What motivates someone to start a business? It could be a passion, financial stability, an exciting new opportunity, or the freedom that comes from working for yourself. In some cases, you might want to start a business because it’s exactly what you were looking for, and it doesn’t exist yet. In that case, there’s no existing business model from which you can draw because what you’re doing is brand new. You may not know precisely how to structure the process that makes your brand new idea come to life. MyWorks is here to help to make forging your path easier so that you can focus on building something special. We had a conversation with Angela Baron from Otter Things and spoke to her about how MyWorks helped her navigate uncharted territory to carve her niche with a Marine Biology WooCommerce store during one of our MyWorks Success Stories.
Angela started Otter Things because she recognized a need of her own that wasn’t being fulfilled. She works in the science field, and because of her particular interest in marine biology and zoology, she has always loved otters. “I struggled to find otter memorabilia, and I knew others who love otters really struggled too,” she says. Angela decided to change that. “I’m in the industry I want to be in,” she explains, “but I’ve always been super creative. I’ve been involved in writing and illustrating, so it started with an otter t-shirt and expanded from there.” Angela illustrated an otter shirt and decided to sell it. Initially, she sold her apparel in small stores, but it was met with “small royalties and no customer engagement.” She decided to start a WooCommerce store to engage more directly with her target audience. “I love it,” Angela says. Her range of otter-themed items has grown to almost one hundred products, including a wide range of apparel, homeware, and lifestyle accessories. She also sells pen and ink portraits of otter heads.
Angela began using WooCommerce five years ago. “I was already was using WordPress for my blog,” she says, “so the transition was quite interesting.” When she started up, Angela “sat down and did a lot of research and talked to others about how they worked with it. The hardest part was sales tax.” Thankfully, Angela discovered Avalara, a tax compliance plugin that has been “a godsend in making sure she doesn’t fall foul of regulation.” Angela tells us that “MyWorks came along because she was trying to figure out how to make her books easier for herself.” She started using QuickBooks Online because she wanted to keep her personal finances and those of Otter Things separate. Though QuickBooks served that purpose well, Angela was “having a hard time trying to get all her WooCommerce stuff over to her financial side.” She began researching syncing programs so she “didn’t have to struggle with it.”
When we asked Angela what she was looking for in her search for a syncing program, she had a few stipulations. “I didn’t want anything to break my website,” she laughs, “because when the site goes down, business is closed.” She also didn’t want a significant pay overhead while still having the function to track her inventory accurately. “It was tough to find that happy medium of a program that could give me what I needed, but that didn’t break the bank,” she says. In Angela’s search for syncing software, she tried another company. “It worked, but it didn’t,” she says. “There were too many glitches that I wasn’t comfortable with, and I didn’t want to have to constantly contact them and say ‘we need this fixed and we need that fixed.’” The process was “daunting,” but Angela eventually found MyWorks.
“The hardest part of setting up MyWorks was probably scheduling an appointment because I had to figure out when I was free,” laughs Angela. Our customer success team led her through the process of integrating her sync. “We walked through it,” she says. One of our team members scheduled a call with her and “walked Angela through the different points of what she needed to set up and didn’t need to set up.” As for the Otter Things MyWorks experience since then, it’s been hassle-free. “I’ve had maybe one issue since I started working with MyWorks, and I was able to contact them and let them know that this was the problem,” she tells us. “And almost immediately, it was fixed.”
Angela was entering her data into QuickBooks manually before MyWorks sync, and it was “a lot of work.” Now, she can seamlessly sync her data from her store into her accounting software. Angela has time to concentrate on what she loves: creativity and otters. What do you love? Do you want more time to focus on it?
If the answer is yes, feel free to schedule a demo with us! The MyWorks Team wants to help you save time so you can build a business and focus on what you love.