How to Start an e-Commerce Business with What You Already Have

In this episode…

Do you have anything lying around your house that you can use to start an e-commerce business? Do you have the skills and expertise needed to create an e-commerce product? If you answered yes to these questions, then you are ready to start your new e-commerce brand.

Beav Brodie, the Founder of Tactical Baby Gear, joins Dean Dutro in this episode of the Relationship Commerce Podcast to explain how his frustration while shopping for diaper bags led to the creation of a multimillion-dollar business. Beav talks about starting the business with his own sewing machine at home, finding the right business partner, the value of networking, and building a solid business by leveraging the power of social media.

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Beav BrodieBeav Brodie is the Founder of Tactical Baby Gear, a military-style baby gear brand inspired by a new generation of involved fathers. Beav founded the company in 2013 to provide dads with the tools necessary to meet the rugged demands of parenting. The bags are built with military-style durability and packing efficiency, complete with fasteners, MOLLE webbing, and carabiners to strap up all the diapers, bottles, and accessories of fatherhood.

In 2018, Tactical Baby Gear was recognized by The Wall Street Journal as part of a niche market that has doubled and even tripled sales in the last year. Beav describes his business as a media company that sells a product. They engage with their customers by leveraging social media with over 140,000 followers on Instagram, over 5,500 followers on YouTube, and 280,000 followers on Facebook.

How to Start Your e-Commerce Brand with the Resources You Already Have 

If you have been thinking about starting an e-commerce business but you don't have all the resources you need to get started, you may need to look around your house to find some of the things you need. Starting a business does not just require financial capital: you also need tools, software, raw materials, labor, and a place to work from. 

Beav Brodie used what he had at home to start his business—including his own home. When he first started Tactical Baby Gear, Beav worked from the comfort of his house. He used skills from his automotive tech school education, including how to upholster car accessories, which all came in handy. Beav also had a sewing machine that he used to produce his first products.

Consider taking the same route if you're trying to start a new e-commerce business or expanding an existing one. Find out what you need to get started and look around your home to discover what you can use to get you where you want to be.

How Solving Your Own Frustrations Creates a Successful Product

There are many products produced, marketed, and targeted towards a certain niche market. Such products leave out other customers who may need these products, leaving potential buyers with a lot of frustration. For Beav, his frustration was a diaper bag. Typically, baby bag brands build their product while targeting women, and often decide on the colors based on a child's gender. This tends to lock out involved dads who find the bags impractical to carry around and not suitable for their lifestyle and personalities.

To solve his own problem with diaper bags, Beav decided to create his own. He was frustrated when he couldn’t find a practical diaper bag ideal for a dad and disappointed with what was available. So, he combined his desire for a practical bag with his knowledge and skills from the automotive industry to sew his first diaper bag. 

After creating your first prototype, reach out to your target audience and find out whether your product meets their needs as well. This will help you know if the product is ready for market or if it needs some adjustments. After Beav made his first bag, he showed the product to his friends—and they loved it. He started making and selling more bags as a side hustle, and soon enough, the business grew into his full-time job.

How Important is Finding a Business Partner?

What type of business partner would you make? Are you the financial expert, the technical guy, or the creative expert? What type of business partner would be required to take your e-commerce business to the next level?

If done right, one of the best decisions you can make for your e-commerce brand is to bring in a business partner. You need someone who can complement your skills and expertise and help grow the brand. If you are not good at handling the backend operational aspects of the business, then now’s your chance to find an expert who can take care of that.

This is the strategy that Beav used to create momentum for Tactical Baby Gear. Starting out, he didn’t know much about the e-commerce space, so he reached out to one of his friends who was an expert in social media marketing and e-commerce. Both of them had experience working with bad partners and knew what to look out for. Ultimately, they became business partners and scaled the company into the multi-million dollar business it is today, together.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is sponsored by Worth eCommerce.

Worth eCommerce is a small mighty team of eCommerce email marketers who help businesses of all sizes dramatically grow revenue with lifecycle email marketing. It is made up of copywriters, designers, strategizers, and marketing extraordinaires who specialize in nurturing relationships and guiding sales through the sheer power of email.

Worth eCommerce's sole focus is creating a lasting relationship between eCommerce sellers and their customers through the most personable form of digital connection: email. Businesses that send personable, interesting, and helpful emails earn the trust and continued business from that same customer. 

Worth eCommerce’s mission is to help small medium-sized e-commerce businesses generate more than a million dollars a year each in revenue using their own marketing channels.

To learn more about Worth eCommerce, visit http://worthecommerce.com/

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