Several of my friends and acquaintances that follow MyWifeQuitHerJob.com find it hard to believe that our online wedding linens business can possibly make 100 thousand dollars a year in profits for selling to such a tiny niche.
And they are correct. We don’t make 100K a year. We make much more than that now that our business has expanded and we are more established.
While a six figure profit number might seem like a lot of money at first, getting to 100K a year is actually not an insurmountable task when you look at the number in smaller, more manageable pieces.
In fact, my wife and I initially chose 100K to be our profit goal for the first year because we felt that it was a number we could actually hit. That, and 100K per year was roughly the salary that my wife left behind when she quit her day job.
The key when trying to achieve any large goal is to sit down and break the problem down into smaller chunks and assign a monetary strategy to each piece. Breaking a large problem down helps for two reasons.
One, seeing a smaller problem will provide you with the confidence to succeed. Two, dealing with smaller pieces will allow you to make consistent progress.
For my wife and I, we broke the 100K number down to a series of daily monetary goals and managed to meet our initial profit target in a little over a year.
Dissecting Six Figures
At the heart of it all, making 100K a year means that you need to make approximately $8333 a month. Assuming 30 days in a month, that means you only have to make roughly $278 dollars a day in order to hit the magical six figures mark.
How achievable making $278 per day is will depend on your average profit per transaction. After doing some back of the envelope calculations and some initial trial sales on Ebay, my wife and I estimated that our average profit per sale for our online wedding linens store would be roughly 50 dollars which meant that we only needed to complete 6 orders a day to reach 100K.
Thinking about it this way, 278 dollars a day didn’t sound like a scary number at all.
So with this goal in mind, my wife and I devised ways to hit 6 orders a day as quickly and as easily as possible.
The first thing that came to mind was that I could infiltrate and immerse myself in some of the wedding based forums out there. Thousands of would be brides congregate at places like the wedding channel and the knot forums.
If I could take the time and ingrain myself within the community, I could drum up some consistent business by pitching our products directly to our target audience.
After getting banned several times from these wedding forums, I finally got the hang of it and discovered that I needed to be more clever when marketing on the forums because the system administrators did not tolerate any sort of self promotion.
I found that by being genuine and helpful to these would be brides, I could occasionally slip a few subtle recommendations and not make it seem like an outright sales pitch for our online business.
Early on, we used this tactic extensively to drum up a few orders a day and establish some word of mouth.
We Used Adwords
If you are starting a website from complete scratch, it can take a good amount of time to get indexed into the search engines. And what happens more often than not is that your website will sit in the Google sandbox for an extended period before it is released to the general index.
Fortunately if you have the budget, you can buy extremely targeted clicks directly from Google using AdWords. Using a fairly intuitive interface, you can create a simple online advertisement in under 10 minutes and have it show up immediately in the search engines.
Looking back, most of our early business came from Adwords. I also remember that in the beginning, we actually spent more on Adwords than we were making in revenues.
But gradually over time, we managed to filter out the non profitable keywords from our account and soon we were turning a massive profit from Adwords advertising alone.
Adwords works! It really does. In fact, I think that during our first year when our adwords budget was pretty low, we still managed to make about 4 sales day which cost us roughly 5 bucks per conversion.
We Solicited Testimonials
Once we got prospective customers on our website, it was crucial to have them feel confident shopping at our store. So early on, we gave free product away to our friends and acquaintances and had them provide us with their reviews.
In addition, we also sold some of our hankies on Ebay and used the Ebay feedback as testimonials as well. By placing our testimonials prominently on the front page for everyone to see, it made our prospective customers confident that we could deliver quality product on time.
The combination of having a clean looking website and great testimonials along with decent amounts of adwords and wedding forum traffic, we managed to well exceed our 6 order a day quota to make 100K during our first year of business.
We Targeted Wedding Planners
The final boost to our revenues that allowed us to hit 100K was that we gave wedding and event planners special treatment. We went through the internet and contacted these planners directly and offered discounts on bulk purchases of our products.
While this tactic was hit or miss, when we did manage to lock in a wedding planner, it was usually for a large sum of money. In some cases, one order from an event planner exceeded over 5-7x what a typical day’s income would be.
100K Is Within Your Reach
If you take the time to think about it, making 100K a year with your online business is well within your reach. The key is to have a gameplan on how to get there.
By breaking down your earnings goal to a daily value, you can plan ahead and figure out how you are going to make your numbers. Using this guideline will also allow you to figure out early on whether your business idea is even viable and whether you need to raise prices as well.
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Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com.
His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and MSNBC.
He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.
In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts.
To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.
Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses.