Australia’s online cash-free market place
Kym Foster started her business because she was a stay-at-home mum with a young child and new baby and couldn’t go back to her job as a lawyer but had various other skills she wanted to use and services she wanted to receive. However, being a single-income family meant she couldn’t really afford these luxury services and existing swap-type or bartering services were very limited or not available in her area. She decided there was a void that needed to be filled!
This is what Kym shared about her business.
Q. Describe your business and products/services you offer
Share Shop is an Australia-wide online community hub where members can trade skills, talents, goods and services with each other using points as payment, instead of money. It’s like barter, but better!
Q. How long have you been in business?
I started developing the concept and design of the business 3 years ago, however the business / website was only launched last year.
Q. How many hours a week do you work in your business?
I work on the business every chance I get. On average, I probably ‘physically’ spend about 50 hours a week working on the business and many more thinking about it!
Q. What kind of online and offline marketing do you do and which is working for you?
In relation to marketing, I have mainly used social media, directory listings, online ads, mail-outs, flyer distribution, in-house promotions and business networking. I have also promoted Share Shop using displays at various events and have been a guest speaker at several meetings and events. So far, the best response has come from social media and being featured in various newspaper and online media articles.
Q. What mistakes have you made in running your business and what lessons have you learnt from those?
I have made many mistakes and am hopefully learning from them all. The most important lessons I have learnt are; people are time-poor and need quick and succinct information, instant connection is paramount as people often forget to follow-up, and that not everyone thinks the same as I do!
Q. How has your website helped you run your business?
My business IS my website and without it I do not have a business.
Q. What obstacles or challenges are you facing at the moment?
My greatest obstacle at the moment is Marketing – getting the ‘right’ message to the ‘right’ people in the ‘right’ way. There are so many people all over Australia that could benefit from Share Shop (such stay-home parents, WAHM’s, retirees, part-time / casual workers, students, unemployed, self-employed and small business owners) but as it is a relatively ‘new’ concept, we need to reach the people who can see the potential, will get on-board and inspire others to do the same.
For more information visit Share Shop website.