Hello folks! One of the best ways to learn about starting and running a business is by finding out how others have done what we are trying to do. I am always looking to learn from other professionals to see what I can improve.
One thing that I notice about Lisa is that she has been developing a great niche market since she started her business. She sells to parents, grandparents and students through the schools. When we think about developing or expanding our own niche we need to focus on some type of existing need or desire and think about who will have that need.
Read on for more on Lisa’s story about how she developed her business and created an online presence.
Interview Part 2 with Lisa Lemonick-Goebel, owner of ScrappyDappyDoo.com
- How long have you been online now?
- 7-years with the school webstores, and 3 years with our own domain.
- Why did you choose to use CoolMo Design for your website?
- We choose CoolMo for various reasons. One was Todd, he and I sat and talked for a long period of time, of exactly what I was looking for in a website. I showed him what we were currently using, and how we needed to maintain that until our contract was up with the other company. He said that would not be a problem, and although in the beginning it had a few issues, he kept working with it until it worked within our new site. Luckily, the other contract was expiring within a year of us opening the new site and I don’t miss it.
- Another reason was being able to have a shorter website link. I know that sounds silly, but having our own domain was easier for us to create the flyers to go to our clients. When you have several schools, each doing their own pricing and designs, you want to direct parents easily to their child’s school store. CoolMo helped us design that portion, and it works perfectly for our parents. It allows a parent with children in multiple schools to do one stop shopping. We also wanted to grow our individual business, not just school spiritwear, so CoolMo works and with that extra help, it has given me more freedom to design for my clients. The platform itself is easy to navigate. I’m not one to read manuals and then do, I rather dive in and get it functioning the way I want. CoolMo’s platform allows that. Are there shorter ways to do it, probably, but it is working and we are making money. When time allows, I do update the site, but I do know it needs a large update, I just haven’t found that time and can’t afford to be down while it happens.
- Are you happy with your choice?
- Yes. CoolMo has always answered our needs in a timely fashion, which is extremely important to me.
- If you could change one thing about your website, what would it be?
- When we sat and talked with CoolMo, we were shown a tool where our customers could design on their own, and select products we can offer. We haven’t really spent the time to explore this avenue, but we have that on our list of things to do…and I know CoolMo will be there every step of the way when we get to that point.
- What kind of challenges have you faced getting your business online?
- I think the biggest challenge was getting the school and team spirit wear up and running properly. Having jumped into the other contract for the schools, which worked for the most part, we were now more in tune with what we wanted…so we just had to execute it. I’m sure I drove CoolMo crazy with my specific needs. But I never heard any complaints.
- If you could pass on your experience to someone new to the industry, what would you tell them? (Without revealing your trade secrets of course, I mean they will be competition after all).
- It is funny you ask this question at this time. One of the boys’ friends is just starting out with the screen printing, similar to what we did. So we have been mentoring him, and Mark and I just said we wish we knew somebody to help us when we first got started the way we are helping them. Although there is lots of competition out there, we have found that most of the people in our industry are willing to help each other with little tips here and there. I strongly believe especially being open and busy during the pandemic, that personality and being reachable is a huge part of our success. With social media and technology there is little to no excuse not to follow-up with people and assist them with their needs.
Viable businesses are often led by daily experiences. Lisa and Mark were able to take their existing interests and skills, build contacts and create a thriving business. Businesses are also built over time and with lots of hard work, which I am sure Lisa and Mark have done plenty of. I’m thankful to them for sharing their experience with us and hope they continue to thrive!
I hope each of you benefit from their story and are able to grow your business as well!
Todd’s Pro Tip
School Spirit Wear
Setting up your site to handle multiple schools, various products for each and easy access for orders.
Part 2 of 2
Apologies, last week got away from me and I know I’m late getting this out, but without further delay, here we go. In our last post, I promised to show you how to setup a School Spirit Wear shop similar to our guest Lisa, from ScrappyDappyDoo.Com
So the first step you’ll need to do is gather all the images you want to use for each school. Best to reach out to each school you serve and request their ‘Branding Kit’. Explain to them what you are doing for their school and they are generally very happy to send you what you need.
With the logo for each school/club/event ready, we are going to start by creating new product categories for each one of the schools. But first, I recommend adding a TOP LEVEL product category to hold all your schools in one spot for greater control. To do this we are going to add a new product category called SPIRIT GEAR. You can of course name it anything you’d like.
Only things you need to add on this page are a Name and add an image to represent the category. Leave the slug blank, Parent category as None, and Display type to Default as seen above. Click Add New Category to finish the process. After a moment, your new product category will be visible over on the right of your screen.
Next we are going to do this over and over again once for each school/club/event you have. HOWEVER, take note as their is something DIFFERENT with EACH of these entries than the one you just made for the TOP LEVEL.
Not to worry, it is nothing major and if you mess up it is easily fixed.
That field we skipped earlier, PARENT CATEGORY; we need to click the drop-down arrow on that field and choose our TOP LEVEL product category SPIRIT GEAR.
Congratulations! The hard part is done!
Now you just go through your products and add the new product category associated with their school.
After doing that for each of your groups, you can then create product category specific pages just for your schools/ groups/ organizations/ businesses/ etc… I know it sounds like a lot, but it really is simple and goes very fast. And always remember, CoolMo Design is here for you if you ever get stuck or need a little help!
Stay tuned, next week we will build on this process by showing you how to setup those product category specific pages and how to display them for easy access like Lisa did on her site. See you next week!