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Find out how to sell online successfully

Top tips

  • Social media is important – it increases sales and other opportunities
  • Make sure you have a point of difference from your competitors
  • Be passionate and love what you do!
  • Take every opportunity that comes your way

The business

Next time you are shopping online be sure to check out Organics for Lily on Etsy. Founder and naturopath Melissa Khonsavang blends the delicious organic herbal tea blends herself having starting the business in October 2013. Melissa first had the idea of Organics for Lily in 2011 after having her first child. She wanted to do something she loved and so decided to combine her love of tea and all things organic with her background in naturopathy. It took Melissa another 2 years to work up the courage and confidence to actually launch the business, but since it was launched Melissa hasn't looked back.

Read on to discover Melissa's best small business tips for increasing online sales.

The interview

Best success moment?

My best moment so far was getting accepted into The Finders Keepers Market in Melbourne and Sydney. It is an absolute dream come true.

What does a typical day at work involve for you?

My days always vary. Day to day business is very hectic, I try to answer queries and get orders out as well as juggling my two young kids. I usually try to squeeze in some patient consultations too when the kids are at kinder. It also involves a lot of research for new blends and patients as well as any custom orders. I usually have lots of late nights before markets trying to re-stock.

What are 5 pieces of advice you would give to other small business owners or people thinking of starting up a business?

Social media presence is really important.  It's essential to keep on top of it and set time aside each day to market yourself and put your products out there. This generates sales and other opportunities and is imperative in getting your name out there.

Have a point of difference that sets you apart from your competitors. For me it's that I'm a naturopath, customers definitely like the fact that I have the knowledge to back up my products.

Be passionate and love what you do!  I think if you are passionate about what you do and believe in your products then the rest is easy and will just come naturally. All my blends have been tried and tested by my family, friends and me.  

Good customer service goes a long way. Putting on a smile and take the time to listen to the customer, in my case its health concerns so I can recommend the appropriate tea or other products.

Take every opportunity that comes your way that you can, no matter how small.  Because you just never know what it may lead to in the future.

Now for some non-business related questions - where would we find you on a Saturday morning?

Wish I could say sleeping in, but I'm either at a market somewhere around town or spending time with my little family. As a small business owner I never really stop working because I'm always thinking about new products or new business ideas to help grow or improve my business. Its dedication and a lot of hard work, that's for sure!

What's Melbourne's best kept secret?

Besides Organics for Lily…there is a great range of talented local designers with handmade and organic products, just waiting to be accessed. They are at markets such as Redhill, Flemington, Kensington, Geelong Piccadilly market and other little markets around town.

The result

Organics for Lily achieves success by using social media to increase sales and ensuring there is a point of difference that sets the business apart from competitors.