Behind Bali Abundance Episode 13 part 2 - Developing Bali Abundance - Obstacles to Overcome
I really wanted to get a Website up and running so that we had more exposure selling on multiple online channels to increase sales. Our first attempt was almost ready to go live when we realised it would not do what we wanted it to do so we abandoned this website. I wanted a website that would plug into our Ebay Store and bring all out items across to the website so that our inventory would automatically change on both platforms when we sold something. Sounded simple enough and we were told this was possible.
We decided on a second attempt on a different ecommerce platform. Tess had been working on this as I felt a young brain was more computer savvy than myself. I had also taken Tess on a buying trip to Bali so she could understand this side of the business as well.
Tess worked with a web designer and before our second attempt went live Tess decided that she wanted to go back to a large corporate office so left Bali Abundance to further her career.
I employed some casual staff to help get our listings into the new website. We were finally ready to go live with Website number 2…. We went live but this was also not working as it should and causing problems with my Ebay store which was our main source of income. I had to then shut down this Website down. I was determined that we needed a website and someone suggested I outsource this to India. I found a lady in India who had good references and experience in the Magento website platform. I employed her to start a new Website attempt number 3….
Things were going ok and I gave access to the web design of our second attempt at a website so she could understand what I wanted to achieve. She was just meant to look at our second attempt Website as this had huge problems. Unfortunately without my permission she decided she could just fix Website 2 so reactivated it live with our Ebay store.
I did not know she had done this and noticed my whole Ebay store was wrong. I rang Ebay to tell them someone had hacked into my Ebay store that everything was wrong. Prices had changed stock I no longer had was now live everything was a total mess. Ebay told me not to stress they could just reset it to 24 hours prior so it would be back to normal.
I felt so relieved but the next phone call I received was Ebay asking if I had given permission to anyone in India to access my Ebay store. I said yes and explained I was doing a new website with an ebay plug in. They then told me they could not help me I would need to fix this myself as I had authorised a third party. Ebay do not encourage third party sites. I spoke to the lady in India to get her to shut the site down and told her I could no longer continue with the website as now I had a huge mess to clean up.
We had over 1000 items listed so now we needed to do a stock take and restore our Ebay store manually so that it would be correct. Unfortunately before we had time to correct everything customers were purchasing items that were incorrect or we no longer had the stock so we had to apologise and refund their money.
Ebay only allow you to have 3 refunds for Out of Stock items per month and as we had gone over this. Ebay then restricted our Ebay store for 3 months which ended up being pushed out to 4 months. I was devastated as this was my main source of income. I rang them daily to explain what happened and begging them to lift the restriction.
I cried, I asked to speak to managers but kept getting told “they are the rules and sorry we do understand your frustration but there is nothing we can do” .
My sales were going in a downward spiral, I only got Jeff and Arlene in when I needed them as I was not making enough to cover all the overheads and certainly not enough to go and purchase more stock. Arlene offered to come in for no pay as she has always been my number one support.
I felt I could possibly loose my business. I had become quite negative and every day things would go wrong I had computer problems, phone problems and I became so frustrated that I remember one day just curling up on my office floor and sobbing out loud. I felt I just wanted to give up as this was too hard. I wanted to pull down the roller door and shut shop. After crying for some time I looked into the warehouse full of furniture and realised I could not give up my suppliers relied on me and I had to keep going. In my head I gave myself 2 years to turn this around otherwise I would give up. This gave me a deadline and then I decided I would just focus on positive. If I hit a block with something I would leave it and just work on what I could resolve not on what I could not fix. Slowly as my attitude started changing to positive things very slowly started to turn around. This was a huge lesson and one of the main things I realised that focusing on the negative just invited more negative and even though it was hard I had to believe I could turn this around and get positive and focus on moving forward.