After two years of remote working and Zoom meetings, many small business owners are relishing the opportunity to get out of the office and network with their fellow entrepreneurs. The team here at Frooition is no different.

We’ve very much enjoyed re-connecting with online retailers at the recent eBay Business Roadshow events in Salford, Newcastle, and Glasgow. However, if you’ve not been able to make it to any roadshow events yet, it’s an investment in time that you should consider, and you’ll not regret it.

The eBay Business Roadshow will be rolling into:

Helping eBay Sellers Solve Problems

One of the things we’ve really enjoyed about roadshow events is the problem-solving content the various eBay executives have shared with the audience.

eBay has very much focused on helping its sellers solve the real-world problems of listing optimisation, promotion, and fulfilment. There’s also been some great advice around Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and reducing the environmental impact of running your business.

This content sparked much debate and conversation during the networking breaks, and it’s always wonderful to hear entrepreneurs sharing their experiences and advice with fellow business owners.

As entrepreneurs, we like nothing better than helping people solve problems. If you think about it, that’s essentially what every small business does in their day-to-day work.

Frooition is very much in the business of solving problems, and that’s why we are always open to educating ourselves about opportunities and challenges beyond our core business of design and optimisation services. That’s why we spend time speaking with industry experts and partners and sharing our findings with our audience on the Frooition blog, podcast, and social media channels.

Optimise Your Networking Experience

While you should attend every networking event with an open mind, it’s also essential you come prepared with some objectives.

Ask yourself, what do I want to learn from this event? Then seek out the people who can answer those questions for you.

Of course, these conversations go both ways. While you might be having trouble selecting a multi-channel listing tool, someone else may experience pain points with their fulfilment service. There’s power in community, so don’t be afraid to ask, and don’t be scared to share your experience.

It doesn’t matter how small your business is. I’ve seen many big brand retailers learn a trick or two from more agile SMEs in the online world.

The Risk of Oversharing

While showcasing your expertise might risk revealing elements that give your business a competitive edge, in reality, you’ve very little to worry about.

Just because you show someone what your Martech Stack looks like doesn’t reveal how you use it. Access to the best technology in the world will not make the slightest difference to a competitor if the execution is not there.

Note: If you are ever curious about the technology your competitors use, the website BuiltWith.com does a pretty good job at pulling the curtain back on their trade secrets.

However, there is one thing you should never share — how and where you secure your stock.

Keep Your Trade Secrets

At the recent eBay events, I’ve overheard attendees loudly tell their potential competitors their entire business model. They explained where they buy their products from and how much margin is in every sale. One beautifully simple yet profitable business model had absolutely no barriers to entry and could easily be replicated by anyone with very little thought.

By all means, tell people what design or hosting service you use, highlight the advantages of third-party fulfilment, and scream to the rafters about the joy of email marketing. But never tell anyone how or where you secure your stock.

When relatively new sellers approach the Frooition team, they often enquire about where to buy stock. But, to be honest, we don’t have a clue because it’s not our business.

Sourcing profitable products remains one of the most challenging aspects of running an online business. If you’ve found something that works for you, keep it to yourself.

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