Published on October 2nd, 2014 | by james0
Lessons Building a $100k Per Month eCommerce Store
Getting an online business to $10k per month is a solid accomplishment in 18 months, however getting to $100k per month is another story. This is the story of Eric Bandholz from Beardbrand who sell a range of beard care products. This article will dive into some frequently asked questions about the business, their successes and their failures.
In fact, it’s quickly become quite an idolized company, due to the enormous growth we’ve had in such a short amount of time. They have features in Forbes and a massive following on Reddit and in the NYtimes.
How did you get started?
Our story dates back to February of 2012. I went to Portland, OR for a beard and mustache championship, and it was there that I was able to really start understanding and even living the beardsman lifestyle; I ended up falling completely in love with it. Knowing I wanted to continue to be active in the beard community, I started a simple blog and created a YouTube channel.
Initially, I was fed up with bad products that were unable to fulfill my facial hair needs, and that’s when my vision to provide everyone with easy access to the highest quality products began. When it comes to the future, though, my success isn’t going to continue growing solely because I love my beard; my entire vision for Beardbrand and the beard community play a vital role.
In addition to that, I strive to change how society looks at bearded men and ensure that everyone is allowed to express themselves with their facial hair. I cannot believe there are still companies out there that require their employees to shave and that people with large beards are still scoffed at so often.
Although Beardbrand was very small at this point, I quickly figured out that the niche hadn’t really been tapped into much. I knew that the opportunity to create something big within a niche was extremely rare, but I was passionate about it. So I went for it.
How much revenue are you currently generating per month?
We launched on January 28th, 2013 with only 3 products and no established sales. We’ve grown from $1000/month to most recently $110k in September and we are on pace for $130k in October. With the exception of March 2013, we’ve seen growth each month.
How did you meet your co-founders?
I met my co-founders at a startup weekend in Spokane Washington. I had the idea of hosting a TV show that documents the lives of individuals with beards around the world. The idea didn’t fly for the weekend however my team members and I (Lindsey and Jeremy) ran with another idea for the startup weekend and ended up developing the best app for the competition.
We found out that we worked well together and before the NY Times article aired, we pieced together an ecommerce store with our first beard oil product. The rest they say is history, we have been growing year on year since then.
How are you different from your competitors?
At Beardbrand, we pride ourselves on offering only products that are high quality and will serve their purpose perfectly. This has been our vision from the beginning, and it’s paid off month after month. We have seen continuous growth each quarter since the Times article circulated, because we make sure that every single customer is satisfied. At this point, Beardbrand sales are pushing $100k a month, and they are only expected to grow more over the coming months and years. Our biggest seller that accounts for the majority of our sales is our Beardbrand collection of beard oils.
What Marketing strategies did you use to grow the business?
A huge reason why our business continues to grow at such an enormous rate is due to the Internet and social media marketing. Using the tools at my disposal–Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter, and others–I’m able to continually catch the attention of new customers and get more people involved in the overall beard community. Social media sites are being used by almost the entire world at this point, so they provide great marketing opportunities.
What tools and software are you using in your business?
The main tool we are using is shopify.com for our ecommerce platform. To stay in touch with the team we are using Google apps and Podio. Those three pieces of software are the backbone of the business. I have also found that the Reddit Entrepreneur subreddit has been a great resource for feedback on the business.