5 Top Tips for Quickly Growing a Business on Facebook
Butterfly Kisses Designs make happy kidsCarol Parsley launched Butterfly Kisses Designs only a year ago and has hit her strides through hard work, laughter, family TLC and an open mind to learning. We caught up with Carol after finding her beautiful designs on Facebook and just had to include her in our series of inspiring small business women. Come read more and get to know a sparkling and enthusiastic lady who has a real passion for her creations.

Tell us a little about yourself, what’s the day to day life like for a small business owner of the Butterfly Kisses Designs and who makes up the team?

The team is made up of myself, Carol, and my mum Wendy. Together we make and design the products that are featured on our Facebook page and then I also deal with all enquiries via email, facebook or face to face customers as well as any other behind the scenes tasks.

Suffering with a long term medical condition and being unable to predict when I could or couldn’t work became a battle for me in the last few years. As I have always been craft minded I decided to begin making hair accessories whilst I was studying. As the year wore on the popularity of Butterfly Kisses Designs grew and my health also took a further turn for the worse and I was forced to stop studying and relocate back nearer to family in Adelaide.

On any typical day I am either glued to the computer responding to questions, emailing invoices or making up items at the desk! There is never a day that does not involve something related to the business which I just love!

What and who inspires you, that encourages you to reach out and make things happen?

My inspiration is very widespread! I have a love for all things crafty so I am able to enjoy what I’m doing and explore new things all the time! Working side by side with my mum is also a great opportunity for us to spend time together but to also work off each others ideas and likes/dislikes.

I also gain inspiration for my products through my other love, scrapbooking. Being able to look through books and magazines and see different colour combinations and styles and then seeing them come alive in the form of a hair bow is so rewarding! My customers, whom I feel I have built some great relationships with, are also my inspiration. I am challenged often when asked for special request items and even more so when I’m given free range to create what I like! Once the little recipient receives their clips and you get feedback from mums saying things such as my little girl tells me “she feels even more beautiful when she wears your hair pretties” I know that I’m making a difference!

Another really important person who inspires me is my younger sister, Sarah. As I do not have children of my own she is my personal head mannequin whom I trial things on and make a never ending supply of bows, clips and headbands for! Hopefully it’s not something she outgrows anytime soon!!

The name Butterfly Kisses Designs is so evocative, how did you come up with your business name, look and feel?

I just adore butterflies and at the time of trying to come up with a name I was looking at some scrapbooking paper that was called Butterfly Kisses and I thought it suited perfectly and who doesn’t just love sharing butterfly kisses!?

Recently Butterfly Kisses Designs had a complete overhaul of its image. I wanted something that was simple, unique and not a typical colour scheme! After working with one of the most amazing women, Nicole at LBM Designs, we were able to come up with this gorgeous pink/blue/lime/brown colour palette that really stands out!

What do you enjoy most about the business?

It would have to be coming up with new designs and different ideas for the business! It is great working with my mum as we’re able to bounce ideas back and forth; often things that I hadn’t thought of or vice versa.

I also love being able to interact with my customers. While a lot of this is mainly online I do hope that over time I am able to do more face to face sales via markets, party plans or from my own home. Being able to meet and exceed my customer’s expectations makes me really happy to know that I have made the right decision!

What’s been the hardest part or experience you’re had since starting the business?

Remembering that it’s not just all about creating! There is so much more to running the business that is unseen by the customer and sometimes it’s hard to get the motivation to do some of it! But then I am spurred on by the idea that I need to do the paperwork side of things or following up emails in order to continue to make these gorgeous products!

It’s also a challenge to manage your time well enough between family and business. My mum’s time is limited as she has a house to take care of as well as a 12 year old so some days are more productive than others.

My days can also be like this especially if I’m having a bad day health wise. It impacts on my ability to produce the orders in a timely manner as I normally would. At the end of the day family and health are important and my customers are very supportive in this respect and actually request that I stop orders until well enough to return!

What do you think has been the most successful promotional activities you’ve explored to getting the word out about Butterfly Kisses Designs?

As Butterfly Kisses Designs began on Facebook all of my promotion has been through this medium! Facebook is the most popular social site currently so what better way to gain business than in this free environment!? My customers are a great source of promotion and I include business cards with orders so that my details can be shared with others. There is nothing more powerful than the spread of positive experiences amongst your friends and family!

There have been many online auctions held on numerous Facebook pages where I have donated Butterfly Kisses Designs products. My main motivation is in supporting the charity/relief effort than the promotion of my page. I feel I am able to make a contribution by donating goods when I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to in a monetary sense. I have gained many likers from auction pages and it’s great to then be able to share my products with them.

You have a flourishing number of followers on Facebook – what do you think has been the best way of getting your name out there on Facebook?

As part of my non-producing time I spend a lot of time visiting other Facebook pages and ‘liking’ them and sharing about my page and what I have to offer! There are also a number of pages where you are encouraged to promote your business so I try to leave posts on there as often as I remember!

Giving shoutouts to fellow page owners and supporting each other is also a really promising way of gaining more likers. During the very early on stages when Facebook rules were different when I reached a certain number of likers I would offer giveaways. After about 1500 likers it seemed to just grow and increase by itself! Word of mouth is no doubt one of the strongest forms of gaining more followers.

How do you best manage your time and prioritise work activities?

I think this is something that I will always be developing! I’m not sure that it’s something anyone can be perfect at, especially in small business as things change so frequently and every day demands something different from you! Some tasks are quicker than others and some are more enjoyable!

I’m starting to prioritise the importance of making sure that invoices and payments are followed up with quickly as this prevents orders lapping and customers forgetting about their products. This has been an issue in the past as whilst still growing all money is reinvested back into the business! When this money isn’t there to reinvest it makes it difficult to grow my stock variety.

I have become really good at creating lists as well so that I can keep a track on customer requests, items to order in and product ideas that I would like to investigate further.

Click here to enter the free online competitions with She InspiresWhat are the hopes and plans for Butterfly Kisses this year?

2011 is going to see lots of exciting new changes for Butterfly Kisses Designs. It has seen a slight change in name and revamp of my logo already!

By the time the year is out I would love to have established a website, explored more wholesale opportunities so that my products are more available to customers in other states of Australia and to look further at expanding my products to include items suitable for boys as well. Most importantly is to advertise, advertise, advertise!!!

What would be your top 5 tips you’d give to someone starting out?

1. Find something that you love doing and research if it is feasible to create the product and if there is a need for it in the market!

2. Remember the importance of your family and friends! The benefit of running your own business is that you dictate how much you work so make sure there is a balance.

3. Success will not happen overnight! The first twelve months are the hardest I believe and from past reading this is when most businesses will fail/close. So keep at it and remain positive.

4. Remain professional whilst still portraying the real you to your customers! It’s easy on a social site such as Facebook to become too relaxed and it may deter many people from dealing with you!

5. Try to come up with a unique name that you’re not going to want to change in 12 months time because it’s ‘too tacky’ and either create your own logo or have one designed! There are so many pages on Facebook that can do this for you at reasonable prices. A business that has a professionally made logo is more likely to receive attention to someone who doesn’t!  

All About Butterfly Kisses Designs

All About Butterfly Kisses Designs

Daughter and mum team, Carol and Wendy Parsley, are the delightful ladies of Butterfly Kisses Designs. Carol designs and creates the little treasures and loves being able to share in building a self-sustaining business alongside her mum.

Find Butterfly Kisses Designs on Facebook and be the first to know about new designs, custom designs and charity auction events featuring girlie little delights!

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