Small Business Interview with Hostile BaconJanuary 19th, 2012 | Featured,Interviews,KikScore & KikReport,Online & Small Business Resources,Small Business,Small Business Tips,Uncategorized | No Comments »
I had the opportunity to interview Miss Ren & Pete who operate an up and coming Shopify store named Hostile Bacon this week. They had some very interesting lessons learned from their experience starting their business and how they have evolved their use of social media to help market their business over time. Please check out the interview below and let us know your thoughts in the comments as well.
Tell us about your business and who you focus on serving?
Hostile Bacon is an online store that provides a variety of products that are unique or quirky in nature. These are lifestyle and fashion items that you typically wouldn’t find at the local shops, some items are handmade by local designers, others are sourced from overseas and closer to home. We also provide random yet interesting information through Ren St blog and our social media channels.
Our focus is to serve anyone who likes things that are a little bit different, a shopper who is looking for a gift for themselves or someone else. If you’re nostalgic, whimsical, fashionable, health conscious, practical or all of the mentioned, Hostile Bacon is for you.
How did you get started selling online?
www.hostilebacon.com.au came about by necessity. I’ve been designing and making things since I first stepped foot in a home economics class room many years ago. At the start I was making things for myself and then friends and family started putting in orders and then eventually friends of friends were buying my designs, by this stage online was the best medium to have as a shop front and I also started sourcing products to provide a larger variety.
What inspires you to grow your business?
I really enjoy sourcing new products, coming up with new ideas, researching and writing my blog and seeing what so many talented designers are producing. I’m also inspired by the fact that we provide a good shopping experience for our customers. Shopping should be an activity that is pleasurable and easy.
If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?
Lesson number 1 would be to invest in a reputable, secure hosting company, to keep your site operating securely.
Lesson number 2 is to remember that little things make a big difference. Wrapping an item, replying to a post or comment, these things and more, create a good experience for shoppers and potential customers.
Where has your business focused most of its energy this year?
This year we’ve focused on sourcing new and interesting products and optimizing the website to attract and maintain customers. We want to be found easily and for our customers to come back repeatedly and to do this we have to offer something new regularly and provide a reason to come back to the site.
What do you see as 2 new trends in for small business and in your business?
I believe more small businesses will use social media to engage rather than push products. We’ve built social media into our marketing plan as a majority of our target market are social media savvy.
A user friendly website that is clean and easy to navigate is becoming more favoured, long gone are the days of clunky websites with neon flashing banners and an encyclopedias worth of information. We regularly make changes to the site to ensure those that do visit have a good experience and stay longer.
If your business/store could be any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?
I would choose the character Holly Golightly played by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s as she is synonymous with style, glamour and eccentricity.
If your business could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?
Fonzie would the our dream spokesperson, he was cool in 1974 and 38 years later he is still cool.
What is the biggest challenge that your business faces as a small business and how do you work to overcome that challenge?
A big challenge is competing with large companies with even larger marketing budgets. To overcome this we will continue with traditional marketing activity and provide our customers with a great experience so they ‘market’ us to friends and family.
Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?
You are the expert in what you do so rely on experts to perform tasks in other areas to help you with your business, things that may not be your strengths. It’s very easy to become bombarded with tasks in running a business and sometime it would be a much more effective use or your time and resources to utilise someone else’s skill set and lastly, enjoy what you do. I’m always smiling when I talk about Hostile Bacon because I enjoy it so much.