LakelandShields is a brand new eCommerce site that has quickly proven its worth. Started by a team of tenured eCommerce developers who intricately understand the data that goes behind the creation of a high converting site, this single item business is working off of fantastic margins from a deal with a manufacturer located right in the heart of Texas.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you work to start this company?
I’ve been in the web design and development space for 9 years. We have developed over 400 websites from scratch in a variety of niches (my primary business is www.weblakeland.com) and along the way we build some really good relationships and I spot some great opportunities. As much as I hate to say it, there are some great eCom opportunities right now with everything going on with COVID-19. I’m heavily invested into a few COVID related projects and one, in particular, we are selling hand sanitizer like crazy (as you can imagine) I had a gentleman call me requesting to purchase bulk hand sanitizer for some of his clients and we started talking shop, he informed me of his print shop in Texas that is 3D printing face shields.
With our marketing efforts and conversations with people purchasing our hand sanitizer, which is mostly medical offices, dentist offices, eye clinics, etc. They frequently asked if we also sold face shields. This got me thinking and the bulb went off when I started to explore the possibilities with my new buddy who is 3D printing face shields, right out of Texas, and will even ship them for me, as long as I got the sales… Having a great development team and very familiar with the eCommerce space, We quickly set up an awesome website, hired a model (my sister, the blonde on the website) and started to literally reach out to dentist and medical offices via their websites, emailing them directly. Our whole team did this for a little bit and reached out to existing customers (just direct, one on one emails) and they started selling. We ran the site for a few weeks and because of other ventures I’m running that are more profitable and taking up more time, I decided to not pursue this particular business and never set up any social media or did any real promotion or marketing. I do know that Bing Ads and Google ads do approve face shields relatively easy and that would be the first place to start along with re-targeting existing website traffic.
Your vendor 3D prints the shields – is there a supply capacity based on the equipment used to create these shields?
He does 3D print them in Texas and handles all fulfillment and uploads tracking numbers directly into the website. So it’s pretty hands-off for us, just get the sales and pay him his cut at the end of the month. We currently pay $8.50 / shield and charge $19.97 + $8 / fixed shipping. Additionally, we pay $1.20 per replacement shield and charge $4.50 / each. I think it would be brilliant to have a recurring / subscription offer on the website to sell these at a discount rate to make the business more passive. You can easily purchase a subscription plugin for the website through WooCommerce and integrate this into existing fulfillment.
How have you marketed the product so far?
We have only promoted the product internally with our team, literally reaching out to primary dentist offices for a very short period of time. We have done no official marketing or spent any ad-spend.
How much time does it take to run the business, who else is needed on the team, and what is automated?
The business is fully automated. We do have a phone number on the website and this does receive occasional calls from people inquiring if we are a legit company and some basic questions about the face shields or what is the pricing on bulk ordering, etc. We can remove the phone number but would highly recommend you set this up to handle. A lot of people nowadays and companies want to see a customer service number on the website before buying.
Additionally, you have to manually pay the vendors invoice when they send that over and manage any support/sales emails. Hosting, website cost, email cost, licenses and even the phone number is included for $99 / month. We would transfer all of this for you without any issues.
Is the product being made as ordered or would the new owner be expected to place a large order and hold inventory? Is there an opportunity to cut costs as sales grow?
Good question! The product is being made as ordered so you don’t have to put up any money up, place any bulk orders, or manage any inventory. You don’t even touch the product.
What does someone need to do to continue operating the business in its current form?
Get sales! 😁