What does it take to become a successful business owner? How far can you go with an online store? Is this kind of business even worth trying?
Jack Sum, our today’s guest, is the right person to discuss these questions with! Running a young yet promising ecommerce store, he’s one of the most successful Sellvia business partners so far — and that’s why we’re thrilled he agreed to share his experience and insight!
Hi, kindly introduce yourself to our readers!
Hi, I’m Jack, 33, from Melbourne, Australia, a single parent raising a 7-year-old son.
I am just a young entrepreneur who likes exploring this area in my free time. I’m not that much knowledgeable in ecommerce, and this is my second online business attempt that I expected to turn out successful. There’s been a lot of trial and error, and the store performance is climbing slowly now compared to the tests run before.
My first attempt was a pet store which I ran in 2018. It did quite well, it wasn’t bad at all. The only issue was that at the time I had personal commitments as well which I could not overlook, so I had to deviate from that and get back to my 9-to-5 job. That was a shame because I would have obviously continued and by now I could have actually been somewhere with that store as well.
What was different about your second ecommerce attempt — the one when you started a store with Sellvia?
This time, in June 2021, I got a premium store — a copy of an already profitable ecommerce website.
When I saw the store, I was actually quite taken with it and the fact that it’s running at such a great success. Personally, I don’t usually like trying new things, but because I see something that’s already working, it was an easy choice.
Its niche, automotive accessories and repair kits, was already in demand and it would have made things easier to ride the wave and test the results before venturing out into something more unique.
I thought I’ll take my chances with something that’s working rather than get into something I don’t know about, having to do that entire testing process and not having any support there. So that’s pretty much what made me jump into this current venture and delve into it completely.
It’s a side hustle, not a full-time activity — I do plan on possibly turning this into a full-time activity based on my future earnings. Right now, I’ve got a steady day job, so I’m using my extra time, whatever time I get: sometimes it’s 4 hours, and usually it’s within 2 hours a day.
Also, I’m not working alone. I’ve got a marketing team that helps me now and then with paid ads, and an overseas acquisition team that looks for extra suppliers in Australia as well.
And how is the store performing?
The overtime result is 66 sales with a gross revenue of $3,691.51. The approximate monthly revenue is over $1,500.
It’s a startup, but we are trying to get into consistency. It is slowly picking up because we are testing a wide variation of ad content for different products to see which work best. We are very happy and we are looking forward to doing more.
How has Sellvia helped you become a successful business owner?
Sellvia’s quick US shipping would have to be the primary feature that really has helped us keep orders coming. We want to thank Sellvia in a way because it has been an absolute champ when it comes to taking care of shipping, logistics, and product handling.
Sellvia’s got an amazing turnaround time — like, 4 days, believe it or not. 4 days of the turnaround time is amazing, and 99% of our products have reached the buyers within record time.
Do you remember your first sale and the things you did to achieve it?
The first sale was meaningful and of course exciting in itself because it was completely new to me: a completely new store, a completely new supplier…
We never knew what to expect so we just threw a few quick ads out there — and managed to pull a sale out of that! And not one, but we got a few, and it just started rolling in. So, we had two good weeks of sales starting to pop in.
It was quite intriguing because it was me putting my ideas into a creative and showing it to an audience that I thought would work — just, you know, having a wild guess.
And it actually happened, it worked! Within about a few hours of me posting that ad, I got a sale straight away! I was so happy that my personal effort paid off.
Could you tell us more about the way you and your marketing advisors advertise your store?
It’s mostly paid advertising alongside some organic marketing.
For now, we’re mainly focusing on Facebook. We do have Google ads running as well, but we do a bit of SEO in the background for product pages, category pages, and the blog.
And as well as all of that, we’ve got social media platforms to work on. It’s not basically advertising, but we also make organic posts, product posts, and engagement posts now and then to make sure our followers are up to date not just with our store, but with us as well. It’s not just about products, it’s about customer engagement and keeping our audience enticed and interested.
What else can you tell about your strategies of selling more?
Marketing takes up a lot of budget, and to make up for all of that, you have to make sure that you’ve got enough profitability coming out from every product you sell. We don’t want to depend on one product like we do now — I’ve been downloading and editing a lot of different products. I started out with 20-25 products, and now I’ve got about 60-65. It’s just me doing a lot of stuff in the background.
In fact, I am working on increasing the average order value by trying to create more diversity in products. Recently we’ve had customers not just buy one product that we were advertising but actually go into the store, take a look around, and pick up a few other products.
For example, we had a customer who visited the store and looked at more offers apart from the advertised Car Seat Organizer which is one of the best-selling products. This customer ended up picking up about five or six other products within the same order, so the value of this particular order was about $200. We gave a discount as well to this customer even though we had lower margins because we believe it’s best to have them return or spread the word about the store.
What, in your opinion, does it take to become a successful business owner? Can you share any tips?
A major tip would be patience and a lot of testing.
Also, you do have to have a good amount of capital if you want to get a good revenue quicker.
If you don’t have a decent amount of capital, you’d want to work out where you want to invest your savings to increase the revenue.
Take it slow, do a lot of good testing, and get yourself some good creatives first. Invest more into your content and your creatives before you invest in anything else. That will give you a really good return on your investment in the long run. Your creatives are where everything lies: the more you speak to your customers and the more you entice them, the better return you’re going to get. It’s not just jumping into Facebook and spending money to get something back in return.
My best advice for a successful business owner is to invest your capital in the right spots, but also keep a decent amount of capital on you. You definitely need some savings to start, but even a small amount of capital will do. For example, I started with a thousand dollars and it did really well for me.
How has your life changed?
Life is quite exciting when you know you’re able to start generating revenue from the least amount of capital you’ve put in. Not only that, but it’s encouraging to think where this can go — altogether, it’s a very, very exciting aim for the future.
Starting small but ending up big is almost anyone’s aim. People want to get out of their 9-to-5 jobs. So that’s probably the most exciting part of it. You’re doing something which keeps you interested, keeps you keen, keeps you going, keeps you thinking — it’s not a dead spot or something that’s going to bore you. There are some new aspects of it every time that you come across, like advertising or a new product or some update — there are so many different things!
What are your business plans for the future?
If this one grows at a more exponential rate, we definitely are going to look into more stores and more niches. I don’t see why we can’t delve into other niches to do the exact same thing and get the same profit from the other stores while benefiting from the very same supplier with this perfect turnaround time and really good delivery. It’s like adding one and one to make two, so why not? If I can have two, why wouldn’t I do that?
Having the mindset of a successful business owner and relying on Sellvia solutions to make his vision come to life, Jack is on the right track for creating a flourishing ecommerce empire — and we’re wishing him the best of luck on this road!