Bija is Sanskrit for seed and Bija Bhar is a line of healthy food products inspired by the potency of seeds.
We launched online in February with a single product: Decadent Energy Nuggets, one of a range of seed based snacks that serve diverse nutritional needs and will please discerning palates. We found as we did our market research that in spite of their low sugar content, they also work well as a treat or dessert alternative. With over 20% of their composition coming from cacao nibs, and other satisfying healthy ingredients like coconut oil, chia seeds, flax seeds, and cayenne pepper they can satisfy chocolate cravings and also be efficient performance fuel for runners and other physically active folks. We use 100% organic ingredients to make a Vegan, Paleo, Gluten Free food that is also safe for a people with the most common food allergies. The world need more minimally processed food without fillers or other junk we are all trying to avoid. We are raising the bar, one nugget at a time!
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Bija Bhar had fans of the product waiting so we had an order within a few hours. By the next day we had several unexpected orders via social media. We launched 10 days before Valentine's Day with a limited edition of heart shapes with the tagline "Seeds of Love..."
Because raising capital is so tough, founder Anjali Bhargava decided to do a riff off of rewards based crowd funding through our Shopify site. We’re selling prepaid subscriptions that are monthly or every other month for the year because sales alone were leaving no capital to grow the business.
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?
Shopify Mobile and Facebook Store were probably my first and essential. Yotpo was added within a few weeks and we have now gotten over 50 reviews. Without a doubt, they have allowed people to order more confidently and possibly in greater quantity.
Wth the subscriptions, Edit Order was critical, although there are still some issues on receiving payment for customers who want to add to their orders. We’ve been using Zopim for chat. Their iphone app allows us to be available to customers pretty much all the time, which is critical for a new business!
Chimpified allows new customers to be added to our Mailchimp mailing list automatically.
Sky Pilot is probably our newest app, allowing us to have digital files available for free download like Anjali’s green juice recipe!
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Keep doing what you can. New challenges will keep arising. Let the inevitable frustration and anger fuel you. They are learning opportunities that can leave you a stronger leader with a stronger business.
Make your goals clear. Keep seeking better ways of doing things and do them. Stop worrying about how they will get done and just hustle! The universe likes clarity, action, and speed. Don't beat yourself up over failures -even those who give the best advice fail. Most of them are wise enough to admit that the foundation of their success is failure. Breathe.