I have always had a goal to take the risk and become an entrepreneur. When my son was born and I found the regular 9-5 just would not and could not work for me any longer I decided to take the leap into owning a business. With the age of the internet as popular as it is I knew I wanted to base my business online.
The idea to sell remanufactured cartridges came from my own experience using refurbished cartridges and the great savings for the earth and for people's wallet that a recycled cartridge offered. The concept is golden but only if you can find good suppliers of remanufactured ink and toners.
I soon found out that many companies can sell you a product and some much less cheaper than others, but through trial and error I finally decided on a few select companies based in the USA to partner with to offer what I consider the best remanufactured ink and toners in the industry. They are definitely not the cheapest supplier I could find which means I cannot provide my customer with the cheapest price however, I do offer the best product at the best price. That concept has built my customer base up and out of that over 95% are returning customers. That proves to me that my decision to pay a little more and make a little less profit to earn the respect and trust of my customers was well worth it.
How did you earn your first sales? Which channels are now generating the most traffic and sales for you?
Through word of mouth and social media advertising as well as local newspaper advertising I was able to finally start selling. Today most of my business comes from the customer base that was initially interested and tried us out in the beginning. My google adword campaign will start within the next couple weeks so I expect to see even more non-local traffic coming in.
Tell us about the back-end of your business. What tools and apps do you use to run your store? How do you handle shipping and fulfillment?
My business is still pretty small but I found the recent use of the facebook store app and the order printer app very helpful in keeping track with my orders as well as keeping up with social media and giving people the instant service they crave.
What are your top recommendations for new ecommerce entrepreneurs?
Don't give up and be able to go with the flow. Sometimes your idea and plan aren't going to work but you find something else that does, so go with it.
Don't expect to be a success overnight. Progress at all is still progress, just keep plugging away and don't lose sight of why you went into business for yourself in the first place.
Lastly, respect your customers and operate with integrity, no matter what the loss.