From Building a 6 figure company to losing 7 figures — Story of blood, sweat, tears, dreams and expectations
I’m sure this post is going to be pretty long because through this, I’m sharing our 1-year Start-Up journey on behalf of everyone at Blisstro which helped us build a strong team and generate a 6-Figure (USD) Business online in the last 12 months.
PART 1: The seeds were sowed
This is not merely a journey, this is an experience that transformed us internally and externally and helped us to grow massively. We started Blisstro Web Services Pvt Ltd 1-year back. Coming from different backgrounds, with totally different experiences, we had no idea where our brain child is going to go. In what direction will it flourish? Will it make it? Will we be able to live up to the expectations of our families and friends?
We gave up our placements and other lucrative opportunities while starting off, because we wanted to build something BIG and add value to people’s lives. I remember we didn’t even know where to start our journey with. It was clumsy in the beginning. We had 100s of ideas. We had the exact blueprint that would make us a million dollars within 6 months! LOL. It was fun. I’m smiling while writing this. Nostalgia
Though, one thing was for sure: We wanted to build an online business. And that’s exactly what we’ve done since then. I can proudly say that we made terrible mistakes, we made plans that were impractical and I think we were the most optimistic people in the entire world. Haha, every Entrepreneur’s story right?
We were obsessed with the term DBC (Diversified Business Conglomerate) and we wanted to go BIG in 10 different things all at the same time. And trust me, we didn’t know what we were doing. We failed at it of course. LOL
Okay, so what was that one thing that we all knew? One thing that could help us build a long term business?
The four of us were best-selling authors in our own niches.
We started building our Digital Publishing service which focussed on helping people establish their authorities in their respective industries through their own best selling books. And that’s how Blisstro Publishing was born.
We remember calling a few friends and convincing them to buy our packages at a super discount. We managed to make 5 sales! And we were on the top of the world. These were the first few sales and with these sales, the seeds were sowed.
PRO TIP: Always have a blueprint in hand about what you are going to sell. Without clarity, you can never move forward. When we had started, we didn’t have a clue about what we wanted to do but today, we have 100% clarity on what we are going to do for the next 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. Lack of clarity means vulnerability and in today’s cut throat competition, vulnerability alone can get your business shut down.
PART 2: Enters the team
If you want to grow your business truly, you need a team. A good team increases your performance capacity by 10X while it decreases the risk factor by 10X. We had known this fact since long before as collectively, we had done many projects in teams (and we had been team leaders ourselves), projects in our 4 years of college life.
So, the next logical step was that We started recruiting people within our first few days when a Super Lady joined our team! Komal Wadhwa and she’s been doing wonders since then! Having tons of sleepless nights, multiple projects to handle and managing clients that can even turn-off Donald Trump. (Apologies to all supporters. We love him. Sigh)
Then a superb designer joined our team and he’s created the best graphics in our industry. Bhuwan Singh Bisht, you rock bro! We recruited a few more peeps to cater to different responsibilities and had built the best team, the dream team every startup or entrepreneur wants to have.
PRO TIP: We all know the 80–20 Rule. 20% of the activities bring in 80% of the results and 80% of the activities bring in 20% results in any business. This is where you have to know what work you need to allocate to your team and what you need to do. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to bring in clients and projects on a regular basis so that your team can grow too. If you are not doing that, you are wasting others time and energy as well.
PART 3: Market Penetration
Before market domination comes market penetration. No business has ever succeeded without entering or penetrating the market. Almost every market has a lot of competition and you need to make sure that you enter it smartly and make your presence. Most of the startups, entrepreneurs and Big companies spend most of their money in marketing and advertising (after R&D).
So now we had a team to handle and our business was mostly being fueled by our personal savings from different online and offline projects. Good ones! So, we had limited resources and had to take care of everything. We had to pay all our bills and take care of our team’s growth too.
That’s when we took the decision to launch information products! Information products are the bread and butter of 1st and 2nd wave internet marketers. You know– ebooks, video series, sales pages, step-by-step membership sites etc.
And we saw great successes with them! We’ve launched a couple of information products in the last 1-year and we also did our first Software Launch. It did over $40,000 in sales. Not too huge, but not bad for a start right?
This is where we started penetrating the market. We were now been seen and recognized by some of the pioneers of our industries and we even did launch a few products that got POTD awards, with a lot of happy customers and raving reviews. Our information products collectively did $77.7K with our launches along with our partners and another $8–10K in email marketing and affiliate promotions.
PRO TIP: Don’t try to reinvent the wheel when you enter a market. Understand how the market works, see how and what the top guys are doing, do that stuff yourself and once you have had enough experience with the whole process, then think about tweaking or reinventing the wheel. More than 60% people fail because they try to reinvent the wheel. Don’t be one of those people.
PART 4: Neighbouring niches
Every wise entrepreneur or company moves into a neighbouring niche of its parent niche as they know that it is easier to acquire and capture that niche as well than to go into a completely unknown territory.
That’s what we did as well. 5 months later, we saw a great opportunity in selling Explainer Videos and that’s when Blisstro Videos was born. We’ve created 100+ explainer videos since then for clients all over the world (Some of them as big as Google Glass) with the help of our great animators who are experts at mesmerizing people with their work. Our videos have received a lot of positive feedback and praise from some of the leading industry experts. A service that was started as an experiment has done more than $22.7K in just 9 months. It might not sound a big number but we have surely grown from $50/minute to $500/minute and interestingly we have had more happy clients at the latter price point.
Apart from videos, we moved on into coaching, consultation, creatives (graphics and designs) and web development which brought in $10.6K in just 3–4 months. All these services brought in consistent revenue (which is not very great yet) which we are now going to scale up hugely. The point is that move into your neighbouring niches and tap into the untapped market. On an average 1 out of 4 clients wanted a secondary service along with what we were offering(call it upsells :D ) and they were happy to pay good for that. So we started catering those services as well and now these services bring in additional 10–20% of profits each month. All because, we simply understood what our clients needed.
PRO TIP: Always test your price points. Maybe your clients will be happy to pay you more, but it’s you who’s asking for the sale at the higher price point because you might be afraid. So just test the price points of your services to know what’s a sweet spot for you and once you find it, test again to find a better and higher sweet spot for your product/service.
PART 5: Investments
One of the most scary words to normal people and something that every entrepreneur in right sense truly loves: Investments. If we look back, we have invested a lot of money in coaches, programs, books, tools and systems that have (or are) helping us to grow our business at a fast pace. A smart man commits mistakes and learn from them but a smarter man hires a coach, avoids those mistakes and learn from them.
Hence it’s important to invest in your business and skill. In the first year of our journey, we didn’t take out much profit, not even $6000 for ourselves as we invested over 90% of our profits into learning skills because we know the importance of developing a skill set that can help you to grow your business tremendously.
Many people consider this foolish, that’s what we have been told, but it’s our belief that investing in yourself is better than investing in anything else. People used to make fun of us when we read business books, books on client acquisition, followed systems on customer retention but we didn’t let it affect us. The same people still laugh today but we have accepted this fact that investments are a must, especially the ones which develop your skills. So never bother if someone tells you that you’re a fool, just be happy and cool!
PRO TIP: If you are working on a project basis and are not growing your skills, you are not growing. Grow your skills to such a level that you can earn a decent lifestyle leveraging that skill. Projects come and go but the skill remains with you forever. The skill can be viral traffic, CPA, Email marketing, Paid traffic, Kindle publishing, High end or anything. But identify the skills you want to learn and grow your skill set accordingly.
PART 6: Family
We saved the best for the last. Honestly, we couldn’t have been here if our families didn’t believe in us, if our parents didn’t support us. Whatever we are today, it’s 90% because of our parents. Without them, we are nothing, we don’t have an identity. We are a reflection of them, the reflection which they see when they stand in front of a mirror.
If we see closely, the past 1 year has been very tough for us, emotionally, mentally. We have survived weeks with less than $10 for us, but it has been even tougher for our parents. In a country like India, where a huge majority of the people are into jobs, it’s very very tough to start a business. People in our society are always afraid, when someone starts a business. The risk seems to be too much. We have heard a lot many things, things that brought tears to our eyes, things that can tear anyone’s self-respect apart, things that are enough to demotivate you, things that question your own credibility (and that of your parents), things that point direct questions to your upbringing, things that no one should have said but if we didn’t have our parents watching our backs, we would have collapsed. Our greatest support system has been our parents and we are proud to be their children.
People say behind every successful man, there is a woman. Wrong. Behind every successful man, there are his parents who act as a shield and protect him and at the same time, give him words of wisdom and share their experiences.
The first year of Business has been dedicated to Blisstro. But the second year, the second year is going to be dedicated to our parents. We have some BIG plans, some BIG dreams that we have seen, dreams that inspire us to work like crazy and we are sure, with the blessings of God and support of our parents and family we will achieve them.
PRO TIP: No pro tip here. Just always respect your parents. They are the only people who love you unconditionally and have sacrificed a lot for you. If you can’t respect your parents, you can never earn enough respect for yourself.
Lastly, we would like to thank people who have always raised questions, people who have pointed fingers on us, people who have mocked us and people who have tried to bring us down. We love you guys and if it wouldn’t have been for you, we would have never reached here.
Also, a massive thank you to our families and friends for supporting us. Just keep your support on and we will reach the zenith, godspeed.
In a nutshell, if we look 1 year down the line, we’ve generated a revenue of over $121,000+ including all our launches, email marketing, explainer videos and services! And most of this has been done in the last 5 months of our journey!
Most of our profits have been invested to grow our business which means growing ourselves as entrepreneurs and our entire team that works WITH us every single day! We’ve invested most our time and resources in educating ourselves about our business.
In a time, when 9 out of 10 startups are failing in our country, not only have we managed to survive, but boy we were just short of 1 quarter to hit 1 Crore in our first year. #ShamelessPlug
And lastly, we would like to end this with an open declaration because we believe in the law of attraction and we don’t care what people think about us or our goals. We are going to hit $1 Million USD in the next 1 year. Blisstro Web Services is going to be a million dollar company in the next one year. With the grace of god and blessings of our parents and family, support from our friends, we are going to hit this mark.
And If you have ever felt disheartened or demotivated, always remember, you are not alone, you have your dreams.