BC Bootstrapping and Googling
Now I just needed to figure out how to make money. I could provide a better service at a better price (free) than my competition. Who doesn’t like free? But my competition was actually able to make the product.
Buying equipment was OUT of the question for me. I was intent on bootstrapping to keep my costs low and make it easier to breakeven. I guess that means I’m risk averse. I didn’t want to sink too much of my savings into something I had never done before.
I wanted to be profitable as soon as possible. The Silicon Valley model works to build the largest business possible as fast as possible. Through massive amounts of funding, you can take revenue losses until you reach the inflection point of mass adoption. And THEN you rake in the profits.
But that’s not what I was going for. I just needed to learn business in the simplest, cheapest and fastest way possible. No funding necessary. Through my research I found out that a lot of the profit is derived from buying apparel at wholesale prices rather than the printing process as I thought. Specifically for small quantity orders I was expecting as opposed to the thousands and hundreds of thousands of items large companies can print.
Bulk orders of that size result in economies of scale. Honestly, I don't even know if I'm using that term correctly. But it basically means that the higher volume allows you to lower your costs and increase efficiency.
However, the upfront capital needed to purchase machines, office/storage space, inventory, supplies, etc, seemed astronomical from my perspective. The perspective of a 1st time entrepreneur not willing to risk it all on his 1st endeavor. For me, I'd make my profit off of the item itself. The lower I can the price down, the more profit I could get. But I also wanted to be professional and give my customers the most choices possible (customer-centric since the beginning).
So I Googled "how to buy wholesale apparel" & found out all I needed was to become a real business. But HOW TF DO I DO THAT?? Back to Google.
I found out many companies offer bulk, wholesale apparel nationwide. And it so happens one of those companies is down the street from me. I walked in, did some recon, asked some questions and got some answers. I needed a resale certificate to be able to set up an account with these companies. And I needed to set up an official business to get the resale certificate.
So you know what happens next...
- Nick James