Patience and Perseverance, The two important Ps to achieve success as an entrepreneur & your online business
I have been a Police Officer for 12 years, and counting. I started my career with the New York City Police Department for 2.5 years then transferred to a smaller Police Department in upstate New York. I love being in law enforcement, but I always felt a entrepreneur spirit burning inside of me.
On Christmas Eve of 2014, I decided to pursue an idea I always thought about. Like most men I hated to shop, but my wardrobe consisted of old clothing from high school and college. I started to research online styling services but did not find many out there. The ones I did find were far too expensive, so I decided to create my own online styling service and clothing subscription, UrbaneBox.com. During the course of next three years I have learned that patience and perseverance made all the difference to my success as a startup online business.
Like many naive entrepreneurs trying to start a business online, I thought if you built it they would come. I remember Googling how to start an online business and seeing many websites saying you could achieve success quickly and make 6 figures. After using BigCommerce to start my first eCommerce website, I was quickly brought back down to reality. It took nearly 4 months for my first customer and my website traffic was minimal. With no traffic and thousands of dollars spent on inventory I felt defeated. I was at the point where I thought about quitting. Instead of quitting I decided to stick with it and educate myself on how to build traffic to my website.
Over the next few months I would teach myself CSS, HTML, and enough code to build a website the would be modern and that focused on Search Engine Optimization. I knew I had to compete with my competitors that had million of dollars at their disposal. I didn’t have investors or money in the bank to pay for a website. I began using forums and YouTube tutorials to help build my website. It took over a month and many sleepless nights to finally design a website. Keep in mind I was still working full time as a Police Officer during this time.
Once the site was completed I knew it was time to focus on my SEO. I would search for YouTube reviewers and reach out to the ones that had a decent amount of followers, but that would do a review for free, minimal cost, or barter in exchange of free clothes. I sent hundreds of emails, with many of them not responding. I was finally able to find a few bloggers and reviewers to write or talk about Urbane Box (Check out the one below). Just these few back links helped tremendously with our SEO and organic traffic. We went from single digits in daily traffic to over 100 a day. We finally started to see traffic and people signing up for our service. It started giving us enough cash flow to begin investing in Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.
By managing my own social media accounts, ads, graphic design and SEO in the course of 3 years, I have learned many things that work and don’t work to achieve success as an online business. Most importantly, I learned that success doesn’t happen overnight and it will not be easy. It will take focus, hard work, and dedication. Don’t rush into rash decisions, as it can be detrimental to your business. Growing my business slowly I was able to learn from my mistakes and make the necessary changes to achieve a successful business.
(I am not an expert in blogging or grammar. I like to share my story and provide tips for other entrepreneurs. These blogs are raw and written personally by me. So I apologize in advance for any grammar errors.)