A while back I revealed my part in starting a commercial furniture brand. Following that brand’s success, I chose to launch another to utilise those same products but rebranding for the domestic market. That brand is called XIV, or XIV Furniture for long.
In 2019 I first thought of the idea, & in January of 2021 I discussed the concept with a manufacturer I work with. In March I launched & had my first sale. It’s been a “soft launch” & the main goal was to expand my sales & marketing skills, in addition to earning some extra money.
I’ve had many issues & successes, but with every experience comes lessons. Here’s 5 everyone can gain from.
1. Follow up, follow up & lastly, follow up 📬
On average, website leads required 2 or 3 emails before replying. As annoying as following up can be, it’s extremely important. It’s surprising how many companies don’t follow up, even though it could cost a large amount of leads.
2. My new favourite online payment company: Square 💳
I previously had screamed in support of Shopify, but I’ll be changing all my recommendations over to Square. Don’t get me wrong, Shopify is king of ecommerce still, but Square offers a free online payment system with a smaller transaction charge.
It’s easy to setup payments, free to signup & you can get your first £1k of purchases transaction free with my referral link (click here to find out more).
3. Get as much information from leads as possible upfront 💬
I use a 2-step form system for my leads. The first part simply required a name & email, which after submitting takes you through to a more extensive form made on Typeform. The Typeform consisted of several questions, which then minimised the required communication after they submitted their information.
Most people who completed the first form went on to then complete the 10 question second form.
This reduced mistakes when communicating with clients, ensures they have time invested in my brand, & adds trust as they’ve then interacted with the brand for several minutes.
4. If possible, have multiple contact methods 📞
One of my biggest downfalls is that I’m trying to do XIV in my spare time. Obviously our manufacturing partners are open during normal working hours, but I’m not. Because of this, I can only communicate to clients through email.
This unfortunately results in a few major downsides including missing out on leads which would phone directly. Another downside is I can’t follow up via phonecalls, which is a more direct line than email.
As a result, I’m not closing as many leads as I should be.
5. Focus on nichés or a unique spin on something with massive appeal 🔎
My current marketing strategy is to find overlooked products which get searches each month. This results in reduced cost-per-click with PPC adverts, & a better conversion rate.
Upon first launching I was meant to be working closely with the manufacturer, so I found a few products they could produce which have massive search interest but low advertising costs. I then chose a unique selling point others were overlooking to communicate through the landing pages, & spread my advertising radius as far possible. This then allowed me to generate a large amount of leads for a small budget.