As someone who has sold nearly a million golf clubs online, it may be counterintuitive to hear me say you shouldn’t start an e-commerce business.
Most of these “gurus” get 5 sales online and then push you to buy their course on how you can be insanely rich by finding the right drop shipped product. The only thing they do well is sell you their course…
The reality is that a true e-commerce brand that makes their own products is expensive, time consuming and requires a lot of capital to have traction. Starting an e-commerce business is not for everyone! And that’s ok.
For me I went as far as designing a golf club with 4 Engineering students at the University of Vermont in 2012. This process took a year! And there was no guarantee it would pay off. From there I ended up cashing in my 401k to pay for the tooling costs and first production run. I was young and crazy clearly! But I knew I could never work for someone ever again and this could be my way out.
For those trying to get started I believe you must have a unique brand position and product that customers will love and talk about. And you must be willing to absolutely wow any customer you get, at any cost!
Any inventory based business will require capital to launch and most importantly more capital to scale paid traffic. I ended up using PayPal working capital loans for nearly 3 years to help scale the inventory and fund paid channels.
I’m not trying to scare you away from e-commerce, but tell you the truth. I guess I’m the Anti Guru Guru.
If your still not scared, you must be as crazy as I am…I think the reason I stuck with it so long was the fact that I started in 2012 with zero expectations.
I honestly didn’t expect to make a single dollar. I think this no expectation perspective allowed me to work on what was fun and simply do things that started to pick up traction.
Although I don’t think most people should start an e-commerce brand, I do love the business model.
Here is why I freaking love e-commerce.
1- You can scale an e-commerce business without you working more. If you set it up properly!
For example, today (June 29, 2022) at 9:27 pm and our sales are at $127,872 for the day. Yes, just for the day. But today, I hung out with my Son…all day! So even though I personally did nothing, my agency experts, customer service guys and fulfillment center did. I didn’t ship a a single box and didn’t open my computer.
Sounds outrageous, but 10 years of hard work does pay off and we sent emails saying products came back in stock today! Always love the power of email!
2- You can sell your business to an e-commerce aggregator or strategic buyer.
Direct to consumer e-commerce brands that are run well can be sold. It’s not an easy process by any means but this one sale could be a total life changing event. It was for me.
Bottom line, nothing worth doing in life is easy. If you have a great product and actually give a shit about your customers you may be able to make it happen.
Just don’t think your going dropship some garbage product and magically make millions.
What business will you start?