Starting a startup: Learning the skills to run an e-commerce site

We are a lean startup and our business finance has come from our savings.

We’ve spent it all on financial set up, manufacturing of the products and e-commerce set up.

This means we need to fast develop skills to service the business.

Sally Branson Dalwood has put all her savings into her startup the Suite Set. Credit:Eddie Jim

My husband has his own business with his family, so has a good working knowledge of the financial management, and I’ve got a million ideas of where the business should grow each day, but there is so much more to making it happen.

Our product is a series of pre labelled plastic bags.

I’ve got a background in public affairs, politics and deference. I failed chemistry in year nine.

I have never felt that I have a strong scientific mind, but now was my time to learn the details of plastics manufacturing and the make up of plastics.

This took a lot of self learning, extensive research online on sites with rigour and verification and then of asking really simple questions of the suppliers I was trying to work with.

I thought I came into the business with a good base knowledge of things like Google ads and algorithms for social media.

These two topics alone threaten to be overwhelming in their ever changing, goal post shifting glory.

Everywhere I look there seems to be an online course on social media, business launching, how to develop an online course about launching an online business.

They seem to be a dime a dozen, and for some people a set and forget way of making an income.

I’ve really relied on word of mouth, other people’s recommendations and asking trusted online forums for advice on which courses are the best.

It was hard to cut through to find one I felt confident in investing in.

I’m currently doing an eight week online course on Google advertising, in order to develop a good understanding of how we can work to build our business online.

Online advertising will be a significant element for our business, but we decided it would be best to learn the process to be able to manage our online advertising spend rather than paying an administrator at this stage.

I’m only in week one of this course and it has been really interesting and really complex – who knew?

I’ve done a short course on the growing functionality of Pinterest for e-commerce and am slowly implementing strategy here too.

There are so many helpful podcasts on building business skills and I have had to take advice on what are the best to listen to in my 'allocated' podcast time, usually whenever I am by myself,so short car trips,

Sally Branson Dalwood is the founder of The Suite Set.

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