Startup 4: Week 1 – Building an ecommerce business from scratch in a month

Startup #3 Update

Last month’s startup, Extreme Vacation Deals, is submitted to the App and Play Stores and waiting final approval! Make sure to download it at extremevacationdeals.com once it’s live.

Goals Update

The goal of 4 Weeks to Launch is to make passive income. I haven’t made any yet. That’s a problem.

The first step, I thought, was to be disciplined at building products. And fast. I couldn’t generate revenue without something to sell.

This time around I’m going to shake things up. While I will still be building a new product, I’ll also focus on marketing and user acquisition (my old nemesis).

You can make money with marketing and no product, but you can’t make money from a product with no marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve built the best app in the world if no one knows about it! It’s like that tree in the forest thing…I think…

Without further ado, Startup #4.

Startup #4: Guitar String Box

Guitar String Box and it is a guitar string subscription service. Guitar strings delivered, every month.

I started this project awhile ago but haven’t focused on it until now. Online store subscription (whether digital or physical) is one of the best passive income models. A great example of this is Dollar Shave Club. If you haven’t heard of them before, they were bought for $1,000,000,000 (billion) and they’re f***ing great.

Subscription is great for passive income. Get a customer once, and then generate revenue over and over and over.

Getting the Goods

I also have a great deal for the guitar strings. A Chinese supplier is giving me the strings for free. Sounds too good to be true, but in reality it’s a good opportunity for the manufacturer. I have a friend who works with the Chinese supplier extensively already, so the strings a free add-on they’re offering. The factory also gets co-branded packaging and the potential for a lot more business in the future.

It’s amazing what you can get if you just ask. Worst case scenario you get a, ‘no’, best case scenario you get exactly what you want. Low risk, high reward.

Targeting to get the first 500 strings packages in from China next month. We’ll repackage and ship via USPS on the 1st of every month!

The landing page for pre-registration is live so sign up if you’re a guitarist or want to give guitar strings to someone as a gift.

This past week I’ve been working on building the ecommerce store.

Sign up for mailing list if you want to these weekly updates in your inbox. Promise, no spam, only posts.

Building the Store

After a lot of research I found there aren’t many options to start a physical product subscription site. Cratejoy.com is the only option but it’s priced at $99/month and near impossible if you ever want to migrate away from them. I decided to build from scratch using a new startup’s API based ecommerce platform named Moltin. It’s more scalable and I have full control over everything. Hook up to their backend for inventory management and you’re good to go.

Moltin is a startup, and with startups come problems. Their team has been very supportive on their slack channel and my hope is that once I build one store, I will be able to quickly spin up other stores in the future. Invest now, rewards later.

As with all my projects, I try to keep things as bare bones as possible. I have 3 different products, light, medium and heavy gauge guitar strings. You can see the ecommerce store scaffolding here.

Guitar string subscription is a very simple service with a niche audience. I plan on marketing directly to this audience using social media ads, squeeze pages, retargeting, and email drip campaign. More on that in future weeks.

Enough writing. Time to get back to programming.

Question of the Week: Why do you want to make passive income? Let me know by email, reply/comment, or phone.

PS. If you liked it, sign up for mailing list.

4 responses to “Startup 4: Week 1 – Building an ecommerce business from scratch in a month”

  1. Alex says:

    Loev the idea and focus on marketing. Testing some cryptocurrency ideas myself — running some FB ads to a landing page to Guage interest.

    • Elijah Murray says:

      Let me know how it goes and what you learn! Would love to hit the ground running with them in a few weeks.

  2. I realy like the Idea with the Guitar strings. Hope you will be sucessfull with one of your Projects soon.