I started cravebox.com in 2014 and throughout the process I have learned that there are different ways to keep the business simple. It is tempting to create branches of more products, more brands, more distribution channels etc. and try more. But you can also go a long way by keeping things simple and focused.
1. Keeps your energy focused
When you start a business, you are forced to compete with all the other businesses that already exist in your particular segment. Most of those other businesses have been around for a while and have been pretty good at what they do. Thus, it takes some time and a lot of hard work to successfully compete with these other businesses and win market share. Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required. Your competitors will work full-time to improve and build new businesses. To stay competitive you need to make a full-time effort for your business. If you become overconfident and try to create a lot of new products, for example, you may get confused and start losing market share in your core business. As mentioned earlier, I started cravebox.com in 2014. In 2017, I tried to sell a bath bomb product because I thought since I could sell one type of product online, it would not be too difficult to start and sell a second company. Other products online. But it did not go well. I couldn’t make a full-time effort for both products – the result was that the bath bomb company never did well and I quit 6 months later and cravebox.com started struggling. Since then, I’ve doubled down on cravebox.com and the business has grown exponentially since then.
2. It is low risk
If you are currently running a profitable business, it is not too risky to continue investing your money in your current successful business activities. For example, cravebox.com sells about 20 different care packages and gift basket varieties. I know they sell well, and I know that the money I invest in these inventories, labor, etc., is probably going to generate a return for me and my business. However, if I start selling fresh fruit gift baskets (which I don’t currently sell), it will be a much more risky investment than just continuing my current business activities. This is because of the new product sourcing, investing my time and money in hiring people to manage this new supply chain and operations and I am not sure if the products will be sold or sold profitably. It is often more profitable to invest in your current, successful business venture than to be tempted by trying many new things.
3. Employees will do well
My warehouse is very simple. As I mentioned earlier, we sell about 20 care packages and gift basket varieties at cravebox.com but we use many of the same snack products in those 20 varieties. So I don’t have many different products in my warehouse and my staff is able to keep the warehouse organized easily and they can perform their job of assembling care packages without high probability of making mistakes. If I introduce a lot of new products, systems or try to sell an unrelated product, my employees are much more likely to make mistakes that will damage the quality of my business and existing products. Since your competitors will probably be stronger, more organized and even better, you will not have problems with your operation and one of the best ways to make the operation work smoothly is to keep it simple.
About the author
John Accordy is the founder and CEO of cravebox.com and starcoursecap.com. CRAVEBOX combines care packages and gift baskets for sale online. Starcourse Capital is a venture capital firm that invests in young e-commerce companies. John dropped out of a PhD program at Georgetown University to start CRAVEBOX in 2014 and says it’s the best decision he’s ever made. He now runs a business outside of North Wales, PA and also lives part-time in Manhattan. When John is not working, he enjoys sailing, playing the guitar, and spending time with family.