It is difficult to take a risk. Business owners face hard choices many times, and we want to share our experience with you walking you through how we made our biggest decision so far.
Let us rewind the clock six months ago. Darrius and I were sitting at a restaurant after class. We debated how to start a business because of the financial risk we could face. Also, we are college students with little experience in running a business. On this rainy night, we chose to move forward with our business plans. After our first three batches of our products, we spread the word to our friends and family, but sales moved very slowly.
After a few weeks of starting our business, COVID-19 hit and crushed our start-up plans. So, we reset, refocused, and researched. Since it wasn't safe to directly interact with anyone, we moved online to Etsy. This place felt like the best option for us, but that choice became an obstacle for us. After listing our products, we created social media posts on Facebook and Instagram to promote our business and even paid for marketing. All that we had to do was to wait. But then we waited and waited, one month, two months, and three months. We always checked our analytics of how many post clicks and interactions we were making, but we saw no sales.
Now, we hit the drawing board again. Reset, refocus, and research. This time, we revisited another option Shopify. We compared the two platforms and then had to decide whether to stay put with Etsy or take the risk with Shopify. We moved platforms, which came with its learning curve. But now that we have reflected on taking this risk, it has been one of the best choices we have ever made.
Shopify allowed us to buy our domain and customize our website the way we wanted it. It enables us to use more marketing tools to better analyze product progress. Recently, we created our loyalty rewards program using Shopify. After two weeks on our site and the marketing campaigns on Facebook and Instagram, we saw our first online sales ever. With the helpful notifications we received on our dashboard, it helped us connect with our shoppers, and create targeted campaigns to reach our customers.
If we did not take the risk, we probably would have been in the same place a few months ago. While taking risks may seem scary, they can benefit you. Not every risk is the best risk to take, so it is important to reset, refocus on your task, and take time to research so that you make an informed decision. We hope that our experience can help you make the big decision on whether you'll take a risk.