What Questions Should I Ask a Drop Shipper Before I Partner With Them?

partner-with-a-drop-shipper

The partnership you establish with a drop shipper is one of the most important business relationships that you will ever forge.  Unlike a normal partnership with a wholesaler or supplier, a drop shipper takes the lead of the entire customer fulfillment process.  It is therefore absolutely critical that you make sure the drop shipper is a reputable company and that they’re able to work closely with you to make sure your customers are completely happy.

These are the questions you need to ask before you sign an agreement.

Continue reading What Questions Should I Ask a Drop Shipper Before I Partner With Them?

The Beginner’s Guide to a Lifestyle Business (Part 1 of 10): Introduction

guide-to-lifestyle-design

There is a clear distinction between an Internet Technology Entrepreneur and a Lifestyle Entrepreneur.  While the goal of an Internet Technology Entrepreneur is to innovate by disrupting or changing an industry, the goal of the Lifestyle Entrepreneur is to maximize profitability while minimizing hours worked.  I have a unique position in that I’ve experienced both in the past 3 and a half years living here in Silicon Valley: while neither is better than the other, I believe that a business-minded entrepreneur clearly has a better chance to succeed in one over the other.

3 and a half years ago, my team and I moved to Silicon Valley with the goal of building a game-changing company, a company that would disrupt an industry and become as big as Facebook one day.  We built RewardMe, a digital loyalty platform for restaurants and retailers and raised $1,000,000 from Angel investors.

We built a product, had paying customers, and acquired users, but after two and a half years, the company ran out of cash.  In June 2012, I decided to leave RewardMe to pursue lifestyle design.  Inspired by Tim Ferris, my goal was to achieve $10,000 per month while working less than 10 hours per week.

I achieved my goal earlier this year.

I learned that lifestyle design is not about traveling or learning new languages, it’s about positioning yourself to do what you really love to do.  For me, it was the ability to pursue projects without the worry of my financial situation.  This 10-part guide is the first step to understanding how you too can build a profitable and sustainable lifestyle business.

Continue reading The Beginner’s Guide to a Lifestyle Business (Part 1 of 10): Introduction

Drop-Shipping Interview: Greg from Coin Supply Planet

coin-supply-planet

So far we’ve interviewed Anthony from Kitchen Cabinet Kings who built a drop-shipping business from his expertise in the kitchen cabinet vertical.  We also interviewed Brian from Emazing Lights who built an ecommerce empire from his passion in the EDM (electric dance music) vertical.  Today’s interview is different because Greg doesn’t have an expertise in the coin supply industry, nor does he have a passion for it; instead, he found a market opportunity, conducted the right research, and focused on execution to build a profitable drop-shipping business.

Greg Laptevsky is the Founder of Coin Supply Planet, a drop-shipping business focused on the coin-collecting vertical that has existed for a year and a half and is projected to generate several hundred of thousands of dollars in revenue this year.  In addition, the business takes about 10-15 hours a week to operate, positioning him nicely for long-term, lifestyle design success.

So don’t worry if you’re not passionate about a specific industry or if you’re not an expert; and while we’re at it, don’t fret if you’re not a developer or designer that can build websites.  Greg is not a designer, is not a developer, is not passionate about the coin-collecting industry, nor did he have an expertise in the industry when he started; and yet, he’s built a profitable drop-shipping business that is quickly becoming the market leader.  This interview is about how he has overcome all those obstacles and built a successful business.

Continue reading Drop-Shipping Interview: Greg from Coin Supply Planet

Infograph: The 80/20 Guide to Finding the Perfect Ecommerce Platform

infograph-perfect-ecommerce-platform

The vast majority of ecommerce platform reviews have it wrong: they start with the platform in mind instead of the entrepreneur in mind.  At Ecommerce Rules, we put the entrepreneur first.

We’ve analyzed the 9 types of entrepreneurs and recommended the perfect ecommerce platform for each one – lets get started.

Continue reading Infograph: The 80/20 Guide to Finding the Perfect Ecommerce Platform

Ecommerce Interview: Brian Lim from Emazing Lights

interview-brian-lim-emazing-lights

I’m so very excited to show you guys this interview.  Brian Lim is a good friend from UCLA who is part of my business fraternity: Delta Sigma Pi.  Brian has always been ambitious and entrepreneurial: in college, we knew him as the guy who drove a Lexus GS 350 that he paid with his own money.  So it was no surprise to anyone when he landed a prestigious job at Deloitte Consulting.

Brian is currently the Founder of Emazing Lights, the largest and globally recognized company in the EDM (Electric Dance Music) scene that has pioneered gloving and helped push the EDM world mainstream.

I love this interview because it’s a great example of how someone can successfully make the leap from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial world.  But more importantly, Brian never had to live off of savings and eat ramen noodles to make his startup dream a reality (like many of us); instead, he built his company to profitability while working a corporate 9-5 job, and only made the leap once his company was able to pay him a full-time salary.

This interview provides a strong and important contrast to the interview we did last week with Anthony from Kitchen Cabinet Kings.  While Anthony was an expert in the kitchen cabinets vertical because he worked in the industry for 6 years before building his own company, Brian is deeply passionate about the EDM scene.  It’s an example of how someone who is not an expert can completely dominate an industry because he’s passionate about it.

Furthermore, while Anthony has steadily built his company throughout the past 3 years through hard work and steady growth, Brian jumped into a market opportunity at just the right time and has seen explosive growth.  It shows the massive potential of jumping into a hot market at just the right time with the right execution and work ethic.

Continue reading Ecommerce Interview: Brian Lim from Emazing Lights