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GOLD 24 Years old: QUIT six-figure Job, Launched two Businesses

Discussion in 'General Entrepreneur Discussion' started by G_Alexander, Oct 10, 2014.

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  1. mike24601
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    mike24601 Consumption Bear Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    This thread just makes me smile every time I read it. It is what drew me in and inspired me when I first visited the forum, and it's what keeps me motivated as I continue my journey.
     
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  2. G_Alexander
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    G_Alexander Does it Cash Flow? Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    @MJ DeMarco haha! You're the best man, thank you for the kind words. You + this forum + the great group of guys I met on here when I was 18 (can't believe it's been 9 years) definitely helped me make about 10,000 less mistakes than I otherwise would have on this path. So I am eternally grateful to you.
    Speaking of your books, UNSCRIPTED was delivered yesterday and I can't wait to read it in Cabo this week :smile:
     
  3. G_Alexander
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    G_Alexander Does it Cash Flow? Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I'd normally point you to go read all the threads I have already recommended, or to read the free eBooks I posted about in here... but I'll give you a couple quick tips my friend (because I get PMs like this all the time too)!

    When picking your Niche for an ecommerce store:
    1. Think about your hobbies when picking a product (and try to be between $100 - $500 per order retail price point)
      • Use Google "Keyword Planner" to find out if your primary product search keyword gets at least 10,000 searches per month
        • Or if the combination of your top two keywords gets 10,000+ per month
    2. Once you find a keyword that is a hobby and meets that criteria... go type it in google and check what the top three results are (organic results)
      • If the 1st result looks like crap (old website, no customer reviews in place, no social media accounts)... then you're onto something.
      • If the 1st result looks good but the 2nd and 3rd look like crap... you still might be onto something.
      • If all 3 of the top results look like amazing websites with lots of traffic, customers, reviews.... then your niche may be too competitive... so start over with another hobby product
    3. Make sure your product isn't super heavy
      • You don't want to get burned with high shipping costs that you can't pass down to customers
      • If you do have an item that is heavy, check to see if your potential competitors are offering free shipping or if they are charging customers shipping (just do a pretend checkout on their store, but don't actually order)
    4. Search for USA suppliers (if you're in the USA) of your product by typing in "[Your Niche Product] Distributors" or "[Your Niche Product] Manufacturers" (manufacturers sometimes drop ship or can point you towards a distributor they use)
      • You want your suppliers in the same country you are drop-shipping product to, otherwise your lead times to ship to customers are WAY too long and you won't have happy customers
    5. Call the distributors and open accounts (let them know you are an expert in your field and you are launching a new website soon). Suppliers want your business. They want to make money too. Convince them that you can help them make more money (i.e. sell lots of shit for them)
     
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  4. Sfbloo
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    Sfbloo Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Nothing but respect to you. This thread is inspirational.

    I've reread it 3 times this week. I've started edging towards an ecommerce site myself and im put off by the lack of control with dropshipping. But drawn in by the reduced start up costs and being able to offer a wider product range from the off.

    Can I ask... do your suppliers let you personalise packaging, add inserts etc. Or is it strictly on their terms?

    What's the biggest issues you've faced using distributors/dropshipping and trying to maintain outstanding customer service?

    Well done on your many achievements so far!
     
  5. G_Alexander
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    G_Alexander Does it Cash Flow? Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    When you submit an order to a distributor you usually give them a packing slip for them to give to the warehouse/fulfilment team. Most suppliers/distributors should be able to drop in your store's packing slip at minimum, which will have your logo, web address, and any custom notes you typed on your packing slip. They may also be able to drop in, say a company sticker and a company business card with each order... but not all will do this.

    Two of my primary suppliers drop in my store's custom packing slip, and would put other items in if I asked them as well (but I usually don't). I asked them if they could do this up front (if they had said no, it wasn't a deal breaker for me... some distributors are too big to logistically handle all of your requests... that is until you are too big for them to lose.)

    Biggest hurdle with dropshipping is quality control (wrong product getting shipped, then you have to deal with returns/exchanges) and speed (they don't move as fast as you might, so it creates unnecessary customer service inquiries).

    You can avoid these things by working with excellent suppliers who are organized. The best suppliers will have an internal website of their own where you can put in orders yourself, match SKUs, and track shipments. That said, my best supplier relationship has us submit all orders via email (as does my 3rd largest supplier).
     
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  6. Sfbloo
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    Sfbloo Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thankyou. It's really helpful information and puts my mind at ease with a few things. I'm Uk based so the number of distributors may block access to certain markets. I wouldn't want to dropship outside of the UK.

    Are some of your products only available via one supplier? Or do you always have the safeguard of several suppliers. I've looked at a few products that only have one UK/european distributor. So there is additional risk.
     
  7. jcvlds
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    jcvlds PARKED

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    Hey @G_Alexander, thanks so much for sharing your story, tactics, and advice here, it has been truly inspiring and motivating for many of us (me!). I am in the works of finding and launching a service like this for a niche of my own and was wondering if you could help me out a bit with how you managed the financial side of the business while ramping up. Did you forego any salary (even if minimal) while you were initiating the business? If not and you did pay yourself, would you shed some light on maybe a rule of thumb or any advice you can give on how much to pay yourself depending on what level the business is at (by revenue I assume).

    Many thanks in advance for your insights and once again thanks for sharing your story and wish you even more success to come!
     
  8. Ninjamin
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    Ninjamin New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED

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    @G_Alexander , thanks for everything (this post, the constant updates, and guidance).

    I am definitely motivated to find my own path to success.

    Onwards and upwards!
     
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    @G_Alexander, thank you so much for you story. really inspiring!!!
    It was a good read! :)
     
  10. tiagosoares17.22
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    What an amazing thread! I am impressed. Fantastic job!

    I am 25 years-old and I am now starting my own business in the wine industry. The goal is to create a new brand (which I am doing) and sell it abroad. To be honest, I have no clue how I am going to pull this off, but I will have to find a way.
     
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  11. Laughingman21
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    @G_Alexander - thanks for sharing such an incredible and inspirational story with everyone on the forum.

    I've got just a couple of questions about how someone might start out following on a similar path:

    1. Do you think it's necessary for the niche you choose to be something you already do or have an interest in?

    2. How do you deal with returned items when dropshipping?
     
  12. Greg P.
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    Greg P. New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Can anyone point me to the eCommerceful guide mentioned in this thread? I'd love to read up on it!
     
  13. Fox
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  14. Fox
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    The guide I just posted above addresses both of those questions in great detail.
     
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  15. Greg P.
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    Greg P. New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Thanks Fox! Really appreciate it, I was looking to get into eCommerce myself since I'm looking to tap out on my job but wanted to make sure I had all the tools under my belt first. I'm in that place where I'm looking across the chasm knowing I want to take the leap but have no idea how to jump. Getting started is the hardest part.
     
  16. Alexo
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    Thanks for the post. Can't wait to be in a position to quit my day job to focus full time on the business!
     
  17. Aaron T
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    Aaron T Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    I am catching up on all the years I missed out by not being a part of this forum and saw this Post and I just had to say, WOW what a great motivational post @G_Alexander! I really enjoyed seeing this, seeing the courage it took to leave a steady well paying job, and the focus on being unscripted!

    To add to your comment on just getting one sale, recently looking at data at a company I was at we determined (over millions of individual sales events and average daily users of over a million so the data is statistically sound) that once a client we supported got off the ground and did only 5 sales, they had a greater than 87% chance of success. That is HUGE to know! HUGE! That means that if you can get something going and get to the point of that single sale, regardless of size, and then follow through to 5 sales, you have a really good chance of being a success.

    Sadly so many people I know go through the motions of starting a business and never really followed through to event he first sale. After spending time and effort why would you stop that? And of course 5 sales doesn't mean you are making money, or guarantees success, but the probability was good.

    I just wanted to share that data because it is very validating for what we are trying to do here.
     
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  18. StevieB
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    StevieB Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thank you for this piece, it's helped me make a decision.
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. Striver
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    Striver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    Why the huge decline in July? And have things bounced back to normal for you?
     
  20. Fox
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    Fox Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I am pretty sure it is because he posted it on the 19th (doesn't show full months revenue).
     
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    Man, @G_Alexander, thank you so much for the insight. I really appreciate the feedback and good luck to your current/future ventures. Cheers.
     
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    Qstyle Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane

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    I absolutely enjoyed reading this thread. Your beliefs, perseverance and energy are contagious.
    What I love most is how you adore this forum and the friendships you have created and cherished.
    Good luck with your next milestone!
     
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  23. G_Alexander
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    G_Alexander Does it Cash Flow? Read Millionaire Fastlane FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Precisely, @Fox! Thanks for responding. If you guys didn't already know... Fox is awesome.

    Finished July strong!

    Thanks to everyone else for the kind words. Glad to help you guys any way I can!
     
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  24. Striver
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    Shit! I need to start looking at dates on things! haha