STARTING A DOG APPAREL ECOMMERCE STORE
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STARTING A DOG APPAREL ECOMMERCE STORE

I jump up with my mind racing, a sea of ideas and an unending ocean of things to do – the plight of the entrepreneur.

It’s pitch black.

It’s 2:07AM in the fucking morning.

I pop my caffeine pills, my nootropics, my vitamins and I head to my home office which is actually my dinner table with my trusty laptop.

I actually run a pretty successful digital marketing company. We’ve only been around for 1.5 years but we’re already at 7 figures and have 15 employees. I already have a shit ton of things to do and already work 80 hour weeks so who in their right mind would want to start another company?

As an entrepreneur, you just like to start projects. As a human being, we yearn growth. As an individual, I want to make an imprint in this world – as little as it is.

American Bully

I kept on seeing pictures of these monstrous, bodybuilding-looking pitbulls and I knew I had to get one. It took me weeks to do my research and finally realized that they weren’t pitbulls, they were actually a new breed – The American Bully. I also realized that there was a huge market for these expensive dogs (they range from $2,000 – $30,000 a pup).

Using google trends and the adwords keywords tool, I realized there was also a business opportunity here. Although there were a ton of breeders out there, there weren’t any apparel/accessories companies catering to the bully breed specifically. Being the entrepreneur I am (my therapist calls it mania), I started to get to work.

Steps For Starting AmericanBully.com

1.) I quickly negotiated the price of the domain americanbully.com down from $20,000 to $12,000.
  • I know most starting entrepreneurs don’t have this money laying around. If you don’t, I suggest you find something keyword rich + brandable.
  • Negotiating the price of a domain is a topic of it’s own, and I’ll cover it in the future.
2.) I signed up for Shopify Plus and purchased a theme for about $160
  • From my 10 years of marketing experience, this is the easiest and most cost effective solution for starting ecommerce stores.
  • I had my developer and designer edit a few things. If you can’t afford one, you will need to do this on your own or you can find a cheap solution on upwork.com
3.) I found my perfect apparel designer.
  • Growing up, all my friends raved about lvft apparel. I went on instagram, did some digging, found him and hit him up for some designs. He was only about $300/design which was worth it.
4.) For the actual apparel, I went to alibaba.com and bought a ton of samples from different suppliers.
  • I did not go the dropshipping route for many reasons. The most important reasons being that I didn’t have control over the supplies, the shipping and I couldn’t truly build a brand.
  • I finally settled on 1 supplier and received my products. This entire process took 3 months. By the time I received my hoodies, it was already turning into summer – lesson learned. For people getting into this, plan for the seasons and figure out when you’ll actually get your products.

Current Situation

I have a ton of hoodies, it’s summer time and I haven’t begun the full marketing process yet. I’ve spent somewhere close to $24,000 in total and haven’t made any of it back yet. Not to fret, with any startup, you really can’t expect to be profitable within the first 6 months…..and my plan is solid.

Lessons

  • Plan for shipping from China and make sure you’re getting your products in time for the correct seasons.
  • When starting out, it takes time and money. Make sure you have enough money in your bankroll to last the bad times. The number one biggest factor companies fail and entrepreneurs give up is capital.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. I loved a designer and reached out understanding that he could have rejected me. The worst thing you can do is to not try – just do it.
  • Have fun in the process.

We’ll talk about marketing in another post. Feel free to drop me a line below if you have any questions!

I jump up with my mind racing, a sea of ideas and an unending ocean of things to do – the plight of the entrepreneur.

It’s pitch black.

It’s 2:07AM in the fucking morning.

I pop my caffeine pills, my nootropics, my vitamins and I head to my home office which is actually my dinner table with my trusty laptop.

I actually run a pretty successful digital marketing company. We’ve only been around for 1.5 years but we’re already at 7 figures and have 15 employees. I already have a shit ton of things to do and already work 80 hour weeks so who in their right mind would want to start another company?

As an entrepreneur, you just like to start projects. As a human being, we yearn growth. As an individual, I want to make an imprint in this world – as little as it is.

American Bully

I kept on seeing pictures of these monstrous, bodybuilding-looking pitbulls and I knew I had to get one. It took me weeks to do my research and finally realized that they weren’t pitbulls, they were actually a new breed – The American Bully. I also realized that there was a huge market for these expensive dogs (they range from $2,000 – $30,000 a pup).

Using google trends and the adwords keywords tool, I realized there was also a business opportunity here. Although there were a ton of breeders out there, there weren’t any apparel/accessories companies catering to the bully breed specifically. Being the entrepreneur I am (my therapist calls it mania), I started to get to work.

Steps For Starting AmericanBully.com

1.) I QUICKLY NEGOTIATED THE PRICE OF THE DOMAIN AMERICANBULLY.COM DOWN FROM $20,000 TO $12,000.
  • I know most starting entrepreneurs don’t have this money laying around. If you don’t, I suggest you find something keyword rich + brandable.
  • Negotiating the price of a domain is a topic of it’s own, and I’ll cover it in the future.
2.) I SIGNED UP FOR SHOPIFY PLUS AND PURCHASED A THEME FOR ABOUT $160
  • From my 10 years of marketing experience, this is the easiest and most cost effective solution for starting ecommerce stores.
  • I had my developer and designer edit a few things. If you can’t afford one, you will need to do this on your own or you can find a cheap solution on upwork.com
3.) I FOUND MY PERFECT APPAREL DESIGNER.
  • Growing up, all my friends raved about lvft apparel. I went on instagram, did some digging, found him and hit him up for some designs. He was only about $300/design which was worth it.
4.) FOR THE ACTUAL APPAREL, I WENT TO ALIBABA.COM AND BOUGHT A TON OF SAMPLES FROM DIFFERENT SUPPLIERS.
  • I did not go the dropshipping route for many reasons. The most important reasons being that I didn’t have control over the supplies, the shipping and I couldn’t truly build a brand.
  • I finally settled on 1 supplier and received my products. This entire process took 3 months. By the time I received my hoodies, it was already turning into summer – lesson learned. For people getting into this, plan for the seasons and figure out when you’ll actually get your products.

Current Situation

I have a ton of hoodies, it’s summer time and I haven’t begun the full marketing process yet. I’ve spent somewhere close to $24,000 in total and haven’t made any of it back yet. Not to fret, with any startup, you really can’t expect to be profitable within the first 6 months…..and my plan is solid.

Lessons

  • Plan for shipping from China and make sure you’re getting your products in time for the correct seasons.
  • When starting out, it takes time and money. Make sure you have enough money in your bankroll to last the bad times. The number one biggest factor companies fail and entrepreneurs give up is capital.
  • Don’t be afraid to reach out to people. I loved a designer and reached out understanding that he could have rejected me. The worst thing you can do is to not try – just do it.
  • Have fun in the process.

We’ll talk about marketing in another post. Feel free to drop me a line below if you have any questions!

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