Tips and tricks for managing a small e-commerce business – case study: Green Planet Paper

At Penn Parcel Box we are big supporters of all small e-commerce enterprises and with the demand for more sustainable products on the rise, we felt it was imperative to interview Maddy Bishop, owner of the fabulous Green Planet Paper. We hear her tips and tricks for managing a small e-commerce business successfully.

Tell us about your business?

For a long time, I had wanted to create a brand and business of my own but was particularly motivated when I noticed how much plastic is used in both our daily lives and in many offices. My love for the environment inspired me to open the Green Planet Paper shop which sells sustainable cards, gift tags and recycled wrapping paper. Hopefully one day I will have a full range of sustainable stationery products that my customers can use in their day-to-day life.

What are your tips for creating a great experience for your e-commerce customers?

Easy navigation of the website is essential in providing a good experience for your customers; if you overcomplicate the process, customers will abandon their cart. I have removed any unnecessary steps and clutter so my customers can find what they want quickly and get straight to the checkout.

What are your tips for managing deliveries efficiently?

You need to be organised. All my deliveries are booked in so I am aware when they are arriving and anything big or expensive is booked for a specific day when I know I will be in. Making a spreadsheet of all the delivery dates and timings is the best way to make sure you are on top of it all, especially when you’re getting multiple deliveries a week!

What are your tips for reducing admin?

Instead of doing it little and often during the month, what works for me is setting aside a day that is dedicated to admin. I find it most productive when I have one complete day that I know is committed to doing all those little tasks, instead of doing little pieces here and there and having to pick it up each time.

What are your tips for reducing costs in your business?

Try and do as much as you can by yourself. If you do need to get extra help, it can also help to keep costs down by using someone you know – it’s not always possible, but it does help. For example, when I first started I could not afford a professional photographer; I reached out to a friend and she very kindly agreed to photograph my products in return for some freebies. It is a great idea to build up a network of people who you can help you out, and vice versa.

What are your tips for managing your e-commerce business efficiently?

It is very important to remember that with having a successful business comes a lot of hard work, especially at the beginning. I still work another part time job at the moment, as Green Planet Paper is still in its initial stages and I am not yet able to pay myself a full time wage. All the money I make is being invested back into the business, this has enabled me to expand my product range, so in order to manage my e-commerce business efficiently I utilise my lunch breaks to reply to any emails and enquiries I might receive.

I have also found that having breaks is so important – going on a dog walk is a great way to clear your head. I manage my business so much better when I have breaks throughout the day and time away from the computer screen.

How do you stop your e-commerce business from taking over your home?

I don’t! It consumes nearly every single room in my house currently. I anticipate I will need to expand and have separate storage space away from my house in the lead up to Christmas 2022.

What are the products/software/digital platforms you couldn’t do without in your e-commerce business?

QuickBooks is a life saver, I would recommend it to any small business; it makes business payments, managing and paying bills very simple.

What are your tips for managing e-commerce returns efficiently? 

To date I’ve not yet had a single return and hopefully it stays that way! I have stated all the information you need regarding returns on my website so customers can be sure on the return policy and how it works.

We loved hearing Maddy’s tips and tricks for successfully managing her new online business, hopefully this has given you an insight into ways you can further your online enterprise. Why not head to her website, she has everything to fulfil your environmentally friendly stationary needs!

For more information on how the Penn Parcel Box can help the smooth running of your e-commerce business by helping to manage deliveries and returns more efficiently, get in touch with our friendly team on 01424 429 641.

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