I want to take a minute to dispel a myth.
Scaling an eCommerce brand is doable…but it's not easy.
You see all these posts about growing 400% year over year, which I know is entirely possible because I've done it, but that doesn't mean it's easy.
What you don't hear about is people running out of inventory and having trouble replacing it in time. Or margins being super tight. Or manufacturers being out of inventory due to Covid which causes your new products to come in 3 months late. Or the fact that you're growing but you don't have that much money to pay yourself even though your store is doing $100k/mo in sales.
On the flip side, it's 100% possible to grow faster than most people realize with the right marketing strategy in place. I worked with someone recently who was doing $25k/mo and thought they were capped out. Then, we implemented a marketing strategy for them, and they did $90k 3 months later.
It was awesome and it's way better to shortcut that process than to think you "have to pay your dues," but as mentioned, that doesn't mean it's easy. You're going to need cash for marketing AND inventory. You may not have that much to pay yourself (yet) even though you're doing $100k per month in sales. Then, you're going to have to pull the trigger on $100k+ inventory orders without knowing for sure that you'll sell through everything.
It's going to be challenging and stressful and totally worth it (in most cases) but not easy.
My best advice for anyone doing this is to find people who've already done what you're looking to do and to get their advice on how to shortcut the process. The last thing you want to do is spend 3 years of your life growing your business to find out you could have experienced the same amount of growth in 1 year.
My other piece of advice is to be mentally prepared for numerous challenges along the way AND to make sure you have the right advisors to get you through those challenges. Scaling an eCommerce brand is going to be the hardest thing you've ever done. If someone tells you it's going to be easy, they're lying and probably trying to sell you something.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Has scaling been easy or challenging? What's your best advice for keeping things going along the way?
My hope with this post is to get more people talking about real stuff and not just hyping people up and making them think scaling an eCommerce brand is as easy as pushing a magic button and watching all the sales come in.