Join us as we meet entrepreneurs who have gone through the triumphs and headaches of running an online store, and learn how they managed to survive and thrive.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned ecommerce upside-down. For entrepreneurs running online stores, coronavirus has created a whole new set of challenges. And for those sourcing products from China, it has been nearly two months of urgent questions – with very few clear answers. In the most recent episode of the Oberlo podcast, Start Yours, we talk with four ecommerce experts about their experiences navigating the coronavirus outbreak, and how they are holding their businesses (and sanity) together. If you're short on time, here’s a five-point TL;DR version: <ol> <li>Dropshippers everywhere are facing the same logistical issues with production and shipments out of China at a near standstill.</li> <li>It's important to communicate with your customers and provide them with shipping updates.</li> <li>Take advantage of this lull for self-improvement and work on other aspects of your ecommerce business so you are ready to scale when things return to normal.</li> <li>Source out other shipping alternatives to ePacket, such as UBI, SF Express, and Yun Express.</li> <li>Consider looking for suppliers who offer shipping from the United States. The extra few bucks per shipment is a worthy investment in exchange for faster shipping times.</li> </ol>
In this episode, we break down exactly how you can sell trash. OK, not <em>trash</em> trash. More like trash in the sense of that old saying – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That’s definitely the case for our guest, Adrien Taylor. Adrien joined us from New Zealand, where he runs a hat business, Offcut, that uses discarded materials to create really, really cool hats. Adrien walks us through how he first conceived of Offcut, how he launched the business with VERY limited resources and absolutely no knowledge of hats, clothing, or anything else that would suggest he launching a fashion brand was in his future. No time? Here’s a five-point TL;DR version: 1. The inspiration behind Offcut was sparked by his father's curtain wholesale business. 2. You can't tell if something is going to sell by just thinking about it. You have to just do it. 3. Today, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is what sells. 4. Adopt an open communication policy with your audience to keep them engaged. 5. Authenticity is key when incorporating social causes into businesses.
Ezra Firestone was doing ecommerce marketing long before Facebook was the go-to channel. He spoke to us at Start Yours on the key to business success today, how ecommerce marketing has evolved, and what entrepreneurs should focus on in 2020. If you're short on time, here's a five-point TL;DR version: 1. Algorithms today are so smart that you don't really have to worry about placement or audience optimization. What you should focus on is the ad creative. 2. True wealth creation does not come from operating cash flow businesses. It comes from the liquidation of assets. 3. Focus on creative optimization and campaign objective optimization to be successful in 2020. 4. You need a 12-month business liquidity cushion to play the long game, not the 30- to 60-day cushion most businesses have. 5. Set boundaries and invest in your personal life, relationships, social life, and health to avoid burnout.
Student debt has come up REPEATEDLY on the Oberlo podcast, Start Yours. And if all of these ecommerce wizards keep bringing up debt, we thought it was time to give this topic its due. That’s why we enlisted today’s guests – Vadim and Sergei Revzin. They joined us to break down how debt can get in the way of entrepreneurship, and on the flip side of that, how people can launch businesses to get OUT of debt.
Paul Lee’s first crack at ecommerce came with a product that he knew would make him millions. The idea was to create an elixir to kickstart facial hair growth for dudes with weak beards. He’d study hair growth, he’d learn the chemistry behind hair growth products, he’d get FDA approval, and bam – he’d be pulling hundreds out of the big, fat beard he grew with his magical product. Yeah, that didn’t work. Paul ran into roadblock after roadblock, and was forced to pivot. He stayed in beards, but instead of selling this magical formula to grow a beard, he took all the knowledge he’d accumulated about the beard world and turned his fire toward beard care products. His store took off, and before long Paul quit college and was doing ecommerce full time. Actually, it was more than full-time. He never took breaks, he was pulling 10-hour days, he got obsessed, and by the time he sold his beard store on Shopify Exchange for $80,000, he was thoroughly, thoroughly burnt out. Paul joined Start Yours to talk about the crappy college teacher that inspired him to finally drop out, the branding strategy that fueled his success, his approach to product selection, his Facebook ads best practices and, first off, how someone who couldn’t grow a beard to save his life became a beard connoisseur.
Before John Lee Dumas launched Entrepreneurs on Fire, he was... miserable. John had what from the outside looked like a nice shiny job in corporate finance, but on the inside, the whole scene was driving him nuts. He felt trapped, and to break free, he jumped into the deep end and started a business whose sole purpose was helping other people start their business. The first 13 months of this project were pretty underwhelming, as he’ll explain, but he kept at it, kept at it, and eventually… ka-ching. John now makes six figures a month from <a href="https://www.eofire.com/">Entrepreneurs on Fire</a>, and he joined us to talk about that success, sure, but also the self-doubt that used to haunt him, the morning routine that does religiously to keep his inner game in check, and how he knew it was time to ditch his steady, stable life and launch something of his own. You can find Start Yours wherever you listen to podcasts!
Ever wondered how much money you need to start marketing? And what about Facebook ads – what's the best approach? We answered these questions (and a bunch more!) in this bonus episode of Start Yours. Check it out: The 10 most frequently asked questions about marketing.
In this episode we talk with Oberlo co-founder Tomas Slimas. Before launching Oberlo, Tomas was a dropshipper and ecommerce entrepreneur himself, trying – and often failing – to make money online. He eventually got it figured out and generated $3 million in revenue on a single store in a single year. Tomas sold that business and then doubled down on dropshipping, founding Oberlo in the hopes that anyone could do what he had just done – build a successful online business without ever holding inventory.
At first, ecommerce reminded Emma Reid of video games. It was addictive, exciting, competitive, and tons of fun. But then things fell apart. Her dropshipping supplier botched thousands of orders, she lost $10,000 in a month, and then the burnout set in. She joined us on Start Yours to explain what went wrong, the lessons she learned, and why she’s back in the game running another online store. You can read more about Emma's journey <a href="/blog/emma-reid-entrepreneur">on the Oberlo blog</a>.
Rodney Zachariuk (25) and Kory Szostak (27) have an entrepreneurial mindset. They were always thinking differently, and always dreaming up ways to make money here and there. That entrepreneurial mindset eventually led them to open an ecommerce store that, a little more than a year later, has generated six figures in revenue. It wasn't always comfortable. For example, when they were preparing to launch their business, they remember politely declining offers to hit the bars, and instead spending then entire night lurking on Reddit and consuming hours upon hours of YouTube tutorials. They share their story about trusting their entrepreneurial mindset, shutting out the doubters, and scaling their business to the point that it funds trips around the world.
Six figures of revenue with $0 spent on advertising? Yes, please! A pair of dropshippers from Utah, Mandie and Aubrey, joined us to explain how they’ve made six figures of revenue without spending a dime on advertising. The secret? Their Facebook group, which they’ve used to launch not one, but two successful businesses. They talk about how they keep their ad budget at $0, and how they get customers to keep coming back – even the ones who know their products are coming straight out of China. You can read more about Mandie and Aubrey <a href="/blog/business-without-advertisement">on the Oberlo blog</a>. If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at <a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener ugc noreferrer">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>
Every successful dropshipping story starts with questions. Lots of them. So in this episode of Start Yours, we answer the most frequently asked questions about dropshipping. We sourced these questions directly from, well, you. From entrepreneurs, from dropshippers, from people who want to know more about how exactly this whole dropshipping thing works. How much money do you need to start dropshipping? What to do about Amazon? How come I have traffic to my store but no sales? Why do, like, 85 different suppliers all offer me the same product? We hit on it all. If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at email@example.com.
There probably aren’t many people in the world who have devoted more thought to dropshipping than Mordechai Arba. In addition to running founding Ecomhunt.com, he is a serial store launcher, and he’s the first to admit that they’re not all home runs. Mordechai explains what makes his successful stores successful, and what makes his less successful stores, well, less successful. Start Yours is available wherever you listen to podcasts. If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org
Yuliya and Mike didn’t know about dropshipping until they launched their store. Through the help of email marketing, they’ve created a 7-figure business in just a few short years. They tell us all about that journey, including the part where they got married. Dropshipping wasn't actually their first ecommerce business. That would be the subscription box service they launched. The subscription box was fun... but packing boxes six hours at a time wasn't so fun. So Mike and Yuliya took all the lessons they learned from the subscription box, and applied them to dropshipping. They've ended up with a store that kills it on some of the things that dropshippers often struggle with – email, repeat business, and a killer conversion rate. We talked to them about all of it. Enjoy! You can read more about Yuliya and Mike <a href="http://bit.ly/2m51iyn">on the Oberlo blog</a>, or stop by <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCd6z8mXnnV1g-rqRQKsdoNg">their YouTube channel</a>. If you want to reach out, shoot us a note at <a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a>.
A few years ago, Ryan Carroll was unemployed and living at home. Not ideal for an ambitious 20-year-old. But after a few fails, including an Amazon refund fiasco, Ryan stumbled across dropshipping – the first step toward launching a swimwear store that generated $300,000 in revenue. In this episode, Ryan talks with us about his dropshipping journey, including where he found the courage to ignore conventional wisdom – and ignore what he was hearing from his family – and choose entrepreneurship over college. Of course, a successful dropshipping business requires more than courage. So Ryan also breaks down the Facebook Ads tactics that he used to turn his favorite hobby into successful ecommerce stores.
Introducing Start Yours – a podcast from Oberlo about what it's like to start a business. Here's a preview of what's in store in Season 1. Episodes coming your way on October 22! We're going to take a deep dive into all things ecommerce, dropshipping, and entrepreneurship. We'll also answer the questions that we hear most, and explain how anyone – seriously, anyone – can launch, run, and scale an online store. It's not easy, but it's doable. Start Yours will explain how.