Meet Bhavani, mother of three, homemaker, and ex-teacher from the deep roots of Tamil Nadu. Setting up her own business has always been her dream. When the whole world was shutting down, she took the bold step to launch an online religious boutique called Kalpataru.
Being a mompreneur came naturally to Bhavani. She honed all the right skills over the years: multi-tasking, responsibility, negotiation, time management, active listening, and resilience.
Here's an interesting fact: In India, around 21% of MSME owners are women, and 11% of those owners are mompreneurs.
Kalpataru, a religious boutique where you can find handicrafts, bamboo bottles, handmade religious statues, customized incense sticks and fragrances, organic soaps, and more.
Bhavani's digital journey
During the pandemic, Bhavani wanted to create an impact by acting on her dream of starting a business. She had a clear vision of what sort of business she wanted to run and the products she wished to sell. She then started to evaluate the business solutions available on the market.
She ended her search with Zoho One. She deployed the solution for her business with the help of her husband. At first, she deployed a standalone application, Zoho Commerce. But, as her business grew, she wanted to use more applications to handle her business operations.
Here's a tip shared by Bhavani
At first, you might be tempted to activate Zoho One's 45+ applications to make the most of your subscription. It's better not to activate all your apps. Learning to use a few apps in-depth will make it easier for you to understand how other apps in the same ecosystem work. This approach will also ensure long-term adoption of relevant apps rather than a shallow exploration of every available tool.
First thing's first
Take a guess: How long do you think Bhavani took to create an online store?
All she needed was half a day.
Bhavani used Zoho Sites and Commerce to set up her business online. The sleek and intuitive UI of Zoho Commerce helped Bhavani quickly list her products. She picked one of the store templates and used the platform's features to make finer customizations for a more responsive website.
Creating a continuous feedback loop
Bhavani wanted to understand how she could continually improve her online store. She started using Zoho Survey to get customer feedback on her products and business processes. In the long run, this helped her increase customer satisfaction and optimize customer touch points.
Engaging visitors in real time
Bhavani started exploring ways to better manage the Kalpataru website traffic. That's when she learned more about SalesIQ and PageSense. She uses both the apps to study visitor behavior and engages them with chatbots. Visitors that show interest in her products are already mapped to Zoho CRM using rules and workflows.
Enhancing customer journeys
Bhavani also wanted to nurture leads, build better customer relationships, and ensure repeat business. She started using Zoho CRM to maintain her customer database and connect with them from time to time. Quality leads and customers that engage more with her brand get emails about new products and exclusive discounts. All of this was easily automated with CRM.
Next steps towards a greater reach
Today, Kalpataru is a bigger success than what Bhavani initially envisioned. Bhavani is planning to expand her business across states through online and physical stores.
She is also planning to expand her usage of application to Zoho Creator, Inventory, Books, WorkDrive, and Desk.
A tip Bhavani wants to share with other mompreneurs
If you are a mom with business dreams, start your business online first. This will allow you to get used to running a business and help you feel more equipped when you do branch out to physical stores.
Being a mom and running a business is quite hard. Starting an online business will help you master the basics, set flexible schedules, and prepare for the future. When you know the ins and outs of your business and customers, you will be able to set up physical stores and scale your business effectively.
"The seamless experience with Zoho One made our business process much simpler and easier to handle." — Bhavani
Watch Bhavani's full story here