I've been running my shop for 6 months now, which has gone surprisingly fast and is doing (in my opinion) surprisingly well! I'm not sure how success is measured really but between my blog and shop I am earning the same amount as returning to my old job (part time!) and this I feel is kind of the perfect scenario for me.
Of course, being the person I am, I'm not really one for resting on my laurels so I'm always striving for more and reminding myself to not get complacent. With blogging and retail, these things are not certain, each month is different. These things are exciting but also nerve wracking, especially when you have nursery fees to pay!
If you remember I mentioned earlier last year I attended a Princes Trust enterprise course. I'm not sure I took a great amount of new skills away with me but what I did learn was that I knew more than I thought I did. That some areas I excel in and some..not so much, accounts are my weakness for sure, admin of most kind bores me to tears (how was I ever a P.A??) I much prefer the creative side of running a business. There are some areas of having a business I am constantly testing to find out what works best for me, these are mainly things like packaging suppliers, wholesalers and shipping.
I was offered some free credit on Parcel2Go's website and being that posting orders is something I do on a daily basis I was eager to test them out. The first thing I noticed once I'd created an account was that if you have an Amazon or Ebay business you can immediately link your accounts so that the information is already recorded ready for shipping. This also works with a Shopify shop if you happen to have one. My shop is actually a Big Cartel shop that I have customised so this didn't fit with mine but it also gives you the option to upload spreadsheets directly to the system if needs be.
I decided to use the service mainly for my larger orders as I don't really mind popping round the corner with my bag of small parcels but lugging around the bigger items is sometimes a bit of a pain. After you input the size and weight of your parcel it gives you a list of all the parcel companies quotes for different options (next day, 48 hours, insured etc) and you simply click on the best deal for you and your order is placed. It was a very simple process and cut out googling for cheap deals. You can ship internationally and there is also a tracking system to trace how your item is doing.
It's a simple enough site to use and good to know you are getting the best deal. You do have to weigh and measure your parcel of course (as with any courier system) and also have use of a printer but as long as that isn't an issue I would certainly recommend it.
Now I need someone to offer me a bulk loads of bubble wrap, tissue paper and jiffy bags ;)
we were given some credit to test the service but all words and thoughts are my own