Serial Company Builder: $2 Billion+ in exits. Raised $100M+ in Venture funding. eCommerce, technology & consumer-facing internet companies. Board Member, Advisor, Growth Coach Current: 47B CEO - Growth Advisory & Board; Wpromote, Sundance Group, Matilda Jane Clothing, Island.co, Good360.org, Temando * Magento (commerce technology) Founding President: built from 30 people to 350 & to 30%+ global marketshare in few years w ~$200M sale to eBay, and then Adobe ~$2B; * GM/Founder NORDSTROM.com: VC$ and Spin-off and roll back (currently multi-billion $/yr in sales) * Advisor, Coach & Mentor to many (and loving it) * EIR: Clearstone Ventures (VC) * Youngest VP Packard Bell Computers * Interim CEO & Advisor LiveBid (Sold to Amazon), Portero, Vivre.com *Fees support non profit Good360.org
It’s pretty simple, your offering has a lot of issues for what and how you’re targeting
- you product, money, it’s a “commodity” so why you, your money, your firm?
- The big boys (public) have tremendous relationships with big, known, credible capital sources.
- They’re sophisticated so they know your capital has to be roughly at the same costs as the many trusted avenues they currently have for capital
- I mentioned “trusted” a few times as it’s KEY. Does the firm you represent have a well known brand or known trust elements?
- They are public companies and risk adverse so the likelihood of them entertaining a cold call or cold email from an unknown capital source is very low. Why? All things being similar they’re much better off taking and announcing capital from a trusted branded bank or firm.
- Trust: with all the capital scams out there triggered, especially online, they are likely also reacting to scam risk first.
Unless you have a trusted product (brand, people, story etc) and a way to get in front of prospects in a trusted way (conferences v email) i think the odds are really tough the bigger the company.
Perhaps your product offering fit smaller or growth stage companies who have less options and aren’t public facing where Capital brand is so important.
Love eCommerce and I've been at it since it started and love it (well its just retail but with real time information and results!) Sounds like you are new to it all and perhaps to your own business?
I knew there where some great blogs on your topic and recalled Shopify had a good one so my quick google surfaced this, it likely answers all your basic questions.
ecommerce business blueprint
If this is too basics and or you want deeper success insights, Happy to take a call as Ive built/led/grown ecom businesses that do $100M to $billions, as well as technology companies that power eCommerce (Magento, Temando, Wpromote...)
Enjoy your jouney!
It sounds interesting as i have seen many great shipping container stores and 'store / food parks' (UK).
At a high level the few things that pop to my mind are:
- Locations (ie: traffic that fit brand demo): your ability to offer interesting locations with on brand traffic will be a driver to your success (aside from brands using it for their own locations)
- Quality: show and make sure you can execute 'on brand' 'wow' 'cool' build outs. make sure that they feel fresh (vs used) for each successive customer
- Business Model: Do a high level spreadsheet as It's likely it could be a lower margin business (rental, booth etc) which is not an issue, but you need to decide if that is what you are after to commit to for your journey (or how to change the model).
I met the founder of BoxPark back when they were just getting started and loved the concept: https://www.boxpark.co.uk/
The biggest market of baby is hyper competitive as it’s often first around price. These are the commoditized baby items moms buy for their fast growing and messy babies - ie items that likely aren’t around for more than months because of growth or stains etc. This is the largest market segment and driven buy pricing but can include : green or more conscience materials, recycle etc for a slightly higher pricing. The competitive set in this is mom going to Target and buying another low cost 5 pack of a bigCo basic brand they know. So if this is your brand segment you’ll need to find a position that resonates - and likely at competitive low pricing or a reason for mom to pay a bit more for what she sees likely as short term disposable goods.
Other segment is the aspirational lux customers /special occasion / friend grandma gift items. Better to great quality and design and higher pricing. It’s a Smaller portion of market and driven by boutiques, catalog, Internet...
Either way or anything you choose to do - what’s your brand stand for in a consumer (moms) mind and does it matter enough to her.
1. Get a job ASAP to pay the bills - not an ultimate great job and not all consuming, one that you can do easily or pick up 'gigs' just to pay bills to allow you to be strategic about your real next moves, and perhaps save more money.
2. Allocate time each day (before, after work) to decide on a plan of where you want to go, what you need to get there.
3. and then start taking actions towards that plan that will build your chance at success: Research, Learn, Contacts, Relationships, Industry
4. If new area for you then you can jump to an easy job in that industry to accelerate #3.
5. Now you have survived, learned, have contacts and are armed and ready with the best shot at success when you leap.
6. Buy an amazing dinner for $400 with a few people who helped you get to your first $1,000,000
Easy - start upside down... your last value proposition point is something that you could easily do and is interesting to penetrate today noisy world -> travel design experiences.
In todays wickedly noisy world, you need to execute with quality BUT THAT IS NOT ENOUGH - you need to DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY ... you need a 'tip of the spear' message /brand to pierce the noise of the market.
* travel design experiences* this is interesting and you could easily make this happen and create a site and sell limited availability to fun and well planned unique access all around 'design' - it could be obvious or just mind opening creative events/places etc (Go to X city, and meet w ABC design experts, and see XYZ museum or artist or fashion person and show rooms and ...)
And with THAT brand "travel design experiences" you then would be able to create really cool content for a blog and IG and perhaps sell items you find along the way (or host a marketplace).
Start Here -> "travel design experiences"
easy, fun, low cost and commitment and informs all the rest....
PS: "Think like a Challenger" to break thru the noise.. if im not clear enough above you can watch me scream about this in this 1 minute video I did for Wpromote (we built it from 50 to 475 people top performance marketing agency - all around 'thinking like a challenger')
Wp Challenger 1 min
PR is a great weapon for the right product /company and time. OK perfectly you'd be Elon Musk and announcing your new anti gravity device and press lines up. But I will assume you aren't Elon (yet) and though you might find your story compelling it might not be "anti gravity' level exciting to the press.
SO Whether you use an agency or not, the key to real PR success is look at todays HOT news items - the press is searching for stories that fit into TODAYS hot news.
How do you, your people, your product, your company, your service fit into todays hot news.. it doesnt have to be direct fit - but can you create an interesting unique angle...
* Macy closes 125 store = doesnt have to be about retail but could be about people, employment, training, locations, culture, old v new, ecomm, brands, .... etc...
* Coronavirus outbreak = doesnt have to be about Rx and cures or masks, but it extends to people, culture, HR, travel, work place, virtual meetings, economy, ....
Just see the press as hungry lions, and you just need to convert your thoughts into red meat ;-)
Marketplaces can be wonderful but they are a challenge as you face Chicken V Egg.... you need supply and you need demand. Typically supply (product/ services) are easier if you keep the 'cost' really low (time, effort, content, set up, charges) as they are all looking for new sources of revenue and customers... the real challenge is CUSTOMERS.
If you could wave a magic wand and be successful at just one of these - I would pick customers... as IF you have customers the vendors will be there..
So focus on the customer - why they need or want or find value in your decor marketplace vs other options. And if you figure that out then next is thinking thru a strategy to make customers aware you even exist (as you now have a great value proposition). In todays world best (especially local) is if you can get a customer or anyone who likes what you are doing to share (socially).. could be something they saw or something fun etc...
Bottom line: figure out if the consumer wants, needs would find enough value in your concept - if you figure that out then the vendors will line up. Then the only last part to look at is the value equation - can you create enough value to consumers and vendors to enable you to BUILD and maintain a successful ($) business (IE: consumers or vendors may love it but enough to pay a price to fund your efforts)