3 Reasons to Open an Online Store for Your Bakery

3 Reasons to Open an Online Store for Your Bakery

3 Reasons to Open an Online Store for Your Bakery

3 Reasons to Open an Online Store for Your Bakery R

The 2020 pandemic didn’t expose business owners to the idea that foot traffic is dwindling and brick and mortar storefronts are fading. 2020 did, however, show that all business owners could benefit from an online presence. When doors started to close, small businesses had two options, adapt or fail. 

Companies that rely on storefronts such as bakeries might not have realized the importance of a strong online presence but having to close the doors for a time puts things into perspective. Online marketplaces are here to stay, but you can learn from their success. 

The best example of a successful online marketplace is Amazon. When it opened, Amazon was a discount marketplace selling books. As they sold more books, more users came to the site, and in response, suppliers wanted to market and sell on the site. The concept snowballed, turning Amazon from a book reseller to one of the world’s largest online marketplaces.

Maybe you’re not the next Amazon, but you don’t need to be. All you need to do is supplement in-store sales with online sales. Here are three reasons to start an online marketplace for your bakery.

Make Some Money

Couches are comfy, TVs are big, and the online shopping can deliver almost anything. Why would anyone leave the house? Shoppers are becoming more and more used to shopping online for everything they need. Food delivery is relatively new, though, so there is a large market coming of age where they can have dinner and dessert delivered from many places that used to be dine-in only. You can’t afford to miss out on this opportunity. Whether you want to deliver baked goods yourself or rely on services like Uber Eats or Postmates, make them available for order. 

What else can you sell online? Selling baked goods for delivery isn’t the only thing you can offer, though. Make recipe kits where your customers can recreate some of your best items at home. Sell merchandise like shirts and mugs or something simple like stickers or buttons. 

Build An Online Marketplace Touco Direct

Drive New Customers

Speaking of merchandise, nothing works better than a t-shirt or bumper sticker for free advertising. Opening an online store to sell marketing merchandise is a standard for many companies. Pens, mugs, shirts, etc., all make excellent brand ambassadors. You have a logo, social media, and a website. Slap them on merchandise, and let your customers do the marketing legwork for you!

Mutual Benefits with Suppliers

What else can you do? 

Resell. You have suppliers. You purchase ingredients and cooking supplies all the time, so why not buy a little more and resell it for a profit? How does Amazon make money? They mark up merchandise before listing it for sale. You can do the same. 

Selling merchandise at a markup is an easy win for you, but by becoming a reseller, your supplier is selling more, too. Negotiate discounts or lock up exclusive products to see directly on your online marketplace. 

Overall, opening an online marketplace is a simple, powerful way to drive traffic to your website, increase revenue, and attract new manufacturers and customers.


Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads

How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads

How to Maximize Your First Time with Facebook Ads


Advertising as a small business is daunting. Where do you start? Do you have a budget? Who is your target market, and how are you targeting them? Massive corporations like Nike or Verizon can spend millions of dollars on TV and web ads, but you don’t need all of that to be successful. Marketing for your business is challenging, but you have options for any budget.

Marketing has changed over the past decades. Billboards were the end all be all of advertising once upon a time. While they still dot the interstates, advertising opened to new mediums like TV and radio. The problem was marketing on these mediums was still prohibitively expensive. Relying on word of mouth recommendations and storefront signs only go so far. 

Fast forward to the social media boom. Now small businesses have a diverse collection of options for advertising. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube…you name it, you can pay money to promote your product on it. Social media is more budget-friendly for small businesses. 

The new challenge is learning how to target your market surgically. Trying to attack the whole market is an excellent way to waste money. Identify who you want to reach, and strategize from there.

While there are several platforms to try, here are some ways to maximize your first time using Facebook ads. 



“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – Benjamin Franklin.

Just like starting a business, you need a plan. Marketing is challenging, and trying to “make it up as you go” can be devastating. Start to form a strategy focusing your message on your target audience. What is your goal? Are you trying to drive customers to your website? Or maybe you want to build an email list. 

Build a timeline for your strategy. Decide when to launch or if you want multiple launches based on your campaign. Knowing the browsing habits of your demographic can make or break your plan as much as anything else. Luckily, there are plenty of tools available that can help define browsing activity.


Know Your Market

Who are you targeting? This should be the first question you answer when you start. The next question should be ‘why?’ We talked about not trying to attack the entire market. Market researchers exist specifically to give you data on various demographics. Whatever you need to know, chances are they have the data. You know your product better than anyone. You also know who is buying it. 

With Facebook, you can create highly targeted ads focused solely on your market. Be as broad or as surgical as you want. Pick through different keywords and age groups to narrow the crowd, and tailor your content accordingly.


Set a Budget

A few months ago, we sat down (virtually, of course) with Social by Steph’s Stephanie Smith to go into a little more detail about Facebook ads. She let us in on a few trade secrets like never hitting the “boost” button. It’s designed to convince you that spending $5 more will help reach more people, but really, $5 won’t do much either way. 


Nickel and dining your way through a marketing campaign is a waste of money. Thinking that reaching tens of thousands of people by spending $15 on Facebook couldn’t be more incorrect. Don’t get us wrong, traffic is traffic, but you want the right people. You can expect to spend at least $30-$50 per day. You’ll have a much better chance of reaching the right audience. 

The moral of the story is if this is out of your budget right now, you need to save until you can contribute between $500-$700 per month. Otherwise, you are spending money and not accomplishing much. 


Set a Timeline

Setting a timeline can be tricky since you are trying to balance your budget with your marketing goals. Your marketing plan should consider campaign duration, but you need to set a distinct timeline to keep yourself from overreaching. When you start to see success with an ad campaign, the temptation to keep rolling forward is intense, but remember, you have a budget. Stick to it!


A/B Testing

No one is perfect. Your first ad campaign won’t be perfect either. However, you can do something called A/B Testing. A/B Testing is a process of showing two variants of an ad to different audiences and seeing which drives more clicks or conversions. In your case, different variants might be writing other text or using a different image. If you’re making a video, you could try different voiceover scripts or narration. 

The goal is to create two different ads with the exact same narrative. A/B Testing is invaluable as you begin a marketing campaign because you can try out different versions before committing your whole budget. The good news is that you don’t need an enormous sample size to figure out which ad tests better, so don’t worry about blowing your money on an ineffective ad. Start small with each version, see which performs better, and then put everything behind the more successful 



Learning from what works is essential. Learning from what doesn’t work is vital. Try using key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor your success (or lack thereof). KPIs are invaluable and used across every industry. When starting your campaign, have a clear picture of what you want to accomplish. Do you want 30k more page visits? Create benchmarks at specific times for 5k, 10k, and so on to monitor your progress. If you’re not hitting your KPIs, learn from your opportunities, and improve. 

Your first time using a Facebook ad may be discouraging if you go in shooting for the moon. It’s ok to be ambitious, but set realistic expectations. Sit back and watch your campaign unfold, and most importantly, learn everything you can about where it’s useful and where it’s not.



Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Many first, second, or even third attempts with a marketing campaign can fail miserably, but don’t be discouraged! Learn from what went wrong, and go into your next shot with a better plan. You need to commit, though. We talked about the pitfalls of trying to nickel and dime the system, so go all-in when you go in. 

It feels risky to sink a large amount of money into advertising, but remember, advertising exists on nearly all platforms because it produces results. Commit to your strategy and your timeline. Commit to your budget, and commit to making a successful campaign. That’s the only way to be successful. 


Marketing on Facebook

Facebook is one of the most budget-friendly advertising platforms available. We recommend it due to the pinpoint market segments you can target and the ease of use. Ad campaigns are challenging, so choosing a platform that’s easy to use will help immensely. 

Luckily, Facebook provides some guidance as you go about creating your ad(s), so you’re not lost in the weeds. But at the same time, you need to create an engaging ad or watch your money disappear. Do your research, make a plan, set a budget, monitor your KPIs, and commit to the process. Facebook can help to a point, but being successful is up to you.


You’re not alone, though. Small businesses need help all over the place, not just marketing. Shamrck is a complete website and business management suite with everything you need to be successful. Start your free trial to see why Shamrck is right for your business.


Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

Launch a Tech Startup Without Being Tech-Savvy

Launch a Tech Startup Without Being Tech-Savvy

Launch a Tech Startup Without Being Tech-Savvy

Have an idea for the newest and greatest tech company, but you don’t know how to launch one? You’re not alone. Problem solvers everywhere share the same issue, not being tech-savvy. The tech industry is still growing at an incredibly rapid pace, and even “experts” are continuously falling behind. Luckily, tech-savviness isn’t a necessity to start a tech company. 

Your first goal should always be to define the problem you want to solve. Maybe you found a unique way to manage money, or see an opportunity in workshop management. How are you going to implement your solution? Who is your target market, and where do you see your startup in five years? 

Think big!

Non-techie founders need help from others who think big too. You don’t have to be a coder to know a tech startup requires intense online planning, building, and, most importantly, effort. There are hurdles to starting any business, but trying to start one outside your wheelhouse is daunting. 

Here are a few pieces of advice for launching a tech startup without being very tech-savvy.

Partner Up

You need help. You’ll need partners to handle turning your idea into a reality. As the saying goes, “you’re the brains, and they’re the brawn.” That sentiment becomes more prevalent as you dive deeper into your business plan, and you’ll notice your solutions are strategic and conceptual. It would help if you had someone to turn a concept into a product. 

Partnering up is a somewhat scary task since you are trusting your entire business idea to another person or group. How do you take your hands off your project like that?! It’s hard to give up control, especially to someone you don’t know yet.

Start with research. Understand how your needs and personality will match up with a partner. Maintaining creative control over your product is the top priority, but you need to understand not all of your concepts may be realistic. Try to find a partner that you can learn from and compromise with; otherwise, you might clash too much and not end up with the final product you want.


No, you don’t need to be an expert developer to launch a tech startup, but having some knowledge of the field helps immensely. You’re partnering with expert developers or development firms to do the heavy lifting, but take time to learn more about what they do. 

Look for courses to help teach yourself. Services like CodeAcademy offer courses, practice systems, and support to help you learn. You’ll see various coding languages and course guides to help you go in the right direction. CodeAcademy is one of the most popular because the basic courses are all free. There are tiered plans that include other helpful applications at a reasonable price.

Understanding what it takes to build a website or an application gives you an insight into how difficult the tech industry is. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what you want your product to do versus other businesses in your space. Most importantly, giving yourself more tech-savvy will help you collaborate better with your team. 

Use WordPress for your website

WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world. It powers 35% of all websites worldwide. Considering there are roughly 1.75 billion websites, and only half of them use content management systems, WordPress has a staggeringly huge piece of the pie. 

The main reason you should take the WordPress route is the built-in framework. WordPress does most of the essential building of your website for you and mostly operates using plugins to change displays and functionality. The least tech-savvy person on the planet can be up and running with a simple WordPress site in a day. 

For you, WordPress offers a unique opportunity. You can almost completely bypass the need for partnerships by learning to build your website. This way, your team collaboration can focus exclusively on the nuts and bolts of turning your idea into reality.

While WordPress is an intuitive system, we don’t want to give off the impression that building a professional-grade, functional website is simple. Again, you can refer to online courses for help. WordPress support is beneficial, and there are endless articles and posts with best practices for every skill level. 

Make a checklist

We really, really appreciate the need for a substantial pre-launch checklist. You can download our comprehensive website pre-launch list Here(Insert Link). Launching a tech startup is stressful, so creating a roadmap helps alleviate some of that stress. Since you’re working with a partner or a firm, a checklist can be a great way to measure benchmarks as you build. 

Checklists can also help make sure you don’t miss the little things. Help yourself map out marketing campaigns, build security processes, and make sure legal aspects are covered. The last thing you need is an oversight that could potentially sink your company’s chances of success.

Launch it

You had a great idea. Tech startups have been solving problems for decades, and now you can add your name to the list of innovators. You knew your strengths and weaknesses and built a company around them. Through partnerships, education, planning, and a lot of hard work, you’re ready to launch a tech startup despite having little to no tech-savvy. 

Always remember the work doesn’t end here. The tech industry continuously changes. Your company needs to innovate to keep up. That means continuing to learn your craft and innovating your product is crucial. You put so much effort into launching your startup; now it’s up to you to make it successful.

Still not sure where to begin? We’d love to chat with you about it! Schedule some Office Hours with our experts, and get started!

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

How to Get a Yes!

How to Get a Yes!

How to Get a Yes!

We talk a lot about developing, maintaining, and using your WordPress website to give your business a distinct online presence. We talk about marketing and plugins, strategies for retention, and measuring success.

But first thing is first. You have to make the sale.

There is no one right way to go about making a sale, so don’t feel bad if your product isn’t flying off the shelf right when you start selling. Since your business does depend on sales, it’s still a good idea to research, test, and measure different tactics, however.

An efficient website can serve as a lead magnet and a sales funnel. Using your site to convert traffic into sales is extremely difficult. You need the perfect mix of marketing, design, and sales strategy to close. Many times, basic websites and marketing campaigns aren’t enough for tacit sales. 

The good news is there are plenty of strategies to use to get a yes!

Court early adopters

Studies show that over 34% of consumers are early adopters. These consumers want the newest of the new, and they’re ready to buy. Marketing to early adopters requires loud calls to action. Chances are someone else is selling something similar to your product, so you need to stand out of the crowd.

Sometimes, all you need to grab their attention is some bold font or a well-placed digital ad. Other times, you’ll need to build out a full marketing campaign emphasizing “launch day” as the most important day since the Superbowl. Luckily, social media blitzes are affordable, but crafting your message is challenging. 

Early adopters are the ones camping outside Best Buy so that they can buy the newest TV or latest iPhone. Think about the energy and enthusiasm they need to be that dedicated! Trying to capture that enthusiasm isn’t easy, but it is an extremely effective way of selling to early adopters

Art & Emotion, Not Sales Tactics

Think about Apple. The reason why Apple has grown to power is through their ability to display their vision artistically. Early adopters gravitated towards Apple because of their ability to tap into emotions in a creative, functional way. Word spread that Apple products were for the creatives and the “cool kids.”

No bright banner ads were saying, “BUY APPLE PRODUCTS.” In fact, to this day, Apple rarely uses a call to action. Instead, they rely on showing off the features of their merchandise. Their marketing and advertising campaigns build value through emotional pleas or trendy, chic imagery.

Luckily for Apple, resellers like Verizon and AT&T advertise on their behalf! Getting someone else to advertise for you is a fantastic way to get a yes. You might not ever see Apple’s level of success, but you can follow suit with branding strategies. 

Stimulate them Intellectually

No one wants to buy a dull or uninteresting product.

One mistake that business owners make is forgetting that their customers need to be intellectually stimulated. Business owners believe their products will sell themselves instead of reaching out to leads. 

It’s up to you to build value and stress urgency to your potential customers. With the overwhelming amount of information and entertainment online, it can be tough to break through to the right audience. According to Forbes, average Americans see between 4,000 and 10,000 ads each day.


If that seems outrageous, look at that app on your phone or other websites, commercials, driving around town, product placement in TV shows, etc. It doesn’t end. Your job is to build enough value and stress enough urgency to crash through that wall and get a yes.

Traditional Sales

Less exciting than some of our alternatives, traditional sales methods are still some of the best. Sales strategies are a dime a dozen. Do you want to smother prospects with a high-pressure approach? Are you more of the type that wants to use a longer sales-cycle to build relationships? Whatever your method, the bottom line is you need to ask for the sale.

We already talked about building value and stressing urgency. Those are the two components to a sale. It’s the most straightforward breakdown of the process, but in a nutshell, those two steps are how to get a yes. 

The best part about all of these approaches? Your website provides infinite opportunities to experiment with what works. Traditional sales tactics tend to rely heavily on personal touchpoints. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call! With WordPress, you have access to dozens of scheduling plugins that let your design and marketing content do the work of getting you new leads. It’s up to you to close the deal!

How to get a Yes

Sales strategies are continually evolving, and your job is to find one that fits your personality. Not everyone wants to hop on the phone and cold call 100 people a day looking for sales. The good news is you don’t have to. We covered several marketing approaches to help take a more hands-off approach. 

One direction we can move quickly and efficiently is with your WordPress website. Through plugins and added tools, your site presents new strategies to test. Services like Lumen5 help create video content to engage your traffic better. By 2022, 82% (Cisco) of consumer internet traffic will be in video form, so consider the benefits of using video marketing to generate leads get to a Yes

Regardless of your methods, closing a sale is a challenge, but you can explore different strategies until you find the one that fits. Early adopters, emotional pleas, intellectual stimulation, and traditional tactics are only a few options, but there are plenty of others. Find yours. Make a plan. Get a yes.

We want to talk more with you about strategies to get to that Yes. Reach out for office hours to get the ball rolling!

Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...

How to Market to Customers with Your Website

How to Market to Customers with Your Website

How to Market to Customers with Your Website

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Marketing is a complicated process. Where do you begin? What’s your overall strategy? How do you even know if your strategy is working?! Marketing, in its most simplistic form, is how you get the word out about your business. So how are you doing it now?

If you don’t see the results you want, you’re missing a puzzle piece. As tricky as marketing is, there’s a winning formula out there. You need to find it. It could be something simple, like adding a Facebook page or starting an Instagram account. Sometimes it’s more difficult like tracking KPIs based on several underlying SEO keyword phrases. But we’ll get to that later.

Don’t have a marketing plan at all? Sure you do, word of mouth! It’s one of the most common and effective strategies ever, but in today’s digital world, you need to reach out more. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are ways to reach an enormous audience without spending a fortune. On the other end of the budget spectrum, advertising campaigns with videos and billboards are common strategies, but they can get pricey quickly. The good news is there’s a strategy for everyone.

So, where to start? If you’re marketing online, look no further than your Website.


Get your website to work for you

Websites are no longer an option. In fact, successful websites can make or break a business. The problem is successful websites take a lot of effort to mange. Managing a site and social media accounts can be a full-time job. For a small business owner, there already isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. With all of the tools available, it’s hard to stay organized and understand everything your website can do. 

The question what your website can do. The only question should be, “how are you using your website to work for you?” The simplest way to tell is to look at your automation. Automations are how we streamline for the most part. They’re designed to handle important tasks for you when you don’t have the time. 

Do you need to send out emails for you automatically? An email marketing platform can do it. Don’t know if your website is performing well? Analytics tools like Google, Facebook, and Pinterest will help you monitor success. 

The more you explore how you can utilize tools to automate your website, the more you see how much your site can save you time. All of which brings us to our next topic.


Organize your website

You have a lot to say! A marketing strategy is a bullhorn to get your message out there, but you need to have relevant content. Think about what you want to accomplish and be specific. Now, think of how your information needs to flow. You need to write something people want to read. Make them want to stick around and view your entire website.

However, writing the content is only half the battle. Earlier, we talked about tracking SEO results through different KPIs. Let’s put that in English. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The phrase refers to how well your website (and by extension, your business) shows up on web searches like Google or Yahoo. To put it in perspective, 91% of all clicks from search engine results come from the first page. If you aren’t in that top 10, you’ll have a hard time attracting traffic.

So, how do we get there? We use SEO keywords. They’re “buzzwords” that search engines use to find relevant websites. If you have a cooking blog about recipes with watermelons, “watermelon,” “watermelon recipes,” and “cooking” should be at the top of your list of optional keywords to get noticed. 

After we write using what we hope are the best keywords, we want to measure success. We refer to these measurements as KPIs or Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are how we track our website’s performance based on specific attributes. Without diving too deeply, KPIs like increases in website traffic, sales, and subscriptions are measurable and help us reorganize our marketing strategies to make them better.

Content isn’t the only way to use your website to market to your customers, though.


Other strategies

There are limitless options to using your website for marking. Testing new keywords, monitoring your KPIs, using plugins to help with SEO are all extremely creative and efficient routes. However, we want to take a look at some of the not-so-common ways to market using your site.

Allowing guest bloggers to write content for you goes a long way toward updating relevant, well-written content that doesn’t require much work on your end. They also provide a fresh look at different topics giving you a different voice contributing to your business. Most importantly, guest bloggers like to show off their work, so expect links to your site from other pages!

Social media sharing is an accessible tool that many businesses overlook. Do you have a new blog post? Share it on LinkedIn! How about a company event? Share the pictures on Instagram! Post announcements on Twitter. Invite customers to Facebook pages. The options are limitless and, more importantly, free!

Slightly getting away from actual marketing techniques, there are some design and development elements to consider. For the first time in 2018, mobile web browsing overtook desktop browsing in website traffic. If you want to use your website to market to your customers, be prepared to gear your site toward mobile users. This mobile emphasis means your website needs to be lean. Work on things like using small images and shorter videos. Keep your site fast, and you won’t have problems losing traffic due to slow page speeds.


Next Steps

Unfortunately, we can’t tell you what to write, what tools to use, or how to track your success. Those elements are up to you to figure out! Fortunately, you have all the resources you need to use your website to market to your customers. Review similar sites for content ideas and see what you can do differently. 

Make sure your website is up to date and working correctly! The best-laid plans can go to waste due to poor website maintenance. Marketing is a complicated process. Use your website to market to your customers, and you’ll be off to the races.

We want to talk more about your needs and how your website is performing. Shamrck is a complete website and business management suite, so reach out to start your free trial, and let’s talk!


Shamrck Recipient Of United For America Luminary Fellowship

Shamrck Software has been selected for the United for America Luminary Fellowship dedicated to working with female owned enterprises. United for America, a movement led by Unilever joined with Luminary to provide resources to emerging small businesses. Luminary works...


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