Productivity

Feel Better Box: Navigating new tech while scaling up

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Smarter Writer
Smarter Team

The Smarter Team is made up of business and technology journalists who write to offer insights to small and medium businesses about technology, business know-how and emerging trends.

Business growth can happen quickly and unexpectedly. Even if your business journey has required small steps over many years, a change in your industry or the wider landscape could create a need to scale up swiftly. Have you considered the scalability of your tech – and whether it can grow with your business?

Sarah Willmott owner of Feel Better Box

Feel Better Box started as a side project for Sarah Willmott in 2015. Her vision was to create a gift box that people could send to their friends or family in a time of need – like if they had the flu, were recovering from surgery, or just needed a little pick-me-up. Sarah worked on the business after hours and around looking after her two young children, until earlier this year when COVID-19 hit and orders skyrocketed.

For Sarah, success looked like no longer working for somebody else, so she could put her energy entirely towards Feel Better Box. And while the business experienced sudden growth this year, it was several years in the making. “It’s definitely been a slow burn, because I was working for somebody else and my kids were tiny. For a long time, I had no time.”

We spoke with Sarah about her experience in growing the business, managing increased demands and navigating technology throughout the process.

Smarter Business: What kind of tech did you use when you first started out?

Sarah Willmott: My requirements were fairly minimal. The only tech I used when I first started out were MailChimp and Shopify. I chose the website platform and I outsourced someone to design the frontend for me. And that was it.

Smarter Business: How has the tech in your business evolved?

Sarah Willmott: Up until recently, I would cut and paste all the details from an order on the website into MyPost Business, a postage and tracking platform, and then I'd create a label. Cutting and pasting was bearable, but it became impossible when I had too many orders. I found an extension to minimise the manual data entry, so now this is done with just one click. I use Candy Rack, which is an upsell app, so that when you add something to your cart, it pops up with suggested additional items you can add to the care package. I also use a review platform called Trustpilot, which is a godsend. People are incredibly kind with the generosity of their reviews. It’s a reasonable cost, but I believe it’s outweighed by so much benefit because of the trust it gives to potential new customers. I’ve also recently moved from MailChimp to Klaviyo and I’ll be looking to send regular eDMs in the future.

Smarter Business: How have you managed with selecting the right technology for your business – did you receive expert advice, or figure it out on your own?

Sarah Willmott: Access to business groups is why I'm on Facebook. I receive inspiration, seek advice or share my queries. I pay to be in one of these groups called Digital Masterchefs with Kate Toon who is an SEO guru. This has helped the business a lot, because search is often how people find me and it helps me get new customers. I'm also in an Australian Shopify business group on Facebook, which is my go-to for everything Shopify. I often search the page when I have a question and I find that most of the time, someone has asked it before me. Like with the MyPost Business and Shopify extension, I knew they didn’t integrate but I found the browser extension by searching in this group.

Smarter Business: As the business has grown, have there been any challenges when it comes to adopting new technology or scaling it up?

Sarah Willmott: I have tried things that didn’t work. I tried LoyaltyLion, which was an app for loyalty, where people sign up and receive loyalty points when they buy from your business. It wasn’t the right fit, because it’s supposed to encourage people to make repeat purchases, whereas people don’t tend to need to buy a Feel Better Box too frequently. When we experienced a sudden increase in corporate orders, we realised we needed a way to track them internally. We weren’t prepared for a large number of orders, so this was definitely a challenge. Someone suggested Trello, so we’ve just started using this to keep the corporate orders all in one place.

Smarter Business: What kind of tech do you think the business might require in the future?

Sarah Willmott: I will definitely need an integrated inventory system, especially because I’m looking to tap into the Christmas market this year. The online store may need to be updated because there is a current limitation with ordering multiple boxes and shipping to different addresses. We’ve started getting a lot of inquiries, mainly from corporate businesses, where they want to buy multiple boxes at a time. At the moment, boxes needed to be purchased one-by-one.

Smarter Business: What advice do you have for other businesses looking to scale up?

Sarah Willmott: ‘Scaling up’ is a big, fancy concept. For me, it feels more manageable to chip away and change little things. Every change we’ve made has been a baby step. We’ve been adaptable and kept things on that have worked, but been prepared to let go of things that didn’t. I think adaptability has been important.

Need help managing your tech?

Get 24x7 support with Telstra Business Tech Services.

Find out moreNeed help managing your tech?

Man filming a video
Trends
3 businesses that are winning with video

Video technology has helped a lot of businesses deliver their services – and remain operational – throughout COVID-19. And for many, adopting this technology is not a Band-Aid ...

Man viewing furniture using augmented reality technology
Tech
Tech
Tech evolution: 3 ways to elevate your business

The pace at which technology is developing has made staying up-to-date more accessible, affordable and easier than ever. Adopting digital tools for your business could help str...

Man delivering packages
Trends
Conscious consumption: Even online, consumers choose local

Consumer behaviours and attitudes shifted in many ways as COVID-19 enveloped our reality. But one sentiment has become clear: consumers want to support local businesses, even w...

Woman practices yoga at home
Productivity
Productivity
Working from home: Habits for a healthy mind, body and business

Health and productivity are inextricably linked. So how can you ensure you’re setting yourself and your staff up for success while working from home?