WOW, running your own business really is exhausting! Enjoyable, but exhausting. Especially in the digital world. MBPE Co-Founder Jo Chadwick speaks candidly about the business.
An accidental business such as ours is even tougher some days. Truly, madly and utterly incredible but so tough. With a Facebook Group the size of ours and growing at the rate it is – month in, month out – more and more time is needed to keep the plates spinning and ensure the group remains the positive and inspiring space it has always been. When we’ve tried to take our foot off the moderation pedal we find ourselves flooded with negative comments, self-promotion, and bitchiness. And that is not a group we want to be part of, and (we know for the most part) that’s the same for the rest of the community.
So how do we make ends meet? Well, that’s the question we ask ourselves every month. Truth is, every month we hope that this will be the month we make even a teensy profit. We’re not greedy, but we have kids, mortgages, bills to pay just like anyone else.
But to keep the business exciting and fresh and to keep moving forward, evolving with the times and in line with the needs of our FB community and our shoppers, we need a mountain of time, energy and continued optimism.
We want to add value to our followers every step of the way so we've now introduced Partner Promotions to the FB Group so our community can speak directly to the owners of companies who have products we've tested and feel may suit their needs. We've also introduced Offers to our website where shoppers can head direct to sourced partner sites enjoying an exclusive discount.
We've worked hard to update our website to make the user experience easier. Anyone can shop from the site now, member shopper or not. More love for more people. We've upped the year round Bestie and BFF discount to 15% off, and also added free delivery for orders over £50 for everyone. Our offers page delivers even more savings through our partners.
We're closer than ever to our partner brands, heading to more shows, to meet up with more people in the real world. We're advising our partners on their focus, their branding and packaging, even pricing. We believe that our professional integrity and trust are what makes us different and that's why we collaborate so closely, operating as one team to ensure everyone wins.
With Amazon hanging over us, the daily frustration is that we work 24/7 to facilitate the group, find new brands, negotiate new deals and all the time with excruciatingly small margins. Naturally, many people use the group and head to Amazon to shop. We do the work, Amazon makes the sale. We lose, and importantly in most cases, the product owner loses too as Amazon shrinks the buying price to cost level in many cases. So none of these businesses get to grow. And sadly, many die along the way.
We have to keep moving, for both Justine and I, giving up is not an option. We have to keep competitive, have to keep up the personal service, have to stick to our guns about keeping the FB space a positive one, working with the right brands and partners and keeping our prices reasonable. Hell, it’s tough. But the journey has begun, so watch this space as we start to think about how to best grow the company to stay ahead of the times, and keep delivering what we know our shoppers and community want while also being able to make ends meet.
We’d love to have more of a spotlight on the business, so if you’re an MBPE fan and know any journos who may be interested in hearing our story or product owners that you think fit the bill, please do tell them to get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Over and out for now…