In this post, I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes look at our business goals, and what is going on with SLP Happy Hour this quarter.
As far as SLP Happy Hour is concerned, I do the behind-the-scenes business stuff. A few things to know before we get started:
One: I create quarterly goals for the business, and we are just wrapping up one quarter and starting another
Two: We are continuing to post two podcast episodes monthly, no matter what my goal is - my business goal is just a focus for that quarter.
Summer 2018: Goals and Progress
Last quarter, my goal was podcast growth, measured by number of downloads per episode. I wanted more people to listen to our podcast, and had a specific number in mind (1,000 downloads per episode). We were able to meet that goal for our latest episode, so I'm hoping we continue to grow from there.
In order to achieve podcast growth, I did quite a bit of marketing for the podcast this summer. I was a guest on several other podcasts, created guest blogs for other SLP Bosses, and really focused on posting on social media every day for the past several months.
Now that I have systems in place to continue this work, it’s time to focus on my next goal.
Fall 2018: Business Goals
Since things are running smoothly with the podcast, I'm ready to shift gears for my next quarterly goals. This next quarter I’m focusing on the SLP Happy Hour Shop. As I write this post, the shop has only been open for a matter of weeks, and I’m switching gears to focus my time on expanding the shop.
We currently sell 7 self-care sticker designs. My goals include picking up on the marketing aspect of the shop, and adding in new products.
Goal 1: Expand the Offerings at the SLP Happy Hour Shop
Right now, there are seven sticker designs for sale. Sticker sales will continue, but I’d like to sell other products as well.
What will I sell next?
Well, I’ve got some ideas brewing. Right now, it’s all about the research. For each new product I want to offer, I need to consider:
Who will make/produce the item?
What is the unit cost, and what’s my profit margin?
How will I ship the item, and what supplies will I need?
How much money does the item cost to ship?
How much of the product do I need to order? Minimum orders of 100-200 units are common - can I afford to order that?
What is the likelihood I can sell that many units? How popular do I think the item will be?
The research and brainstorm process will take time, so that’s where I find myself currently.
Goal 2: Switch Web Platforms for the Shop
I currently have my website and shop page in Squarespace. I chose Squarespace for its simplicity and ease of use. I’m extremely satisfied with Squarespace as a platform for my website and blog. However, the commerce option (shop page), is fairly simple and hard to expand.
The Squarespace shop is great if you have one type of item to sell and one flat shipping rate - that’s me! However, given that we hope to diversify and sell more products with different prices and shipping costs, it’s time to abandon ship for a more complex system that will allow for more customization. I want to offer a range of things that people will love, that pay for themselves, and use back-end systems that are easy for to operate and customizable.
I’m still researching other platforms, but I’ve heard good things about hosting your store on Shopify. This quarter, I’ll work on researching Shopify (among other options), and I’ll have to decide if I’ll have to switch my blog and the whole site, or if I can integrate a separate e-commerce platform into Squarespace.
Goal 3: Create and Implement a Shop Marketing Plan
Just like I did with the podcast, it’s now time to create a marketing plan for the shop. My marketing plan involves several facets:
Mention the sticker shop each podcast episode
Continue to mention the sticker shop on social media
Host self-care giveaways with a variety of items, including an item or two from the shop
Send free products to SLP friends with social media accounts, so they can share the products with their audience
I hope this was a helpful sneak peek as I transition away from my previous quarterly goals into a new quarter. I still have more questions than answers as I research products and platforms, but that’s a natural part of starting a new quarterly goal.
I find it fascinating to learn more about the behind-the-scenes aspects of my favorite businesses, because I’m a total business nerd. I feel a bit like the SLP Happy Hour business is like a duck swimming - calm and collected up top, and paddling furiously underneath the surface. Don’t get me wrong - the podcast and everything we produce is completely heartfelt. We do this because we know what it’s like to struggle and be isolated, and we want to reach out and help others in the same place. But there is a lot going on under the surface most people don’t see - it takes a lot to produce things.
I’ve enjoyed sharing what’s really going on with the SLP Happy Hour business under the water’s surface - the furiously paddling part. Right now, that’s the part I find interesting!
As I try new things, I’m certain I’ll try out some things that succeed and some things that fail. If I’ve learned anything as a business owner, it’s that you’ve got to dust yourself off and try again when things get hard, and adjust as needed.
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If you are a business nerd like me and own your own business, I want to hear from you! I’m considering running mini-episodes of SLP entrepreneur interviews (your business doesn’t need to be SLP related, but you do need to be an SLP) focused on a specific topic. Use our website form to request an interview application form for our mini-boss episodes!