This article first featured in: Rebuilding Australia: the role of small business. This report uncovers the impact of COVID-19 on different industries across the country. For more insights and help for small businesses check out our Behind Small Business page.
Karyn and Megan of Unstoppable eCommerce operate their marketing business from home offices in two different cities. When COVID-19 hit, they worked overtime to help small business owners tap into the online shopping boom.
Connect, collaborate and co-create
Serial entrepreneur, Karyn Parkinson, and ADMA award-winning digital marketer, Megan Winter, were both running their own businesses when they met at a conference in Hawaii. Soon afterwards, the digital marketing specialists decided to join forces, launching Unstoppable eCommerce in 2019, despite living 2,500km apart.
With a mission to help small businesses increase their online sales, the winners of the 2019 Xero Award for Emerging Small Business of the Year run online training programs and provide Facebook advert management services.
“Social media advertising levels the playing field for small businesses because you can have successful ads whether you have a $500 or $500,000 budget,” says Karyn.
Megan is based in Brisbane and Karyn in Hobart, but living in different cities hasn’t been a barrier to success. The pair use technology to connect, collaborate and co-create, putting them in a strong position to help clients all over the world.
Working together, apart
Unlike many others who suddenly shifted to working from home during the pandemic, the Unstoppable eCommerce team didn’t have to scramble to create a home office.
“We already had dedicated home office spaces, so for us it was business as usual,” Karyn comments.
Switching off at the end of the day is challenging for many small business owners, so Karyn’s removed notifications from her phone to stop work interrupting her downtime.
“I always shut my office door when I leave for the day. I’m only walking five metres from my office to the lounge room, but shutting the door helps me stop thinking about work,” says Karyn.
The spike in online sales driven by pandemic-related store closures resulted in an upswing in business for Karyn and Megan, who mobilised to help clients bring their stores online.
“It was all hands on deck. Megan had a baby the week before COVID-19 hit. She took just three days’ maternity leave before jumping back into the business. Things have levelled out so she’s taking delayed leave now,” explains Karyn.
The duo worked overtime to launch a free online course outlining how to set up a Shopify store. One hundred people completed the course, with many setting up their online stores afterwards.
“We give away free content via our blog, Facebook groups and website. People don’t like to invest in people they don’t know. This approach helps potential clients get to know us before investing,” says Karyn.
Working in different cities means the pair rely on apps to share data, streamline processes, and save time via automation.
Cloud-based software like Google’s G Suite supports collaboration and reduces duplication, Active Campaign automates email marketing and Xero keeps their accounts in order.
“Back in the day, I kept my receipts in a shoebox, then created an Excel spreadsheet. It was my least favourite task,” Karyn says, before adding that she’s changed.
“We’ve used Xero since day one of our business and it’s made life so much easier. I don’t dread doing BAS anymore!”