Starting an online business - mumpreneur Julie from Everything Boys speaks about her experience setting up an eTail store.
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Starting an online business - a "mumpreneur" speaks about her experience

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I recently asked Julie Kourtesis, a mumpreneur who started the niche website, Everything Boys, to tell me a bit about her experience in starting an online business. Her online shop specialises in everything you could possibly want for boys from newborns to about 8 years old.

In the 10 months since Everything Boys on-line store went live, I have learnt so much about the Internet, starting an online business, eTailing and websites in general, and I continue to do so on a daily basis!

I had a level of naivety and impatience starting out - I had a great idea to start an a niche online store selling boys clothing, boys shoes, accessories, and ”everything boys”, but I wanted it online NOW, so I thought it would all just fall into place from there.

Starting an online business I had no idea about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), Google Rankings, eCommerce, Pay Per Click, Pageviews, Traffic/Visits, Bounce Rate, Back Links, the relevance of Social Media, Blogging, more technical stuff like Meta Tags or H Tags (headline), Keywords, HTML, CSS or Templates... the list goes on!

Starting with a budget of next to nothing, eagerness and a lot of passion - I set about getting a website up and running. A friend was able to help in getting our site sorted within the budget and fairly quickly. At the time, I had no idea about the difference between a template website or one which is built from the ground up. Ours happens to be a template site, with a Content Management System back-end, with in-built shopping cart, which accepts payment via PayPal and ships via Australia Post.

I bought a small SEO and Google Reference Book, which gave me a self-assurance in my own ability to handle this side of the website. However, I have discovered along the way that without the flexibility or functionality in the back-end of the site for me to access, none of it is really relevant, or able to be implemented.

As the business grows, the customer base increases, sales are steady, newsletter subscriptions are on the rise - I've felt quietly confident that all the things that I've been doing, with my limited SEO knowledge, have been working. However, my Google Ranking (results) hasn't much improved. I know the site has been indexed, as it comes up in searches, but we're not near number one in many important searches.

Mumpreneur Catch 22 kicks in right about now! Without more sales, the business doesn't continue to grow, and for the business to continue to grow we need more sales! So I have felt for some time that the business needed to take a step up, and the first place we felt needed attention was our SEO and being found, and prominently, in online searches.

Hence, the call to Rob at justweb®!

In a very short period of time, Rob has been able to identify some deficiencies that I think I always knew deep down were there, but due to limits in the budget, haven't had much chance to do anything about them.

One thing I have definitely learnt over the past 10 months, and had confirmed in the time I have dealt with Rob, is that as a small business, it is critical to have access to all your intellectual property - in our case, through the back-end of our website. Relying on another person or business to make immediate changes, as I require, is slow and inefficient. Other things I'm now more aware of is being active in the management and implementation of our SEO; having a site that's perfect for right now, and to build a good foundation for expansion as the business grows. The functionality in the back-end of the site needs to give me a level of access that doesn't limit me to just uploading or amending products. Talk to somebody who knows, but also do your own research!

Everything Boys - online store Everything Boys only has an on-line presence, and as such I am well aware that it is our Shop Front. Our back-end therefore needs to support that, in order to let me focus on the eTailing, rather than being bogged down by what it can't do!

Julie Kourtesis
Everything Boys 


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