3 Challenges That Come With Running An E-commerce Business

There are challenges that come with running any business, but when it comes to a business that is solely based online, a unique set of challenges arise that have the potential to make or break a business.

I’ve ran my fashion business online for over 4 years now and have recently set up my author website linked to my WordPress blog. Over the years I’ve learnt so much about how to navigate the internet world to showcase my work, however there have been some stressful moments along the way. These are 3 main challenges that come with running an e-commerce business, and solutions on how to avoid them.

1. Website Maintenance

Yes, maintaining your own website can be tedious but it’s the face of your business. It can be difficult to stay on top of all your content depending on what you’re offering and this can be a big hindrance when it comes to representing your business online.

Think about what you like to see when you go on a website. It’s about structure, branding and most importantly, no grammatical errors. Would you want to buy from a company that has multiple errors on their front page? Would you continue to navigate that website after that first impression? As tedious as it may be, making sure your website has a clean personality and presentable finish is how business comes to you.

The best way to ensure that your website is up to scratch is to take your time. There is so much that goes into creating and maintaining a website, even if you’re using website builders such as Shopify, Go Daddy or Wix. Pacing yourself by working on one thing at a time will help you to focus on making sure that particular area is up to scratch before moving on to the next.

There has been times where I’ve let my followers know that my website will be down for maintenance for a few days. This allows me to work on the website with no distractions, and gives me the time to go over it a few times before re-launching back to the public.

Think of your website as the face of your business at all times. Make sure that it’s something that you would like to see if you visited. Be objective and focus on your audience, not how you want your website to look for you.

2. Product Images

Essential! Your product images have to be clear in regards to what you are selling. There are product images that just showcase the product on a clean background and product images that are more captivating and conceptual. Whichever approach you take will need investment.

Many people take short cuts with their product images to avoid spending money on studios, photographers and all the other expenses that come with doing a photoshoot, but this isn’t the way. You need to invest money to make money, and showcasing your products in a professional way will help you make sales.

There are so many freelance photographers out there looking to build their portfolios and would be willing to collaborate for reduced fees or no fees at all. Freelancer platforms such as People Per Hour and social media are the perfect places to source these services.

3. Marketing

Marketing an online business may seem like an easy task since everyone pretty much has access to the internet in one way or another, but this isn’t the case. When it comes to online marketing, targeting your audience is crucial. You want to connect with those that are interested in what your business has to offer, not everyone online.

Social media marketing is a great way to reach many people, but not necessarily the people that are interested in your product. Running a social media ad on Instagram or Facebook for example allows you to target your audiences directly by focusing on age, gender and geographical areas. Not only does this get your ads in front of the right people, but it also builds up your social media profile with potential customers.

For those that want a more affordable approach to marketing, then running giveaways related to your products is another great way to build a buzz. People love free things, and will often promote a giveaway post to be in with a chance to win. Be sure to not offer too much for a giveaway if you’re using your own products. The aim is to build a buzz around your business, not to give away all your goods!

Moving away from social marketing completely; I would suggest trying PR marketing. Now this doesn’t mean contacting influencers you may know and sending out your products for some content. For small businesses, there is a agency that caters to us and they’re called Journolink. You can subscribe and pay monthly to have access to their contacts and press release tools. Sending out samples of your products through an agency such as this not only gives you a professional look, but can also get your product in the right hands where you can actually benefit from the work that you put in.

Running any type of business isn’t easy, and I respect everyone that has taken that step to setting one up and putting their vision out to the world. This is why I write these posts. I want to help all those that are thriving and those that feel like they want to give up because they’ve exhausted every avenue. I know how you feel and I’ve been there at times, but what we need to remember as business owners is that we are critical thinkers. We will always find a way to to make what we’re passionate about work, and even if we can’t, we will change the course of our lives in some way.

Never forget your greatness. Never forget the drive that made you start your business. No one can do what you do like you can, so capitalise on your talents and never give up!

Give me a follow and drop me a message:

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

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T K Williams-Nelson

How Travelling Solo Can Be Healing…

It can be daunting to consider travelling on your own. The trip might be boring or you feel like you might not be comfortable. This is far from the case. Travelling solo is something I encourage everyone to do at least once in their lifetime. Even if it’s just once, it’s a chance to experience something new and look inwards for a change.

When you’re alone abroad it’s impossible to isolate yourself or be anti-social. You need to interact with people daily for various reasons. Maybe to know what sight seeing opportunities are available or to let your accommodation know about any health issues you may have. If you’ve been experiencing a phase of being too introverted, then travelling alone breaks that barrier in an organic way. You will find yourself making new acquaintances that will make your travels worth the money and your time.

The sun does wonders for our mood. You want to enjoy the outdoors and feel free when the sun is shining. I travelled recently to Europe solo and I spent most of my time soaking up the sun and letting my thoughts just flow. I forgot about work and savoured the feeling of the moment in silence. I also had a beautiful environment to think about what moves I wanted to make when I arrived home. When the mind is relaxed and not overwhelmed, the productivity is phenomenal. For those that are working hard and need a new perspective on things, then travelling solo is a must!

Focus on yourself. Focus on your emotions; the thoughts that make you sad and the thoughts that make you happy. When you’re away from your usual fast paced life, it’s easier to deal with things you may have been putting off when it comes to you. Physically, mentally and emotionally, take the time to analyse yourself and see how you can be happier. Even if it’s a minor change, one step to happiness is always a success. The freedom of travelling has the ability to heal wounds and open eyes.

T K Williams-Nelson

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Facebook: T K Williams-Nelson

Online Creative Platforms: Help or Hindrance?

Now that I’ve launched my new website and Time is Money Talk workshops, I’m back to posting and today I’m talking about creative platforms. Particularly, those across social media.

I’m sure we all know a few platforms online that aim to promote creative’s and those are definitely the platformswe need to be thankful for. Being an independent creative isn’t easy but the support that comes from these platforms make all the difference.

I used to attend random events and would ask to feature creative’s, entrepreneurs and pretty much anyone who had an interesting story to tell on my blog and YouTube Channel. It’s always a great feeling knowing that you’re helping to get this person’s story out there, and you get to find out new things too.

My favourite platform right now is @TheCreativesUK on Twitter. They are a platform that really takes pride in showcasing new creative’s to their audience and they’ve done so for me many times. If you’re involved in music, art, or anything that you think the world needs to see, then be sure to give them a follow and connect. They genuinely aim to bridge the gap between people and creativity across all areas.

This isn’t the case with all platforms though. Going back to Twitter, there’s been many platforms that request that creative’s send in their work to be featured. You’ll have conversations and make plans, only to never see them showcase your work. Not only is this a waste of time on both parts, but it can be disheartening. It implies that the platform isn’t interested in your work and made you go through this process for no reason. I’ve experienced with this multiple times. There are platforms that have a case of favouritism going on. They only want to support those that everyone is already supporting at the time.

DON’T be disheartened. The way these platforms respond to you isn’t a reflection of your work. Look at for the platforms that are genuinely supporting a broad range of creative’s and follow them. Network with them and kindly ask if they could feature what you do. If you’ve already seen what they do then they’ll most likely accept.

After a few blunders myself I wanted to give up connecting with platforms to showcase my work, but I can honestly say that connecting with @TheCreativesUK restored my faith in reaching out to different people when I have something I want to share.

I ask, help or hindrance? Only you can decide that, but don’t stop reaching out to new people. You never know who you you might find.

Check out my workshops via the workshop page or: http://www.timeismoneymedia.com/workshops/

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Twitter: @TKWN_world

Start Creating New Streams of Income with my Time is Money Talk Workshops!

Do you want to create a new stream of income? Do you have skills that can be monetized but don’t know where to start? My Time is Money Talk workshops aim to change your perspective of money and how you handle it.

There’s been times where I’ve lived off no more than £200 a month because I’d be dedicating all my financial resources towards my business. This forced me to come up with creative ways to budget and manage my money. I had to create new streams of income so I could not only survive, but keep my business alive.

I recently held a money workshop at the She Created Her Life Retreat and I was surprised at how many people were willing to share their financial concerns with me so openly. Some wanted to know how to handle money in relationships and some wanted to know how they could save more. We talked about maximising financial rewards through Cashback and money management tools that can help you to keep track of your finances better.

I’ll be providing advice on how to start freelancing and making money doing what you love alongside your existing commitments, and how I’ve created streams of income with baking, proofreading and in business. Time is Money Talk is about getting to the root of what’s stopping you from starting that new project or business idea and giving you the tools and information to feel more confident about taking that leap of faith.

Book your place for only £29 per person with refreshments + snacks available throughout the session. I guarantee each and every person will take something away from these workshops that will help them on their journey to financial success.

Book your place on my website now:

http://www.timeismoneymedia.com/workshops/

Can’t wait to meet you!

Time is Money Media is here!

Yes, I’ve made it official. My new business Time is Money Media focuses on business and money management, alongside creative’s and entrepreneurs.

After publishing my last book, Time is Money, I got so much feedback in regards to the way it helped people think about different ways to set up their own projects and businesses for themselves.

I’ve launched my new Time is Money Talk workshops where the aim is to change people’s perspective of money. At times I’ve lived on the bare minimum per month to help push my business, so I know quite a bit when it comes to budgeting and creating new incomes.

Time is Money Media isn’t just about me publishing books. I’ll be doing informative YouTube videos on different business and money management topics such as the best website providers, funding and saving tools. I want people to make the most of their money where they can.

With everyone living such fast paced lifestyles it’s easy to forget about your passions. Time is Money Media aims to provide advice on how you can work on your passions alongside your existing commitments. This could potentially turn into your full-time work.

I’ve developed a new website on WordPress so you can purchase books and book workshops directly + Find more information on my Time is Money journey.

Very excited to start this new chapter and I thank all my followers for supporting me along the way. Hopefully I get to meet some of you in person via my workshops!

Learn How To Say No!

Just say no… but it’s not always that easy is it? No is a difficult word to accept regardless of the situation, but sometimes is necessary.

As someone that runs a business and encounters different people in different scenarios, there have been many times where saying no has made me feel somewhat guilty. I felt as if I’d made the other person feel negative in a way because I’ve rejected their request or offer.

A common example for me when running Unique Boutique London is collaborating with influencers. I’ve had a few bad experiences with influencers in the past and made the decision to not use that form of marketing for my fashion business going ahead. Not to say influencer marketing isn’t great for businesses when it’s done right, but it hasn’t been suitable for mine.

I encounter some amazing influencers online that have great approaches when it comes to doing what they do best, but I’ve had to say no to them. Despite them having nothing to do with my negative experiences with influencers in the past, I had to decline their collaboration offers because I’m focused on other forms of marketing instead. This is when the guilt likes to creep in.

Over time I’ve had to learn that not only in business but in life being able to say no is an essential skill to have. It’s how you say no that matters. I don’t project my negative experiences with past influencers on to new influencers that approach me wanting to work with Unique Boutique London. I decline collaborations in a professional manner and actually thank them for thinking of Unique Boutique London. There’s no need to be rude or malicious when saying no to people, and if you are polite about it, you’ll no longer feel guilty when put in that position.

When it comes to knowing what works for you and what doesn’t, it’s up to you to express that. You shouldn’t feel bad when making decisions about saying no to something that you feel isn’t the best for you. Think about how you would like to be spoken to in a scenario involving rejection in some form and be considerate to others how you would like them to be considerate to you. It all starts with mindfulness.

Approaching difficult situations with this mindset allows you to basically treat people how you would like to be treated when hearing the n word. You understand that you’re doing what you need to do, but you’re also considerate of the other party at the same time. Business, friendships and relationships all come with similar ups and downs, but as you learn from experience, you’ll become more robust to difficult situations like these.

Get in touch:

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Facebook: T K Williams-Nelson

Twitter: @TKWN_World

Are You Losing Yourself To Social Media?

We’re all on one social media platform or another and I’m sure we’ve all had the feeling that we’re on it a bit too much sometimes.

Social media is one of the best tools out there for marketing yourself and what you do, but when it starts to have a negative impact on your mind where do you draw the line?

You might find yourself comparing your lives to what you see in others or accelerating your life because you feel like you’re not doing as much. These thoughts and feelings are more common than you think. I’ve been a creative for 8 years and I’ve always used social media for promotion, however there’s a lot more going on than that. You’re taking in traumatic world news, unhealthy banter and people giving advice on things that they don’t really know much about.

This is where the negative side of social media come in. People feel under pressure and decide to share personal information with the world that backfires and you have hundreds of people being malicious as a result. You think about Instagram models and when you look at your own beauty in the mirror you can’t see it anymore. Your mind has been clouded to see what life should be like not what life is like in reality and you can start feeling alone, depressed and frustrated.

It’s important to have some boundaries when it comes to social media. Learn when to distance yourself and when to utilise it for what you need to do. Train your mind to understand that everyone is going through ups and downs and a lavish life online doesn’t change that. Don’t change who you are to fit in with who everyone else is portraying themselves to be. You are enough.

Social media is a numbers game. The more followers you have the more popular you’ll be. That’s how it goes, but when that popularity turns on you there is little that can be done. You still have to uphold this appearance that you’ve been trying to maintain for so long with the hopes that the issue will blow over and that will be that. The internet is for life. What you say and do online has the possibility to haunt you years down the line and damage your reputation in what you do. Be sure to not let these platforms dictate their own type of behaviour out of you that really isn’t you just to meet the energy of others.

Enjoy social media don’t lose yourself to it. It should be a fun and easy way to stay up to date on things that interest you and engage with genuine people. It shouldn’t be something you have to keep up with to feel normal. Once you realise this, everything else will fall into place, and if you have been feeling low lately, you can now pick yourself up knowing that you really are enough just as you are!

Follow me on socials for more content:

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Twitter: @TKWN_World

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I’d love to connect with you guys so don’t be afraid to get in touch!

Failures Are Sometimes Blessings In Disguise – Embrace Them!

When working towards anything in life there’s always the possibility of making mistakes that can sometimes make you feel like a failure. You feel like you could have done more or you should have done something differently to avoid it. That may well be true, and I’ve had moments where I’ve felt exactly like this along my journey in business and as an author.

What I’ve had to learn to do over time is see what I can take away from the mistakes that I’ve made. A significant example is with the publishing process of my first book, Tales of the Hood. I allowed my publishing company to design the cover art for me instead of sourcing my own. When the book wasn’t put together as planned I decided to pull the book from print and re-publish as an e-book, but I was unable to go ahead with the cover art I had already fallen in love with because they owned the copyright and I was publishing with a new company. At 16 years old I really didn’t want the legal trouble, so in the end I had to get another cover designed and re-published as planned.

Everything worked out in the end, but I was kicking myself over that fact that if I had just sources my owned cover art from the beginning, I could have avoided the short misrepresentation of my debut novel. However, when I reflect on the experience now I realise that no amount of research is enough when it comes to protecting your interests. Going forward, the cover art for my next two books were produced independently which is a step I probably would have taken if I didn’t have that negative experience.

I chose to focus on how I bounced back from the obstacle instead of the obstacle itself. I acknowledge that achievement that I still published my book and people loved it.

Similarly, I’ve had super blunders impact my fashion business too. Many of these were out if my control but at the time I still acted as if there was something I could have done to make the outcome different. When I first set up Unique Boutique London, I had my designs and fabrics ready, and needed a seamstress to bring them to life.

After extensive research I settled with a seamstress that had a proven track record for good service and quality. She created the patterns perfectly and now it was time to create the garments. I’d invested a substantial amount of capital to get my business venture started, but when the time came to view the samples, only three designs out of the collection had come out well. She explained that she had a lot more work on that she could handle unrelated to my own and unfortunately this was the result. I was more than disappointing. Not only had I made a loss on the process, but there was no way I could go ahead with the seamstress and I didn’t have enough capital to start the whole initial process again. I wanted to give up for a time, but then I pushed myself to come up with an idea, and that’s when Urban Underground Streetwear and Gemini Designs Crochet were born.

If I didn’t go through this failure, I never would have decided to learn how to crochet or would have started customising streetwear for my womenswear collections.

Sometimes what feels like a failure at the time is the start of something new and right for you. There’s still times where I make mistakes but the difference is, I’m not hard on myself about them. I’m adaptable and that goes for many of us. We have the ability to work through difficult situations even when we don’t feel to. That’s the passion within creative’s and entrepreneurs. We make things happen!

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Twitter: @Tannika_x

Facebook: @TKWilliams-Nelson

Business and Friendships… Do They Mix?

We’re nearly three months into the year and I’ve got so much new content lined up!

Something that’s always been a hot topic as an independent freelancer or entrepreneur is the topic of business and friendships.

Do you think they go together? Can you still maintain professionalism with your friends?

I must admit I’ve had more bad experiences than good in this department but when it does work well it gives you a really positive feeling.

I started writing my first book at 15 and set up my fashion business whilst at uni at 20 years old. Now that I’m 23, I’ve had time to look back on certain experiences along the way. There’s been times when I’ve turned to friends when running my business and they’ve let me down. I’ve offered to pay friends to be models and they don’t turn up to the photoshoot on the day because they know they can get in contact with me after with an explanation they expect me to accept rather than acknowledging that in business, a little notice goes a long way. I’ve had friends take advantage of my professional nature. For example, once a friend charged me for something she wasn’t asked to do because she knew that as a business owner, I’d rather settle an issue rather than have the negativity spread and impact the reputation of my work. I held an event for my Time is Money Project and had hired a photographer for the day. My friend at the time was working full-time but wanted to try and set up something for herself. She’d asked if she could use my event to practice taking pictures with her friends camera and I was all up for her getting some experience.

The event went ahead and a few days later I started to promote the images. Once they were out she had an issue with how I had posted more of my hires photographers images compared to hers, and then said that I owed her £70 for the work she had done. She’d been there for over 3 hours so she insisted that I be charged.

Instead of parting on bad terms, and having someone spread negativity about my business, I paid her, and actually tried to maintain a friendship after this, but I could never get over such behaviour when it comes to working with others. She continuously had a negative attitude towards clients that were giving her small opportunities knowing she has no real experience in the field and that this should be a learning process for her. The friendship fizzled out soon after.

There are times when you have to rise above disappointing situations to protect the reputation and representation of your business, even if that means finding out friendships a long the way aren’t for you.

On a brighter note, there have been times where working with friends has been a pleasure. My long time graphic designer, Toz Fu and I have been working together for almost four years. It’s our communication and understanding that we both have businesses to maintain that has helped solidify our business relationship but has also allowed us create a strong and supportive.

When I think about doing business with friends now or allowing a business relationship to manifest into a friendship, it’s about being selective. I analyse the situation for what it is not what I want it to be. It can be easy to ignore toxic traits in friends that can be harmful to what you do because of the personal relationship. However, a good friend will understand that you have professional boundaries, and sometimes you’ll need to have difficult conversations related to this if you decide to have a working relationship too.

It’s possible to have great working relationships with friends, but can you separate the two when needed?

Let me know your experiences!

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Twitter: @Tannika_x

Facebook: @TKWilliams-Nelson

New Year But The Same Me! Are You Ready For 2019?

As we approach the start of a new year I’d like to thank everyone for there support for my blog, podcast and books this year. It’s been a year filled with highs and lows but I’m more than ready for 2019!

It’s often challenging being an independent entrepreneur but one thing that makes it easier is staying on top of my money management.

There’s various ways to do this personally, but how do you go about managing your money as a freelancer or independent creative? I talk about my top 3 ways to manage your money which in turn reduces your stress and gives you time to focus on what you love to do.

1. Plan
Don’t underestimate what a clear plan can do for you. Outline all ideas and costs before even thinking about executing your next venture. I often plan projects way in advance to make room for any unexpected financial obstacles that may arise. It’s always good to be prepared and have a back up plan if you don’t have the funds for your initial plan. Having the ability to adapt your ideas to your budget is significant.

2. Maintain Your Records
As a young entrepreneur I know it can get frustrating trying to keep up with all your business purchases, keeping receipts in order and more. This frustration isn’t all bad. It allows you to have a clear view of what you’re investing into your ventures as well as what you’re getting out. This leads on to the next point – having an accountant.

3. Hire An Accountant
Sounds costly right? In reality it’s not so bad. There are various accounting companies out there that are willing to work with freelancers and independent creative’s for a small fee. In addition, there are multiple freelance accountants that can do the job for an even more affordable fee. One thing that is important is that you know that the person you have as you’re accountant knows what your needs are and knows how to do their part effectively.

I’ve been burnt by a freelance accountant before however there have been others that have been spot on. It’s about knowing where to look, and People Per Hour is a great place to start if you’re interested in a freelance accountant.

I talk about various ways that I’ve managed my money in my latest book, but I also had to share how I’ve lost money too, and the mistakes I’ve made that other freelancers and young entrepreneurs can avoid.

Find a money management system that works for you. It’s easy to let things like social media and how others do things influence actions, but all you really need to know are the basics. You build on the basics in a way that is feasible for you.

Time is Money is available to purchase via Amazon, Authorhouse UK and all other online book retailers.

Happy New Year and I’m wishing you all the best with your goals in 2019!

Time is Money https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1524666483/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_6ILkCb8GCB952

Author instagram: @timeismoneyldn