24 Books for SME Entrepreneurs(2023)

Searching for inspiration as you embark on your entrepreneurial journey? Look no further than those who found business success before you. Some of the most influential women leaders have opened their playbooks, offering key learnings and practical advice for those pursuing entrepreneurship.

Many people who have started a successful business don’t have formal education in their field. They have learned by doing or engaging in other forms of self-directed learning. And often, entrepreneurs credit books with giving them the right tools to get their companies off the ground. 

While exploring a variety of books will give you a well-rounded perspective, women entrepreneurs may gravitate toward the unique experiences of other women in business. But this list isn’t just for women. It’s for entrepreneurs of all ilks, and anyone in pursuit of personal growth or starting their own business.

Here, you’ll find everything from beloved bestsellers to new discoveries, recommended by women entrepreneurs for women entrepreneurs (and everyone else).

24 great entrepreneur books

Woman looking pensive sits at a desk in front of an open bookThis list contains a broad spectrum of topics, from management to finances to flexing your creative muscle. The voices represented here also come from a diverse group of influential women entrepreneurs and professionals across a number of industries.

As you start your own business, look to the successful entrepreneurs who’ve come before you. Add these 24 inspiring books—everything from actionable advice to founder stories—to your reading list in 2023.

1. Daring Greatly

Book cover for Brene Brown's Daring GreatlyAuthor: Brené Brown, 2015
Read time: 8 hours

Recommended by: Emma Craig, Senior Research Manager, Miro

Emma says: “Brené Brown describes herself as a researcher and storyteller, and in Daring Greatly she sets out to demystify vulnerability through both fact and story. Brown urges us to embrace and be comfortable with vulnerability—a state of being we often shy away from or perceive as weak.

Portrait of author Brene Brown
Author Brené Brown

“Brown defines vulnerability as ‘uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.’ These are three elements that every entrepreneur is likely to encounter almost daily, and if the approach is to resist vulnerability, it will only persist. This book is an excellent resource for familiarizing yourself with the emotions associated with vulnerability, and becoming comfortable with the underlying vulnerability in most emotions and actions. Ultimately, through embracing vulnerability and imperfection, readers have the opportunity to become more courageous and engage in greater work.” 

2. When Women Lead

Book cover for Julia Boorstin's When Women LeadAuthor: Julia Boorstin, 2022
Read time: 12 hours

Recommended by: Shopify

Synopsis: This book combines new research and interviews with over 60 female entrepreneurs, CEOs, and leaders. Explore topics like vulnerability, divergent thinking, and leadership tactics. Learn from the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Whitney Wolfe Herd in this practical guide to the future of business. Powerful women entrepreneurs share their secrets to help you build confidence for starting your first business. 

3. Worry-Free Money

Book cover for Shannon Lee Simmons' book Worry Free MoneyAuthor: Shannon Lee Simmons, 2017
Read time: 6 hours

Recommended by: Desirae Odjick, Product Marketing Lead, Shopify

Desirae says: “It’s always important to understand your money situation—where it’s going, how much you’re making, and how much you can spend guilt-free—but it’s even more important as an entrepreneur. You’re managing business finances and personal finances, and Shannon’s book makes the latter simple, easy, and totally stress-free. Understanding your money is a hugely powerful thing for anyone to do, and will be one less thing you’ll have on your to-do list after reading this book!”

4. Grit

Book cover for Angela Duckworth's GritAuthor: Angela Duckworth, 2016
Read time: 9 hours

Recommended by: Casandra Campbell, Senior Experimentation & Analysis Lead, Shopify

Author Angela Duckworth
Author Angela Duckworth. TED Talks

Casandra says: “I have long believed that consistent effort is the key to entrepreneurial success. The people who ‘make it’ don’t always have the best ideas or the most resources. Instead, they keep working and making incremental improvements day after day—no matter what gets thrown at them. This is what Grit is all about. Angela Duckworth uses new research to explain why perseverance and focused learning are the keys to accomplishing greatness in any field. She doesn’t just explain why this is true, she also teaches readers how they can cultivate more grit in themselves and the people around them.”

5. The Year of Less

Book cover for The Year of LessAuthor: Cait Flanders, 2018
Read time: 3 hours

Recommended by: Lindsey Peacock, Senior Editor, Zapier

Lindsey says: “I’ve followed Cait’s blog for more than half a decade, and even though I know her story well, her debut book offers even deeper insights. While it’s a quick read, the book deftly tackles the topics of personal finance and minimalism. Through her own journey, including paying down almost $30,000 in debt and a self-imposed shopping ban, Cait demonstrates that owning less really can mean more. Once you’ve cleared out all the physical and mental clutter, it’s far easier to follow your deepest passions.”

6. The Creative Habit

Book cover for Twyla Tharp's The Creative HabitAuthor: Twyla Tharp, 2006
Read time: 9 hours

Recommended by: Alexandra Middleton, Senior Creative Producer, Shopify

Alexandra says: “Writer’s block, stuck in a rut, creative dead end, a business lull—whatever you call it, we all have those moments where we’re trying to do something and feel like we can’t produce anything even remotely good. And Twyla Tharp is no stranger to this. That’s why, over her lifetime, she’s developed ways to face and conquer the resistance we face in these moments. I’ve adopted a lot of her techniques into my own creative process, and like a dancer building a muscle, it will continue to strengthen.”

7. Power

Author: Kemi Nekvapil, 2022
Read time: 6 hours

Recommended by: Daisy Parker, Account Integrity Specialist, Shopify

Daisy says: “This is an amazing read for women. Though not specifically related to entrepreneurship, it’s all about finding your power and the confidence to do amazing things. I learned heaps from this book.”

8. The 4% Fix

Book cover art for The 4% FixAuthor: Karma Brown, 2020
Read time: 5 hours

Recommended by: Shuang Esther Shan, Senior Producer, Shopify Masters Podcast

Shuang says: “This book is a great tool to get you in the right routine and dedicate time each day to your goals. There are heartfelt anecdotes and tactical exercises to help you craft an ideal plan for time management and habit forming.”

9. The Sleep Revolution

Book cover art for The Sleep Revolution by Arianna HuffingtonAuthor: Arianna Huffington, 2016
Read time: 9 hours

Recommended by: Solmaz Shahalizadeh Kalkhoran, Founding Partner, Backbone Angels

Solmaz says: “I really like the fact that the book removes the glorification of all-nighters and burnout as signs of success, and talks about the science of sleep and its necessity. My takeaway from the book is to pay more attention to getting enough sleep, rather than cutting it out when I’m short on time.”

10. Tender at the Bone

Book cover art for Tender at the BoneAuthor: Ruth Reichl, 2010
Read time: 6 hours

Recommended by: Mary-Rose Sutton, Founder & Ecommerce Growth Consultant

Mary-Rose says: “The unfortunate thing about the word ‘entrepreneurship’ is that it is so closely associated with the drive for financial success. What is often overlooked when it comes to entrepreneurship—and what Ruth Reichl proves to be the most important ingredient in her memoir Tender at the Bone—is passion. 

“Before she was a New York Times restaurant critic and editor-in-chief at Gourmet magazine, Ruth found a passion for food and the culinary industry. In particular, the role of women in restaurants dominated by male personalities was a problem she was passionate about overturning. Tender at the Bone proves that professional success can come from affection for your craft.”

11. The Making of a Manager

Book cover art for The Making of a Manager by Julie ZhouAuthor: Julie Zhuo, 2019
Read time: 7 hours

Recommended by: Shopify

Synopsis: Silicon Valley design executive and writer Julie Zhao combines her years of experience into a field guide for confidently leading teams. This book is a must read for women leaders in any field and entrepreneurs at the cusp of scaling their businesses. Learn how to hire well, build a great culture, and give meaningful feedback.

12. Extreme You

Book cover art for Extreme YouAuthor: Sarah Robb O’Hagan, 2017
Read time: 9 hours

Recommended by: Amanda Cruz-Lombraña, SEO Lead, Shopify

Amanda says: “Extreme You is a brutally honest take on navigating your career with curiosity and tenacity. Entrepreneurs can find wisdom in the sections ‘Igniting Your Magic Drive’ (taking chances with confidence) and ‘Pain Training’ (learning how to handle failures as they come).”

13. Unfinished Business

Book cover art for Unfinished BusinessAuthor: Anne-Marie Slaughter, 2015
Read time: 9 hours

Recommended by: Jenn Daly, Head of Marketing, Levr

Jenn says: “If you don’t know Anne-Marie Slaughter, now is a great time to get to know this remarkable woman. In her career, she’s held many notable positions, such as first female dean at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. In her book, Slaughter rationalizes that making changes to the workplace and government policy will benefit everyone.

“As more women open Shopify stores, they are creating for themselves more flexible work the way Slaughter did when returning to teaching. I believe hearing the strong fight Slaughter has taken on to make cultural changes above the Lean In movement is truly inspiring.”

14. The Art of Asking

Book cover art for The Art of AskingAuthor: Amanda Palmer, 2015
Read time: 11 hours

Recommended by: Cassie Slack, Independent Artist and Designer

Cassie says: “The Art of Asking is a deeply personal, funny, and helpful book. From feeling like a fraud to asking to get paid or for a couch to sleep on, this book is full of useful stories.”

15. In the Company of Women

Book cover art for In The Company of WomenAuthor: Grace Bonney, 2016
Read time: 7 hours

Recommended by: Katie Hudson, Product Operations Lead, PandaDoc

Author Grace Bonney
Author Grace Bonney

Katie says: “‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ is written in the introduction of this book, noting that visibility is one of the most powerful tools to inspire people to pursue their dreams. This book does exactly that: It shares and highlights inspiring advice, quotes, and life stories of women from a variety of careers, backgrounds, places, and races. The book asks each of them a variety of questions, from what they wanted to be as a child to the best piece of business advice they were given when they started out, and sharing their personal/professional motto. 

“This book is a breath of fresh air, and truly an inspiring read. If you’re looking to gain different perspectives, or just soak up some serious inspiration, then you should definitely check it out.”

16. You Can Heal Your Life

Book cover art for You Can Heal Your LifeAuthor: Louise Hay, 1984
Read time: 5 hours

Recommended by: Jenny Izaguirre, Regional Director, Optibus

Jenny says: “You Can Heal Your Life is about understanding your thought process and how your thoughts can make you sick, depressed, and miserable. It shows you the path to self-reconciliation and how to have positive thoughts that later transform into achievements in all aspects of life.”

17. Take Pride

Book cover art for Take PrideAuthor: Jessica Tracy, 2015
Read time: 7 hours

Recommended by: Danielle Fortin, Senior Operations Lead, Shopify

Danielle says: “Take Pride by Jessica Tracy, a professor at the University of British Columbia, is all about pride and how important it is to find things that we take pride in. It also explains how to harness that feeling to achieve success. I’m sure many business owners would relate to it.”

18. Invisible Women

Cover art for book Invisible WomenAuthor: Caroline Criado Perez, 2021
Read time: 9 hours

Recommended by: Shopify

Author Caroline Criado Perez
Author Caroline Criado Perez

Synopsis: Invisible Women uses data to explore how women are often ignored in a world built for men. Caroline Criado Perezweaves case studies, research, and stories into an in-depth look at how the gender data gap impacts women. In this book she makes a case for change, offering steps that can be taken by governments and industries.

19. Big Magic

Book cover for Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert, 2016
Read time: 5 hours

Recommended by: Dayna Winter, Lead Writer, Shopify

Dayna says: “What struck me about this book was that it threw out a lot of popular ideas about chasing creative dreams. Elizabeth Gilbert, best known for her novel Eat Pray Love, is candid about her distaste for the blind pursuit of passion. ‘Don’t quit your day job [yet]’ is a consistent message. She suggests that the pressure to provide (as in paying your bills) can kill your creativity. 

“I resonated with her notion that creative ideas have their own life force—that they are things to be nurtured, lest they pack their bags and find a more attentive host. Big Magic reads along in a series of anecdotes including her personal story on the bumpy path to literary success, and the lessons she distills are relevant to women entrepreneurs, artists, and creators in any field.”

20. Worth It

Book cover for Worth ItAuthor: Amanda Steinberg, 2017
Read time: 3 hours

Recommended by: Kristina Balaam, Senior Threat Researcher, Lookout

Kristina says: “As much as we may not like to admit it, money does play a large part in our entrepreneurial and professional successes. A former software developer turned entrepreneur, Amanda Steinberg now runs a financial media platform with over one million subscribers. In her book, she outlines essential financial information and provides tough love advice on taking the necessary steps to ensure a bright financial future.”

21. You Are a Badass at Making Money

Book cover for You Are a BadassAuthor: Jen Sincero, 2017
Read time: 4 hours

Recommended by: Gwen Aussem, Online Course Producer and Instructional Designer

Gwen says: “It’s time to accept the truth: You are a badass at making money. If you’ve somehow forgotten this, or simply never received the memo, it’s officially time to pick up Jen Sincero’s book and learn how to earn what you want and/or charge what you want from your products and services.”

22. Rest is Resistance

Author: Tricia Hersey, 2022
Read time: 5 hours

Recommended by: Shopify

Author Tricia Hersey
Author Tricia Hersey

Synopsis: From performance artist, activist, poet, and founder of The Nap Ministry Tricia Hersey comes a guide to rejecting hustle culture as the only path to success. Hersey asks readers to connect with the power of rest as a way to push against capitalism and white supremacy. Rest Is Resistance contains practical advice for entrepreneurs to reframe their relationship with rest and examines the reasons why we are overworked and sleep deprived.

23. What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend

Book cover for What the Most Successful People Do Author: Laura Vanderkam, 2012
Read time: 1 hour

Recommended by: Liz Couto, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Unity Technologies

Liz says: “Being a person who hates wasting time, I’ve always felt conflicted about weekends. Should I use that time for side projects and courses, or is it best to book sofa and TV time to help recharge for the week ahead? In reading this book, I finally got the answers I needed. It was great to learn about how accomplished individuals plan for these precious two days, and the impact that taking the time to (wisely) plan your weekends has on happiness.”

24. How to Change

Book cover art for How to ChangeAuthor: Katy Milkman, 2021
Read time: 6 hours

Recommended by: Shopify

Synopsis: Katy Milkman is a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and co-founder of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative. Her research explores insights from economics and psychology and how they can be used to change behaviors. Katy’s book, How to Change, is a step-by-step guide with strategic methods for making change in your own life. Aspiring women entrepreneurs will find this book helpful as they go through one of the biggest changes of their lives—making the leap from corporate life to self-employment. 

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

The article reference: https://www.shopify.com/uk/blog/211226825-18-entrepreneur-books-by-women

6 Bad Post-Purchase Experiences SMEs Should Avoid

The 6 Bad Post-purchase Experiences in Question

1. Recommending irrelevant or inappropriate products to customers as a cross-sell or upsell strategy

2. Not allowing customers to easily manage their subscriptions

3. Not making customers aware of their loyalty status and point expiration

4. Not recognizing loyalty members at critical moments

5. Sending inappropriate messages post-customer review

6. Only sending messages related to sales and promos

As a customer, you know when you’ve had an iffy interaction with a brand. It often feels like the brand doesn’t know you, or worse, they don’t care if they don’t know you. These bad experiences feel impersonal, cringey, and frustrating. And, unfortunately, your brand might still be creating them for your customers.

As brands fight tooth and nail to stay competitive in today’s cutthroat market, they’re overlooking their knowledge gaps on customers, causing critical blindspots on their end. In fact, 1 in 3 shoppers will stop doing business with a brand they love after a single bad experience.

Brands aren’t:

  • Recognizing customer behavior
  • Sending timely, relevant messages and reminders
  • Personalizing when it matters most

How do we know? We asked customers and eCommerce experts at Ascendant Loyalty, Loop Returns, Re:amaze, and Tomorrow directly. In our recent State of Customer Loyalty & Retention Survey, customers aired their grievances on their post-purchase problems. Today’s consumer is drawing the line on irrelevance, generalized experiences, and too many impersonal messages. And churn is only the beginning of unhappy customers’ actions.

When customers have a bad post-purchase, they will stop doing business with your brand and:

  • 51% will tell their friends
  • 40% will unsubscribe from all brand communications: email, SMS, etc.
  • 34% will write negative reviews

So, what do these bad post-purchase experiences look like?

The 6 bad post-purchase experiences in question

According to customers and eCommerce experts, here are the post-purchase experiences to avoid. How does your brand stack up?

1. Recommending irrelevant or inappropriate products to customers as a cross-sell or upsell strategy

When recommending a product to customers, it has to be relevant. All too often, brands are unable to access a 360-degree view of their customers, making it difficult to offer customers recommendations that resonate. Brands are sending product recommendations that don’t feel natural, and in effect, making shoppers feel like cash cows rather than valued customers. “Personalized recommendations can make your shoppers feel seen, appreciated, and well taken care of—and can help drive your sales. Recommending the wrong product can feel like more than just a misstep, as shoppers might feel overlooked or not appreciated,” says JP Arnaud-Marquez, Manager of Content Marketing at Loop Returns.

The solution:

Ditch dissonance within the shopper experience. With the right AI engine, you can leverage real customer data like past customer reviews, general sentiment, loyalty program status, past engagements, and more to create predictive campaigns that convert.

AI-powered product recommendations can radically reshape how your customers shop and how you target them. Similar to Netflix’s “Top Picks” or Amazon’s “Based on items you viewed” category, enhanced cross-sell flows use built-in AI algorithms to recommend products shoppers are most likely to buy next. By using these highly relevant suggestions, you can effectively bring customers back to your store.

“Be sure to make cross-sell recommendations based on returns data or other reliable shopper data in addition to relying on AI predictions. By cross-checking both sets of data before recommending products to your shoppers, you’ll make a stronger impression and drive your customers to want to shop with you again,” says Arnaud-Marquez.

2. Not allowing customers to easily manage their subscriptions

Customers easily get fatigued with subscriptions purchases if they have no flexibility or control over their accounts. A subscriber should be able to manage their product choice, purchase frequency, and renewals without any hassle. Otherwise, brands are putting themselves at risk for cancellations, and ultimately, losing out on CLTV. Can you imagine how irked you’d feel if you couldn’t adjust your subscription in just a few clicks?

The solution:

Make subscription management customer-led and easily accessible. Send subscribers management notifications via text, especially when renewal periods are approaching. With their mobile device, a customer can seamlessly update their subscription preferences. In that same vein, keep subscribers happy with an easy-to-use customer portal and a passwordless login that allows them to manage their subscriptions in minutes.

3. Not making customers aware of their loyalty status and point expiration

Picture this: A customer has earned 500 points on their recent purchase with your brand, but she wasn’t told about her point balance…or her point expiration date. Without proper updates, customers can’t reap the rewards of their loyalty membership — a major reason many customers do business with a brand. When asked what would make them continue to purchase from a brand, 53.8% of global customers said a loyalty program.

Not only does the brand lose out on a repeat purchase but also loses a high-value shopper. According to Accenture research, 57% of consumers spend more on brands to which they are loyal.

The solution:

Brands need to regularly notify their loyalty members of critical updates on their account status, like point expiration and VIP tier change. The most intuitive channels for updates are SMS and email.

“The top complaint from loyalty members? You know me and you aren’t showing me that you know me. The failure of programs to not support in-depth analytics coupled with strategic insight to then inform true personalization is shocking,” says David Slavick, Co-Founder & Partner at Ascendant Loyalty.

Over 55% of consumers say they prefer SMS to other marketing channels because it’s immediate, convenient, and allows them to quickly get updates, making their phones the perfect place to contact them with time-sensitive information like an upcoming point expiration. Let your customers know how many points they have and create a sense of urgency by sharing the exact date of expiration to encourage them to act fast.

4. Not recognizing loyalty members at critical moments

Whether you’re promoting an exclusive product drop or responding to a customer complaint, your loyalty members’ VIP status deserves recognition. “Failing to recognize a customer’s loyalty status in your communications, especially when there is an issue, tells them their loyalty isn’t valued and gives them little reason to continue to be a customer,” says Aniza Valenzuela, Marketing Manager at Re:amaze.

These are your highest-value shoppers. Treat them accordingly.

The solution:

Ensure you’re communications are backed by holistic customer profiles. Disparate customer data only creates disparate customer experiences. This is especially true when sharing customer data within your customer service solution.

By connecting loyalty experiences and customer help desk solutions, you can:

  • Act on customer data quickly
  • Treat shoppers as a person rather than a segment
  • Maintain an on-brand, hyper-personalized experience throughout customers’ shopping experience

“Brands should take every opportunity to show their appreciation by offering customers special discounts, referral codes, early access to sales or new product launches, or simply acknowledging their ongoing support of your business during conversations,” says Valenzuela.

5. Sending inappropriate messages post-customer review

Additionally, brands aren’t realizing they’re sending unseemly messages to their shoppers. Gasp! If a customer just left a 1-star review and complains about a brand’s product quality, they don’t want to be sent a promotional email about that same product. How obtuse!

However, these inappropriate messages can also impact happy customers. For example, if a customer left a positive review, brands should reach out accordingly. A customer who recently left a 5-star review is a prime candidate for a loyalty program or subscriptions program invitation. Or, you can reach out and offer the customer perks in exchange for a referral.

The solution:

Data siloes are so last year. Brands must see their customers from every direction, on every channel. Your SMS marketing communication must speak to your loyalty program which then informs your customer service solution. Your tech stack has to work in harmony in order to create customer experiences that resonate.

6. Only sending messages related to sales and promos

“Constantly bombarding customers with sales and promotional messages can lead to message fatigue, decreased engagement, and reduced loyalty,” says Jennifer Karlson, Strategy Director at Tomorrow. With price sensitivity on the rise, it’s easy to only engage customers about ongoing sales. “But, “relying on sales and promotions to drive customer engagement can attract customers who are only motivated by discounts,” adds Karlson.

The solution:

Give shoppers the information they want, backed by their interests, product preferences, and holistic customer profiles. When asked how they’d like a brand to engage between purchases, customers answered as follows:

  • Sales and discount information: 57.5% of respondents
  • Reward status updates: 45% of respondents
  • New product launch information: 35% of respondents
  • Product recommendations: 33% of respondents

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

Reference:  https://www.yotpo.com/blog/bad-post-purchase-experiences-to-avoid/

Starting a New Business ― 3 Ugly Emotional Costs Know Before

Starting your own business means that there are a lot of costs involved. Employee costs, the cost of funding (capital), the cost of marketing, and the cost of monthly expenses. But why do we never discuss the biggest and perhaps most crucial cost – the emotional cost of starting your own business?

Imagine if we could express how much “emotional capital” we have in the bank in numerical terms. The amount of endurance, the amount of positivity, the amount of joy, the amount of physical wellness we have left. New entrepreneurs and startups run out of financial and emotional capital when starting a new business. Starting your own business may sound fun and easy, but it does take its toll on you.

Considering Start Your Own Business? Let’s be honest for a minute.

The problem is that we don’t discuss how we run out of emotional capital. It is a taboo topic in a world where every second Instagram or LinkedIn post shows a successful entrepreneur (or so it seems). It is easier to hide this “empty emotional bank account” from the world. Failure is arguably our biggest fear. In a world where success (real or not) is thrown in our faces on social media and television, why would we want to share our failures?

Business failure is no joke.

The areas in which we feel real pain can be summarised as follow:

1. To Start Your Own Business: The Cost of being Numero Uno, Really Alone.

If you worked for a boss in the past, you had three things that you probably took for granted – a guaranteed salary, peers and co-workers. You arrived in the office every day, mingled with people, were introduced to countless more people, enjoyed lunch and happy hours, complained about your boss, and most of the time enjoyed being able to sympathise with co-workers that are in the same situation as you.

Being a startup’s founder is like being the new neighbour on the block, yet no one ever comes knocking on your door with freshly baked cookies. It is a genuinely lonely feeling. No longer do you have peers or co-workers. And now, you are the boss, and you can’t complain about the boss anymore. Staff meetings are primarily between you, yourself and the voices in your head.

And when you manage to go home, after endless hours of burning the midnight oil, things don’t get any better. Your better half may not fully understand the battle you are going through. Likewise, your family and friends still can’t understand why you left a stable job, gave up a career and are heading down this path of being a lone wolf entrepreneur.

If you are honest with yourself, the chances are that the emotional cost of being an entrepreneur (alone) will or has already taken its toll on most of your relationships. To start your own business means you’ll make mistakes.

2. To Start Your Own Business: The Cost of Playing the Long Game. Waiting. More Waiting. And Yet More Waiting.

When you started this dream business, it felt amazing. You were full of energy, having almost found that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. You are free. You are your boss. You can do what you want. The money will roll in!

Every task you completed felt like significant progress – “Yay! I registered a website domain! Whoopee, my website is up and running. Hooray, I got my first call”.

These first wins came quickly, and you were on cloud nine! But then this period wore off. These weren’t a bunch of wins day in and day out. It is a bunch of waiting for wins and praying for wins. That little devil on your shoulder is telling you that you can’t be sure there will be more wins. That first client that signed with you was excellent, but it took a while for that second client to sign up. And where in the world will you find the third?

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months and months into quarters, and still, every morning, you wake up believing that the breakthrough, that real victory is just around the corner. And apart from your empty bank account, your emotional account is nearing zero. Never in a million years would you have thought how absurdly long this journey would take.

You probably knew that starting a new business would be fast-paced, but no one ever told you that fast-paced wasn’t synonymous with rapid growth and quick gains. Fast-paced was another term for constant late nights and a truckload of work. Your expectations were probably wrongly set to start with. It doesn’t take five months to reach success. It takes years, if not decades, to grow a business. Be honest with yourself. Are you in it for the short-haul or the long game? Perhaps it is time to realign your expectations with reality and facts.

3. To Start Your Own Business: Middle of the Month Salticrax. Going Broke and its True Cost.

Playing the long game will require emotional stamina that you may be able to gather, but you may not be able to have control over the financial stamina. So when the clouds disappear and that cloud nine feeling wears off, you sit at 1 a.m. with three browser tabs open. One highlights your bank account balance which is freefalling to zero. The second is your credit card balance which is nearing its limit. And the third shows full-time positions advertised on LinkedIn, inviting you to return to the corporate world.

You’re past the point of convincing your better half or family members from whom you borrowed money that “we’re investing in the future!” and onto the point of “I have no idea how we are going to keep the lights on soon”. Although, you don’t have to answer that question as Eskom will answer it for you with its regular load shedding.

What exacerbates this emotional cost is that it never seems like anyone else is facing the same problem. I find it laughable and sad at the same time that there are entrepreneurs out there that portray a picture to the world that it is easy to get rich (e.g. posts of a new entrepreneur standing next to a new Range Rover saying that I have finally made it). In my opinion, if you started the business to get rich, you should probably close your doors right away. That should never be your goal.

It would help if you considered your business (startup) as a means to an end. The eventual end is a startup that will one day leave a small legacy you can be proud of with enough food on the table, but the means right now are doing anything to keep the lights on until that day comes. Sometimes that means another part-time job. Other times that means living below your means.

To Start Your Own Business: Why Don’t We Get Real?

We need to stop pretending we are superheroes that can build a new business from nothing with no real serious toll along the way. Relationships perfect. Finances amazing. Stress levels are low.

Success doesn’t come for free. It wasn’t easy. Whatever you think of the person/people you aspire to be, the chances are that they spent 100x more in emotional capital than the risk they took in funding the business with personal capital.

Just take this to consideration before ready to start your own business is essential for every one.

Hope your business trip colorful!

Wrapping Up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

The article partly sources from: https://jtbconsulting.co.za/starting-your-own-business-3-emotional-costs/

6 common e-Commerce mistakes that SMEs make

With e-Commerce adoption accelerated by three-to five years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is perhaps understandable that small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have found themselves online out of necessity. But now, small businesses that rushed online should take a moment to catch their breath and tweak their online presence to deliver better results.

To help entrepreneurs who want to iron out the creases in their online presence, Joshua Shimkin of Peach Payments highlights these six common mistakes SMEs tend to make online, and how to solve them.

► Social media profiles, but no website

Social media is an easy way for many SMEs to get in touch with their customers and sell to them. Most social media platforms – including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest – also offer some way of accepting payments.

“But if there is no website that customers can refer to when they’re looking for your business, they’re just as likely to buy from your competitor’s Instagram profile, which has an accompanying website to support their online presence, where they can see shipping policies and refund/return policies. Customers are still more used to finding those key signals of trust on websites,” Shimkin warns.

Instead, spend time putting together a basic website on Wix, WordPress or Shopify, and then link to it from all your company’s social media profiles.

► All the socials – and all outdated

“Don’t think it’s essential to be on every single social media platform out there,” Shimkin says. He believes it is much more important to have one or two active and fun social media profiles, than to have outdated and boring content associated with your business spread across ten different social media platforms.

“Choose the social media platforms you focus on based on what you know about each platform’s users,” he advises. For instance, if you have gorgeous pics of the homemade food you deliver, Instagram and Pinterest are likely to be more useful for your business than a more staid LinkedIn post. Add a quick video and you also have content for TikTok and Instagram. Remember to include links to your profiles on your website, and deactivate all old profiles on social media platforms you decide don’t work for your business.

“That way people won’t see old content, and wonder if you’re still in business,” Shimkin says.

► An outdated and clunky website

Once your website is up, it’s important to keep it updated with new blog posts, new products, and updated payments technology. This is what will make people come back, looking for your products and services.

Use the free templates in popular website builders like Wix, WordPress or Shopify to ensure your website is mobile-friendly, because it’s non-negotiable in 2022. And it is particularly important in Africa, where mobile is the most popular way for people to access e-Commerce.

“You don’t necessarily need to spend money on developing an app, but you do need to make sure your website is easy to read on a mobile screen,” Shimkin advises.

Also make sure you have an easy, reassuring checkout process with multiple payment options (credit and debit cards, QR codes and instant EFTs) so that customers have a number of ways to pay securely.

► Ignoring local SEO

You may not be interested in landing on the first page of global search engines, but you should make sure that your business website hits the first page on any “near me” searches on Google,” Shimkin says.

This local search engine optimisation (SEO) can make or break your bricks-and-mortar business, particularly if your business is the type that only services your local neighbourhood or city, and not the whole country – like a local restaurant that offers online ordering. It is also important if you’re an online business that isn’t yet ready to start shipping internationally.

Two of the easiest ways to improve your local SEO results are to embed a Google Map in your Contact Us page and to verify your Google My Business page. Also include these details on all your social media profiles as well, so your website becomes the hub for all your marketing activities, such as newsletters and special offers.

► Not remarketing to your online customers

Take time to learn about and use the remarketing tools that come with all e-commerce website builders to your advantage. They will help you to better understand who your online customers are, where they’re based and how many people come to your website but don’t buy anything. It will also give you insight into how long they spend on your site, where they are getting stuck on your site, and which type of device (mobile or desktop) they are using – all useful to help you tailor your offering.

Google Analytics is a free and powerful tool to help you understand who your clients are – and not just who you dream or hope they are. That will help you serve their needs better. Shopify, Wix and WordPress all have easy integrations that incorporate Google Analytics seamlessly.

► Be meticulous about checking your pricing

Online mistakes can cost you – but none more than making a blunder like uploading a new product and leaving its pricing at R0 or R10 000, when it should be R100! This is something that happens surprisingly often and can be prevented with a quick double-check before making any product live.

“It may seem daunting, but it is pretty easy to fix minor mistakes that you may have made while rushing to get online. The difference it will make to your online business is likely to show very quickly,” Shimkin concludes.

Wrapping up:

We at ShopShipShake have been working with businesses like yours with fulfilling experiences. We offer one-stop services, including an efficient supply chain, over 10 thousand of China’s suppliers, over 1,000,000 SKU and more. With a successful track record of over 100,000 clients, we are sure to deliver your orders requirements.

Let’s get in touch to build, sustain, and grow your businesses! If you would like to know more details about us, please contact us:  blog.shopshipshake.com. If you are interested in cooperating with us. Please register on: https://shop.shopshipshake.com/shop/register/business

This article partly refers to: https://bizmag.co.za/6-common-e-commerce-mistakes-that-smes-make/