In the second part of the interview, Mike shares many valuable lessons from starting and running a dropshipping eCommerce business.
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Mike Kawula is the founder of Self Employed King where he provides specific strategies to help small business grow. Previous to this, Mike ran a successful cleaning franchise business that he grew to a million dollar annual revenue with 35 employees and sold in 2012. During this time, he also started an online (eCommerce) retail store selling office and cleaning supplies that was ranked by Inc. Magazine as the 144th fastest growing company in 2012 and became a multi-million dollar store. You can connect with Mike via his email: [email protected]
Things You Will Learn In This Interview
You can watch the first part of the interview with Mike Kawula here where he goes into detail about networking and franchising business.
In the second part of the interview, Mike goes into detail about he created a multi-millon dollar drop-shipping eCommerce business, the successes, some of the mistakes he made, and advice for anyone who is thinking about starting a dropshipping and/or ecommerce business.
For me, the biggest lesson in this interview comes in the form of the approach Mike took when starting out the eCommerce business. One of the big themes that comes up when I interview successful entrepreneurs is “how to go about validating your business idea?” before you actually go out and spend tons of your time, effort, and money only to find out that you cannot find customers.
That is the incorrect approach. Mike started off by making the drop-shipping arrangements with vendors (without spending a dime in purchasing products) and then contacting customers and getting orders. He acted as a middle-man and made profit on the sales without having to deal with the complexities of warehousing and order management.
Eventually, he did end up leasing a warehouse and importing products from China and he shares some of the mistakes made in the process and some of his lessons learned. Mike suggests using Amazon and eBay as ways to validate your idea and learn about the market and needs of your customers before starting an eCommerce business. Here are some of the additional questions I asked Mike:
1. What made him start an eCommerce business?
2. When and why did he decide to lease a warehouse and purchase his own products?
3. Is it better to hire a third-party warehouse or run your own warehouse?
4. The marketing/advertising strategy they used, mistakes and lessons learned.
5. What were the lessons in importing products from China?
6. What is the most important factor in running a successful eCommerce business?
7. What is his advice to anyone who is thinking about starting a dropshipping or eCommerce business?
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People, Book Recommendations, and Resources of Interest Mentioned In This Interview
What did you think about this interview? Do you have an eCommerce/dropshipping business or are planning to start one? Do you have any specific questions or lessons to share with the Trep Talks audience. Please comment using the comments box below.