Introduce your business and tell us your story: How did you decide on what to sell, and how did you source your products?
We saw a huge market of people trying to get away from their normal cable subscriptions and migrating towards streaming instead, so we purchased a few streaming media players and tried to find ways to make them better. We flew to China to find the suppliers that we are currently using; we wanted to be sure that the product that was going to be delivered was going to be quality work and also to ensure we had a good personal relationship with our manufactures.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
We initially purchased 10 boxes from our supplier. Once we received them, we sat in our living room at our house and manually programmed each one (hours and hours of messing up and fixing :)) Finally, once we had the end product, we went to Facebook to market to our local friends. After we sold those 10, we purchased 20, did the same thing... eventually it evolved to the point that it is now. Amazon.com and our Shopify Plus store. We can target a good amount of customers through our Facebook ads and Google ads. We are just now starting to really work on our email marketing campaigns as well as Microsoft Advertising as we see a huge opportunity there as well.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
Refersion - this helps with affiliate sales growth.
ShipStation - allows our shipping dept to really find the best prices and automates everything.
Riskified - makes sure all orders are verified and completely eliminates the risk of fraud.
Klaviyo - awesome program for all emails that need to go out and creating campaigns.
Pure Chat - allows our customer service team to talk directly to the consumer while they are on our site.
SalesRepReporting - this allows us to give our customer service guys a chance to make a commissions on their up-sales and sales in general. We do all our of shipping out of our office in Orlando. We do use FBA with Amazon for their channel as well.
What are your top recommendations for new store owners?
Just go for it - time and time again I talk with people who say they wish they could be in our shoes and the first thing I tell them is "You can!" I'm always open to discuss ideas with friends or strangers. I think the most difficult hurdle to overcome when starting a business is changing the way you think. You are no longer working for someone, you are not building someone else's dream. You are now working for yourself, your family, your legacy - you are now building your dream. Start it and run with it, sure you are going to make mistakes, but you can build what you don't start!