Good evening folks!
I thought I would bring you up to date on my entrepreneurial journey so far.
After reading The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss (TFHWW), I decided to dive head first, take the leap and just try it!
TFHWW talks about different ways to come up with a product – create one or resell one. Since I wanted to get started quickly and most of my frustrations with the everyday items I used can usually be solved with patience (and often reading the instructions), I decided that being a reseller was the way forward for me.
So I came up with a few product ideas (or muses) that I personally would either buy or struggle to get. I then found one of those sites that promises it’s very easy to build a website for free and picked my theme. At the same time I started looking for potential products to resell.
All of this was with testing the product idea in mind. TFHWW talks about doing this, setting up a site, adding products and then when the thousands* of people want to actually buy it, they get a ‘sorry out of stock’ or something similar message. That way you have an actual indication of actual sales, which then informs if your product idea is good or not.
*this demonstrates my naivety, high hopes and ambition.
Onto sourcing my products! TFHWW talks about Alibaba as a good site that has thousands of products created by manufacturers, predominately in China. After chuckling about the name Alibaba, I visited the site and it genuinely is an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. I found it very overwhelming and had to go away for a quick brew before venturing further than a couple of clicks.
Once I’d found a couple of products that matched my ideas, and inspired a few others, I began the laborious task of copying the product descriptions, copying the photos, editing some of the photos (in Paint I might add) so that I could add them to my site.
This took a long time. And then the photos were grainy when I uploaded with them. So far I only had around 5 products, which I knew was not enough to make it look like I was legit. Also my web design skills were seriously lacking and I found the website design site I used particularly difficult to engineer to test my product idea without actually having to add payment details, sign up to PayPal etc. I found the customisations limited and frustrating (I probably should have watched a How To video) and was constrained by the theme I’d picked.
After reading further in TFHWW and more of the resources, I searched for a site called Shopify.
Well oh my god, that was a revelation and continues to be. I signed up for a 14-day free trial, and with its partner site Oberlo and their affiliated site AliExpress (sister site to Alibaba – it’s all very incestuous). This introduced me to the concept of dropshipping. I watched the intro videos by Tomas at Oberlo and signed up for the free dropshipping seminar by Corey Ferreira and away I went. I haven’t been back to that original site I created/butchered since.
And so began the next phase of my adventure!