Unicorn Part 1: How we created three 7-figure businesses and sold over 30 million dollars in beauty products and services from a Small Bedroom
Nov 17, 2020
This is part one of the article series.
Alana and I started in a 70 square foot room.
One of our clients Frank (a former professional football player) literally could not fit from corner to corner, yikes. In the following article we will tell you exactly how we morphed from this 70 square foot room (services like facials only) into 3 separate 7 figure businesses.
And yes, years later we have calculated we have sold over 30 million dollars in physical products and services. Not including amazon. Sounds like a dream right? Well, just keep reading.
I was a professional musician, when the ipod came out, that money went out (and I mean way out) the window.
Sorry Jared, no more dreams of guns and roses. Combined with the worst real estate decline of the last 20 years, it was time to invest my time in growing a different business.
Despite the economy, Alana had filled up her clientele in just a year, pretty cool. We decided to start selling products out of her room too. (Our first online course teaches how we used google to do this, you can check it out here)
It was so painful placing our first order with Epicuren, spending $750 which we barely had, and the box came, and it was like 2 inches by 2 inches ( under exaggeration).
I changed my tune when she sold through it in one week and we have put another $700 in our pocket. "Hey Alana, what if we tried selling these things online"? "Sure Jared, You do that".
A few problems. I had little to no website experience, and shopping carts pretty much did not exist for the public back then.
Ever had a throw your hands up in the air and celebrate the moment in business?
Ours came in Bend, Oregon, while we were on vacation. (And yes, remember that we were on vacation, we were already making money on vacation) After learning how to build a website (I had not figured out the shopping cart yet) from a flyer on the side of the isle at costco, we figured we could sell products over the phone to start.
So, we had no money and bills were due. I thought, maybe I can try some ads on google? So I learned googles ad platform.
So back to that victorious moment, I remember when I turned the "on" switch to on. We received a call within 5 minutes and made a $175 dollar sale over the phone (alana is really good with sales and even more important, cross selling, and upselling).
I spent $5 on the ad. Ladies and gentlemen, we made a rough amount of $80 in 5 minutes. Our hands were in the air, and we were celebrating. Open the champagne! More to come on this story. Keep reading.
Fast forward a bit first. I remember when we received a phone call that changed our (business life).
It was a local real estate agent, name not to be mentioned of course. We were selling products like hot cakes, adding more product lines to our website every day, and scheming the launch of our own brand.
We had quickly grown out of our small day spa room, and were in desperate need of more space for poor frank and the number of product lines we were bringing in to retail. After calling on every for lease sign imaginable in the city of Dana Point, we finally got a call back.
Alana was thrilled! The space was open.
Said real estate attorney had plenty of questions which we eagerly answered and he even eagerly began his dissension towards refusal.
Before hanging up, we kind of started to argue, hoping that some spunk on our end could prove our worth. His words were "Its ok, you will never make it anyway, you are just an esthetician."
Alana and I learned a lesson that day. He was so wrong! This was not always going to be easy. We are good enough, no matter what some washed up old dude says that does not understand technology.
Also, we would need to continue to pave our own path, and do this our way. Even if that means having a business that is "a unicorn".
Let's unpack this a bit, because Alana and I have some thing we want to teach you while we tell our story, and show you exactly how you can do it too.
Lets start with some psychology and goal setting, then I will get into teaching you the nuts and bolts.
1. You Are Good Enough-
We are here to tell you today, that you are good enough to follow your dreams. However, first we would encourage you to really explore the type of person you are.
Contentedness is a true gift. If you are reading this article, odds are you are the type of person to pursue this dream for yourself. If you are not the archetype of and entrepreneur, than this path might not be good for you!
Start out by taking a basic matrix test, and make sure you are on the controller promoter side of things more so the supporter and analyzer.
For those of us that have the proper disposition and matrix mix, lets talk about fear. What are you afraid of?
Are you living and running your business from a position of these fears? I had to learn to fear NOTHING in the business world, starting with the unhealthy things. No person, no technology, no obstacle.
I LITERALLY taught myself how to build a shopping cart before they existed, and how to run ads. You can learn anything you want to with a little patience and youtube. Alana and I have a motto. Just start by doing one thing, get off our butt, and just do one thing. What do you have to fear?
Once we figured out we are the right people for this, and that we did not need to fear any of the things we were taught to fear in business school, it was time to set real goals.
Here are the questions we usually ask beauty professionals when helping them set goals:
-What is your most profitable service for the least amount of time and energy and hassle?
-Where do the long term customers (who request the above service) originally come from?
-How do we get more of the above?
We do base all of the above on our financials, yes the numbers. Get used to putting your financial and analytical hat on, if this is the path you want to take.
It does not have to be your matrix, but you must know enough to understand it, and utilize financials and analytics to make your decisions!
4. Diving Back Into Our Story, more nuts and bolts -
Now that we set our goals, I want to show you the overview of HOW we grew the business, and made this transition from getting our hands dirty in the services room to making money while we sleep, and having others do the hands dirty work for us!
Here is an outline of the structure we followed, and below I will give examples, instructions, & proof of each!
- Branding, Looks, Packaging, are ALMOST everything
- Fill up your clientele.. and by the way, its never full
- Retail is where you make real money and can grow your business
- Sell ONLINE and make money while you sleep
- Private Label - DO IT
- Scaling your business the healthy way, retail and services
How we leveraged TOTALLY FREE online traffic sources
- organic SEO - GMB first. Then Google, youtube, etc
- site appearance and architecture
- content marketing and blogging
- email marketing and email aquisition
- video marketing
- social media
- Conversion Rate optimization
- Metrics and Analytics
After the above, we got into paid search advertising online
- paid search, start yourself, then outsource quickly
- social media ads - same
- amazon paid search
- affiliate marketing
- direct mail
- trade shows
- paid pr placements
- influencer marketing
here is a link to part 2 of the article series