How Long It Took Me To Do £30,000 E-commerce

How Long It Took Me To Do £30,000 E-commerce Sales

Alright, folks, let's dive into the saga of how I went from startup newbie to £30,000 in e-commerce sales within one year. Get ready for some insider knowledge, a few twists and turns, and a dash of entrepreneurial wisdom!

The Beginning: From Drop Shipping to Warehouse Hustle

My e-commerce adventure kicked off with a home and garden dropshipping store. I started by running Facebook ads and had one product in my inventory – lampshades.

Things started off working well, until disaster struck over Christmas. My supplier ran out of stock, and I was left high and dry, with orders I couldn't fulfill, and ads I'd paid for.

In response, I made a move: I shifted from dropshipping to holding inventory. But don't picture a fancy warehouse – my spare room became my makeshift storage space. Soon after I moved into my summer house (my mini-warehouse!).

My Summer House Warehouse

Slowly but surely, I expanded my product range from five SKUs (products) to nearly 100 different SKUs. Initially, most products were sourced from AliExpress, (essentially the Amazon of China), but eventually I was buying mostly from brands.

Exploring Sales Channels: eBay and Crafting a Brand

After running Facebook ads and finding them a bit too temperamental (hard to maintain a good cost per acquisition), I began testing ebay.

This worked immediately. I remember sitting in a cafe with my wife, with sales pinging on my phone, and my wife telling me to put the price up of the candles we were selling.

The decision to jump on ebay had quickly proved fruitful, but that didn't stop there being challenges. I quickly encountered that brands were not enthusiastic about third-party sellers operating on marketplaces like eBay. So whilst this worked okay for some brands it didn't for most.

After doing this for some time, I made a pivotal decision. I wanted to build a brand, so I began selling through my own website.

This was the moment I started dabbling in various different marketing strategies, including Google Ads.

The Power of Google Ads

Cue the drumroll for the real game-changer – Google Ads.

After spending maybe £10, to my surprise, I already had a sale. £20 later, two more sales.

Lo and behold, sales started rolling in faster than I thought possible in such a short space of time.

Over the course of the business's life, I splurged around £17,000 on Google Ads, resulting in a return on ad spend – a whopping £70,000!

My Google Roas

Why did Google Ads work so darn well? Well, here's the secret sauce – I was diving into the marketing funnel right at the bottom.

Folks were ready to make a purchase, and all they wanted was a good deal.

Bootstrapping vs. Chasing Venture Capital

When it came to financing my e-commerce adventure, I had a choice to make. I could either bootstrap it or chase after venture capital.

I chose to bootstrap for a couple of reasons.

Raising capital can take a fair amount of time, even if I got lucky and managed to do it within three months, it would still take time for the deal to go through. Based on what I'd heard, I felt it could take me, maybe a year or more to get funding (as unpredictable as Manchester's weather). With this time, I could potentially get the ball rolling without funding.

Couple that with the fact I had a full time job as a chartered accountant, trying to get funding didn't seem like the best route to success.

The SEO Advantage

Reflecting on my journey, I can't help but think that if I were to start over, I would place greater emphasis on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as opposed to Google Ads.

With SEO I could do it in my spare time without having customers that need servicing, and I could make a profit on the first sale, rather than with Google ads where the profit is generally on the repeat sales / Lifetime Value (Often break even on first sale).

Conclusion

So, there you have it, my friends – how long it actually takes to get to £30,000 in e-commerce sales? One Year...If you do it like I did.

One point of reflection, it's way harder than you first think, but you learn so much more than you'd expect (or at least I did!).

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