When to Hire Your First Employee | Shopanova + Apple Blvd

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Many small business owners struggle to give up control while trying to grow their businesses. Maybe it’s hiring their first employee to help pack orders, or it might be outsourcing their marketing efforts for the first time. Whatever it might be, holding onto control often plays a crucial role in the success of their business, but at a certain point, it begins to hold them back from scaling.

“I’m in all these Facebook owner groups, and I see over and over again that people are talking about how they don’t want to give up control over this and that.” (12:43)

Growth comes with countless new responsibilities, challenges, and obstacles that require owners’ attention. If the owners aren’t willing to onboard new employees and delegate tasks, they will end up short-changing either their growth-related responsibilities or the day-to-day duties, eventually stagnating the company.

“All business owners have to get to the point where you let go of the things you can let go of and get the help you need because you will not grow on your own. I remember somebody telling me, ‘If it cannot be duplicated, it cannot grow.’” (14:16)

On this week’s episode of the eComm Growth Show, Katie and Johnny Apple join the show to share their experience growing their business, Apple Blvd Boutique. The Apple’s are a classic example of business owners who are reluctant to cede responsibility to employees and agencies in the name of scaling.

Early on, Katie was hesitant to give up control of menial tasks like invoicing and packing orders, but Johnny pushed her to shift her focus to buying product. Johnny knew she could teach someone else to fill orders, but her irreplaceable talent was picking merchandise for the boutique.

Ultimately, it came down to how Katie chose to leverage her time. She decided to give up control for the sake of growth, and it has undoubtedly paid off. One of her first steps was outsourcing invoicing to CommentSold, which she believes to be one of the best decisions she has made.

Another defining moment for Apple Blvd Boutique was renting a warehouse and storefront. It was easily the most considerable risk Johnny and Katie had taken up to that point, but the payoff was worth it. Almost immediately, Katie felt a sense of accomplishment and legitimacy. She was no longer working out of her home – She was a business owner, and she had her own workspace and storefront.

“That’s always my biggest advice. When you think you’re ready [to get your own brick and mortar space], do it. Getting that space is a game-changer…like for me, I got out of my house, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is a real business.’” (7:49)

When it came to promoting the boutique, Katie was again skeptical of outsourcing. Early on, Katie focused on face-to-face interactions that would lead to word-of-mouth marketing. She relied heavily on Facebook groups, and she had quite a bit of success.

“I believe that online shopping is difficult. I think that a lot of customers don’t know their size. They don’t know if they’re a small, if they’re a medium, they don’t know. So for me, I wanted to go face-to-face and really build up a local following.” (4:06)

As the business continued to scale, she knew it was time to hand off these marketing responsibilities to an agency that could spread the brand to a broader audience. After working with an agency that couldn’t get the job done, Katie and Johnny came to Shopanova.

Their skepticism grew from their previous experience, but their perspective changed quickly. Their CommentSold representative reached out with some questions about the statistics she was seeing. Where was all of this newfound website traffic coming from?

They were inundated with new customers, 80% of which had come from their website. What they didn’t understand was how the customers landed on the website. They had never really pushed the website, instead opting for other avenues like Facebook. The only funnel hitting the website came from Shopanova. Then it clicked. Outsourcing their eCommerce marketing had been worth it.

When Johnny and Katie weren’t overwhelmed with the responsibilities of marketing, invoicing, packing orders, etc., they could leverage their time to grow their business. How will you leverage your time for the sake of growth?

Are you interested in diversifying your marketing strategy?


You can find Apple Blvd at: https://shopappleblvd.com/

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