Simply over a year ago, if you ‘d have informed Jeffrey Ho that he was going to be the owner of a ladies’s fashion industry, he would not have actually trust you.
At that time the concept hadn’t even crossed his mind. What unwinded in the next months took him down a different course than what he had actually prepared for his life.
Without any experience running an business, he would discover himself fumbling through the day to day, learning from each agonizing mistake he made along the method. He ‘d face minutes of doubt, followed by “Aha!” minutes where everything clicked into place. Ultimately, he ‘d find himself in the most unexpected scenario of all, as he waved farewell to his sensible bank job in pursuit of making his dream a full-time reality.
For Jeffrey, life was advancing smoothly. He ‘d recently graduated from an excellent university in Vancouver, leaving with a joint degree in psychology and commerce. He ‘d landed a task at a bank, and quickly discovered himself immersed in the 9 to five.
As the days used on, he found himself looking down the barrel of a life filled with long commutes, laborious conferences, and dull little talk over cups of bad coffee in the break room.
To an outsider’s perspective, he was a success.
But there was one catch. He hated it.
Introducing Dropshipping: Ecommerce Without Inventory
One day while scrolling his Facebook feed, he stumbled up an interesting post. He clicked through and discovered dropshipping.
If you’re new here, let’s get you caught up. Dropshipping is a business model that enables entrepreneurs to run an ecommerce store without holding inventory. It works by connecting store owners to suppliers who make the items. A store owner like Jeffrey will use a tool like Alidropship to import items from various providers into his shop, and his job is to advertise them to consumers. When a client buys an item from Jeffrey’s store, he’ll acquire the item from his supplier, who will deliver it straight to his client. Which implies no remaining stock or warehousing expenses for Jeffrey, ever.
Up to speed? Cool. Let’s leap back in.
Jeffrey was captivated. He ‘d never run a company previously, but he ‘d been craving a side project to handle. He wanted something significant that he could commit his spare time to beyond the bank. Running a dropshipping business felt approachable for somebody who was a total rookie to ecommerce. Most of all, he was drawn in by the idea that he would not have to hand over a bunch of capital in advance for items and warehousing.
“I realized that if you’re dropshipping, you’re getting rid of so much of the overhead expenses of a regular service. You can put more of that money into marketing. That’s what was compelling to me,” he says.
Concepts for different stores began buzzing around in his mind. He was passionate about males’s fashion and had always wished to handle a project that assisted him explore this.
In October 2017, he introduced his guys’s fashion accessories shop. He filled the virtual racks with rings, pendants, ties, and hats that reflected his personal style.
He did all the best things. He spent hours refining the look of his shop, making it look sleek and expert. He composed post with style ideas. He filled his Instagram account with stunning, aspirational images.
However it wasn’t actually working. “I wasn’t seeing any results for the very first few months, to be rather truthful,” he states.
After all, Jeffrey was still a beginner when it pertained to digital marketing, and every day was a process of trial and error. There was a lot to discover and lots of little errors to make along the way.
Finding items that resonated with his customers presented an entire other challenge. “I’m truly passionate about males’s fashion, but trying to market products that relate to what you take pleasure in is a completely different story,” he says. “I didn’t understand what kind of items to test.”
It was frustrating. He was putting a lot time into the store, trying to turn things around. Every day after work, he ‘d be up late into the night tweaking his site and screening new items.
“I was working on it possibly 30 hours a week, quite much like a full-time task,” he states.
However he was running out of concepts.
It was time to attempt something different. “I really didn’t have anything to lose at that point,” he states.
While searching Instagram, he came throughout a couple of female influencers promoting sunglasses. Not your run of the mill Ray-Ban sunglasses, however styles that were type of eccentric and exuded cool-girl cred. And as he scrolled through the dozens and lots of remarks below the posts, he saw that individuals were going wild for them.
He found some similar sunglasses from a supplier and imported them into his store. To help get the word out, he paid a number of influencers to promote the sunglasses to their fans.
And after that, lastly, something started to happen.
Individuals liked them, and they bought them. Now it was females, not males who were pouring into his shop. While the males’s devices remained on site, the sunglasses were stealing the program.
By now it was January of 2018, and he ‘d been at this entire ecommerce thing for three months. He still seemed like a newbie fumbling his way through, however he had enough experience to understand that he was onto something good.
He did what you do when you’re onto a great thing, and did more of it. He discovered more sunglasses, careful to keep the very same appearance as the successful ones, and added them to his shop.
“Back in January, individuals mostly just bought random products. It was still within the sunglasses category, so that’s when I understood there was potential for it.”
It was time for something radical. The guys’s accessories had to go.
“I altered my store totally and focused on sunglasses, “he states. The old store went out the window, changed with a new look. Jeffrey relied on Tumblr for inspiration about how to attract his new audience of Millennial, fashion-forward females. He carefully cultivated an accurate feel and look for his store, borrowing the intonation and image styles he ‘d seen on Instagram.
It was all about building up a reputation as a brand name, and he preserved consistency to the smallest information.
“Building a brand name is about building consistency,”Jeffrey states. “It has to do with developing a shop that has products with similar styles in them. You’re developing a story and developing a message. That takes more work up front. It is harder to find winning items, however it’s much easier in the long term.”
He was forced to stabilize his side hustle with the reality of life working at the bank. It was as dull as ever, there was one brilliant side:”It was pleasing to know that you were getting sales while you were working.
” And those sales simply kept coming. Quickly the company was creating thousands of sales a month, and Jeffrey was beginning to question why he was keeping the bank task at all.
“First of all, I didn’t actually like it. Second of all, I didn’t get paid enough,” he says. “When you realize that your side hustle earns you more than what you make with your routine job, that’s when you know you ought to stop. “When I spoke to him in October 2018, he let me know that he ‘d just recently waved bye-bye to the bank task, and was now focus to work on his business full-time.
“Now I’m concentrating on this full-time so that I can make this store not just an enthusiasm however a profession,” he states.
“There’s going to be some threat and pressure involved since you have no other income source. Then that enables you to focus more on what you really desire to do, and you feel more incentive to try harder to try to make it work,” he states.
With his newfound liberty, he’s also had the ability to set his own schedule and work whenever and from anywhere he desires. “I’ll be returning to my home country in Hong Kong to visit my family. My old task didn’t enable me to get that type of time off,” he says.
Looking back, the journey to this point seemed like a roller coaster. “I’ve considered stopping my store a great deal of times,” he says. “You do not always get the outcomes that you desire, however I think that’s simply part of running an business. Often you’re in the red, and sometimes you succeed. It’s all a matter of consistency, simply keep going.”
And that’s just what he’s doing. With summer winding down in the northern hemisphere, he’s shifted focus with his shop yet once again and has expanded his range to consist of women’s clothing. He’s got his sights on growing the store into something huge with strategies to begin developing and selling his own pieces. “That’s the long-term play,” he says.
And now a year after launching, he states that business remains in a great place and is operating smoothly. As a result, he’s discovered himself with a lot more spare time. “Now it takes a lot less time to run because I already have all the systems in place. Basically all I require to do now is to focus on the things that produce the most income. For me, that’s running Facebook advertisements and doing item screening. That takes less than three hours a day.”
Towards completion of our discussion, I ask him to reflect and share his proudest minute. He pauses to think about. “To be sincere, I’m happy of all the things that I do. Building a brand name from scratch isn’t easy work. Seeing how it’s turned out today, that’s a happy minute.”
And for anyone else who is simply starting with their own business, he has one piece of recommendations:
“It’s about persistence and consistency. You are, to the core, running a service. You can’t anticipate to get $1,000 back when you put $500 in, just in the blink of an eye. It does require time, and it does take some prior research study. But as long as you don’t stop, it will settle in the end.”
If you would also like to have this kind of side hustle, please feel free to contact us.