an online business. I 100% agree with all your points! Good luck with your plans for this year!

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