Guest: Becky Beach
Episode Transcript (Click to expand)
Ramesh: Hello everyone. Welcome to one more episode of the agile entrepreneur podcast. This is your host Ramesh Dontha. Today we'll be talking to an entrepreneur who has weathered through tough times before she made a very successful business by herself. Her name is Becky Beach, and by the way, I love the name Becky Beach, Becky Beach is a mompreneur who was in debt up to $150,000 before she started her online boutique. She was actually living from month to month and was barely making ends meet before her business. After the online boutique though she was debt free. So Becky nowadays helps other moms start their own businesses, save money, and live from home through her blog www.mombeach.com That's another interesting name there. So Becky, welcome.
Becky: Oh, thank you. I'm really excited to be here.
Ramesh: Fantastic. So Becky, so let's get straight to it. What were you, what was the work that you were doing when you were in that much of a debt around $150,000 if you could explain how you, not necessarily how you got into it, but essentially what were you doing? And what was the transformation?
Becky: Well, I was working for a small pain and injury clinic as a web developer. Like that's what I was doing, and they weren't paying very much. Like I was probably making like $20 an hour or less, you know, those weren't paying that much, you know, so I was like scraping by and I’ll work like 60-hour week. Sometimes it was just a lot of stress. Then I got pregnant with my little child, you know, when I just couldn't, it just was really so much stress, you know, and hard to deal with, you know. They just weren't paying very much at all, you know.
Ramesh: So then what happens? You are in debt and then the work, you're not enjoying it. It's stressful. Then how did that switch come on that Hey, no, I need to start something else. I need to do something else.
Becky: Well, I got pregnant with like, we had a child, my husband, and I just said, I just can't go back to work. I don't think I could work 60-hour days you know in this condition, you know, when I was, I had a little child that I was taking a daycare. It was after three months he has already gone to daycare, you know, that's just too short, you know, and I was just worried about him all day. I couldn't focus on my work, you know, because I just had a little baby that I wanted to be with. So I said, cause I got to do something. So like one day I went in, I was watching YouTube and I was like saying, oh gosh, I heard this, trying to unwind. And then this video came on for how to drop ship. And it was really interesting. So then I started watching it and I was like, you know what, I could do that, you know, there's no money up front, because I had no money, you know. Yeah. So I thought I could do this, you know, and it seems pretty easy.
Ramesh: And then what happened? Did you take any training course or how did you start your business? If you could just go through a step by step.
Becky: Oh, sure. The gentleman advertising was Kevin David and he had a course, so I decided to buy the course. It was like $997 and I used a credit card and it was probably almost maxed out. So I decided to go through his course, and I learned all I could, you know, he had so many videos. Like nowadays he talks mostly about how to make money other ways, but back then he was like all about drop shipping. So I got really
into his videos and other influencers on YouTube. They were talking about drop shipping as well. And I learned all I could. And then I started my own drop shipping website on Shopify.
Ramesh: So Becky, if I could ask you, how long ago was this? Which year was this?
Becky: Oh, this was like back in 2015 when my son was born.
Ramesh: Okay. So 2015 a drop shipping I think is still popular, a lot of people are doing. And then so your first business was drop shipping. And then how did that go? So within a month, were you able to make money? So if you could tell us a timeline of after you build your website and how did it go?
Becky: Well, after a month I was making like a $1,000. I was like really excited and you know, I said this is great. And then like a couple months later, I was making more than I was making at that job, you know. So I was thinking, you know, I think I'm going to resign, you know, because I just can't work at this job anymore. It was hurting my mental health, you know, and my physical health, I just couldn't stand working there anymore. I was just really toxic, toxic environment. The guy that ran the company, he was the child of the owner of the company. So he was just, got a big power trip, you know, and he's wasn't fun to work with. And so, you know, I stopped putting my resignation and then I just started doing it full time. And that's when I skyrocketed my income. I just started getting so much every month doing it, you know, and I was able to start paying off debt, you know, and it was just amazing. It was so simple to do. Like anybody could do this, you know.
Ramesh: Yeah so this is an online boutique and then you are like, what kind of products were you selling?
Becky: I was selling women's handbags. And that's the perfect product. Cause I did lots of research and I barely get any returns because like women just love handbags and they don't return them that often. You know, because they just have so many. So they're not like clothes because you know, if it doesn't fit right, they'll return it and shoes are even worse. So this was like a perfect product. And I love handbags myself. Like I know what women like, you know, what kind of handbags they are interested in and these are low costs. Cause women want trendy handbags. You know, like the designers make but low cost. So these resemble the trendy ones that are like costing like hundreds or hundreds of dollars like, and they're all under like 50 bucks, you know.
Becky: Okay. So Becky for people who don't know what drop shipping business is. If you could explain what is it?
Becky: Oh sure. It's when you, you paid this $29 a month with Shopify and then you go on AliExpress or another drop shipping company and you just go there and import the product using this free up called Oberlo and it's all, you don't have to pay for any inventory up front. You just put the products in your store and then you start selling them. You don't have to have the inventory. You're selling somebody else's inventory.
Ramesh: So Becky, then I could start a drop shipping business. You could start and then 10 other people start. So then why would people
come to Becky beaches drop shipping shop as opposed to Ramesh Dontha somebody else's shop. How are you able to attract customers?
Becky: Well, I have like very good customer service. You know, I just go above and beyond for my customers. And plus I have a graphic design background. You know, I make my store very user friendly and I’ve also been certified to UX design. So I know how to convert customers better, you know, where to put the buttons, you know, and how to move them through the shopping process, you know, so they're easily converted in what colors to use. You know, I use like blues and greens, that's a very soothing colors that for shoppers.
Ramesh: So that's great. So Becky, so what you did was you really first figured out what you're good at, which is your graphic design and I know the UX user design, so how people, you know, surf the website and those kinds of things. And then you build on your strengths and then again, so it's women's handbags, you know quite well about the product and then you match and then you put a Shopify. So it's a fantastic way to start a business by the way. Because first you want to figure out what you're good at.
Becky: Yeah. You're right. Yeah.
Ramesh: So, and then let's say had you not had the skills of the graphic design, probably you would have relied on somebody else to do that for you?
Becky: Oh yes. Like I was able to make my own logo and my own store graphics because I have the design background. Like I spent like five
years in school, you know, getting a BFA. So I knew all about how to do it, you know. But somebody could easily hire someone on Upwork or Fiverr to do it for them, you know, and it doesn't cost very much to get your logo made or a graphics made. You don't need to have graphic design experience.
Ramesh: So Becky that's fine. So then how did you price the products? Between, let's say probably the cost to you is already there, but did you have to make decisions on pricing? How much margin you want to get?
Becky: Oh yes. Like the persons I was selling were like 10 bucks. That's how much the product was. But I was selling them for $47. That was the sweet spot because it was still under 50 bucks, you know and a woman would go into a department store and they're like 70 or a hundred dollars for handbags like that, or even more, a hundreds of dollars. And it's the same look, but it's an under 50 bucks, you know, that's a sweet spot, you know, at 47 and plus people like seven in numbers.
Ramesh: But how did you come up with the $47?
Becky: I did lots of research. I did lots of testing. Like at first, I tested, you know, like I got $49, you know, like just that. So it's under like nine. But then I kept going lower as I was getting like, like less people were buying it. So I was like, I got to make this cheaper. So if I only did it for $47, it blew up, I was like, wow, people are buying this even more. So I'm sticking with 47, you know.
Ramesh: So basically you are testing, you're iterating.
Becky: Yes. It's all about testing.
Ramesh: And entrepreneurship is, which is you test, and you tweak and then you... So then how about promotions and marketing? So how did you figure that out?
Becky: Well, I also have some digital marketing experience. I've always been interested in digital marketing. Like I love Neil Patel, he's like a genius. So I was always following his websites and also, he did a summit and I paid for it, you know, for lifetime access. And you know, all these professionals come on, you know about marketing. I was just really interested, so I just learned all I could. So I'm like a self-taught marketer. I've no marketing degree or anything. So that's how I learned marketing. And also like social media. Like I go on Pinterest, that's how I promote my store mostly.
Ramesh: Okay. So you use social media primarily.
Becky: Yeah. Social media like Facebook. But Pinterest is a huge driver of customers for me.
Ramesh: For your business. Okay. I mean this is good. So we talked about pricing, we talked about promotions and marketing. And then the other thing that you talk extensively is email marketing. Can you talk about how you build your email marketing, the mechanics of it if you don't mind?
Becky: Oh sure. On my store I have a signup, you know, and I say you get like a discount, like a 10% off. So I get so many people subscribing it and I got like 20,000 people on my list right now. And I send out promotions regularly, you know, like maybe twice a week, you know, have more like savings, like 5%. I'd just stick with 5 and 10 cause I'm a drop shipper. I can't have, I don't have any inventory in stock, so I have to just see what my margins are, you know of the company selling the item and if they lowered their price that I could lower my price, you know.
Ramesh: I see. So then Becky which mail marketing do you use?
Becky: I use Mailerlite and its very low cost. You know, I recommend that, never use MailChimp like that one just terrible. I got my account closed, you know, and they never responded back to me. They have terrible customer service.
Ramesh: So Mailerlite you use, and then you build your email marketing list through promotions and those kinds of things. I see. So then what's your website? Is it www.mombeach.com or something else?
Becky: Oh yes. Like now I'm trying to help other moms, you know, start their own businesses and my blogs called mom beach and I have lots of free tutorials on how to start your own store.
Ramesh: I see. Now, let's get into that in a second. So we talked about your online boutique that helps significantly. And then we talked through the step by step. That's phenomenal. You know, in terms of the email marketing promotions and pricing piece of it and how you're
getting a product, which you don't have to carry an inventory.
Becky: Yeah. It's awesome, because I don't have enough space, you know.
Ramesh: That's great. Let's talk about the www.mombeach.com which is, now you said, Hey, I’ve been successful. I've done well to other moms, so when did this start?
Becky: Well I was like maybe two years ago I was like, gosh, I'm doing so well, you know, and I started telling other people that I know, I’ve got my friend Michelle, and she was really interested in what I was doing. So I told her about it, and she didn't know what to do. So I decided to write a post, you know on a blog. Cause I had a blog for many years, but I wasn't really using it. It was called mom beach, you know, and I was never using it. So I decided to write a post to educate her on how to drop ship on the post and I sent it to her.
Ramesh: Okay. And then what happened? How did that grow?
Becky: Well then I started seeing more and more views on that, so she must've been sharing it to other people and I saw like maybe a hundred views on it in like a day one time and like, and she was passing around social media or somebody was, and I was getting so many hits, I was like, Hey, you know, this could be something like people are interested in this, you know, so maybe I should, you know, like branch out and write more articles about this, you know, and try to help other moms.
Ramesh: Okay. So then how many, I mean, do you have a Facebook group for that or how do you grow the www.mombeach.com blog on that business?
Becky: Oh, yes. I have a 5,000 people on my Instagram right now. And I have like a hundred people in my Facebook group. And they all like want to learn how to drop ship, you know, and start their own store.
Ramesh: So do you have a course for them?
Becky: Oh yeah. I just started a course. It's in beta right now, so it's a perfect time to join in. I'm going to increase the price to $500, you know, probably next month. Right now it's only $200, like $197 you know, the sevens.
Ramesh: So you love the sevens.
Becky: Yeah. So I'm all about the sevens, you know.
Ramesh: I’ll remember that actually when I have my course, I’ll put a seven next to it.
Becky: It really helps, you know, it's like a psychological number or something people like it, you know.
Ramesh: Yeah. I see. So and then this course will teach people how to do a drop shipping business or any kind of online business?
Becky: Well, drop shipping and wholesale, because I also do whole wholesale. I've been, because I’ve been so successful at drop shipping, I have a wholesale dog business where I sell dog stuff like dog products. I keep their small things like bows and cobblers. So I keep them in the garage, you know, like for my inventory.
Ramesh: Fantastic. So then so Becky, so you're doing multiple things. So how do you manage it? Let's get into your life, work life balance and things like that. So how are you managing the time between building the business, growing the businesses and then other stuff? Because that's one of the issues that a lot of entrepreneur’s face.
Becky: Oh yes. Like I mostly get up really early every morning if I can or I stay up late or when my son is asleep, I'm able to work, you know, and so it's very hard to balance it. Cause I'm a mother and plus I'm doing these businesses so it can get stressful, you know, but I'm just doing it, when everybody's asleep mostly, you know, it's quiet or I’ll go to Starbucks and work.
Ramesh: Okay. So Becky, during this journey, it looks like it's about five years approximately. Was there a time you thought, this is not for me, it's not working out, it's not doing well. I'll go back to work or do something else. Were there times like that?
Becky: Well, I had a problem customer post, a negative review on Trustpilot. It's some website, you know, where you can post reviews. And it was very scathing.
Ramesh: When was this?
Becky: It was probably like one-year in. I was like, this is terrible. Now when someone searches my business, they're going to see this nasty review. And I was really scared, you know, because I thought that I wouldn't get any more business.
Ramesh: But that was one review, right?
Becky: Oh yes. But that can make or break cause what if someone, a customer is trying to search for my store to see if there's anybody talking about it, you know.
Ramesh: Okay. So let me ask you another question, Becky, in that case then how about if somebody will look on your business or whatever, are there testimonials on your website or where does this whole review thing, how does it help? And then how do you focus on getting more reviews for your business? Because a lot of people are interested in that aspect as well.
Becky: Oh yeah. You should sign up with a Google business account, so you can get like started getting Google reviews. And I had some of my friends and family grab me positive reviews, you know, cause like, nobody ever writes reviews that are positive. There's more negative reviews.
Ramesh: That is very true. I think supposedly less than 2% of people actually use the product really do reviews. And then the reason I got interested in reviews is after I published my book. So the main thing
was when people go, and the reviews. So then you want to hustle a little bit asking people for reviews, which is that, you know, if they like it, they like the book or whatever, but you know, can you please go on Amazon if you liked it, give an honest review. I'm not asking you. So I think that is very important for your business. Okay. All right. So then, it seems like an overall, other than the review things have gone well. Is that a good assessment?
Becky: Oh yeah. Pretty much, it's just sometimes I’ll get emails from customers that are upset that their items are taken too long, that's something I can't control. As a dropshipper I can't control the shipping because I don't have the products with me. Somebody else is in charge of it, when it's shipped and the tracking. So sometimes, you know, it's difficult for me to know when it's going to come to the customer. So I say, well, you know just give it a few more days. You know, kind of like that and I’ve had some people wanting, you know, refunds because it's taken so long and finally that item comes and they're like, Oh, I got my item, you know, do you want the money back? Like somebody said that, that was really nice. So it just varies. But you should always be very nice to these people, you know, cause they're your customer. You don't never want to be rude or ignore them, you know.
Ramesh: So, great Becky. So were there any mentors or books that helped you along the way on your journey?
Becky: Oh yeah. I had paid for a $3,000 mentorship with this guy named Jim Fortan. He's a business coach and he's coached, you know, super achievers all around the world, you know, like just several different famous people. He's coached, you know, and he had a group coaching and he charged like $3,000. So I went in on it, it's called the transformational coaching. And it just changed my whole business
mindset. You know, I'm like, he says that money you know, comes from the universe. You know, it doesn’t come from hard work. That made me think cause that's true, you know, because you could set up passive income streams and get money that way. And that's what I’ve been doing with my store. I just set up the item and then I get the money passively it comes to me. I don't have to work like hours. I'm not paid for my time, you know. Like hourly, like somebody working a nine to five, you know.
Ramesh: Correct. And then so that's great. So then any books that you can recommend?
Becky: Well I love this book called start with why, by Simon Sinek. That's an amazing book. And there's also a book called the One Thing, that's a very good book. It tells you to focus on one thing at a time and there's this other one called, you know, because you are a badass at making money. Like that's a really good, forget the author. But that was like, I really liked listening to that. I Listen to books on audible in the car mostly.
Ramesh: Okay. So fantastic. So Becky's based on your experience, any tips that you could share with the listeners? And then the viewers?
Becky: Oh sure. You should always be patient. Don't think of yourself as losing money when you start running ads. If you make a store and you start running ads and you're losing money, don't think of that. Think of it as a learning experience because you do good enough, you could make the money back at 10 folds, you know, just think of it as learning because you make a mistake. That's a learning experience. So don't give up just because you made a mistake and you didn't sell anything, you
should just keep going. Cause there's some people I know that it took them like a couple months before they started making anything. You know, when they weren't, they were just getting one thing at a time, like one sale, but then they spent too much on ads. I didn't get a good ROAS, you know, I mean a return on investment, you know, ROI and return on ad spend, that's what that ROAS means. I just weren't getting a good enough return, you know. So they decided to quit, but then they kept going and that's when they become profitable because you're learning.
Ramesh: So Becky, you talked a little bit about the advertisements, so let me get into that. Do you use a paid advertising for your business?
Becky: Oh yeah, I use promoted pins on Pinterest and also Facebook ads with the Facebook ad manager.
Ramesh: Okay. And have they been profitable for you?
Becky B: Oh yes. That's how I drive traffic to my store but also drive organic Pinterest traffic and I go into how to do that in my course. Like how to use Pinterest to get free traffic.
21:33 Ramesh: Very good. So then so we talked about anything that you think you could have done better on your business journey.
Becky: Well, when I should have done from the get-go is like test, you know, test more when I was running Facebook ads, I would just put up one creative and one ad copy. But now I learned from a Facebook coach, like she's a Facebook ad coach to do like at least three different creatives and three different copies. And then you just started at $5 a day. And then you scale up the which one's performing the highest. That way you're not wasting money on something that's not working. You
don't put like $20 behind just one ad in one copy, you know.
Ramesh: Excellent. So fantastic Becky. So any last-minute advice, tips, things that we have not talked about?
Becky: Well, I would just say, you know just throw the mindset out the window, you know, because the mindsets don't work. You have to use habits. That's what Jim Fortin teaches is use habits. You know, to grow your business. You know, you look at habits of successful people and you don't say, well, I'm just going to have a good mindset. You know, like that's not going to help you. You can't just say you're going to do something; you are actually going to do. You got to act. You know, you have to start successful habits, like maybe getting up early to work on your business. You know, ever if you want to exercise, if to exercise, want to lose weight, you know, you got to actually make habits to do that. You know.
Ramesh: Fantastic. Becky it’s a very fascinating discussion. I personally have learned a lot from this session, so wish you the very best, any websites or things that you want to talk about?
Becky: Oh yes. Like if you're interested in drop shipping, definitely check out my website, www.mombeach.com and then go to start a store. It's at the very top of the navigation and then there's a free drop shipping tutorial. And there's also information on my course if you're interested in that. It's a very good resource to learn about how to start other businesses too, like blogging for instance, you know, and also how to start a cleaning business and just different kinds of businesses.
Ramesh: That's great. So I'm going to check it out myself. So here is Becky Beech for you guys, just to wrap up the whole discussion, she was in debt $150,000 or so. She was working hard, very stressful life. She had a life changing, you know, with a kid. And then she decided to do something different and she started drop shipping business and she started making money thousand dollars very first month. That is unusual Becky, by the way.
Becky: Yes. When you think about it, a purse is like 50 bucks’ purse. You have to sell many of them to get to $1,000, you know?
Ramesh: Excellent. And then afterwards she branched out to coaching, helping other moms become mompreneurs. And so fascinating discussion, www.mombeach.com and we went through the pricing, promotions and Facebook. So lots of stuff there. So Becky, thank you very much for coming on the show.
Becky: Oh, sure. Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.