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EXECUTION Going from Freelance to E-Commerce

Discussion in 'Progress/Execution Threads' started by The Racing Driver, May 6, 2018.

  1. The Racing Driver
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    The Racing Driver Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Hi everyone,

    It's been a few years since I've read TMF and joined this forum.

    I've been doing freelance writing for a certain niche, earning few hundred dollars a month on average. I'm getting clients coming to me but have to turn away work as I'm very busy with my racing career.

    My goal is to be a professional racing driver and my awesome parents are helping fund my season in Formula 4 right now, which I'm incredibly grateful for.

    However it's really a stretch for them and mysself. Racing involves tons of travelling, training and intense focus. Meaning that some days after racing on track, it's close to impossible to have any time or energy leftover to do any business work.

    Freelancing only scales with time, which I don't have much of leftover. So I've got to focus my energy on building something that can work without me.

    My Dad has a clothing brand and his products are selling pretty well. We're not selling online, but our simple 3 page website gets a few emails every month from people asking if they can see our catalogue or order online.

    With a NEED discovered, I'm going to start working on channel expansion by adding e-commerce on top of our wholesale operation and two retail stores.

    I know very little about this business and the fashion industry, but I see potential ways to help. Will be documenting my process of launching and growing this business .....
     
    Longinus and Sagemoney like this.
  2. The Racing Driver
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    The Racing Driver Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Progress so far:

    - I'm building the e-commerce store on top of the WordPress site I've set up already by using the Woocommerce plugin.

    - I've set up stripe for the payment gateway, but to accept credit card payments on the website I've needed to install an EV SSL certificate. Having that green lock next to your URL is a must have these days. It took much longer than I anticipated to get it, as I needed to get my business verified with a DUNS number. Which is recommended to have and free in any trading business :)

    Next Steps:

    I've decided to use Hong Kong Speedpost to ship our products. They've posted a table on their website with their rates for different weight categories like <1kg, 1 to 1.5kg, 1.5 to 2kg and so on....

    Every country has different shipping rates and our products weigh a bit different depending on their size. So it seems like table rate shipping is the way to go. I don't know much about how to set up table rate shipping, so I'm looking on Fiverr to find a freelancer who can help me with this.

    There's well over a 100 countries I can ship to. How would you guys recommend I decide which countries to sell to and NOT sell to when shipping internationally?
     
    Midas likes this.
  3. The Racing Driver
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    The Racing Driver Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Last few weeks have been a bit challenging. I’ve been feeling very low on energy and things are not happening as fast as I’d like. But I’m pushing on....

    E-Commerce Site Progress:

    - Need product photography, but the photographer I’ve used stop responding because he left the country :( I’ve posted a job looking for another one.

    - In the meantime, I’ve found a freelancer who could help me set up table rate shipping. I’m researching the customs duties and policies of different countries and am planning to add countries one at a time.


    B2B Sales:

    Currently my Dad’s fashion brand brings in most of its revenue through wholesale.

    I noticed we get emails like this on average once per week. This is with zero marketing, advertising or SEO whatsoever. Just through referrals or from someone looking up our brand on Google. (Seems like this could become a productocracy :) )

    Screen Shot 2018-06-02 at 11.18.24 AM.png



    We get asked for a catalogue quite often, but my Dad has never made one as our stock doesn’t remain for more than a few days. However, since the market is asking for it. It seems like it’s time to make one.

    Even if we’re out of stock, past styles can be produced again for a retailer who can meet our MOQ. Once the catalogue is produced, I can look into creating a B2B sales system to get our products into more retail shops.
     
  4. The Racing Driver
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    The Racing Driver Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    E-Commerce Site Progress:

    - Table rate shipping settings have been set up. I will start adding countries to our shipping countries.

    - A few photographers have replied my job post. Planning to hire one of them. The product photos taken with an iPhone 8 seem to look alright. Will upload them first and see the response.

    - The website's privacy policy needs work to conform to GPDR, and I plan to hire a web developer to do this.

    - Waiting to get the product titles, descriptions and other info from my Dad before the online store goes live.


    B2B:

    After reading @Scot ’s thread on wholesaling. I’m really grateful that most of our sales come through wholesale, because of the sheer volume involved.

    Margins may be low and that's very tough on cashflow sometimes, but tens of thousands of our clothes end up in consumers hands every year, which has really boosted our brand presence. Most of our new clients, come from word of mouth referrals by independent retailers who order from us.

    I’m hoping that by improving our website and implementing e-commerce (B2C), we can improve our credibility and attract more retailers to stock our products.
     
    Scot likes this.
  5. Longinus
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    Longinus Platinum Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    The Racing Driver likes this.
  6. The Racing Driver
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    The Racing Driver Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    Thanks for the help @Longinus ! I'll check out what you've mentioned. I'm planning to get the web designer to improve some things on the site. Thought he could do the privacy policy, but I ought to know what it should cover tbh.
     
    Longinus likes this.
  7. The Racing Driver
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    The Racing Driver Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED Speedway Pass

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    E-Commerce Site Progress:

    Just (soft) launched the online shop.

    To conform the privacy policy/tools to GPDR, I did what I could. I don't think it's perfect yet, so will get it checked out. For now, I've not included the EU in the countries we ship to, but thank you for the resources @Longinus. They helped a lot.

    All along I was trying to set up weight based shipping for all the different products and countries we want to sell to. Until I discovered the Easyship plugin, which works with shipping couriers here in Hong Kong to give automatic rates at checkout inclusive of taxes and duties. Thank god I found that sooner rather than later.

    What I was doing earlier now seems so stupid, but as MJ said in Unscripted: You don’t know what you need to know until you know.
     
    Longinus likes this.

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