Five Tips For Launching An Online Store
I’ve finally launched my online store, Chipper Things. It’s required so many moving parts to manage that I think I could actually juggle without dropping a pin. There are mountains of info I could share about developing a product line (how to price, finding a fulfillment center, working with collections, distribution, etc.), but today I want to talk about the launching process itself and what I learned along the way. This is what I wish three-months-ago Becky would have known. If you’re about to launch your own creative project, I hope it helps you.
1. Create a comprehensive timeline.
Write down everything that needs to be done. And I mean everything, from “research photo shoot locations” to “send info card draft to friend for feedback.” Chronologically organize every task, then double the time you think you’ll need for each. This is (roughly) how much time you’ll need to take care of those tasks before launch. How’s that for an accurate formula? I can thank my mentor, Nic Annette Miller, for giving me this wakeup call halfway through my Creative Residency. It wasn’t until I wrote down everything that had to get done that I realized six months wasn’t that much time after all.
2. If you’re going to publicly share your process, be prepared to lie.
Of course, by “lie” I don’t really mean being intentionally dishonest. I mean that you’re going to make decisions early on that you may end up changing later, even though you’ve spoken publically about the early decision.
For example, I told the world I’d be selling pillows and tea towels. As it turns out, I’m not going to be selling pillows or tea towels because I discovered that expanding my product selection that widely wasn’t the best decision for my new store. Another example: I posted a piece of art on social media, shouting out that I’d be selling it on Chipper Things, but now that art will not be for sale come launch day.
These things don’t bother me because in the long run, they won’t matter and I realize no one is monitoring my every move to fact-check for accuracy. Be careful of what you commit to, though, so you can avoid miscommunications and/or customer service blunders.