Hey, good morning, everybody. Happy Memorial Day. Here I am still working away, you know, this week we’ve got a short week, but, so much to pack in, because I’m completely excited. We’re starting a little bit of a project with the new, the new Shopify site that we’re building. And so, that’s exciting, and I wanted to jump on and just give you an update.
Because, really, I want to talk to you about the final things that I used to, to determine what product I would sell.
Final things, and there are things that I learned in my last business that I absolutely do not want to repeat. And then a couple of things that I learned in my last business that I took that and I’m bringing it forward, and going to use it in the next business. I’m going to jump right in and let you know what I learned that I think I will… First, let’s start with what I’m going to bring forward, I guess.
First off the bat, I think one of the things you might all know that I owned a company called Wee Squeak, and we sold toddler shoes that squeaked. To be honest with you, the business really blew up when we, when we introduced a line of shoes that were like animal themed. Our most popular shoe was, was a unicorn shoe, if you can imagine. And so, that’s when our business really blew up, when we would have massive days as we launched these shoes, and it was pretty clear that people really wanted them, and they were highly profitable for us.
And I think the reason that they were so popular, and the reason that we did so well with them, is that it was clear at a glance who they were for. It was clear at a glance they were for
So I didn’t have to do any talking. I could post an image on social, whether it be Pinterest, or Facebook, or we could post on Instagram and people didn’t even have to look at the copy to know who they were for. And I think that gave us a huge advantage for engagement, but also for click-throughs to our site. As long as we had link for people to get to the product quickly, it was easy for them, they didn’t have to read all the reasons why or all the benefits. And so, that is something that I noticed and was a big takeaway for me, and it’s something that I want to move forward for our product for the next business. So it was clear at a glance who it was for.
The second thing is I want a product that is a conversation starter, and makes it easy to share.
And for the very same reason that with Wee Squeak, that the product was clear at a glance who it was for, it was also a conversation starter on two levels. So the first thing was that, of course, it was these crazy shoes that were a unicorn, or a dog, or a kitty, like all those things. So they were a conversation starter with other parents, and people would say where did you get them, that kind of thing. And so, that made it easier, lowered the barrier to entry for people who wanted to know more about the product. It was more of a push, they wanted to know, or, yeah, the push, they wanted to know, they were pushing at us, rather than us trying to find them and pull them in. So that was really good.
But the other thing with our shoes was, of course, that they squeaked, they made noise. And so, even though I would tell you that there are a lot of people that wished they didn’t make noise, people in the room. But it was a great conversation starter for other parents, because it was really clear that whoever was wearing the shoes was really enjoying them. And so, it was a great conversation starter.
With my next product, as you will see in the next few weeks, I’ve tried to take those two things and apply them to my next product. I want people to look at our next product at a glance and know exactly who it’s for. And I want it to be a little bit out there, right, something that starts a conversation, gets people invested in the product and sharing it with others easily, without it being like strategic, just a natural organic sharing. So those are two things that are important to me to carry forward.
But there’s also two things that I learned in my last business that I’d prefer not to repeat. And so, the first thing… Hi, Trish. The first thing was that I’m going for a product that’s not so hard to fit. You know, we had seven sizes of shoes, and so, two reasons why. One is, it’s really hard to sell shoes online, because of the fit. You know, it’s not just that sizes aren’t standard across the board, but it’s also that these little people have different feet. There are fat feet and thin feet, tall, thick feet, and not thick feet. We had a 4% exchange rate, and so, it was a big, it was a big labor cost for us. It was an additional cost for us to keep, we actually stopped doing exchanges, and just gave people either a store credit or a refund. But that was a big part of our business, was managing this 4% of exchanges and returns.
I decided moving forward that it would be smart to choose a product that actually didn’t involve that. And so, you won’t see that in my next product. So that was the first thing.
The second thing, which also I want to avoid, is my product was light and bulky. A pair of our shoes, actually, in the box weighed less than a pound. But the volume of that box was big. And the reason we did that, was we wanted to, we wanted to make our product friendly for retailers, and we wanted the packaging to be memorable. But what happened when we did that, is first of all, the cost of shipping our product from overseas was high for the weight, because it had such big volume. We could fit 30 boxes in a big carton. So really it was not heavy, like it was less than 30 pounds, but it took up a lot space. And so, when you’re shipping from overseas that it’s really a volume, it’s a volume thing, rather than just a weight thing. And so, our cost to ship it was higher than I liked.
And when I really got into trouble with that, was when I was in a hurry for it, and I had to pay for airfreight. So there was a year where I actually had $30,000, or $33,000 in extra shipping costs for airfreight. So that was not good, uh-uh, don’t want to do that again. I’m not going to choose a product that is light but has a high volume in the packaging, for sure.
And the other reason for that, is shipping in the US, domestic shipping. And so, it actually, you know, most of our stuff had to go out by priority, which costs a lot more than first class shipping. And yet, we had a low dollar value item, our one pair of shoes was $35, I think, $35 something. But yet, the cost to ship it, say, from Texas to, say, New York, was probably $9 or $10. And we were charging at priority, and we were charging $6 to ship. And so, we actually were upside down on shipping for every year that I owned the company. But we did actually start, if someone only had one pair, we would send it first class. And so, that was a little bit, we could break even on those orders, but we actually ran a shipping deficit. And so, that’s something I’m not up for repeating.
I want a product that I can ship first class, even if they buy multiples. And so, that was really high on my radar. And even though I call it, these are green rules for me, I have my red rules, which are total deal breakers, you got to watch those. And then I had my yellow rules, which were stop and consider, these are green rules. I mean, I had a highly successful, highly profitable business, even though those, I had those two things. Now that I’m a little more seasoned, and a little older, I’m going to make sure that I use those rules to my advantage.
So, that’s where we are. The pros are, absolutely, I want people to know who it’s for at a glance. And I want something that’s a conversation starter, easy-peasy, can build that right into the product. The things I don’t want, is I don’t want something that is hard to fit, that I have to do a lot of chit-chatting after the purchase, because, you know, that’s not profitable. The other thing I want, is something that is light and easy to ship, rather than light and difficult to ship.
I think I can do those, I think we can bake that right in to the next product. And in fact, in the next few weeks we will reveal the product, and what we’re doing.
We’re actually at an exciting stage, we’re at the proof of concept stage, which is where we want to make sure, before we stick, you know, we put a lot money behind this, or a significant investment behind this, that the product is something that people actually want.
So I’m excited, it’s starting to get fun, and real.
Make sure if you’re not following us, I’ll put a link in the comments for you to sign-up to follow the project. If you have any questions, for sure, just put them in the comments here, and I’m more than happy to answer them to the best of my ability.
What I’m hoping you get from these videos that I’m doing in following the project, is it helps you craft the way you go forward in your business, to make a company that is actually the most profitable it can be for you. And a company that could actually support a full-time paycheck. Because I think that’s really what most of us are here for, right? Some of us might have jobs, or some of us might be working part-time. But really, what we want, is we want to build a company that pays us, at least, and maybe a team, if we choose, and pays us well and allows us the flexibility in our lifestyle to do all the things we want to do. And so, I would like to show you how to build a business that way.
That’s it, happy Monday, have a great holiday with your family, and I will see you next week.
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