Tiny Chipmunk – the story

Building a business, day by day

So close, yet so far…

This was not the post I was wanting to write.  I was hoping my next post would be one that said “woohoo, my swaddles are here.  Please go and buy some.”  Instead there’s yet another hurdle to get over and my stress levels are through the roof. On Tuesday I was feeling pretty positive as my swaddles arrived in the UK. (At last, proof they do exist!  Well, I guess.. Read More

Say cheese! (Getting good photos)

I mentioned in my post about listing your product on Amazon that having decent photos is important.  Amazon actually has guidelines for photos, that it’s worth knowing about before you get started: The product must fill at least 85% of the image (so not too much blank space) on a white background. You can’t have any props in the photos. Images need to be high-resolution (at least 1000 by 500.. Read More

Selling on Amazon part 2 (the useful stuff)

If you’re looking for actual advice about getting going on Amazon Seller Central you can skip part 1 of my Amazon posts and just start here. I promise you’re not missing much. It was mainly a rant about how bad it was and how much I dislike it. On reflection though, there are actually some things I do like: They store my stock for me. My husband is already complaining.. Read More

Where in the world…

So, as we speak, my shipment of swaddles has left China – but is stuck in Mumbai. Apparently the information needed for clearance is missing.  It arrived in Mumbai yesterday and I’m tracking it, constantly, via UPS.  It’s become a bit of an obsession and I’m seriously losing sleep over it.  Last night, while up with a teething baby, I checked for the latest (bad move) and found out it.. Read More

Selling on Amazon part 1 (a trip to IKEA)

I’m guessing most of us buy stuff on Amazon? It’s great, right? The search function is so easy (and brings up relevant results), you can find almost anything you want, it’s often cheaper than anywhere else, customer service is great, plus delivery is easy, quick and often free. Selling on Amazon however, is is a completely different experience. The ‘back-end’ (for want of a better term, although perhaps it is.. Read More

Feeling vulnerable

As I write these blog posts and more people are (hopefully) reading them, I’m starting to feel a little vulnerable and exposed. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely no plans to stop, as I still believe it’s a worthwhile thing to do and if I can help even one person to get their business idea off the ground it’ll be worth it – but it’s scary nonetheless. As you.. Read More

Building a brand

One decision you have to make when you’re starting up a physical products business is what kind of business do you want it to be?  Your options are a cash flow business – this means that you’ll buy and sell  (or manufacture and sell) products – with making money being your primary goal.  I’ve read about people who buy things cheap from China, or from clearance sales, etc, and make.. Read More

The waiting game

I am not a patient person.  I hate waiting.  I even got frustrated today waiting for my 8-month old to finish her lunch. Patience is definitely not a virtue that I possess. It’s now been 56 days since I placed an order for 500 boxes of swaddles and they are still not in the warehouse, or even in the UK.  This is driving me barmy. Good news today though (finally)… Read More

Hello China (or 你好中国)

There are different methods to choosing what products to sell, depending on who you speak to.  I tried paying for a service where someone tells you what products are ‘hot’, where you can source them, how much you should be paying, how much you can charge for them, etc.  I figured out pretty quickly that amounted to paying someone for research I could easily do myself.  Thankfully there was a.. Read More

Will it fly?

You might have noticed that the titles of most of my blogs are questions.  This is because I’ve had nothing but questions since starting out. Is this the right thing to do?  Can I make it work?  Where do I start?  When will I find the time?  Will I get a full night’s sleep tonight?  You get the picture. Will it Fly?: How to Test Your Next Business Idea So.. Read More