What I have learned about opening a business on the web
A year ago today my website greatpup.com went live. When I reflect back over the last year and think of all I have learned. Wow, what a year.
My goal for my business is to offer dog lovers like myself high quality,safe and unique dog products at a reasonable price. Sounds simple but it has taken time and lots of effort to weed through all the dog products out there and decide what is actually worthy of being on my site.
There are many companies in the USA that have some great products. West Paw is a company out of Montana and they create great toys that are for aggressive chewers and even offer a one time replacement if your dog chews the toys into pieces. I have sold hundreds of these toys and have only replaced a few. One thing I have learned is not every dog owner wants a to pay a higher price for a toy that is going to last a long, long time. Many people want to pay little money for cheap things made in China that their dog will destroy in a matter a minutes. Lesson learned; if customers will buy one West Paw toy they will see the quality and come back for more.
I have also learned that quality is not as important to others as it is to me. People don’t take the time to look at where their dog treats are made. The dog treats sold in the big pet stores and Wal-Mart are often made in China. China has no rules or regulations of production of dog treats. These dog treats have made dogs sick or even killed hundreds of dogs. I have studied and researched every bakery item, bully stick and dog treat that I sell on my site to ensure they are safe and made in the USA. Lesson learned: Customer come back and tell me that their dog is a picky eater but they will eat my treats. The reason they eat my treats, is not because their dog is picky, it is because they are all natural and organic.
Having a e-commerce store has taught me so much about the social media. I have learned about Facebook pages. I have page on Facebook Facebook.com/greatpup. It was easy to set up the page much it is much harder to get people to like your page. I have 82 likes and I have been trying to get to 100 since October. Many people like my post but not my page. Lesson learned; it take time and patience to reached the 100 likes on my page, it is harder than it looks.
Blogging is the next social media I have learned to do this past year. So much still to learn. How to get followers? What to write about?
When I look back on my first year as a business owner I feel good about what I have accomplished. I know that I have stuck to my goals and have not compromised what I know is best for both my customers and their dogs. I have had more fun talking to people and listening to their dogs stories than I could ever imagine. I know I have a lot to learn, but I look forward to the challenge. Happy Birthday Greatpup.com!
Below: a few of our satisfied customers!