When Jane Cay left regional Australia to attend university in Sydney, she thought she’d never look back. But after falling in love with a farmer, she found herself living in a small, regional town once again. Knowing she wouldn’t quite ‘cut it’ working on the farm, Jane decided to buy an existing retail business in the town’s centre. At the time of purchase, the business was a combination of saddlery, women’s fashion and Akubra hats – a varied mix of products with no defined target market.
Armed with her background in marketing and business, Jane knew that in order to succeed, she’d have to define her customer base and work out whose problem she was solving. From this small beginning, Jane has now expanded her business into a national fashion brand, reaching customers all over Australia through her online store at www.birdsnest.com.au.
Today, Birdsnest is a fast growing top 20 Australian apparel site with 300+ fashion brands. Online shoppers can shop by body shape, personality, occasion and find 1000+ professionally styled outfits.
Here are some of Jane’s best tips for running a successful online business:
- Define your target market early and focus on serving only them.
- Work out whose problem you’re solving, and how your business can help them.
- Have a unique selling point. For example, a quirky brand, or eco-friendly products.
- If your business also has a store, make sure your online service is consistent with your in-store service.
Want to know more? Jane’s story has been chosen by business.gov.au as a case study to show how other businesses in Australia have improved their operations to make their business a success. Jane Cay (aka ‘Big Bird’) explains how finding an online niche helped her business reach new markets. Read Jane’s case study on the business.gov.au website.
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