2020 annual revenue: SGD15,417.33
2021 quarter 1 revenue: SGD15,262.41
MRR 2021 Goal: SGD0 🟩◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️◻️SGD60k
It's been slightly over a year after the pandemic started, an the opportunity to contribute to the growth of Ress is nothing less than exciting.
Skincare ecommerce, especially in the niche of eczema and psoriasis is a different animal. Every month there a new challenges, new learnings, and new satisfactions.
Learning 1: Learning the business.
Eczema skincare was an alien to me. The only way to contribute is to learn up the industry in less than 4 weeks.
Conversation started in June, execution started July.
Because their online sales has been slow and they have been offline oriented for 4 years, the first question in my mind was "can digital deliver?".
Upon readings, I got excited because it was a severely under-explored and underserved market. What really got me to get my hands dirty is the founding team eats their own dogfood.
They are eczema patients at the severe spectrum, they tried existing solutions, then got to work on their own products to first serve their own needs.
Learning 2: Building the ecommerce bootstrapped
The entire growth was self-funded by an advertising seed of SGD300. From there onwards, revenue sustains future ads spendings.
This is a balance of risk appetite. In essence, an ecommerce can only grow if we "borrow" money from future revenue to fund the ads today. It's a risky move that is both humbling and exciting. For lack of better words, go big or go die.
Ad monitoring and refinement is a daily task. Is there magic secret sauce to online sales as claimed by online gurus? No, most things are available free online and require little bit of thinking to execute.
Learning 3: Maneuvering limitations of small businesses
Unlike funded or companies large warchest, we are going into a gunfight with toothpicks. Literally.
The only way to do this is to find ways to win the gunfight with a toothpick.
Can it be done? We hope so.
Is it easy? Hell no.
There's low credit card limit,
which means I can't scale ads like no tomorrow.
The business runs on cashflow,
which my mistakes could cause a 5 years old company to close shop.
Supply was definitely an uphill battle.
We were selling more than we are making.
Production runs at double time to cope.
Mistakes happen, we wrongly delivered some orders.
At every new monthly revenue milestones,
Systems break, processes break, credit card also break. Niama.
Learning 4: Be aggressive, mindful, and work with the team.
Ecommerce isn't a one person scope. I'm glad to have good team players.
There's production, packing, delivery, ecommerce store management, creatives, finances, and other moving blocks that work towards one thing: sustainability. Lose one leg and the table will collapse.
Go aggressive on ads, but...
Be mindful on cashflow.
Be mindful that team members are human.
Be mindful that customers are more than dollar signs.
People do get overwhelmed and burned out. Grow the business but don't kill the people.
It all started with a random phone call of friends catching up with each other at tough times.
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Credit to Adstrux Asia's Key Account Manager, Richard Moh