CELESTE Robertson has earmarked the Geelong Small Business Festival to help build the growing following for her online business Natural Supply Co.
Creating a sense of community and a personalised service is a focus for business that sells natural beauty, skincare and lifestyle products.
“We have a 50 to 60 per cent return customer rate,” Ms Robertson said.
“We really care about our customers, we know how valuable they are to us if we can get them to shop with us again.”
With her business partner, Sarah Scott, Ms Robertson operates Natural Supply Co from her Highton home.
Founded in 2014, Natural Supply Co stocks more than 80 brands of natural or organic products.
“It’s growing slowly but steadily,” Ms Robertson said. “It’s frustrating in some ways … but we have done it all on a shoestring budget.”
She is planning to attend a free customer value journeys workshop hosted by Australia Post that offers a brainstorming session for businesses that are using social media to grow.
“You have to have cut through,” Ms Robertson said.
“We really try to offer that sense of community.
“We share bits of our lives on social media, and do events in the Geelong region offering advice on skin care products or makeup matching.”
She is enthusiastic about the benefits of the Geelong Small Business Festival as a low-cost or free opportunity for small business owners to learn.
“Attending the festival (last year) changed the way I ran my business — specifically last year when I attended an event called Measuring your Marketing,” she said.
“I learnt that at the time, I was on track with my business.
“I was also able to pick up wonderful tips which I implemented straight away, including a chat function for my website and better insight of Google Analytics.”
Ms Robertson said she was seeing a pick-up in demand for plastic-free products as people became more motivated to eliminate single-use plastics.
The Natural Supply Co range includes stainless steel food containers, stainless steel straws, recycled plastic produce bags and a new product, a shampoo bar.
“It saves a lot of plastic in shampoo bottles and lasts twice as long, so it’s more economical,” she said.