In this conversation with Luke Pearce of Radical Tea Towel, we talk about how he & his parents took an idea for a novelty product and grew it from a part-time hobby to a full-time business that’s now successful in three different countries.
This episode is perfect for anyone who’s wanting to get started as a product-based business owner, or who’s facing the challenges of growing an ecommerce business and needs the advice of someone who’s been there and done it.
Things We Talked About:
- How he & his parents came up with the idea for Radical Tea Towel: they wanted to buy something they couldn’t find online.
Having his ears open for a business idea b/c he knew he wanted to take his life in that direction, even though he enjoyed his job at the time.
- How they took the company from being a side-project to being a full-time gig for all three of them.
- Why he thinks it would have been helpful to have wanted their company to go full-time from the beginning, rather than just waiting to “see how it goes.”
- Leaving his job in 2014, three years after starting the company.
- How he got the business to start generating a full-time salary for him once he quit his job & decided to focus full-time on the business.
- The monetary challenges of growing an ecommerce business: having money tied up in stock, and needing to pre-order twice as much if/when you want to sell twice as much.
- Finding ways to get their name out to people that were as cheap as possible.
- Why Facebook ads were a game changer for them.
- What Drop shipping is & why it can be an option for some ecommerce entrepreneurs, but not others.
- Focusing on the quality of the product, whatever manufacturing model you choose.
- How to find a good manufacturer or supplier: Google it!
- Why you shouldn’t expect the prices of your samples to be economical.
- The challenges of minimum order quantities for small sellers.
- Facebook ads vs. SEO & what each is and isn’t good for. (And examples from our own companies.)
- Email lists & why they work so well for ecommerce businesses.
- How to figure out your customer demographics when you’re just getting started & haven’t actually collected any data yet. (Spoiler alert: you guess & just watch the data as it comes in over time.)
- Google Analytics (Video coming soon to Business Bitch on how to install Google Analytics on your website.)
- Facebook’s Page Insights
- How to use what you know about your demographics to reduce your targeting & be more pointed & efficient in your marketing. And/or how to trust the Facebook algorithm to figure it out for you.
- His advice for new e-commerce business owners.
- His advice for the Business Bitch community: DO NOT get hung up on admin.
Links / Resources Mentioned:
- Radical Tea Towel – US Site
- Radical Tea Towel – UK Site
- Radical Tea Towel – Canada Site
- Votes for Women Tea Towel
- Twitter: @radicalteatowel
- Instagram: @radicalteatowel
- Facebook: The Radical Tea Towel Company
- Google Analytics
- Facebook Page Insights
- Instagram Insights
- Facebook Lookalike Audiences
- Facebook Pixel
- Book recommendation: Traction by Justin Mares & Gabriel Weinberg