Day Three: The last rush
Day Three of Seven Day 100$ Startup
Whoa, the post is late. VERY LATE.
There was some problem getting the payment gateway going, however other than that this never happens. If you are new here, don’t worry this doesn’t happen often.
We have decided our product. We have decided our packaging. We also have the most basic idea of our marketing strategy. But now we have to make the product a reality and then find a way to get it to the customer. We have to set up manufacturing.
A slight disclaimer, till now I was trying to be as general as possible but from this post, we’ll get more and more specific. I will try my best to cover all bases but due to so many choices you will make as an entrepreneur, your business will be different from anyone else. Therefore, I highly highly recommend you to comment and ask anything you wish to.
Now let’s talk about my manufacturing. I am making the coffee and packaging it by hand for the moment as 100USD are seriously not enough to set up production in some fulfillment center.
Again that is for food. For a lot of things which don’t have very stringent hygiene law you can set up manufacture in someplace with cheaper rates. But food requires love, care and hygienic cooking conditions, which I can’t guarantee everywhere. So till Coffee by the Post has a volume which a plant would like to handle(which I suppose will be within 2-3 years) I am making it by hand.
Also speaking of food requirements…
Food products by law and in public interest need to have nutrition labels. And they are not that complicated to make…
There is this website called Very Well Fit which generates a full fledged nutrition label out of the recipe. I used it to make my labels. I have used whole fat milk to calculate my numbers, but if you drink with vegan milk or low fat milk, numbers can and probably will differ.
Yes, both the coffee’s are not healthy. They are meant to be tasty and energizing. They are meant to wake you up so that you can exercise more, not less.
Website or No Website is the question
Hear me out on the no website thing. Websites are costly if you don’t have a suitable domain and skills to build a website already.
Normally a dot com domain costs about 8-10 USD based on other features and services provided. Then you got to either hire a web developer who will make you the website for between 10-50 USD based on the features you want and the experience of the developer.
If you decide use Shopify, Squarespace or Wix, you still will have to pay 10USD per month to get the features you’ll need. If you really, really need a landing page, just use Wix or Squarespace and take a dot co.in or dot co.uk or some other national domain as they are cheaper.
As for the e-commerce side,
Google Forms has a plugin option where you can install Payable Forms and then take payments right their. You can basically use google forms for orders and payments. Also Google Forms directly links to Google Sheets which means no need to manually import and export data in excel. Also Google Forms have pre shortened links which are very easy to share. Now it is your choice, whether you want to shell out your low supply of cash on an e-commerce enabled site or use a google form to save all that money for customer acquisition.
I am personally doing the latter to keep all my 100 USD for customer acquisition.
Speaking of Customer Acquisition…
So to acquire customers, keeping in mind my choice of evidence based marketing, I plan to send them a free coffee pack with coffee to last about a week.
But to get the freebie the customer is gonna need to fill a short survey. Don’t worry I am not going to sell your data. It will just give me an idea of what group is my ideal customer is. Also with the data, it will be easy for me to convert someone who just wants a freebie to someone who only drinks Coffee By The Post.
So if you want some free coffee, you know where to look.
I believe that with everything you do, you should try giving back. That’s something I admire about The Body Shop. Anita Roddick showed that business can be a form of protest and you can use your profits to fund causes close to your heart.
In that spirit, I am going to give all the profits from Coffee By The Post to Doctors Without Borders. I plan to pursue medical and this is a mission which I love. With medical becoming a business by the day, Doctors Without Borders provides medical care to places which need them the most. Right now they are providing help to Ukraine, a country home to some of the best baristas and exports some of the finest coffee beans.
Just to be completely transparent, I am planning to take 100USD salary per month once the company starts making a total profit of more than 400USD. Those 100USD will be invested equally in Starbucks and Nestle, as it is always good to have some stake in companies you compete against. That will serve as an emergency fund whenever the company needs it.
As some observant readers pointed out, my posts have not been daily. Exactly. We are on post three instead of seven. The reason is because I lied.
It doesn’t take 7 days to startup.
The only reason I choose 7 was as I wanted to not intimidate you’ll before we started with this. Starting up is the easy part, hard part is to keep going.
Forming the idea and the recipes and the logo and the packaging and the basic strategy for Coffee By The Post was the easy part. Getting people to sign up for it and then keep buying it month after month will be the hard part. Starting is easy but scaling is hard. Putting my 100 USD in it is easy, getting that investor to put down the 100k is hard.
But then as Aristotle said,
Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives - choice, not chance, determines your destiny.”
If you wish to support Coffee By The Post, you can do two things:
Buy something. I highly recommend the monthly mystery subscription which will give you two coffee’s a month for the entire year for only 240 USD. If you are a tea person, maybe it would be a great gift for your coffee loving friends on their special day. You can get it here.
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