The Entrepreneur Forum | Financial Freedom | Starting a Business | Motivation | Money | Success

Finally launched my online store selling mushroom products

Learn how to build wealth and win financial freedom the Fastlane way!

Say "NO" to mediocre living rife with jobs, ascetic frugality, and suffocating savings rituals— learn how to build a Fastlane business that pays both freedom and lifestyle affluence. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs who are making it happen.
Join for FREE Today
Get the books
Remove ads? Join Fastlane INSIDERS
(Registration removes this block)
A detailed account of a Fastlane process...

pumpkinman

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jul 20, 2021
17
15
It's been a while since I checked in here. I originally posted a few months ago about a couple of ideas I had and got a few responses recommending I go with a gourmet mushroom idea. Well I've spent the last few months working on that, and on Monday I was finally able to set our online store live.

To be honest, it's been possibly the most challenging period of my life. I finally quit the 9-5, had some big health issues and bought my first house. That last one really created a lot of stress, and while we're now moved in, there are still some big building issues that need fixing, which is difficult as builders and materials are in short supply right now. Anyway, that's another story. Back to the business.

There've been plenty of ups and downs with this too. The original idea was actually brought to me by someone I've known for a while. He'd been growing gourmet mushrooms at home for fun during the lockdowns, and he said he thought it had legs as a business and would I like to help him make it a reality. It was good timing to be honest, as I really needed to leave the ecommerce job I was in. I'm very aware in MJ's book he recommends going it alone if possible, and this was always at the back of my mind, especially as, by this guy's own admission, he's not the easiest to get along with, but at the end of the day it was this guy's idea. I was willing to run with it for now. The plan was to create an urban gourmet mushroom farm in our city, as no one else was doing it, and then we could have related mushroom products, such as mushroom coffee, or maybe products for customers to grow mushrooms at home.

So he ended up finding a local company that offers space to green/eco startups, but soon a lot of the admin fell to me. There was also a huge amount of bureaucracy to deal with at this place - manoeuvring people and situations so that we could have our plot of land and a shipping container to start with. We also had to clear the space and buy a couple more shipping containers ourselves, but the space was essentially free, which was a big plus. We were also going to benefit from the company's visibility in the local community and links to education/schools, as that's something we planned to branch out into.

It soon became apparent we'd probably need someone else involved to do a lot of the labour on the farm, so we ended up bringing in a friend of mine who I've known since childhood. Me and said friend ended up clearing all the space and just generally making preparations for the business. He's also a chef, so he started work on some culinary mushroom products as well. You can see a lot of this on my YouTube channel which I'll link to below.

I was also building the website, branding and social media in the background, and we'd started to reach out to a local coffee supplier to help make our coffee idea a reality. We got closer and closer to being ready but just as we were about to get truly going, the initial partner, who'd been off ill for a while, ended up wanting to change the partnership arrangement which had been founded on equal splits. Yes, there'd even been a contract drawn up initially between him and myself, but now he wanted to essentially be in charge, along with a few extra rights. I wasn't 100% against it and saw where he was coming from to a degree, but he said one thing which helped me make up my mind: "you're essentially replaceable." He'd said a similar thing to my friend too, and we both had a quick chat and decided we couldn't be a part of this anymore. It really wasn't in our best interests.

However, we had put months of both desk and physical work into this project and started to rearrange our lives to make this work, and we were pretty excited about the whole idea. We had a meeting with him and said "I don't think this is for us/I think we need to split off". We came to an agreement where he could keep the farm we'd started building, and me and my friend would keep the branding, social media and relationship with the coffee supplier.

Before I get the 'I told you so' comment about working with other people - yes, I know haha. I've learnt a lot throughout that process, and the initial idea was not mine, but in the end I felt I'd put in enough work to deserve the split we negotiated above. And yes, I'm still working with the one other partner now, but so far things have been really great. And yes, we have a signed contract in place.

Since the split we've found a new room to use. We pay rent on this one, but I feel all the decisions can be made and implemented a lot quicker. We've mainly been working on our two dry products up till now: a mushroom umami salt and a mushroom coffee. We wanted to get the store online in time for Christmas and we managed that on Monday. Yesterday we went and bought some of the equipment for the actual farm side of the business, and as my partner is a chef, he has a lot of connections with restaurants in our city. There's already quite a demand for fresh mushrooms, so we're conscious we need to get up and running soon to supply this. Especially because an already-established microgreens business here is starting to venture into mushrooms, so we already have competition.

I'm confident in the fresh mushrooms idea though, and excited to get growing and see where it goes. The dry food side is also showing potential. In fact, as you can imagine the profit margins there are bigger, but it will need a bigger marketing push. We've already had a few orders, but mainly from family and friends. I'm glad we'll have two aspects to the business going forward and I imagine the business will eventually lean in one direction.

Here's the current WooCommerce store:

We've also been documenting things on a YouTube channel. I'm hoping this will take off a bit once we get the fresh mushrooms on camera.

I'd like to check in here and document how things are going periodically.

I'm also very much open to thoughts and advice from all you more experienced people. I'm especially conscious that I need to get some kind of marketing strategy in place to get the word out about our brand and dry products starting in the new year, and we're going to have to do it on a shoestring budget. Any tips on that whole issue would be gladly received. The fresh mushroom aspect really will help in creating awareness for us locally, but I will have a lot of work to do, probably online, in spreading the word about our company in general. There is potential though, as there are already other bigger brands doing similar things, such as Four Sigmatic, and I truly believe interest in mushrooms is going to grow rapidly over the next few years.

It's all been a bit unnerving at times, especially knowing I have to make this work to put bread on the table and all the doubts that come with it, but I'm feeling positive. Thanks for reading, and once again, thanks to MJ for the book and this community. I'm going to read the book again over the Christmas break and hang out here more now the initial groundwork on the business is out of the way.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Eudaimonium

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jun 8, 2017
136
139
Germany
Hi, interesting story and products.

There is obviously a lot to improve, but good to see you have launched. Put as much effort into the website as you did into the post you just wrote, for example. It feels a bit empty at the moment. Focus on the 'story' and 'identity' of the brand. I believe that will be important.
 

pumpkinman

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jul 20, 2021
17
15
Hi, interesting story and products.

There is obviously a lot to improve, but good to see you have launched. Put as much effort into the website as you did into the post you just wrote, for example. It feels a bit empty at the moment. Focus on the 'story' and 'identity' of the brand. I believe that will be important.
Thanks, I think so too. Yeah, there are only two products for sale right now. I wanted to get the site up for Christmas in case friends and relatives wanted anything but it is empty. We're working on the actual growing right now and have a couple of other none fresh ideas that should come to fruition soon.
 

pumpkinman

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jul 20, 2021
17
15
So it's Christmas Eve and the store has officially been online for a little less than three weeks. This first period has served its purpose in my mind. We had around 20 orders with a satisfactory amount of revenue and it's enabled us to prove the e-commerce system, shipping, relationship with supplier etc. is working. All the while we've been selling these dry products while setting up our farm for the fresh side of things.

Most of the orders were from friends and family drummed up on social media, but I'd say some were from people we didn't know. Need to install Google Analytics and start to see where people are coming from.

There is plenty to do after the Christmas break. I brainstormed a big list of angles/jobs to attack in January. Most of it is marketing along with other general jobs. Any more ideas welcome...
  • Create a Facebook group/page. I think FB has peaked as a platform but could still be useful for us.
  • Write blog posts on a regular basis.
  • Use TikTok. We made our first post yesterday. Looking forward to seeing what happens here, complete noob on this platform really.
  • Continue using the Instagram account and develop an attractive aesthetic.
  • Create an editorial calendar for your blog and social content?
  • Connect with influencers for promotional posts to reach their user base.
  • Continue using the YouTube channel. This is the part of the business I enjoy most and I see potential if we stay consistent with it.
  • Make a YouTube channel trailer for people who haven't subscribed.
  • Write press release and reach out to relevant blogs, local radio, local newspapers, magazines with press release.
  • Set up Google Analytics.
  • Offer coupon in exchange for email sign-up.
  • Add something in with every order? Review request, discount coupon.
  • Collab with another local brand.
  • Rewrite the brand story on our site and add photo of us two.
  • Branded wearable items.
  • General SEO check.
  • Get reviews from customers who've already bought.
  • Start to request user generated content, photos, videos etc.
  • Google Business sign up.
  • Guest blog on someone else's blog.
  • Get on a local podcast.
  • Use subreddits.
  • Post in Facebook groups.
  • Local events, markets.
  • Throw an event.
  • Get samples in meal subscription services.
  • Get on Amazon FBA.
The last one is something I'd like to dip our toes into and see what happens. I have experience with it, and I think we can make it work for this brand and run it alongside our own e-commerce store. Could become an important part of the business. I think we could even up the price a bit on Amazon to compensate for their fees.

While I want to grow the business as fast as possible (as I don't have unlimited savings to keep me going), much of what we're doing is slow-building, and I'm OK with that.

I think the fresh mushrooms are going to add a whole new dynamic once we have some produce and should act as a great billboard for us, locally at least. And I hope the dry products/e-commerce side of things will continue to build and grow slowly as we're consistent with out efforts.

I know the website still feels bare, but we're working on brand new products to introduce and also rebagging dried mushrooms, which should bulk us out with a few more products. I'm OK with it feeling a little empty for the time-being but it's definitely on our minds to improve in the new year.

Happy Christmas everyone. Gonna read Millionaire Fastlane again over the break. Saw it reviewed on Ali Abdaal's YT channel today, nice to see.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Paul Flint

New Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 9, 2021
7
4
So it's Christmas Eve and the store has officially been online for a little less than three weeks. This first period has served its purpose in my mind. We had around 20 orders with a satisfactory amount of revenue and it's enabled us to prove the e-commerce system, shipping, relationship with supplier etc. is working. All the while we've been selling these dry products while setting up our farm for the fresh side of things.

Most of the orders were from friends and family drummed up on social media, but I'd say some were from people we didn't know. Need to install Google Analytics and start to see where people are coming from.

There is plenty to do after the Christmas break. I brainstormed a big list of angles/jobs to attack in January. Most of it is marketing along with other general jobs. Any more ideas welcome...
  • Create a Facebook group/page. I think FB has peaked as a platform but could still be useful for us.
  • Write blog posts on a regular basis.
  • Use TikTok. We made our first post yesterday. Looking forward to seeing what happens here, complete noob on this platform really.
  • Continue using the Instagram account and develop an attractive aesthetic.
  • Create an editorial calendar for your blog and social content?
  • Connect with influencers for promotional posts to reach their user base.
  • Continue using the YouTube channel. This is the part of the business I enjoy most and I see potential if we stay consistent with it.
  • Make a YouTube channel trailer for people who haven't subscribed.
  • Write press release and reach out to relevant blogs, local radio, local newspapers, magazines with press release.
  • Set up Google Analytics.
  • Offer coupon in exchange for email sign-up.
  • Add something in with every order? Review request, discount coupon.
  • Collab with another local brand.
  • Rewrite the brand story on our site and add photo of us two.
  • Branded wearable items.
  • General SEO check.
  • Get reviews from customers who've already bought.
  • Start to request user generated content, photos, videos etc.
  • Google Business sign up.
  • Guest blog on someone else's blog.
  • Get on a local podcast.
  • Use subreddits.
  • Post in Facebook groups.
  • Local events, markets.
  • Throw an event.
  • Get samples in meal subscription services.
  • Get on Amazon FBA.
The last one is something I'd like to dip our toes into and see what happens. I have experience with it, and I think we can make it work for this brand and run it alongside our own e-commerce store. Could become an important part of the business. I think we could even up the price a bit on Amazon to compensate for their fees.

While I want to grow the business as fast as possible (as I don't have unlimited savings to keep me going), much of what we're doing is slow-building, and I'm OK with that.

I think the fresh mushrooms are going to add a whole new dynamic once we have some produce and should act as a great billboard for us, locally at least. And I hope the dry products/e-commerce side of things will continue to build and grow slowly as we're consistent with out efforts.

I know the website still feels bare, but we're working on brand new products to introduce and also rebagging dried mushrooms, which should bulk us out with a few more products. I'm OK with it feeling a little empty for the time-being but it's definitely on our minds to improve in the new year.

Happy Christmas everyone. Gonna read Millionaire Fastlane again over the break. Saw it reviewed on Ali Abdaal's YT channel today, nice to see.
Hey, thanks for posting your progress -- it gives me faith that the starting my new e-commerce site will not feel as daunting once I figure out the first steps of actually building the website. I also appreciate your "to do" list -- it helps to focus on the future. Best of luck!
 

pumpkinman

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jul 20, 2021
17
15
Hey, thanks for posting your progress -- it gives me faith that the starting my new e-commerce site will not feel as daunting once I figure out the first steps of actually building the website. I also appreciate your "to do" list -- it helps to focus on the future. Best of luck!
Thanks. I thought someone else might find it useful. What are you planning to sell?

I opened my Amazon seller account today btw.
 

bbar97

Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Dec 1, 2017
52
48
24
South Carolina
@pumpkinman if you need any help setting up your Google Analytics let me know, that's my specialty. (For free of course)

Its important to get it set up quickly so you can monitor improvement and get insights to help make decisions on what to improve.

Congrats on actually executing, I had the same idea with selling fresh mushrooms, plus microgreens as well, but I never executed on it.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

pumpkinman

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Jul 20, 2021
17
15
@pumpkinman if you need any help setting up your Google Analytics let me know, that's my specialty. (For free of course)

Its important to get it set up quickly so you can monitor improvement and get insights to help make decisions on what to improve.

Congrats on actually executing, I had the same idea with selling fresh mushrooms, plus microgreens as well, but I never executed on it.
Much appreciated, and thanks for the reminder. Maybe I'll set it up after eating tonight, and will definitely give you a shout if I need help.

Yeah, I honestly think mushrooms are going to be a big hit over the next few years. I feel late to the party myself. I wish I'd started a year earlier. It's spreading all over the UK now, I think we're a bit behind the US. There's already an established microgreens seller in our city and I've heard through the grapevine they are moving into mushrooms and are quite far into the process, so it's really given us a kick up the arse.
 

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Must Read Books...

Explore books recommended by MJ DeMarco and other members of the Fastlane entrepreneurial community.
Fastlane Bookstore
Top