The Biggest Lessons We Learned from 2014
We learned, first of all, that growth is painful, but it is very rewarding. 2014 was a whirlwind of sourcing and finding new breeds and species of poultry and launching them to our website. We also wanted to offer more products like chicken coops and brooding kits to our site so our customers could find all the things they need for their birds in one place. It was a tremendous amount of work, but we are so proud of the fact that the site is now abounding with all sorts of great birds and products. And we are poised and aimed for continued growth in 2015!
Another lesson that surprised us was how Live Chat worked. We knew we wanted to offer our customers the opportunity to chat with us while browsing our web page, but we had no idea how much work and time it was going to take. However, after the spring rush was over, we all found that we felt much more comfortable with live chatting and that it truly was a great way to be present for our customers. We really love live chatting now with you about any of your poultry questions!
At the beginning of 2014, we were really afraid to offer Hatching Eggs. We imagined boxes of crushed and broken egg shells showing up at our customer’s doors! But so many people were asking for them, and our vendors kept assuring us that all would go well. So we tried them and are just so happy we did! There were a couple mishaps with shipping but, all in all, our customers have been very happy and glad to have the opportunity to purchase cost efficient and exciting hatching eggs for their incubators and broody hens!
We decided to make a big upgrade to our website and technology in 2014, and although we were cringing at the expense and yawning our way through all-nighters, we are so glad we did it. Our website is now a state-of-the-art Hub of All Things Poultry that we can be proud of!
As we built our new site in 2014, we realized so many things. We saw that we really need to add lots more photos of the birds we offer. And we also realized that our site was missing useful stuff like Related Product recommendations and more resources like Care Sheets. We needed to publish more newsletters with informative blog articles. As we started adding these things, our customers noted how useful they were! We also saw that with all these constant additions and updates, we really needed to have our own development site, which we have been thrilled with so far.
We also learned how important team building is. Barbara joined our team as a writer and Cassandra as an additional customer service rep. We created an employee handbook and an operations manual and learned how useful and effective those things are in the daily acts of doing business. We also started a monthly All-Hands Meeting for the entire team to meet virtually at the end of 2014. So far, it has truly proven to be a potent way to build our team, collaborate, and report on and plan for future progress.
How We’re Going to Crush 2015
In 2015, we plan to take everything we learned and started developing in 2014 to a whole new level!
We want to continue adding and exploring new types of birds, new breeds of chickens, and new types of poultry-related products. New products are always scary and chancy, but they worked out so well in 2014 that we just have to keep growing in this way! We hope to grow our total sales by 50% in 2015!
We also want to be even more present for our customers in 2015 – we plan to increase our staff by 25% adding both more customer support as well as support for our website through an on-staff web developer. Our goal in 2015 is to publish newsletters with all sorts of poultry-related educational and informative articles as well as updates on our new and exciting products every two weeks. We also have plans to make our website even more user-friendly for our customers to find products and information that they need efficiently and easily.
And we want to be more present for our customers after they purchase from us by providing care instructions and other info. We also are excited about asking our customers for more feedback so we can continue making improvements and advancements.
We are really looking forward to a fabulous new year of providing you with great poultry and poultry information in 2015. We are so excited and so thankful for all the lessons we learned and opportunities these lessons have created for us and our business.